Virgin to prioritise non-P2P web traffic

By | Published on Friday 1 October 2010

Virgin Media is applying new traffic rules to its broadband network meaning that priority will be given to non-P2P file-sharing usage, so that streaming services like Spotify and download services like iTunes will have priority in terms of bandwidth at busy times to the detriment of those using file-sharing networks.

The new rules are part on an initiative to further increase the speed of Virgin’s broadband internet service, especially for uploading rather than downloading. The ‘throttling’ of P2P traffic isn’t being positioned as a specific attempt to reduce the usage of file-sharing networks (which may be used to transfer legal as well as illegal content), but it will mean legal download and streaming services are more likely to work unhindered even when the ISP’s networks are at their busiest.

Virgin, of course, has been the most friendly of all the ISPs towards the record industry in its mission to combat illegal file-sharing. The quid pro quo was meant to be working with Virgin to launch a ground breaking unlimited MP3s download service to which Universal Music signed up last year, though the other majors and bigger indies remain resistant to those plans.