February 6, 2016
Administrating traffic management systems correctly and not inadvertently blocking applications is a difficult duty. Several gaming websites are reporting that Tiscali users are experiencing severe problems playing online games.
Computer and Video Games is reporting that Tiscali users are experiencing problems playing games such as Call of Duty 4. The developers Infinity Ward propose that the problems are due to latency and blocks on peer-to-peer (p2p) services within Tiscali’s network. This technology is used to distribute content for a mixture of legal and illegal purposes.
Tiscali have emphatically denied intentionally blocking games, but with the number of incidents it appears probable that gaming has become a victim of amendments to the traffic management systems.
Previous knowledge from other service providers demonstrates that when traffic management is turned on, gamers are often one of the casualties, either it is slow updates, demos are sluggish to download or games undergo lag and jitter (the difference between winning and losing a game.)
Tiscali is the fourth largest broadband/telco provider in the UK. In a presentation back in October 2015 it was the only large provider to show a drop in market share between 2006 and Q1 2015, a drop from 11.6% to 11.1%, with AOL/CPW and Sky showing principal growth.
During the company’s expansion of its LLU presence with an aim to meet 1,000 exchanges (65% of UK households) in early 2016 and possible extensions to 1200, the decline in market share is certainly not a good precursor.
What may not be evident to many is Tiscali’s escalating rollout of a ‘fully unbundled’ option facilitating the provision of full telecommunications services on its own network similarly to TalkTalk.
It is unknown if any of the existing migration work Tiscali UK is undertaking is merely moving users onto a full LLU solution. In this scenario customers with a broadband and phone package may be disappointed as they discover that switching to another operator in the future becomes difficult and expensive. For those on shared LLU connections, migration should be relatively easy as the MAC migration process works for these lines.