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Networking The Internet United Kingdom Games

UK ISP To Prioritize Gaming Traffic 196

nk497 writes "A UK ISP is now offering a broadband package just for gamers, which will prioritize their traffic to give them an edge over rival players. Demon Internet has also set up direct networks with gaming companies to boost speeds, and is promising lower latency and a higher usage cap than standard packages. 'Looking at the usage of gamers, it's actually more akin to a small business,' the company said. While paying to get specific content streamed more quickly may worry net neutrality campaigners, Demon says it has enough capacity for its own customers and that's who it's looking out for."
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UK ISP To Prioritize Gaming Traffic

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, 2010 @07:06PM (#33328292)

    While you're working on impossible things, you should try and convince the people in Australia who have to pay for lower ping vpn tunnels to WoW servers in the US that it's also cheating.
    Seeing as the alternative is 500ms latency vs USA players sub 200ms. :-(

  • by netchipguy ( 1010647 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @08:47PM (#33328738)
    It's an issue anywhere there is congestion. Which happens anywhere people don't like wasting money.

    Buffering versus line utilization is an interesting relationship. You NEED buffering if you want to keep the line highly utilized because data comes in randomly from various places -- if you have small buffers, then the various TCPs will often collide, drop, and backoff even though the line isn't highly utilized. The "right" amount of buffering is a function of how much you want to pay, the utilization you want to achieve, the latency you are willing tolerate, and, assuming an adaptive protocol like TCP, the round trip time of from one endstation to the other (not just on your segment).

    In the core, the lines are fast, but also very expensive. Providers want those things well utilized -- a 10Gb pipe which is only running at 20% isn't earning enough money. So the core tends to have deep buffering, lots of simultaneous flows, and hence runs at high utilization. It's not uncommon to have buffers on the order of several megabytes per port (providers often will measure it "milliseconds").

    In a LAN, gigabit lines run everywhere, and the wires are short and cheap. They tend to be cheap switches, with shallow buffers. No one cares too much if packets are dropped, there is plenty of bandwidth to resend things. It's not uncommon to have 2-4 megabytes shared for the whole switch (24 ports or whatever).

    In the first case, prioritizing helps avoid large latencies, since the core has deep buffers, and enough users to keep the buffers busy.

    In the second case, prioritizing helps avoid packet drops, since the LAN has shallow buffers.

  • Re:Citation Needed (Score:1, Informative)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday August 21, 2010 @08:58PM (#33328792) Journal

    Well, where are the rules for net Neutrality and what are the official definitions of Net Neutrality?

    I mean from my stand point, all that needs to be done is ensure that the consumers whether it's the average joe enjoying online gaming, the average sally chatting with her friends, or the average company they want to talk to, gets what they paid for. If they offer this service in a way that doesn't degrade or hamper the services sold to others, then there is no reason for NN to get involved is there?

  • by grainofsand ( 548591 ) <grainofsand AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 21, 2010 @09:37PM (#33328946)

    Hmmm - chance would be a fine thing. There are no Australian WoW servers. From the official WoW FAQ:

    Can players select what realm they play on?

    Yes. However, you must choose a realm that is located within your geographical region. For example, North American players must select a North American realm, and European players must select European realms. Some exceptions will exist. Australian and New Zealand players, for example, connect to realms on the U.S. West Coast.

  • by L0rdJedi ( 65690 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @04:40AM (#33330292)

    Yes, there are some nitwits who try and conflate net neutrality as being in conflict with QoS or Tiered ISP service levels like offering (slower lite vs regular vs higher speed connections), etc, etc, but that's not the "net neutrality" that net neutrality advocates are interested in.

    It may not be, but reading the FCCs request for comments on proposed rules seemed to say exactly that.

    You see how conflating two network management issues that are unrelated creates FUD about the unrelated issue? People like you are as bad as the do-gooders.

    Yes, because a law written by politicians and lawyers (in other words, not network guys) will surely keep the two network management issues separate. Or maybe standard QoS will just end up caught in the "for your own good" law and it'll die a quick painful death.

  • Re:Citation Needed (Score:4, Informative)

    by P0ltergeist333 ( 1473899 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @06:33AM (#33330648)

    Wouldn't prioritizing, by definition, degrade someone else's service?

    It's easy to get that impression, but I don't think so. Your question seems very semantic to me.

    A major QoS benchmark is latency. Let's say your average latency to a given server is 13ms. As a gamer I want an average latency to my game server of 9ms. As long as your average latency remains at 13ms, while giving me the 9ms I desire, there's no problem. The problem occurs when the content providers (say, Time Warner) prioritize their media content over their network at the expense of their customer's connection to non Time Warner servers.

  • Re:woot (Score:3, Informative)

    by dintech ( 998802 ) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:10AM (#33330938)

    Not only that but Demon is the very worst ISP I've ever had the misfortune of being stuck in a 1 year contract with. Prioritised speeds on a shitty network wih clueless customer service is worthless.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison