Seems like the in thing to do these days. Cox has announced they will implement a “Cox Congestion Management” trial for their broadband networks in Arkansas and Kansas market. Cox joins Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner, among others, with some form of bandwidth management system in place. Some of these systems are more limiting than others and actually limit bandwidth usage. Cox appears to not be going in that direction – at least not yet. According to Cox, their system will monitor aggregate traffic flows, and determine time sensitive versus non-time sensitive Internet traffic. When necessary – due to congestion factors – the time sensitive traffic will be given priority. Cox says time sensitive traffic includes web traffic, VoIP, email, and IM for example. Non-time sensitive traffic includes FTP, P2P, and software updates/downloads.
The trial will expand to other markets as they learn optimal ways to manage bandwidth. Cox addressed one of the critical views of such practices – its impact on competing services over their broadband network. “Our approach is based on the time-sensitivity of the traffic that’s using our network – it is not based on the owner or source of the traffic. For example, most Internet video competition comes in the form of downloadable and streaming video from the Internet. Our congestion management practices should actually help ensure that these and other applications run smoothly on our network,” says Cox on their website. Let the debate continue. What’s your opinion? Use the comment tool below.