What is throttling, shaping and uncapped fibre internet?
Some fibre internet providers like to confuse things, like insurance guys, about what you get with your fibre internet package. They definitely don’t like customers to know what throttling is.
The conversation goes something like:
“Yes, sir (or mam), we offer uncapped fibre internet”.
“Great, that means I can use as much as I like, right?”
“Well, no, not really…”
“Well, then why are you calling it uncapped?”
When it comes to choosing a fibre internet service provider you may want to brush up on your technical knowledge of things like, what is throttling, shaping and uncapped fibre internet. This type of knowledge empowers you to make sure you have the best internet experience possible.
At RocketNet, we don’t believe in fair use policies, throttling your connection or capping your data because there is enough to go around.
What is throttling and is anybody hurt in the process?
According to Wikipedia, throttling is the intentional slowing or speeding up of fibre internet by an internet service provider.
Throttling fibre internet is used by fibre internet service providers to regulate network traffic and minimise bandwidth congestion.
Bandwidth congestion is when too many households connect to the internet simultaneously (at peak times), and the system gets ‘backed-up’, like rush-hour traffic on a highway. In the new era of working from home, peak times are more challenging to predict due to increased demand for data throughout the day and not just during the evening Apple TV binge.
Is throttling allowed?
Although throttling isn’t illegal, it’s certainly a grey area. If you pay for certain fibre internet speeds, you should get those speeds, no questions asked.
The truth is, most ISPs don’t inform customers about throttling unless you have read the fine print details in your service providers contract.
How to tell if you are being throttled:
Some tell-tale signs of throttling are when you watch a video on YouTube, and it begins to buffer out of nowhere. Also, if you are a gamer and are experiencing lag, you may be a victim of throttling. Here are some steps to test if you are being throttled:
- While not using the internet, run a speed test to get an accurate result of your speeds. If possible, connect an ethernet cord to your router or modem directly from your device (laptop or smart TV) for actual speeds.
This is scary; some providers will detect you are running a speed test and stop throttling during the speed test.
- Run another speed test using a VPN (a virtual private network). A VPN will help determine if your provider is throttling you selectively. Also, they won’t detect you are running a test resulting in an accurate assessment.
- Next, compare speed test one to speed test two. If the speeds are similar, it’s a good indication that you are not being throttled. If the VPN speed test is noticeably higher, well then, you know. Lastly, compare these speeds to the advertised speeds at the time of purchase. If your speeds are drastically lower than what you signed up for, say something about it.
What is shaping, and do I need the gym to avoid it?
During the Covid-19 lockdown, some of us may have taken on a slightly different shape. But that’s not the shaping we refer to when talking about fibre internet.
Throttling is employed across an entire network, but shaping fibre internet is when an internet service provider reduces the available bandwidth to a single customer.
Shaping occurs when that customer exceeds the monthly available limit (whether they knew about it or not) of data usage. They will then experience shaping, which means their fibre internet speed will reduce considerably.
What happens during shaping
When a fibre internet service provider begins shaping a customer’s fibre internet connection, they give specific ports higher priority. For example, a port for simply browsing the web may not be shaped and operate at regular speeds. However, when it comes to using a port for downloading large video files, that port may be shaped, and prolonged download speeds are the result.
The best solution here is to simply purchase unshaped fibre internet from us!
Does uncapped mean limitless fibre internet?
Uncapped fibre internet is supposed to mean you can use as much data to browse the internet as you like. However, you may see a clause for a fair usage policy with certain fibre internet providers. You will want to look out for those when selecting or switching fibre service providers.
Uncapped means you can use as much data as you like as long as you are fair about how much you use. We know it doesn’t make much sense, and that’s why we don’t do it.
At RocketNet, we like our products to make sense to our customers. So we offer non-throttled, unshaped, uncapped fibre internet with no such thing as a fair usage policy. We are the most straightforward choice because we are the most accessible internet service provider. That’s why we consistently rank in the top 5 best fibre internet service providers on platforms like Hello Peter.