Internet traffic shaping tool sales double

As companies like Bell and Rogers continue to use “traffic shaping” to restrict Internet access for certain applications, the vendors that make the software used to allocate bandwidth are seeing a spike in sales.

In a recent report, Infonetics Research of Campbell, Calif. said the number of “policy server” licenses sold this year will be double the number sold in 2007.

The report, dubbed Policy Servers Worldwide Market Size and Forecasts, said policy servers will soon  be a “must have” for service providers, especially for wireless carriers who are seeing a spike in broadband data usage.

Jeff Heynen, Infonetics’ directing analyst for Broadband, IPTV, and Next Gen OSS stated in a company press release: “Our discussions with service providers either currently deploying or planning to deploy a policy server indicate that the incremental cost of a policy server platform is well worth the capital outlay, especially in mobile networks, where broadband data usage is soaring among HSPA providers.”

Heynen added: As a result, the policy server segment won’t be affected much by current economic contractions.”

Traffic shaping has been a bone of contention among Internet service providers and users, some of whom argue it violates the principle of “Net Neutrality.”

Last April, the Canadian Association of Internet Providers asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to issue a cease and desist order against Bell Canada, which shapes its traffic and that of its service provider customers.

The CRTC turned down the request, and last week the federal telecom regulator ruled in favour of Bell, on the grounds the carrier used the same practices for both its wholesale and retail customers, meaning Sympatico Internet users would not get better service than surfers using a competitor which buys the bandwidth from Bell.

Bell has argued it needs traffic shaping to ensure users of peer-to-peer applications such as BitTorrent do not hog the bandwidth needed other users.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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