After reading previous complaints on other forums relating to XNet's recent bout of international bandwidth congestion during peak times, I decided to email them asking for an update on a proposed solution.
In my eyes they appear to be on the right track. Here is their response from my tech support query anyway, decide for yourself and remember when posting comments to this that there are no silver bullets to an issue like this as ISP's will always to a certain degree be at the mercy of their customers in terms of the demands on their various services (no I do not work for Xnet, I'm just an objective realist in regard to issues such as this).
Xnet has been diligently buying additional International capacity as the
customer base grows in an effort to ensure that there is plenty of
plumbing to support all of our subscribers. Generally this has ensured
that our customers get a good experience that meets their needs.
Unfortunately the usage patterns of some clients have gone through the
roof and regardless of how much bandwidth we make available, the network
runs at capacity during peak hours. After midnight, we see overall usage
drop to a trickle.
Think of it like a highway. If we all come to and leave work at the same
time, everything slows down. As the population grows the motorway just
gets worse. The good news is that we can add lanes to the motorway and
will continue to do so. The reality is that there are users out there
are trying to use the whole highway at once.
Some customers have asked why we don’t simply throttle peer to peer and
torrent traffic across the board. While this seems to be a logical
answer, Xnet is concerned that doing so will have a negative impact on
real time activity such as gaming, pc to pc video conferencing and
viewing YouTube videos because in order to throttle a specific type of
transaction, we must conduct deep packet inspection to ascertain the
content type; potentially slowing all traffic.
As it turns out the answer is not a technical one. It is a matter of
promoting customers to change their usage patterns for non real time
critical downloads. So Xnet will be launching a new pricing option that
will encourage people who download excessive amounts of data to do so
during off peak periods and relieve congestion the rest of the time.
Heavy users who modify their behavior will actually save money and
everyone will get a better experience during peak usage periods. The
pricing option that will be available by mid May will offer subscribers
completely free and unlimited data usage from midnight to eight in the
morning, seven days per week. From eight AM to midnight, they will pay
$1.54 per gigabyte rather than the normal $1.02 per gig.
As the peer to peer community changes their torrenting software to limit
full speed downloading of content to off peak times, we expect to see a
very quick improvement in everyone’s speeds during the day.
We assure you that we are dedicated to providing the best service
possible and will continue to evolve, adapt and invest in the best
people and technology.
Xnet Internet Support
0800 14 XNET