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ISPs and mobile operators regularly throttle traffic, report finds

V3 - Internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile operators regularly use traffic management policies such as blocking or throttling to restrict access to certain services, according to a new report by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).

The European ISP watchdog announced the findings after a three-month investigation in conjunction with the European Commission (EC) that involved discussions with some 400 operators on how they handle large demands placed on their networks.

Chief among the services regularly limited include peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) tools, with operators admitting to using deep-packet inspection technology to detect when these technologies are in use.

"About one quarter of respondents provide justifications for certain traffic management practices based on what could be described as "security and integrity" concerns (eg controlling "spam" traffic), though some of these traffic management measures are best described as congestion management techniques," the report noted.

Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, said the revelation that firms use management policies, including (DPI), proved European commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, must introduce net neutrality laws.