This article is more than 1 year old

Sprint: Net neutrality means we can't stamp out download hogs

Not that we, er, needed to anyway, telco admits

Sprint says America's new net neutrality rules – which kicked in last week – have forced it to stop throttling download hogs' mobile broadband connections.

Everything's fine, though, the US telco insists: it turns out this traffic strangling wasn't really needed in the first place.

Sprint, the third-largest carrier in America, slashed download speeds for subscribers making "heavy" use of its network. That practice, we're told, breaks US watchdog the FCC's net neutrality rules.

"For less than a year, Sprint used a network management practice that applied only at the level of individual congested cell sites, and only for as long as congestion existed. At such sites, we temporarily allocated resources away from the top 5 percent of heaviest users and to the 95 percent of users with normal usage, to try to allocate the effects of congestion more fairly. Once congestion at the site passed, the limitation automatically ended," Sprint told The Reg today.

"Upon review, and to ensure that our practices are consistent with the FCC’s net neutrality rules, we determined that the network management technique was not needed to ensure a quality experience for the majority of customers."

The statement did not mention the $100m tap on the wrist AT&T was levied this week for limiting its "unlimited" mobile plans. Miss Bell has vowed to fight the fine, which amounts to about three days of profit. The FCC ruled that the carrier misled Americans when it offered "unlimited" data but still subjected heavy users to reduced data speeds.

The FCC made the decision in a divided ruling with commissioner Ajit Pai filing an objection claiming the rulings are only being handed down retroactively and carriers could not take measures to avoid fines. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like