Saturation, or oversubscription and congestion, are common problems on most Internet Service Provider backbones. During peak hours, traffic hogs can cause you ISPs network to slow to a crawl, playing havoc with critical applications, such as Voice over IP calls and Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections.
The way most ISPs address this, rather than beefing up their Network’s capacity, is by throttling heavy users and/or certain types of Internet traffic, such as bit-torrent applications and uploads. The FCC has ruled that throttling traffic is illegal, and that providers need to find other ways to deal with congestion.
Google has funded an effort to help users identify throttles and blocked ports on their connections, as described in the following Wall Street Journal article:
The Measurement Lab itself is at the following URL:
However, each time I have tried to use it, it fails at some point. Must still be under development.
Bill Harrel – www.williamharrel.com