About traffic prioritisation

Traffic prioritisation FAQs

The Plusnet Unlimited broadband network is designed to provide enough capacity for all our customers, so you'll generally be able to receive the fastest possible speed your line will allow. We don't limit your line speed, usage or downloads.

Traffic prioritisation isn't applied to Unlimited, Unlimited Fibre, Unlimited Fibre Extra, Business Unlimited or Business Unlimited Fibre.

Some of our older products do have traffic prioritisation applied to them. Our Plusnet Pro 'add-on' also uses it to prioritise certain types of traffic (e.g. FTP and newsgroups) and is more of a specialist application.

Traffic prioritisation prioritises different types of broadband traffic to your home or business premises. It's used to maintain quality of service when you're trying to do more online than your line can physically support. As broadband and fibre speeds are increasing, traffic prioritisation is becoming less beneficial. However, where it applies we don't limit your line speed, usage or downloads because of prioritisation.

E.g. if one person in your house or business is on Skype and someone else is downloading a file, bandwidth priority would be given to the person using Skype (this is the most time-sensitive application).

If you were streaming a film or gaming online, priority would be given to you, rather than to file sharing or music downloads. Rather than all of these activities buffering or struggling to complete, your Skype call should run smoothly - the file download will take a little longer to finish.

For the products where prioritisation applies, we put every type of online activity into a category:

  • High: things that need lots of speed - gaming and internet phone-calls
  • Medium: things like streaming and general internet browsing
  • Low: less time-sensitive things like software updates

When your household or business are trying to do more online than your line can physically support, we give time-sensitive 'High' activities a higher priority than Medium or Low ones. That helps things run more smoothly.

Here's an example of online activities and how they're categorised:

Internet Activity Residential Broadband * Pro Add-on Business Broadband
Browsing and email Medium Medium Medium
VoIP (internet phone calls) High High High
Gaming High High High
VPN Medium High High
FTP (external) Medium High High
FTP (Plusnet) Medium High Medium
Streaming Medium Medium Medium
Software updates Low Medium Medium
Peer to Peer Low Medium Low
Other Medium High Medium

* excludes Unlimited, Unlimited Fibre, Unlimited Fibre Extra, Unlimited Business Broadband and Unlimited Business Fibre.

If you're having problems with your broadband speed, there are lots of reasons why this may be the case. Take a look at our broadband speed guide for help on what may be the issue and how to resolve it.

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