Network management is commonly used by service providers to optimise the use of finite network resources in delivering services to their customers. It would allow end users to access the finite network resources and bandwidth that are commensurate with the plans they have subscribed to, so as to enjoy a more consistent surfing experience.
It is important to note that StarHub Network Management does not examine end users’ content. It only identifies the types of traffic (such as http, ftp, SMTP, P2P etc). As Internet usage varies from user to user, StarHub employs Network Management to ensure no protocols, applications, and users should dominate the finite network resources.
Network management is only implemented during peak surfing hours (from 6pm to 2am on weekdays and 11am to 2am on weekends). It is non-intrusive, and does not target any individual user. It is also content-agnostic and is independent of the nature of the content being delivered. It is important to note that the packet is not dropped but may take a longer time to transmit over the network. Even then users can still continue to browse the web and access services such as the email, instant messaging, and Youtube, etc without interruption.
Network management ensures that the amount of bandwidth-intensive P2P traffic is kept between 10% and 40% of the total traffic on the network, and, as a result, non-P2P applications will have a more equitable share of bandwidth. Subject to the volume of P2P traffic and the time of day, the impact to a P2P user may be negligible – particularly during off-peak hours. P2P downloading during peak hours may be up to 3-4 times longer. Hence, the P2P experience may vary considerably among different end users.
From the viewpoint of a typical broadband user, network management greatly improves their Internet experience. For example, end users who perform normal Web-surfing and video-streaming will receive sufficient bandwidth, relative to an environment without network management.
In summary, network management implementation ensures fair use of network resources to enhance overall end user experience.