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giffgaff Traffic Management Key Facts Indicator

At giffgaff, we work hard to deliver the best possible data service to our members, so that we all get a more consistent experience.

To make sure we're totally transparent about any new processes or policies we put in place to help achieve this, we've signed up to the Broadband Stakeholders Group Code of Practice on Traffic Management Transparency and this page will always be kept up to date with the latest information.

Section 1: Traffic management in relation to your broadband product

Section 1: Traffic management in relation to your broadband product

(not including during busy times and places to manage network congestion, see Section 2)

All goodybags providing Mobile Internet access.

(Use and availability of services, content, application and protocols on this product)

Are any services, content, applications or protocols always blocked on this product?** - No

If so what? - If the adult content access is switched off, we will restrict access to sites containing adult material. New members will have adult content access switched off by default. However, they can turn it on by following the steps presented in this guide. Please note: You have to be 18 or over to be able to access adult material.

Are any services, content, applications or protocols always slowed down? - No

Are any services, content, applications or protocols always prioritised? - No

Are any managed services delivered on this product? - No

Data caps and downloads

What are the download/upload limits or data usage caps on this product?

All our goodybags come with a data allowance. More details of our offer can be found here.

‘Always On’ data provides the peace of mind that you will always have access to data. In practice, 80 GB of data can be used at full speed each month. After that, download speeds will be capped at 384kbps between 8am and midnight, for the remainder of the goodybag.

Is traffic management used to manage compliance with data caps and download limits? - No

Is traffic management used in relation to heavy users? -Yes

Under what circumstances? - Consistent extreme usage of data in peak times can negatively impact the experience of other members. We monitor and look out for abnormal usage patterns on our Always On goodybag, and if found, may warn and ultimately prevent members from buying further Always On goodybags. See our Traffic Flow Policy.

Section 2: Traffic management to optimise network utilisation

(what happens during busy times and places in addition to traffic management as described in section 1)

Is traffic management used during peak hours? -Yes

When are typical peak hours? - From 3pm to midnight

Is traffic management used to manage congestion in particular locations? - Yes

In approximately 2.5% of the network, where congestion is most likely to occur, some members who are using more than their fair share of network resource will have an upper speed restriction of 100kbps for a period of 30 minutes. We estimate that this will impact approximately 0.15% of members each day, but will deliver a stronger data experience for tens of thousands of members in these areas.

This is to ensure that the greatest number of giffgaff members have the best possible experience when using mobile data, no matter where in the country they are.

Additionally, at times of high congestion in London, interactive (or “real time”) traffic is prioritised over automated (or “background”) traffic for all users. This means that the quality of experience is maximised for services such as browsing and watching videos, by reducing the priority of background app updates and syncs.

* This KFI gives an overview of typical traffic management practices undertaken on this product; it does not cover circumstances where exceptional external events may impact on network congestion levels.

** This excludes any service, content, application or protocol that an ISP is required to block by UK law and child abuse images as informed by the list provided by the Internet Watch Foundation.

*** If no entry is shown against a particular traffic type, no traffic management is typically applied to it, though overall network management rules shall apply.

**** In addition to the above practices, giffgaff also modifies some traffic to optimise the end-user experience. The rationale for doing so is to make best use of network capacity to support real-time applications and make efficient use of data allowances.

Glossary: Traffic management

Traffic management

Traffic management is the term used to describe a range of technical practices undertaken to manage traffic across networks.

The different outcomes achieved by the use of technical practices can include:

  • The prioritisation of certain types of traffic in busy times or busy areas to ensure that it is of an adequate quality
  • The slowing down of certain traffic types that are not time-critical at busy times or busy places
  • Ensuring compliance with a consumer’s contract, for example slowing down of traffic for the heaviest users
  • Supporting the delivery of managed services, for example to ensure a guaranteed quality of service for a specific piece of content

Managed services

The majority of Internet traffic is delivered on a “best efforts” basis. A managed service, on the other hand is one whereby an ISP offers “quality of service” that can guarantee a certain level of performance, so that the content, service or application can be delivered without risk of degradation from network congestion. Such a quality of service arrangement can be made between an ISP and a content or service provider or directly between an ISP and the consumer.

Best Efforts

This phrase relates to the delivery of Internet traffic where traffic management is applied without distinctions based on the source of that traffic.

Slowed down

This outcome is achieved by the deployment of technologies that can decrease the priority of traffic types deemed to be non-time critical on the network e.g. slowing down traffic such as downloads during busy times and busy periods.


This outcome is achieved by the deployment of technologies that increase the priority given to certain traffic types, e.g. time-critical traffic such as video. This outcome can also be achieved as a consequence of slowing down other selected traffic which reduces the overall data flow on the network.

Heavy users

Heavy users can cause peak traffic volumes to exceed the engineered maximum load. In practice this refers to a very small proportion of users of a network whose use is excessive to the extent that it impacts on other users.

For information from Ofcom on Traffic Management visit: http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk

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