No P2P for Irish Vodaphone customers? – and then a change of mind?

Vodaphone, the provider of mobile and broadband services has allegedly prohibited the use of p2p protocols on its networks albeit verbally.  Whilst a p2p blow to the phone service would be bad enough, the fact that they have taken the step to hit the desktop services aswel would be for many, a step too far.

Looking past the customers that would be driven to other providers who have not taken this stance, I would like to address a point raised by The Mad Hatter and where previously my own lack of foresight negated to consider a potential problem when p2p was linked with “piracy”.

About a month ago, fellow tech writer The Mad Hatter remarked in my comments section that the relationship created by anti-piracy groups between p2p and piracy had an intention of endangering the p2p ethos as a whole.  I dismissed this at the time and cited that many trackers (in the case of BitTorrent) which do not infringe copyright and for this reason, p2p will never be attacked itself.  Now it appears I was wrong (or certainly that there could be a distinct possibility in the foreseeable future).  The terms Vodaphone had stated seem to have no regard for the content of the data packets and have opted for a blanket ban on all p2p trafic – lawful, unlawful or anything inbetween.

The issue is was reported on Torrentfreak, and whilst this prohibition appears to be in the T&C only, not a physical ban users obviously still could make their own judgement call on if they followed it.

Torrentfreak (which reports on these matters) followed up the article with enquiries to Vodaphone and there now appears on the boards to be a clarification:

Hiya folks,
We’ve recieved clarification that there will be no restriction on peer to peer usage, the information there is incorrect, and is currently being removed.


Could this “clarification” be as a result of Torrentfreak enquiries and the realization that customers might move?  Could the original “prohibition” been placed to exonerate Vodaphone of any possible legal responsibility in the case of a civil action against one of its customers?  But more importantly was this “two liner” press release shoved out quickly as damage limitation for a change of heart?  Certainly the fact that the Vodaphone representative can’t spell “received” would suggest that to me thats the case.

Whilst Vodaphone may be a popular provider (and this matter now “resolved”- no pun intended) looking at recent complaints from customers it appears that there are signal issues in some area’s of the country with the Vodaphone service, so maybe regardless of their stance on p2p, you may want to visit here first.  This is a selection of allegations about poor Vodaphone service from that link:

I live in a rural area in North Dorset and have never had any luck with my Vodaphone dongle. I often have have to wait 2 mins or so to view a web page and sending emails are impossible. I took the laptop into town and tried to use it and It still was as bad and within view of a vodaphone mast!


Vodafone… Mobile “”Broadband?””,,,,, not even close


Ive been trying to use my vodafone mobile broadband dongle for two months. The average upload/download speed is 4.8kbs, thats right, kilobites. If youve been thinking of buying, dont waste your money on vodafone.

So regardless of the stance Vodaphone takes on P2p, it won’t really matter for these customers (if the complaints are accurate).

Goblin –

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7 thoughts on “No P2P for Irish Vodaphone customers? – and then a change of mind?

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  1. Note that the ‘content’ industries have also attacked broadcast TV, cable TV, alternative business models (see the various writings about The Grateful Dead, Amanda Palmer, and others). Also check out what Jack Valenti, who used to head the MPAA was saying – he compared videotape to the Boston Strangler. Or for that matter Steve Ballmer’s comments about Linux. Or the recent court case where Autodesk was able to win by arguing that you weren’t allowed to sell software because it was only licensed to you.

    It’s all about control. Full control would allow the content (and software) industries to use anti-competitive actions against anything that they believe might injure their business model, or god forbid provide competition.

    Yeah, I sound paranoid, but I’ve been watching this unfold for a long time, and the moves are similar to moves I’ve seen in other industries (automotive for instance where I used to work) where new technologies are being used to block independents from the market place.

    1. One last point – just imagine a shrink wrap license which says that you aren’t allowed to install another operating system on your new computer. Can you think of anyone who would like this idea?

      1. “Full control would allow the content (and software) industries to use anti-competitive actions against anything that they believe might injure their business model, or god forbid provide competition.”

        Its a pertinent point and I think far from being paranoid, its a position any company (for profit) would like to be in.

        One thing though that is still not established categorically, where does the UK stand with the DEB , now that we have a new government. I seem to remember LD saying something about getting rid, pre election.

  2. regarding above. I am an Irish vodafone mobile internet user. Following six weeks of getting by with sub 10kbs download speeds on my ‘3G’ dongle and a number of lengthy conversations with vodafone engineers about the service from my nearby mast I contacted cutomer care to terminate my contract. It had been all but accepted by the techies that the local cell is over subscribed and 3G is not possible. The Customer options team rep informed me that a) I couldn’t opt out of service unless I wanted to pay the rest of the contract in full; b) the cell was over subscribed; and c) my service was presently ‘throttled’ as I had utilised a peer to peer service on the 23rd of September.
    Throttled he explained was a limiting of my connection speed due to the manner in which p2p uses too much bandwidth, ‘sucks it from other customers’. I reminded him that I only had a 10 gb download limit per month and had only ever briefly achieved 70kb capacity for a second, a long way from the 7mb per sec capacity.
    Anyhow, basta, I had never been alerted to my ‘throttling’ in the six weeks of patient investigation and tracking of this problem. Nor had i ever heard of the out and out p2p ban, includes skype kids, (if you could achive the speed to utilise same in the first place).
    Proves that you can have your cheese and eat it if you are vodafone, but then you’d have to live with that smell constantly too.

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