Just realized that the service providers released a Code of Practice (CoP) on traffic management transparency of broadband services. The full paper can be downloaded from here.
I've mentioned about net neutrality in Singapore & Operator responses here. This is after IDA request them for information/submissions. The UK CoP is voluntary and supported by service providers; BSkyB, BT, O2, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone – these service providers account for 90% of all fixed-line broadband customers and 60% of all mobile customers in the UK. The group's first priority is to publish a common Key Factor Indicator table (KFI), summarizing the traffic management practices by June 2011.
The mobile operators T-Mobile & Orange didn't participate and I believe they'll share their policy on traffic management soon.
The principles of CoP are below.
*Firstly an explicit commitment to provide more information to consumers about what practices are used in networks to (a) help maximise capacity for everyone’s benefit and (b) to support adherence by customers to terms and conditions
* Secondly, an agreed set of good practice principles that will inform how ISPs communicate
that information to consumers. Signatories agree that the information they provide about
traffic management to their current and prospective customers will be:
Understandable, Appropriate , Accessible , Current , Comparable , Verifiable
* Thirdly, to deliver on the comparability principle, signatories commit to publishing a
consistent Key Facts Indicator (KFI) table, summarising the traffic management practices
they use for each broadband product they currently market.
CoP on implementing Traffic management.
* To manage the overall network - Prioritize/deprioritize time-critical applications (e.g. video streaming)
* In relation to Customer's contract - Data Caps, or As per T&C's of the contract
The actual means of implementation is not shared but I am sure it's by using DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) tools (e.g. Cisco-SCE8000, Allot, Sandvine, Arbor, Procera, & lot more Mobile vendors). However DPI tools does have their own limitation and tend to generate lot of false positives. For example a simple SSL tunnel (If you use HTTPS instead of HTTP) cannot be inspected, so if P2P uses tunneling or VPN or TOR kind of networks, the DPI's are not very useful.