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UK broadband providers need to provide clear and transparent information on their traffic management policies, Ofcom has claimed.

Claudio Pollack, Consumer Group Director at the communications regulator, said this is necessary in order for consumers to be able to make an informed choice when buying a broadband deal.

He was speaking as Ofcom launched a new guide to help consumers understand the ways in which fixed-line and mobile broadband providers might manage their broadband services during busy peak periods.

The regulator said that with 46 million people in the UK having access to broadband and many using it for data-heavy activities such as streaming and downloading, the internet is becoming "increasingly busy".

And this means broadband providers are able to restrict or ration traffic on their networks, or give priority to some types of traffic over others, to ensure efficiency of operations.

Ofcom’s 'Guide to Traffic Management' highlights the different ways broadband providers can manage internet traffic, the circumstances in which such policies might be put into practice, the ways in which this could affect consumers’ online experience, and the details of service providers' traffic management policies.

Mr Pollack said Ofcom will continue to work with the broadband industry to ensure this information meets the needs of UK consumers.

He added that the regulator will also explore further ways of improving awareness of internet traffic management.

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