“Cable Internet provider Cox today said it would start trialing a new congestion management scheme on its network that it hopes will manage the network,” Electronista reports.

“The test, beginning for Arkansas and Kansas users on February 9th, will prioritize ‘time-sensitive’ data such as games, streaming, VoIP and VPNs over less immediately critical traffic, including uploads, peer-to-peer file sharing and newsgroups,” Electronista reports. “The system only kicks in when the local network is particularly congested and the more critical traffic is at risk of failing, Cox says.”

Electronista reports, “The company also maintains that it won’t use the traffic management as a substitute for network upgrades but does say it plans to expand the technique to other areas in 2009 if it’s successful.”

More in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Cox’s website states:

Below is a break-down of the time-sensitivity of the various types of traffic that travel the Cox network. Any traffic that is not specifically classified will be treated as time-sensitive.

Time Sensitive
• Web (Web surfing, including web-based email and chat embedded in web pages)
• VoIP (Voice over IP, telephone calls made over the Internet)
• Email
• IM (Instant messages, including related voice and webcam traffic)
• Streaming (Web-based audio and video programs)
• Games (Online interactive games)
• Tunneling & Remote Connectivity (VPN-type services for telecommuting)
• Other (Any service not categorized into another area)

Non-Time Sensitive
• File Access (Bulk transfers of data such as FTP)
• Network Storage (Bulk transfers of data for storage)
• P2P (Peer to peer protocols)
• Software Updates (Managed updates such as operating system updates)
• Usenet (Newsgroup related)

Cox’s “Congestion Management” FAQs can be found here.