Telstra is beginning a limited trial of network analysis that will identify different types of traffic on its network, namely P2P traffic, and experiment with speed shaping.

According to a post on Telstra's Exchange blog, the telco will be testing "network enhancements that allow the identification of specific types of traffic on our network." This analysis are identifies the type of data traffic, not specific details about what is being downloaded.

This analysis is current limited to a small group of Telstra customers in Victoria, who all have the option to opt out of the trial if they wish.

Putting the brakes on

The post's author John Chambers says that the trial is not about identifying pirates and "is solely about examining ways of improving our network management to ensure that all of our customers enjoy the best quality service for their specific needs at the best possible price."

That said, speed throttling is also being tested.

"One of the variety of options being examined under this trial is the shaping of specific services (including some peer to peer (P2P) services) in certain circumstances, to determine what impact this has on total overall customer experience of time critical experiences for real time entertainment."

The last part of that statement is among the most interesting in the post. Could Telstra being experimenting with expanding its streaming content services? With the breadth of its BigPond Movies catalogue, it could be the Netflix Australia has been crying out for.