Classifying & shaping wireless traffic

This page provides an overview of traffic classification and shaping on the ANU Wireless Network. Please see the Access Policy for the actual policies applied to each WLAN.


NetComms may classify traffic on wireless networks into one of three broad categories: On-CampusOn-Net or Off-Net.

The purpose of this classification is two-fold:

  • Provide a better class of service to academic-related traffic, where necessary at the expense of non-academic related traffic
  • Reflect how ANU is charged for different classes of traffic by our upstream service provider, AARNET

The different classes of traffic are discussed in further detail below.


AARNET is the internet service provider for the University. They are a not-for-profit organisation that operates Australia's Academic and Research Network. The ANU is a shareholder of AARNET and pays a yearly shareholder fee to receive network services from AARNET.

AARNET operates a differentiated service to shareholders, via the classification of traffic into on-net and off-net. On-net traffic usually consists of traffic to/from other AARNET members, or AARNET peers.

AARNET tallies the quantity of Off-Net vs On-Net traffic downloaded by ANU over the period and issues a charge per gigabyte on top of the shareholder fee. This charge is subject to change, however in general On-Net is either significantly cheaper than Off-Net or not charged at all.

Traffic shaping

The Network and Communications policy is to prefer academic traffic to non-academic traffic wherever there is a contention for network resources (bandwidth). This is usually implemented via a shaping policy. Shaping can limit the speed of traffic streams based on the traffic classification. The following table summarises the shaping policy on each ANU wireless service:






Traffic to or from ANU-owned networks




Traffic to or from AARNET domestic peers, e.g. other academic institutions, misc content providers such as Google. Free to ANU.



Off-net peak (9am - 5pm)

All other non-ANU traffic, e.g. most internet. Cost per GB for ANU.

1024 Kbps

256 Kbps

Off-net off-peak (5pm - 9am)

All other non-ANU traffic, e.g. most internet. Cost per GB for ANU.

30 Mbps

30 Mbps

The same traffic shaping policy that applies to ANU-Secure, is applicable to Eduroam as well.

Each shaping policy is applied on a per-session basis and may be dependent upon the user's affiliation (staff|student|affiliate).

Actual shaping rates are at the discretion of NetComms, and may be adjusted at peak times throughout the year to maintain a fair and equitable service for all users. Base shaping rates will be published at a later date.

Determining what is On-Net vs Off-Net

For the best performance, we recommend that users try to use On-Net resources wherever possible. AARNET provide a webpage that users can use to test if a particular site is Off-Net or On-Net. 

AARNET Network Address Query

Related links