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Canadian ISP admits limiting P2P traffic

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 05 Nov 2007 10:51 User comments (15)

Canadian ISP admits limiting P2P traffic Canadian ISP Bell Sympatico admitted using limiting bandwidth to P2P applications during peak usage hours. The admission comes after major U.S. broadband (cable) internet provider Comcast was forced to admit delaying some packets from P2P uploads, as well as those from some other applications such as Lotus Notes.
So why all the uproar over bandwidth "throttling" by providers? While it's true that piracy occurs over such networks, there's also legitimate traffic like downloads for legal software (like Linux OS disc images) and legal video and audio. In fact, taking the current bandwidth availability into account, P2P technology is emerging as a likely framework for delivering music, movies, and television across the internet both for downloads and streaming.

Many consumers are frustrated by what they see as deceptive marketing by broadband providers who often market their high speed services' multimedia capabillities but don't necessarily deliver. The Federal Communications Commision is also being criticized for a relatively hands-off approach to these providers. Last week a group of Net Neutrality activists filed a complaint against Comcast, claiming the company's "network management," which renders some applications nearly useless, violates FCC principles stated in the agency's official Internet Policy Statement. There are also calls in Congress for revisiting Net Neutrality legislation.

The FCC has also been under fire for inaccurate and misleading reporting of broadband availability and competition. In part, this has led to the agency's lax regulation of broadband Internet service providers. General Accounting Office (GAO) reports have indicated that the agency has consistently overstated consumer options in recent years.

Despite being in different countries, Comcast and Bell Sympatico will no doubt be paying close attention to the other's ongoing situation. Certainly the debate participants don't recognize the border.

Source: Ars Technica

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15 user comments

15.11.2007 11:36

No big surprise here. Rogers Cable here in Canada started this with their high-speed cable "unlimited" service in December 2005. How can you call it unlimited when you limit my bandwith?!?

When I found out I cancelled by account and went to Netscape. I pay $5 less and it is DSL which works faster then cable.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Nov 2007 @ 11:39

25.11.2007 11:58

If this is so; what is Bell Sympatico going to tell their current subscribers, and what do they plan to do immediately? Heads should roll, and jobs should be lost, with the intent on deceiving the public/and users.
I to, have had issues with Bell for over a year now, and nothing has been resolve in my own case.
They (Bell) tried to tell me that it was a problem with my cable wires running into my newly established condo. I also had 4 different Bell tachs come out to my location, and none of them found any problems at all. So i found another isp and signed a contract for a 6 month to find out that they are offering the high speed cheaper, and surprisingly faster;(Wow, all along the same fibre optical lines as Bell)
What a bunch of thieves.

35.11.2007 12:50

Ugh Bell period is possibly the most complicated company in the world. I remember when years ago we were going to suscribe to their highspeeed DSL and it took them a week to figure out that our computer wasn't new enough to be able to support it.

After that we bought a new computer and switched to Cogeco Highspeed standard cable. I like it because it's fast(roughly my speed is like 7Mb/s down and about 3Mb/s up on a speed test, although they advertise 10Mb/s down)and they have a 60GB upload and download limit :)

45.11.2007 13:03

they have to do that in peak hours so they don't collapse mostly every isp in the world does that, they just don't admit it, evry user who doesn't have unlimited bandwith has a 10% or 20%(depending on the isp) down limit so if you you pay for 2000 dsl u at least get 200 or 400 in peak hours. and since a isp capability isn't unlimited ppl won't ever get real unlmited just a lot but no unlmited

55.11.2007 14:15

I wonder if I too am being throttled. I have DSL through 3web in Ontario, but the service is supposedly "piggy-backed" off of Bell's DSL service. I get monthly bills from 3web but on my home phone bill from Bell the DSL connection is also listed (no charges though - I guess they have to list it if it is activated)

I'll have to find a fast torrent or a fast emule download and find out.

65.11.2007 14:17

There is a big thread over at DSL Reports about this. Just to clarify, they are not throttling everyone all the time. They are only doing it at locations along the network that get heavily congested during 'peak times'. The throttling will only kick in once the congestion starts. The throttling only targets P2P apps, so although they throttle your torrent speed per say, any regular web surfing will remain at the same speed. It isnt know yet how widespread the throttling is because we can't get a gauge on the amount of congestion that is apparently prompting this.

75.11.2007 15:16

bell is crap anyways dont know why anyone would choose that over rogers.but rogers does the internet wasnte working the said its faster than its supposed to be and as soon i was done the conversation my internet magically started working.scam artists.

85.11.2007 15:24

^^ Because not everyone has access to Rogers. Also Rogers has some bad caps, Im still on unlimited with Bell.

95.11.2007 16:07

Bell is just another example of a corp. telling us what we should do. Not for what we are paying for. At some point these corporations are going to have to eat crow to understand that they aren't our parents and all they are doing is trying to control information. Bell in general sucks and I'm not surprised if you told me all ISP's do this to some degree. Instead of using our money to pay for a more robust system on their end they try to make do with what they have from years ago and pocket the money for the CEO's.

105.11.2007 16:31

I say Cogeco or Mountain Cable for the area that I live in... Although I have Cogeco because I don't live on the "mountain"(I hear that mountain Cable is pretty fast). Cogeco is in the areas where Rogers isn't and vice versa... It's like its a little battle ground lol

115.11.2007 17:44

I'm with Bell right now and its true...emule is SLOW..but what gets me is that only 2 downloads are ever going simultaneously. Yet when I download from Usenet using Newshosting..flies like the wind.

126.11.2007 11:40

Well just because eMule is slow doesnt mean that it is Bells fault.

To reiterate, they are only throttling during times when there is high congestion at certain locations. They are not throttling(yet) across the whole network. Thankfully where I live there doesnt appear to be much congestion, so nothing of mine has been throttled yet.

137.11.2007 4:01

hmm sounds like xtra (new zealand isp) they do the same thing on there unlimited plan

1410.11.2007 3:56

Same thing is going on here in the UK with ViginMedia except they call it "traffic shaping". If you have a 2mb account and you download more than 350mb in any 24hour period VM automatically cuts your bandwidth in half i.e. down to 1mb for at least 4 hours! But they still headline their adverts for potential new suckers "NO DOWNLOAD LIMITS" which is technically true of course.

1523.11.2007 16:57

Maybe this way they can say we can't stop them but we can try to slow them down.

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