Posts Tagged 'throttling'

CRTC Rules: Throttle Away!

So much for net neutrality. It would appear that the CRTC has sided with the Rogers and Bell on the web traffic issue. Bad news for Internet wholesalers. So all that is required is to notify their customers 30 days in advance (60 days for resellers) and start throttling. The decision gives plenty of discretion to Rogers and Bell to slow down data whenever they deem it necessary (which will be ALL THE TIME). The CRTC also added indirectly that pricing should be adjusted and that the changes should “harm” customers as little as possible.

In another ruling billing per usage was shot down, at least temporarily, by the CRTC. If allowed to proceed, it would all but eliminate wholesalers all together by making it unprofitable. With little competition as is the Internet market would be divided up by Rogers and Bell. Canada is seriously lagging behind other G8 nations when it comes to Internet speed and prices.

So enjoy your “high speed Internet connection” and unlimited downloads while you still can.

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CRTC rules in favor of Bell, against net neutrality

If you’re wondering who’s side the CRTC is on, it’s not the consumer. The CRTC recently ruled that Bell Sympatico’s throttling practices did not discriminate against the ISP wholesalers. In essence Bell and Rogers are free to do as they please. Many have already voiced their displeasure with the decision. Consumers are lamenting the seemingly attack on their Internet freedoms however the Internet wholesalers are the ones getting screwed here.

See how it normally works is that companies tend to favor the customers who usually have big orders. In this case the guys buying large chunks of Internet time are getting the opposite end of the stick. Thanks for your business, now fuck you!

The CRTC is planning on holding another meeting on general traffic shaping practices in February. I’m sure it will be well attended.

Bell decides to punish wholesale ISPs where it hurts

Despite the fact that bandwidth costs for ISPs are dropping as fast as user traffic rates rise, many ISPs still face congestion problems at the last mile, and Bell Canada is no exception, as internal data recently showed. Not content with simply throttling P2P traffic for ten hours a day, the company has just announced plans to impose usage-based billing on the small ISPs that buy wholesale access from Bell. In some cases, the “free” monthly limit will be as low as 2GB. No, that’s not a typo.

News of the move began to percolate through online forums this week as small ISPs expressed outrage over a practice that could make them even less competitive with Bell, and it then expanded (a bit) into blogs and outlets like the CBC. The Canadian government requires Bell to lease access to other firms because of its infrastructure dominance, but Bell recently extended its P2P throttling techniques from its own ISP service (Sympatico) to wholesalers as well. (link)

Numbers show Bell’s throttling making congestion worse

In the accompanying letter, Bell buckles up and takes a tortuous metaphor involving roads for a lengthy drive in order to illustrate its point that even low congestion numbers can cause big problems. Visualize a traffic accident at a busy intersection: even though the “network” is congested at only one point, it can still have repercussions for users in the entire area. Just to make sure no one gets the idea that these low percentages are actually no big deal, Bell spells out its message in small words so that we can all understand.

“While these numbers may seem low to the average layperson,” says the letter, “they are significant and network traffic engineers such that it is important to consider the number of congested links in the proper context.” (link)

CRTC to Bell: prove it or stop throttling

Bell Canada Inc. has been ordered to publicly disclose information that details the level of congestion on its network in regard to a dispute over the company’s internet speed-throttling practices.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on Thursday told the company it has until June 23 to make public data that was marked confidential in a May 29 filing. Bell had said it needed to keep quiet the information, which details the level of internet traffic and possible congestion on its network, for competitive reasons.

In a letter sent to Bell, CRTC director general of competition, costing and tariffs Paul Godin said the need for public disclosure outweighed the company’s competitive privacy concerns.

“Commission staff has determined, based on all the material before it, that no specific direct harm would likely result from disclosure, or that the public interest in disclosure outweighs any specific direct harm that might result from disclosure,” he wrote. (link)

Bell opens online store with downloadable content

Sometimes I get the itch to work in PR. No, it doesn’t happen much, but once in a while I see the sort of inexplicable corporate decision that makes me long to have been in the room when it was being discussed. Case in point: yesterday’s announcement from Bell Canada that the telecom behemoth was officially launching its downloadable video store… just as Bell is caught up in a government inquiry into its traffic-shaping practices. It’s hard to imagine a time at which touting your own downloadable video store makes less sense than when you’re on the hot seat for throttling all P2P traffic, much of which competes with Bell to offer video (including entirely legal BitTorrent downloads from the CBC). Yes, you could look worse as a company, but puppies and shotguns would probably need to be involved. (ArsTechnica)

CRTC to debate traffic throttling

Canada’s telecommunications watchdog will set its sights this week on a controversial Bell Canada policy that reduces customers’ connection speeds.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will begin deliberations tomorrow to determine if Bell’s “bandwidth throttling” should stop immediately until government policy is set.

Bell’s practice has upset the Canadian Association of Internet Providers. The 50 association members lease portions of Bell’s network to deliver high-speed Internet services, and they contend that Bell’s actions have led to unacceptably slow connections for their customers. Many pay as much as $50 a month for the fastest Internet subscription available. (link)


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