Canadian ISP Admits to Throttling WoW
Canadian Internet service provider Rogers has admitted that the software it uses to detect peer-to-peer file sharing was inadvertantly identifying online games such as World of Warcarft and limited the bandwidth of such users. Ars Technica is quoting a company representative with Rogers as saying:
Our tests have determined that there is a problem with our traffic management equipment that can interfere with World of Warcraft […] We have been in contact with the game manufacturer and we have been working with our equipment supplier to overcome this problem.
But Rogers’ claim that this was a purely innocent mistake may not hold water. This bandwidth “throttling” was noticed by Canadian gamer Teresa Murphy who wrote a very well-researched letter to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, who in turn ordered an investigation into the matter. In her letter, Murphy maintains that Roger’s arguments are highly specious:
Rogers employees on their own forums have been stating that these games use P2P to run, which is why they’re being throttled, and that the game manufacturer needs to change the game. Add to this, Rogers employees have been telling us gamers to disable any P2P, wait 10 minutes, and try the game again. (For the record, these games do NOT use P2P, never have and never will.) I see this as a CLEAR indication that they’re knowingly throttling up/down stream of the entire connection while P2P is active, whether it really IS active, or they just think it is.
This is a thorny issue, certainly. In an effort to curb illegal filesharing, ISPs have pushed for greater control over their user’s online activities. But Murphy concludes her letter with a succinct argument that’s hard to disagree with: “It’s not fair that Rogers customers are paying for a service they can’t even use.”
(via Ars Technica)