Print 82 comment(s) - last by OblivionMage.. on Nov 15 at 4:06 PM

As more sophisticated tools for traffic shaping are unveiled, the question soon becomes which service providers aren't throttling customer traffic

Adding itself to the small-but-growing list of ISPs that admit to traffic shaping, Canada-based Bell Sympatico has confessed to using “traffic management” on heavy users “during peak hours.”

“We are now using a Internet Traffic Management to restrict accounts,” wrote an unnamed forum administrator on Bell Sympatico’s support forums. According to the administrator, Bell Sympatico’s traffic shaping affects an unmentioned number of applications and protocols, including BitTorrent, Gnutella, Limewire, Kazaa, eDonkey, eMule and WinMX.

A Bell Sympatico Manager chimed in immediately afterwards, explaining that “there continues to be phenomenal growth of consumer Internet traffic throughout the world” and that “Bell is using Internet Traffic Management to ensure we deliver bandwidth fairly to our customers during peak Internet usage.”

According to the Manager, the bandwidth cap was introduced sometime last year and “doesn't affect the vast majority of [Bell’s] customers.” One concerned user asked if the traffic management will be removed as network capacity increases, to which the administrator replied that he “can’t answer this question,” and noted that it would be decided as the issue arises.

Internet service providers have found themselves under an increasing burden as bandwidth-intensive internet services like online video and file-sharing have proliferated. While the true volume is unknown, many think that 30%-50% of all internet traffic is P2P-related, with a recent survey from traffic-management company Ipoque pushing that number towards an astonishing 90%.

In response to this, many providers have employed a variety of techniques to limit customers who are deemed to be using more than their “fair share,” a tactic that has been the subject of much debate as part of the controversy surrounding “network neutrality.”

While traffic shaping is by far the most common, a few companies have employed more exotic methods: Comcast is thought to impose an invisible 600 GB bandwidth limit on its “unlimited” internet service, and a recent study conducted by the AP found that the ISP impersonates BitTorrent clients for the purposes of interfering with their connections.

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What's fair?
By FightingChance on 11/10/2007 1:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
“Bell is using Internet Traffic Management to ensure we deliver bandwidth fairly to our customers during peak Internet usage.” That seems fairly reasonable. I know that if I were a Bell customer, I wouldn't want my connection handicapped by another customer downloading entire seasons of TV shows.

RE: What's fair?
By Pythias on 11/10/2007 1:05:30 PM , Rating: 3
I know if I were a customer I would expect to get the bandwidth I _ing paid for.

RE: What's fair?
By masher2 on 11/10/2007 5:30:18 PM , Rating: 3
> " I would expect to get the bandwidth I _ing paid for. "

Ah, but how much exactly did you pay for? No ISP guarantees maximum peak bandwidth 24x7, 365 days a year. And if you want a network capable of handling each and ever user constistently downloading at that peak bandwidth, its going to cost you considerably more than you're paying now.

I pay for the fastest connection my ISP offers, so that bandwidth is there when I need it. I'd prefer that no one ever had to be throttled...but if someone has to be, I'd much rather its the guy running 100 torrent thread around the clock, rather than those of us who use a tiny fraction of what he does. That certainly sounds fair to me.

RE: What's fair?
By GaryJohnson on 11/11/2007 10:19:53 AM , Rating: 2
From reading the forum posts, it sounds to me like they're not throttling the 'guy running 100 torrent thread around the clock', they're throttling everyone who uses P2P during peak hours.

RE: What's fair?
By Ringold on 11/11/2007 5:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
Which still sounds fair to me.

RE: What's fair?
By TomCorelis on 11/11/2007 5:14:01 PM , Rating: 5
What about all the kids patching their World of Warcraft installations? (Blizzard distributes patches primarily via a proprietary bittorrent client.)

What about all the legal movie downloading services that use similar protocols? What about BitTorrent's industry partnerships, if they ever blossom? (

What about all the Linux distributions that distribute via bittorrent and peer-2-peer installs?

What about Joost, if it relies or chooses to rely on peer distribution?

RE: What's fair?
By Ringold on 11/11/07, Rating: -1
RE: What's fair?
By tigen on 11/12/2007 2:01:37 AM , Rating: 5
"I don't do XYZ, so I don't care if that's screwed up"

I don't know what I would do, but that's irrelevant... what matters is what is legal and what people should put up with.

You don't call something "unlimited" and then dick with the service so as to covertly limit it.

Who are you to say what is productive, and that p2p can't be used for productive things?

RE: What's fair?
By gramboh on 11/12/2007 5:40:31 AM , Rating: 3
I'd have the foresight to build a network that isn't crippled by upstream traffic from my subscribers like DOCSIS cable is. I'd build a network like FiOS. The assumption that all users are just going to download a few bytes here and there isn't valid anymore.

RE: What's fair?
By Pjotr on 11/12/2007 6:54:19 AM , Rating: 3
How would you solve the problem of a few users draining resources from the rest of the user base for now?

I would be scared of being sued for not delivering the product I sell and immediatly increase my network bandwidth and possible increase consumer prices to afford it.

In Sweden an ISP was just fined for selling "up to 24 MBit/s DSL" when it in fact only delivered 4-8 MBit/s to one customer. That customer will now get the 8 MBit/s pricing also, even though he is on the 24 MBit/s DSL connection.

Strangling the bandwidth during peak hours is no better, no matter what the reason. If you sell cars with 200 bhp, but strange engine power electronically to 100 bhp during rush hour, you would get sued.

RE: What's fair?
By BikeDude on 11/12/2007 8:23:45 AM , Rating: 2
If I don't have to wait for my ten ton excel to download because some kid downloading a giant WoW patch has to wait slightly longer.. sounds good to me.

A bittorrent client has the potential of using (much) less of the ISP's expensive bandwidth outside the ISP's net. Your huge excel download using http or ftp most likely sucks more bandwidth. (in most cases it will probably be cached by a transparent http proxy, but those solutions have failed to scale in the past and I'd be surprised if they're trouble free now)

The ISP should not prioritize your needs above those of the kid downloading the WoW patch. You pay the same and should both expect the kind of service you pay for. His download is no less noble or just than yours.

However, limiting those who download 600GB a month is an understandable move, but should be made according to which part of the network was affected. If you download 10TB from someone using the same ISP it shouldn't have that much of an impact on other users. (but it sometimes does, since the DSL providers cram too many users on the same DSLAM -- which IMO should be considered consumer fraud)

As a sidenote, a friend of mine used to work for Norway's largest ISP. They noted that their competitor offered better outbound bandwidth for their users, so more of the traffic stayed within their own net... This was a couple of years ago, so things may have changed, but I suspect it still holds true. Give the users more outbound bandwidth, and they will prefer to leech off eachother rather than stroll outside their ISP's net.

RE: What's fair?
By OblivionMage on 11/15/2007 4:06:52 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, my WoW patches are much, much slower then a simple http download. I use Bell Canada for my ISP and live in Ontario Canada.

Especially since Bell praises itself for its rather constant speeds, throttling all P2P traffic is completely unfair.

RE: What's fair?
By emptypockets on 11/12/2007 1:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
While I can agree that the ISPs are trying to give every customer the best possible experience - and therefore limit a "few" to give better service to the "many"...

...why don't they just install new infrastructure that is capable to handle what they promise?

At least they should be honest about what they do and don't use unrealistic "maximum" numbers to promote their services - rather they should advertise with what you really get.


My concerns about this practice of "net un-neutrality" is that this is just the tip of the iceberg, what will be next? You'll have to pay for your emails to arrive today??

RE: What's fair?
By clovell on 11/12/2007 1:58:11 PM , Rating: 1
Infrastructure costs a lot more, and takes a lot more time.

RE: What's fair?
By emptypockets on 11/12/2007 2:28:05 PM , Rating: 2

Charge more for "premium/unlimited" accounts.

RE: What's fair?
By clovell on 11/12/2007 2:37:12 PM , Rating: 1
Like a T1?

RE: What's fair?
By FastLaneTX on 11/11/2007 11:57:56 AM , Rating: 3
I seriously doubt you f'ing paid for the bandwidth you're getting. Full-pipe transit access costs ISPs about $25/Mbit today. Your ISP sells you access at a tenth the actual price based on the assumption you will only use about 10% of it over time. When you violate that assumption, you're no longer paying your way.

Of course, most ISPs don't sell non-oversubscribed residential service because few people are willing to pay $250/mo for a full-speed 10Mbit/s DSL line. Would you? If so, then call them up and offer to let them up your bill in return for not capping your usage.

The only complaint I have against ISPs is calling their services "unlimited" when they're obviously not. That is fraud and they should be prosecuted -- not for the capping, but for not admitting what the caps are.

RE: What's fair?
By FastLaneTX on 11/11/2007 11:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
Note: Above $25/Mbit is for continental US/Canada and probably Western Europe. It's much, much higher in other parts of the world.

RE: What's fair?
By Armorize on 11/11/2007 5:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
What about Japan? I'd like to know how you know this info as well.

RE: What's fair?
By TomZ on 11/11/2007 12:50:24 PM , Rating: 4
That is fraud and they should be prosecuted -- not for the capping, but for not admitting what the caps are.

I think that's just false advertising, not fraud.

And I agree with you - I think ISPs should be forced to disclosed guaranteed minimum bandwidth figures as well as details about any caps. The current disclosure of "up to xxx MB/s" where the actual bandwidth is typically only a fraction and is realistically never "up to" what is advertised.

This kind of advertising might have been acceptable when the technology was new, but the ISPs know full well what kind of service they can guarantee.

RE: What's fair?
By dgingeri on 11/11/2007 12:56:59 PM , Rating: 3
It is kind of like the guy who goes to an "all you can eat" restaurant and eats 10 times as much as any other customer. That restaurant is losing money on a person like that, and they'll typically throw him out after a while. I certainly understand this point.

On the other hand, I don't like being punished for someone else's abuse of the system. I don't use much bandwidth. I usually just surf news and play World of Warcraft about 10-12 hours a week. (WoW uses only about 100kb/s while playing.) However, this interference from Comcast is causing my WoW patch downloader to be very, very slow. I takes about 6 hours to download a 200MB patch. If I were to download it directly, as I have done in the past, it would take about half an hour.

It works like the latest DEA restrictions on Pseudoephedrine : only the law abiding people suffer for the abuse of a few, and those few will continue to abuse the system. I want my allergy medicine, durnit.

RE: What's fair?
By rdeegvainl on 11/12/2007 10:05:13 AM , Rating: 2
WoW uses much less than 100Kb/s. I can play it just fine on a network that averages 10Kb/s, ping at about 300 and this is on the opposite side of the world than the servers are on. Patches take a million years though.

RE: What's fair?
By Pythias on 11/11/2007 3:40:41 PM , Rating: 4
Not my problem if they're taking a loss. Either give me the advertised speed or give me my money back.

RE: What's fair?
By heffeque on 11/10/2007 1:30:40 PM , Rating: 5
It's not the customer's problem that Bell's infrastructures aren't capable of handling the traffic they promise they do and actually don't.

They should invest in better infrastructures not in traffic shaping machines.

RE: What's fair?
By heffeque on 11/10/2007 1:32:26 PM , Rating: 2
when I said the customer's problem I meant that it's not the customer's fault that Bell is underdeveloped.

RE: What's fair?
By MrDiSante on 11/10/2007 1:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
1) God damnit. Now both of the freaking major ISP's in my area (Rogers and Bell) throttle traffic. You think this applies to the DSL lines they lease to other companies who then sell the DSL? And we seriously need government intervention over here. This is just plain old ridiculous.

2) You guys repeatedly spell "Sympatico" as "Simpatico". That's not right.

RE: What's fair?
By mmntech on 11/10/2007 4:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
Cogeco (my ISP) does it as well according to the site, as well as all other major Canadian ISPs. I don't remember them disclosing such things to their customers. Canada is well known for having some of the worst internet service in the world in terms of pricing and customer treatment. It's one of the reasons the iPhone hasn't come here yet, because it would cost $200+ a month for it's online services!

RE: What's fair?
By StevoLincolnite on 11/11/2007 2:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
Move to Australia then complain.
If you live in the country, expect slow speeds, expensive connection, and a small download limit, and only 1 ISP. (Telstra). - And then you are stuck with Wireless 3G (Even thats not available here), Satalite or IDSN.

A friend who lives 100km's away has access to ADSL, choice between several ISP's but he only has a choice between Wireless, and ADSL. (Cable is rather scarce in Australia).
And still Telstra (Our largest Telco) is charging
$99.95 for a 1.5mb connection and a 25gb download limit. (Uploads is counted).

Or... a 256k Connection for $29.95 with a 200mb download limit, charged at $0.15/MB (And thats the cheapest and slowest ADSL plan available).

Or.. for the filthy rich and those lucky enough to be in an area with an ADSL 2+ Exchange you could get a 24Mb ADSL 2+ connection for $149.95 with a 60gb download limit.

Now what I want to know is at what point do you're ISP's throttle traffic? Is there a download limit? Is it much larger than 25/60gb and doesnt include uploads?
Is it cheaper than what the Aussies have?

Is it a 24/12 month contract?

RE: What's fair?
By Silver2k7 on 11/11/2007 4:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
Ouch sounds really bad in OZ :(

Ive got ADSL2+ 24/1 and was thinking that 1 Mbit upload is a little silly.. when i know people in Stockholm who got 100 Mbit and 1000 Mbit fiber connections.

The 24/1Mbit is 349 SEK a month or about 55 USD.

Im not sure if they do throttle P2P here in Sweden but maybe they do cause its rarley that fast. but atleast there are no limits on accounts as far as I know.

RE: What's fair?
By Hoser McMoose on 11/11/2007 6:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. The real sad part about this is that only 10 or 15 years ago Canada was one of the world leaders in wireless connections and broadband internet. Now we've gone from near first to near worst.

The reason is quite simple, our major telecommunications companies have near-monopolies, largely enforced by the government. Because of our protectionist policy that prevents foreign competitors we end up with crap and crap (Rogers and Bell Sympatico in my case, and Rogers is FAR WORSE for throttling than Bell is!). Our desire to protect a few thousand "Canadian" telecommunications jobs by not allowing foreign competitors ends up costing all of us money and, as such, it costs us tens of thousands of jobs because companies need to spend extra on telecommunications and have less to spend on hiring people.

If we want better service here the first step is to get the government to eliminate their counter-productive rules governing this industry.


RE: What's fair?
By Tsuwamono on 11/12/2007 7:59:40 AM , Rating: 2
Actually if you do some research there are quite a few really good ISPs in Canada. The trick is to stay away from Bell and Rogers junk. Aswell as Videotron if your in the Iron Curtain(Quebec).

I use and i get 5mb/s for 29.95 + i pay 5$ a month for unlimited bandwidth. Pretty kick ass deal if its throttled or not. I laugh at my friends who pay 90$ a month for the same thing from Cable companies in canada

RE: What's fair?
By siberus on 11/12/2007 9:35:28 AM , Rating: 2 is pretty decent too. 29.95+ tax for unlimited 5mb Service. (pretty sure there using Bell lines though)

Although a few years back I did get a cease and desist notice when I managed to download 100 gigs and upload a pretty astronomical amount too. Said I was abusing the network... A feat I was kinda proud of considering at the time my connection was only 1mb and my router was set wrong so it was blocking my BT . I'm no where near any of that now, average almost 30 gig a month down and 7-8 up.

RE: What's fair?
By wordsworm on 11/10/2007 7:17:21 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the customer's problem that Bell's infrastructures aren't capable of handling the traffic they promise they do and actually don't.

Umm... maybe you missed the article. Yes, it is users' problem, because they're not getting full access to the bandwidth. I could add that Bell is slow as molasses in an Arctic winter. I hated Bell. boo! Perhaps what you meant is 'It shouldn't be the customer's problem.'

RE: What's fair?
By clovell on 11/12/2007 11:41:59 AM , Rating: 1
> They should invest in better infrastructures not in traffic shaping machines.

Infrastructure costs a helluva lot more.

RE: What's fair?
By Tuor on 11/10/2007 11:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
Whenever you see the word "fairly" or "fair share", you know you're getting screwed.

By sj420 on 11/10/07, Rating: 0
RE: Still
By sj420 on 11/10/2007 1:19:36 PM , Rating: 1
Finished sentence:

Instead of waiting the 5 minutes I figure it would take it takes 30 minutes. Or two hours. This shouldn't be happening on cable, even though this sounds a bit selfish considering the dial-up users out there, once you are on cable you would understand. You get use to the speed and when it slows down it gets really unbarable.

P.S. Sorry for the double post, had to finish that sentence.

RE: Still
By Alexstarfire on 11/10/2007 1:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
I whole heartedly agree. When they advertise they say "up to" which I don't really have a problem with as long as it's not consistantly under the advertised speeds. In fact, most of the time it's over advertised speeds for me. I guess the people in my hub don't really use the internet that much.

The thing about the stats they give for P2P sharing is just retarded. Does it really matter how many people actually P2P share? NO. It all of the files people share were on dedicated servers, like or, then it'd still be THE EEXACT SAME AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC, if not more actually. The thing is, the businesses that run those dedicated servers pay a very high price for getting the services they need. Consumers essentially don't. Basically, we found a way to circumvent the limitations that have consumer grade cable gives us and the companies are getting angry over it because they are losing money. So what does every whiny child do? They act selfish and try to stop us from cicumventing it.

They have no reason to actually throttle our P2P traffic. P2P has it's uses, such as those who can't afford business grade cable service for a dedicated server. They are essentially just throttling the internet, but in a different fashion. It's not throttling the HTTP port, but you can get basically ANYTHING from P2P. The only difference is you don't have a browser interpretting the files and such.

In the end it all comes down to money. The ISPs don't want to have to upgrade the infrastructure becuase it costs money. I can understand that, considering that the US is huge compared to the other highly developed internet countries, like South Korea and Japan. However, this is no excuse for not doing what they are supposed to do. If they want to throttle ILLEGAL TRAFFIC ONLY, then be my guest; hoever, this is far from what they are doing. They just want to suck money out of people while they still can. And it'll work.

Comcast throttles P2P as well and I think it's downright wrong. It should be illegal IMO. There are only three reasons why I'm still with Comcast. One, my parents are paying for it and they don't really notice. Two, Comcast is the only service in my area that offers speeds over 1.5Mbps. And three, my P2P servies haven't been slowed down by them yet. Many of my files still coast at over 1MB/s. Some don't, but when I'm connected to 10 out of 1000 seeds then it's no wonder.

RE: Still
By Christopher1 on 11/10/2007 9:36:35 PM , Rating: 4
Well, I don't mind them throttling p2p if it is to make other people's applications run better, and to allow people to still get to the internet while I am Azureus-ing it.

However, the things they are doing now (forging reset packets, etc.).... those are getting on my nerves, and are making me quite unhappy with Comcast, even though I can download things like I used to..... I cannot seed some things like fan-made movies like I used to so that other people can get them faster.

RE: Still
By Alexstarfire on 11/10/2007 11:08:46 PM , Rating: 3
That is quite true. Once I'm done downloading I can't seed anymore. I have a big problem with them throttling my speeds so others may POSSIBLY run better. I mean, if I'm getting better than advertised speeds then I don't have a problem with setting my advertised speeds as my limit. I mean, the extra bandwidth is just that.... extra. But who are they to say that someone else's internet traffic is more important than mine? If they want guaranteed speeds then they should pay for it just like the businesses do. As I said in my last post, I don't expect to get my maximum speeds all the time, and most of the time I don't anyways. If network traffic is slowing me down then so be it, but if I'm being slowed down just for using P2P then that's just retarded. It'd be like your cell phone company restricting how long your conversation is just so others can get better service during peak hours. Not exactly the same, but I think you get the idea. You wouldn't take that, now would you?

RE: Still
By Christopher1 on 11/11/2007 12:19:22 AM , Rating: 1
Not exactly the same situations there, but you are right that we shouldn't really take either situation.

The problem with p2p, at least according to the companies, is that when someone is using p2p the 'separate connections' number skyrockets and their servers have a hard time handling that, according to someone who works for Comcast whose blog I was reading yesterday.

If that is the case...... then just adding 'bandwidth' and stuff won't help.... they actually need to re-do the whole system, in order to make them able to handle those massive numbers of connections.

RE: Still
By sj420 on 11/11/07, Rating: 0
RE: Still
By clovell on 11/12/2007 11:50:03 AM , Rating: 1
Cable internet works on a shared connection - don't expect dedicated bandwidth from it. Do you really think these ISPs are throttling back P2P traffic at random or arbitrary points throughout the day? More than likely, they're doing it as-needed - like if you're dl'ing season 2 of Heroes, and your neighbor is trying to grab an album of his grandson off of snapfish.

RE: Still
By xsilver on 11/11/2007 10:14:21 AM , Rating: 2
Just FYI, I think your cell phone company does exactly that.
Say if you're in a cell tower that can handle 500 users.
If the line is currently maxed out and you're on it and have been on it the longest. The next person calling on your tower would likley kill your call.

The reason we dont see this often is because the cell towers usually have capacity way over what expected usage is.
Bandwith capacity however does not have that much overhead and for users too much is never enough.
With the cell phone thing, the best way to test it is on new years eve. Try calling in a downtown area at 11:40pm or so, Im pretty sure you wont be able to have more than a 5 minute conversation before it cuts out.

RE: Still
By Alexstarfire on 11/11/2007 4:57:13 PM , Rating: 1
Man, I'm glad I don't pay for my own stuff yet. With all the crap I'm hearing I'm thinking about saying f*ck every company. I might just have to go stone age on there ass. Might have VoIP or something and that's it. Haven't heard anything too bad about VoIP yet.

RE: Still
By clovell on 11/12/2007 11:51:00 AM , Rating: 1
It uses a broadband internet connection.

RE: Still
By kinnoch on 11/10/2007 2:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
"This means that even though they advertise "6megs down, 3 megs up" its your entire hub that gets that. Meaning you will barely see 1MB/s If anything they should sell based on KBP/S because thats the speeds I always see. Never have I seen over 1000KBP/S sustained. It always drops down to about 200-600. Most recently it won't even get up to 200, let alone DL at a good rate."

They advertise 6Mbps (Mega BITS), not 6MBps (Mega BYTES). There are generally 8 bits in a byte, so its really just a marketing thing to make them seem faster. At 6Mbps, you shouldn't see more than 750KBps sustained.

RE: Still
By Lifted on 11/10/2007 3:18:57 PM , Rating: 2
There are generally 8 bits in a byte


RE: Still
By BladeVenom on 11/10/2007 4:13:09 PM , Rating: 4

Old protocols and older computers might not, but most of them time byte means 8 bits.

RE: Still
By Lifted on 11/10/2007 6:05:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, I looked it up. It's odd that in all of my comp sci classes it was never mentioned by an profs. Perhaps it was in some texts but I just didn't care enough to remember.

RE: Still
By plewis00 on 11/11/2007 7:55:51 AM , Rating: 2
On old modems and with older transmission protocols you could have up to 11 bits per 'transmitted' byte, a start bit, stop bits and a parity bit (optional). I was always taught to call it 10 bits per transmitted byte that way the calculations are easy to guesstimate (divide by 10, easy for most people) and it averages out depending on what protocol you are using. Hence yes, generally it is 8 bits per byte but when you are transmitting it down a line it all changes.

RE: Still
By Christopher1 on 11/10/2007 9:38:45 PM , Rating: 1
Hmm...... that explains the speeds that I get then.... just joking!

I knew this and anyone who has had a basic computer class would know this. Anytime you see bits in a suffix, divide by 8 and you get the real Kb speed of the thing in question or megabyte speed of the thing in question.

By CSMR on 11/10/2007 1:31:47 PM , Rating: 2
This whole business is a nonsense. Why don't the companies charge rates for usage at peak and non-peak times? Because consumers are stupid; it is all inevitable but annoying.

RE: nonsense
By jajig on 11/10/2007 1:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
My ISP does that

It's only a matter of time before other countries get plans like these.

RE: nonsense
By Pythias on 11/10/2007 2:04:31 PM , Rating: 2
Because most users wont pay that.

RE: nonsense
By XtremeM3 on 11/10/2007 4:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
That depends on what's available in your area. I currently pay over $160 a month for a 2Mb connection. (2Mb down 512kb up) Not only that, but I have a 25GB limit per month, after I reach that...I'm kicked down to a 64k line. The kicker is I don't get anywhere near 2Mb to anything because of latency, as well as my ISP is oversubscribed for their line out. So, sure, I could refuse to pay that rediculous price for poor service, but then I would have no service. And poor service is better than no service, sadly.


RE: nonsense
By Christopher1 on 11/10/2007 9:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
Where are you living that you are paying over 160 dollars a month for that level of connection? Hell, even in the boonies of West Virginia, I could get internet service from a DSL service for less than $30 dollars a month, with 2mb down and a uncertain (>= 78kb) upload.

I think you should really be thinking of looking for another provider if you are truly paying that much, because they are basically telling you "Bend over!" with a sharpened mental stake in their hand.

RE: nonsense
By SavagePotato on 11/10/2007 11:36:01 PM , Rating: 1
Welcome to the real boonies.

Sattelite providers in this area charge as much as $200 a month for a 2 mb connection. Usualy with a traffic cap in the hundreds of megabytes. Not to mention an oh so wonderful 4 or 500 ms average latency.

Usualy there Is no other provider to go with in these situations for people stuck on these kinds of service.

RE: nonsense
By Christopher1 on 11/11/2007 12:10:46 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah....... I think you should look. Even out in the middle of Nevada's Death Valley or whatever they call it...... there are competing satellite internet providers.

In fact, I looked and I found one company with less than 5 minutes of searching that offered satellite internet service anywhere in the United States (Lower 48) for only 30 dollars a month.

No blackout areas or anything. You are just getting reamed by someone who isn't referring you to these other places, or haven't looked very well, I am sorry to say.

RE: nonsense
By SavagePotato on 11/11/2007 12:42:01 PM , Rating: 1
I work for a wireless provider in this area, I know exactly what the competition is and what they offer.

For areas that aren't on wireless one of the two sattelite providers are the only option.

This isn't the United States either. It is a poor assumption to assume that everything in the rest of the world is just like America.

And no I am not getting reamed, I have 3 meg dsl, soon to be 6 meg. However not every person is so lucky and some are forced to pay that kind of fee for sattelite.

RE: nonsense
By XtremeM3 on 11/12/2007 2:16:00 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I guess I should have been clearer. When I said no service, I really meant no service. As in, my ISP is pretty much the sole provider in the country I am currently in. Yes there are a couple of Sat providers that charge the same or more, for inferior service. So another provider isn't an option. Trust me, I can't wait to get back to the states and a decent broadband connection.

Basically the point I was trying to make above was just that people will pay what they have to. Just like I pay that 160 a month for crappy service because I don't have an option. If all ISPs offer the same restraints, people don't have a choice but to pay. Just be happy you aren't dealing with a monopoly like I have to out here who can jack prices way up. (Having a monopoly is not illegal here...go figure)


Reality is
By hinchesk on 11/12/2007 12:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
... traffic shaping, like padded bras, aren't going away any time soon. It's cheap marketing. It'd have to be legislated away and the ISPs have too much political juice to let that happen.

The best anyone can hope for is full disclosure rather than false advertising. The ISPs should be forced to give reasonable detail on what's being throttled.

In an ideal world where "the corporation" gave a crap about the customer, the ISPs would give unthrottled access up to a reasonable limit (1Gb/day?) then throttle anything over and above to keep the heavy dl'ers under control.

RE: Reality is
By clovell on 11/12/2007 2:06:17 PM , Rating: 1
From what I understand, most of the people being throttled are passing the 1 Gb/day mark.

RE: Reality is
By Final8ty on 11/13/2007 9:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
From what I understand, most of the people being throttled are passing the 1 Gb/day mark.

Some days i will do that in 45 minutes.

By pauldovi on 11/11/2007 4:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
I am on a University network, they throttle our bandwidth like nothing else. Youtube in particular is severely limited. I don't do any P2P stuff but I am sure that is throttled too. I get about 50kb/s from Youtube and I can get about 2.5MB/s from other places. :D

RE: Heh
By boredg on 11/11/2007 4:54:57 PM , Rating: 2
really? thats odd, i was on a university network a few months ago, and the net was blazing fast (relatively). Now im with a cable isp and get downloads at around 300-500kbps, whereas i used to get about 800kbps on the university network.

Road Runner and P2P
By bdewong on 11/12/2007 1:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
I have Time Warner's Road Runner service, and about a month ago, I noticed when I was on a P2P network uploading at more than 30KBps, that everything would slow to a crawl. After the first article came out, everything seemed to work as you would expect.


RE: Road Runner and P2P
By misbfa1 on 11/12/2007 2:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
I have a similar situation with RR. I live in Columbus. Whenever I start to use a good portion of my upload bandwidth when using bittorrent, my connection mysteriously dies. I am constantly having to power cycle my modem. If I limit my upload to say 40 KB/s then I am usaually fine. If I let it use the whole 60 KB/s then my connection will die within 5 mins to a half hour. I have only ever seen the connection NOT die a hand full of times.

I can do anything else. I can listen to net radio for 4 days straight with no problem, but as soon as I use BT with high upload then poof, the connection mysteriosly dies. I know it's the modem loosing syncwith the network, but I am 99% positive that they are killing the connection.

I would call and complain about it, but tech support won't know anything about it. Even if they did, they would never admit it.

Does anyone else have a case of the mysterious dying modem with Road Runner?

Bottom Line
By BigPeen on 11/12/2007 1:51:22 AM , Rating: 2
Bottom Line is that the telecom companies were supposed to have FIOS nation-wide by now. We pay additional fees and taxes as a result of that promise, and now we (U.S.) has second rate broadband. All I know is that Japan and Korea have 20 times faster internet, and about half the price, and I don't believe its government subsidized, certainly no more than ours.

But ya, NZ and OZ have terrible internet, that is the biggest joke/scam ever. Nothing made me more made when I lived in NZ where I had to pay 15 cents per meg and had to set my browser to not DL images.

RE: Bottom Line
By clovell on 11/12/2007 11:57:33 AM , Rating: 1
> Bottom Line is that the telecom companies were supposed to have FIOS nation-wide by now. We pay additional fees and taxes as a result of that promise, and now we (U.S.) has second rate broadband. All I know is that Japan and Korea have 20 times faster internet, and about half the price, and I don't believe its government subsidized, certainly no more than ours

The United States is not Japan. There are vast difference in economics and logistics - e.g. when our communications networks were built and the population density of the US.

I've never heard of having extra taxes on internet connection appropriated to ensure FIOS nationwide by 2007.

maybe mediacom too
By Teetu on 11/10/2007 1:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
I beleive mediacom also does it, because when I unchecked encryption in utorrent my d/l dropped from 300 to 80

Unintended consequences
By kyleb2112 on 11/11/2007 12:12:36 AM , Rating: 2
Those bandwidth hogs they keep trying to throttle are also the opinion leaders of which ISP to choose--and the first people who will notice the throttling. Pissing off the bittorrent crowd could cost them in the long run.

& now...
By Vim on 11/11/2007 5:55:55 AM , Rating: 2
And now with those $100 dollar laptops being bought/sold in the hundreds/thousands for "poor" countries you're gonna see a huge increase in strain in the worlds internet, imo.

We need FIOS all over!

no. no. and no.
By Armorize on 11/11/2007 5:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
So instead of investing the cash they get from customers into upgrading their own systems they give everyone less bandwidth. They could easily take portions of the money their making and piece by piece upgrade areas. I know it takes alot to upgrade their areas but cmon... so some higher up doesnt get as much cash as he wanted short term, big deal. If they really plan on running their companys for awhile they should be looking longterm. With this approach it doesnt seem to be a very long term idea.

Give me back my bandwidth
By A5un on 11/11/2007 5:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
Internet service providers have found themselves under an increasing burden as bandwidth-intensive internet services like online video and file-sharing have proliferated.

Well, then you'd better get working and stop complaining about bandwidth intensive p2p programs.

Another reason not to choose Bell
By DukeN on 11/12/2007 7:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
Here in Canada, they are probably one of the worst organisations out there. Brutal customer service, quality of product, miserable repair/service commitment (I once went to an office three different days to meet with a technician, not once did someone show up) and terribly expensive pricing.

Not like Rogers (the other major player in majority of eastern/central Canada) is any better, but atleast their service departments listen to you.

Sympatico...not Simpatico!
By mlauzon on 11/12/2007 8:18:16 AM , Rating: 2
Can we get that fixed's not 'Simpatico', it is Sympatico.

The death of physical media
By deeznuts on 11/12/2007 12:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
Stories like this, make me laugh at those who say, Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD format war is pointless, online media will one day takeover ...

By SavagePotato on 11/10/2007 11:29:42 PM , Rating: 1
The way things are and the way things people would like them to be often do not meet.

I would wager to say being that I work at a smaller one, that even most large isp's just don't, and wont have the ability to give every single customer all that juicy bandwidth they want with the tons and tons of traffic they want.

As far as peer to peer goes, It's a logical target for them. From personal experience many of the peer to peer users out there have no clue what peer to peer is even though they use it. I have quite a few conversations with users that have blown through 40 to 70 gigs of upload, gotten capped and have no idea why. Simply because that limewire thingee someone told them about is sitting there uploading 24/7 and they didn't even know. For isp's looking for a lesser of evils to block, this would stand out.

That being said the provider I work for does not block or shape peer to peer, or any traffic for that matter.

RE: Well
By walk2k on 11/11/07, Rating: 0
Network neutrality is important
By derdon on 11/11/2007 6:50:37 PM , Rating: 1
It's totally important to stick to net neutrality (even if this would mean regulations)!! There's a whole lot of shitty consequences once we allow ISPs to determine what information we can achieve faster and which slower. For an information society this would be death!

So in this case, I'd suggest following: Instead of limiting just P2P (at the ISP), limit the whole account and all of his traffic. Let the user decide to limit himself (at the client) in his P2P traffic or let him suffer the whole consequences (slower HTTP, EMail, FTP,... as well).

But of course, before any of that is actually implemented, this first _needs to be written down in the TOS_. I guess most people would understand that they're not guaranteed to get full bandwidth 24/7 (and most people don't need that either). State in the TOS for how long in what time period are you guaranteed to get the bandwidth. Those who want full speed 24/7, no problem, but it'll be more expensive. So there's more cash for the ISPs exactly from those who cause more expense and they don't need to get the money off msn to slow down google and yahoo instead.

My View
By clovell on 11/12/2007 11:32:41 AM , Rating: 1
If I'm on a shared connection of any type and my bandwidth is being sapped by someone dl'ing stuff on P2P - their banwidth should be throttled. It's a shared connection.

However, if you're on DSL or some other type of connection, you should be able to use your garunteed bandwidth however you want.

You get what you pay for, but I sure as heck don't want my neighbor's kid who leaves on Limewire on 24/7 eating up my bandwidth - odds are he's dl'ing illegal stuff, anyway.

And I'll remind everyone that ISPs aren't stupid. They create and maintain vast infrastructures and employ tons of professionals - they don't arbitrarily throttle bandwidth. There are ways to be reasonably assured whether someone is using P2P or dl'ing a movie from a legit service. And, if all else fails, just change the port the program uses.

*Dons Firesuit*

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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