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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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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.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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