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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: 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.


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