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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: Still
By sj420 on 11/11/2007 12:11:59 PM , Rating: 0
They are going about it all wrong. Instead of trying to improve their own services they limit their customers. That is not the way to consider your companies image in your consumers eyes.

Have you ever seen that verizon commercial where they state that they are always working on their system to make sure it always meets the demands of their peak hours? I am not saying that this is for sure or anything (or that their service is even good, if I recall they are involved in NSA too) but it just goes to show that a company should care. They should ALWAYS be trying to IMPROVE and EXPAND their services. If they begin limiting people without even a NOTICE e-mail people will start leaving them, without notice.

The companies today only care about money. The consumer is just a revenue stream. Even then they can get rid of a few savvy complaining consumers because there is the majority of the rest that will just take it and deal with it and still send them the bill. If we really want to show these BS companies a thing or two we should flex our consumer muscle and NOT pay them. Companies like Sony, Apple, Comcast, EA, Etc. Companies that don't give a shit about the consumer, just their franklin. In the commercial world today that is all that matters. Its either price vs performance or total yearly earnings. Or like sony and EA where they think they can make the consumer pay twice for one item, just because of their own messing around with copy protection software and the like.

In the world today, you limit or prevent full operation while still taking full payment. That is how they stuff that extra dollar into your pocket to go buy, what, the 8th yacht?


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.


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