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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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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.


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