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The Internet Communications Government News

Canadian ISP Ordered to Prove Traffic-Shaping is Needed 177

Posted by timothy
from the offer-good-only-in-canada dept.
Sepiraph writes "In a letter sent to the Canadian Association of Internet Providers and Bell Canada on May 15, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) have ordered Bell Canada to provide tangible evidence that its broadband networks are congested to justify the company's Internet traffic-shaping policies. This is a response after Bell planned to tackle the issue of traffic shaping, also called throttling, on the company's broadband networks. It would be interesting to see Bell's response, as well as to see some real-world actual numbers and compare them to a previous study."
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Canadian ISP Ordered to Prove Traffic-Shaping is Needed

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  • Hurray! (Score:5, Funny)

    by coren2000 (788204) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @08:58PM (#23449394) Journal
    Hurray! Finally my government makes itself useful. Finally they protect my rights.
    • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ark1 (873448) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:04PM (#23449420)
      Even if Bell can not prove at the moment the network usage is saturated all they have to do is wait and do not invest a penny in new infrastructure. Eventually the network will be saturated and Bell will win. They can even help themselves by selling a server or two to speed up the process.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by benad (308052) *
        So you're saying (if you read the article) that Bell can find a way to saturate their bandwidth by the end of the month? I'd be really impressed if Bell can manage to stall the CRTC for much longer.
        • by omeomi (675045)
          So you're saying (if you read the article) that Bell can find a way to saturate their bandwidth by the end of the month?

          New Program: Free internet for all! Get it while it's hot!
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by ark1 (873448)
          Not necessarily saturate it in such a short time but Bells would have little incentive to upgrade in the future if they want to keep up with the growing demand at the same pace. At some point they will reach the maximum capacity and I suspect it will be sooner than many think. For me it seems CRTC is attempting something just to justify their existence but in the end it is a timid action. Bell will find a way to be innovative and continue exploiting the lack of competition. Anyway, I am looking forward to
      • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:18PM (#23449506)
        Except if Bell can be shown to be falling down with respect to deploying the _necessary_ infrastructure to support telecommunications, they might be penalized in subsidies or something.

        They've been granted a (partial) monopoly in order to ensure the infrastructure gets built. If they say it's not big enough, then they're likely to look silly and be told to build more.
      • """
        They can even help themselves by selling a server or two to speed up the process.
        """

        That's called fraud.
        • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:46PM (#23449658)

          That's called fraud.


          Many things big businesses do are illegal, just look at MS, both the EU and US found them engaging in anti-competitive practices, MS just said what are you going to do about it and still continues to. Most ISPs can do the same thing, if you want high-speed internet, who else are you going to turn to other then those who offer it regardless if they throttle, overcharge and inject ads into your internet.
          • Re:Hurray! (Score:4, Informative)

            by Secret Rabbit (914973) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @11:38PM (#23450222) Journal
            This isn't the US nor is it the EU, it's Canada. And the CRTC is here to protect consumers, etc. And guess what. They actually do there job some of the time. Welcome to a country where corruption isn't total in government orgs (at least yet).
            • by canuck57 (662392)

              This isn't the US nor is it the EU, it's Canada. And the CRTC is here to protect consumers, etc. And guess what. They actually do there job some of the time. Welcome to a country where corruption isn't total in government orgs (at least yet).

              CRTC is a double edge sword, I can't legally get SciFi in Canada and Space sucks. I swear the Canadian production of Outer Limits, we control what you see and hear...had a certain inside meaning in Canada.

              But I hear you on this one, I hope the CRTC nails Bell for discriminatory business practices.

              • Yep, I live within a few miles of the production studios for Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, BSG etc. Yet when I turn to TV I'm seeing "new" episodes a year, or even two, after they were aired in the US (and rest of the world too probably). It's laughable that I can download a current episode while my neighbour is watching the "newest" broadcast one which is from one or two seasons ago.

                But yeah, I agree occasionally the CRTC does some good. Too bad we can't get Bell users to lay off the downloading for the

          • Possible Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

            by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @01:59AM (#23450850) Journal
            Crime amongst the wealthy is a considerable problem. Corporations (and other obscenely wealthy folk) commit these crimes because they can, and they know that even if they are caught, it becomes more of an inconvenience than a problem. Compare that to a middle-class home, who would be devastated by fines that the rich can simply take in their stride. It's a one size fits all approach, and it doesn't work.

            I propose that we scale fines to the income of the guilty party. Give out fines as percentages of yearly income. You could take the income records from last years tax time and fine a certain portion of that amount. If you commit a particularly serious crime, you may be charged as much as 50% of your yearly income, which would be equally devastating for anyone, no matter how much money they have. Fines would become a deterrent for all. Suddenly, breaking the law routinely doesn't seem to be such a financially viable business strategy.

            Of course, the deterrent factor becomes less reliable on the very bottom of the scale. If a person has no money, then there would be no punishment, and consequently, they could do what they want. It also wouldn't cover damages to specific parties. We wouldn't want a situation where the fine is less expensive than the damage of the act itself. Whatever the problems, though, I think this idea has potential.
            • by YttriumOxide (837412) <<yttriumox> <at> <gmail.com>> on Sunday May 18, 2008 @02:42AM (#23451010) Homepage Journal

              I've given the idea a bit of thought before, but I don't see how it could work.

              The problem is that there really is an "actual cap" on cost of living. I'm quite sure that losing "50% of one's income" is a lot more painful to an individual that earns $30000 a year compared to one that earns $5000000 a year.

              Were I to earn $5000000 a year, I'd certainly live nicer than I do now on a little over 1/50th of that, but I really do NOT think I'd spend 50 times as much on normal life. A great deal would go in to "large" investments and the rest would probably just get invested by whoever I hired to look after my finances. Losing half of it would make me annoyed, but wouldn't greatly affect my lifestyle.

              • by neoform (551705)
                It's not so much to hamper the lifestyle, but more to penalize.

                If I was making 5mil a year and took a 2.5mil hit due to a fine, I'd be pretty pissed off.
                • But would you be equally as pissed off as the guy making $30000, who had to take a $15000 hit? That's sort of the point...
                  • by neoform (551705)
                    Well I mean let's be a bit realistic, how often do you think someone will be given a 50% fine? That's extreme.

                    Besides, it's far more fair than the current fine levels.

                    If I get a $500 fine I'll feel it, if someone making 5mil gets the same fine, they laugh and say "I spend that much on dinner".
            • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 18, 2008 @07:06AM (#23451966)
              No matter how rich you are, you only get about 80 years on this planet. So jail time is the only equitable solution: it is equally bad for rich and poor alike.

              So you need in a corporation, the CEO and the Board put on selection for jail time for malfeasance of the corporation. Then the people in the chain of command down to the one that did the deed needs to be up for jail time. And if someone is fingered for having told the noob to do this, they get put toward it too. If the CEO/Board can show that they were being deliberately misled despite their best efforts, then their jail time is commuted down to the person they have as the one doing the flim-flam (if the court and/or jury buys it).

              And employment of people jailed should be followed at each level. So if your grunt can't get employed after a jail term, neither can the CEO.

              Fines should come from these people and no bonuses should be allowed for those the court deem responsible for those fines.
        • by qeveren (318805)
          Getting caught doing something illegal simply earns them monetary fines, which -- unless crippling -- are simply cost of doing business, which their customers end up paying for anyway.
      • by gnutoo (1154137) * on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:26PM (#23449556) Journal

        They won't win by sitting on their hands and had better get moving. They tried that back in US back in the 80s and lost big time. It has taken ATT the last 20 years to lie cheat and steal their way back to government protected monopoly status and they are about to lose it all again. Your government is not the only one feeling redfaced about the pathetic network capacity they got in return for $200 billion and a lot of promisses [newnetworks.com]. The next monopoly break up is not going to leave pieces large enough to grasp - it's going to be spectrum liberation [reed.com], and that will be the end of all traditional broadcast and telcos. The more they piss their customers off, the sooner customers will realize what a fraud traditional telco is.

      • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:46PM (#23449654) Journal

        [1] a) Bell Canada states that 5% of users were generating 60% of total traffic and 60% of that traffic was P2P traffic...

        [2] d) ... During peak periods before deployment of its traffic management solution, 60% of total traffic corresponded to 33% of available bandwidth. Commission staff notes that 100% of the total traffic would correspond to 55% (100/60 x 33%) of the available bandwidth. Provide a detailed explanation of why utilization of 55% of available bandwidth would require the use of traffic management to ease congestion.
        I can't wait to hear their explanation for 55% utilization requiring throttling. At worst, they would have to throttle certain links

        If their clever plan involves sitting around and waiting for the network to get saturated, they might be waiting for a while.
        • So what they're saying is that they need to throttle traffic because 36% of their current traffic is P2P?
    • Re:Hurray! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by urcreepyneighbor (1171755) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @10:35PM (#23449954)
      Don't celebrate, yet.

      Here's the deal: The ISP is going to produce a bullshit report that will be taken as The Gospel Truth from the Mountain that was Hand-Delivered by Moses Himself - by those that matter, anyway - and it will be used to justify each and every new attack on the proles.

      Do you honestly believe that politicians, who need contributions to get re-elected, will bite the hands that feed them? American, Canadian, African - it doesn't matter.

      The system is rigged to fuck us. Accept it and act accordingly.
      • by Jardine (398197)
        Do you honestly believe that politicians, who need contributions to get re-elected, will bite the hands that feed them? American, Canadian, African - it doesn't matter.

        Individuals in Canada are restricted in the amount they're allowed to contribute to political campaigns. Corporations, unions, and other organizations are not allowed to contribute at all. The politicians still love to suck up to large corporations, but that's more of a Good Old Boys thing rather than a bribery thing.
        • Individuals in Canada are restricted in the amount they're allowed to contribute to political campaigns.
          Same in the US of A. Doesn't matter.

          Corporations, unions, and other organizations are not allowed to contribute at all.
          Really? Wasn't aware of that. Interesting. :)

          However, doesn't matter.

          Good little boys and girls will be rewarded - somehow, someway.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Corporations, unions, and other organizations are not allowed to contribute at all.

          Actually I think they are only limited monetarily - they are allowed to donate as much labour as they want. Which can be considerable in many situations.

      • by jo42 (227475)

        The system is rigged to fuck us. Accept it and act accordingly.
        Yeah; and the lack of vaseline, or any other lube, just makes it that much more painful.
      • Re:Hurray! (Score:4, Informative)

        by MarkRose (820682) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @12:25PM (#23453728) Homepage
        But in Canada, companies cannot make contribution to political parties.
    • It's more a mockery of the rights of all your citizens. The company should be free to do whatever idiotic plan it wants, and watch its customer base crumble and disappear in response. The government is basically saying that unless the company can show that some idiotic scheme the company wants to do is actually necessary, then the company should not be allowed to make that bad choice. If they're allowed to do that to big companies, why not to a small company, started by a friend of yours, or your neighbor.
  • by Cathoderoytube (1088737) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @08:58PM (#23449398)
    Wow this is actually good news. The people at Bell Canada are scumbags. At my previous job we had the unfortunate misfortune to have Bell Canada as our ISP. They started slowing down our connection speed which in turn slowed everything in the entire studio down (since we were saving files to a server across town). It used to only take a few seconds to save the files, then it turned into 10 minutes. Bell insisted there was absolutely nothing wrong with the connection. Just doing my job was turned into an ordeal because bell feels the need to tamper with their connections. I hope Bell gets crucified. That would be absolutely wonderful
    • by n dot l (1099033) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @11:56PM (#23450316)

      Bell insisted there was absolutely nothing wrong with the connection.
      Heh. I know people that have bribed Rogers managers to get their connection fixed. No joke. A friend of mine, who grew up in the USSR, has a saying for this sort of thing; it's something to the effect of, "Each day a little of the old country follows me across the sea."

      I hope Bell gets crucified.
      Me too. In fact, I've got a big, old, rusty, railroad spike I'm going to save for just such an occasion.
  • by slysithesuperspy (919764) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:03PM (#23449412)
    One thing that confuses the US net neutrality debate is that the ISPs have got massive subsidies in return for apparently better services, which have not occurred. If everyone bit the bullet and accepted they are not going to get them then everything could move on. They have wronged by handing out monopolies and they have wronged by subsidising them. Another wrong isn't going to fix the system. Just allow proper competition. (Yea sorry I didn't get to read this article but i want to go to bed now :) ) Anyway, there was blatantly no net neutrality in the first place.
    • by Smidge204 (605297) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:53PM (#23449690) Journal
      How do you allow "proper competition" in the ISP market? How many sets of wires will you run to every house? How many antennas will you have to erect and satellites to put into orbit? How many data centers and backbone hubs can you build?

      Net Neutrality is based on the fact that, at some point, your data will have to flow through a competitor's infrastructure.

      In the past, when the internet was still in its infancy, there was little need for net neutrality; bandwidth was simply another commodity. Today, there are data services - streaming media, VoIP, internet applications, etc. - and there is financial incentive to make bandwidth a resource. Companies are looking at converting their infrastructure from a simple toll road (pay for the privilege of using X bandwidth) into toll roads that discriminate on what type of vehicle and cargo you're carrying AND limiting your speed based on how much you've paid. Oh, and the same cargo from their own company gets a free ride, high priority.

      So much for competition in that environment.
      =Smidge=
      • by Smidge204 (605297) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @10:05PM (#23449750) Journal
        Oh, it nearly slipped my mind when coming up with that terrible toll road analogy - there WAS a form of Net Neutrality law in place before broadband service became popular: Common Carrier.

        Common Carrier rules said that you, as the owner of the copper wire telephone infrastructure, are not allowed to deny a third party company from offering services over your lines and must offer consistent pricing for use of your infrastructure. This is why you could change your phone company and dialup ISP without a tech coming by and running a new pair of copper wires to your house each time.

        With broadband, cable and fiber-optic, those rules don't apply. If I decide I don't want Verizon's FiOS internet any more, whatever I get can't use the fiber run to my house. That means my options are strictly limited to the infrastructure available in my area, each of which is monopolized by a particular company. In my case, it's Verizon vs. Cablevision.

        If another company comes along and wants to offer fiber or cable data services, they will have to run their own lines or pay extortion fees to the existing companies (and there is no law requiring them to lease bandwidth to third party providers like there was with POTS)

        That's also what Net Neutrality is about.
        =Smidge=
        • by Sentry21 (8183)
          The difference between standard 'common carrier' rules and e.g. fibre-optic lines is that while the telephone infrastructure was subsidized by the government (and thus a state-supported monopoly was built), the same can't be said of the fibre lines.

          So, if Verizon is running fibre from their NOC out to neighborhoods, then out to houses, why should they have to? If I did the same thing, why would I have to? I mean, I would, but why should I HAVE to?

          That said, if Verizon is leveraging the existing infrastructu
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        How do you allow "proper competition" in the ISP market?

        Easy. You separate the entity that owns the wires (the distributor) from the provider of services (the retailer).

        Distributor: I don't care who is buying my lines or for what purpose, as long as they give me my money.

        Retailer: I'm in competition with 50 other retailers in this locale; I better provide competitive service or I lose my customers.
        • by stinerman (812158)
          That's exactly right, but to do so the distributor pretty much has to be the government unless you want distributor monopolies. In the above scenario:

          Distributor: I don't have to increase capacity because the retailers can't go anywhere else for lines.

          Methinks it's time for the biggest eminent domain purchase in the history of the country.
          • by neomunk (913773)

            Methinks it's time for the biggest eminent domain purchase in the history of the country.

            I've been screaming this ever since the net neutrality debate came up. Oh, and pretty much every time I see a stroy about a factory threatening to close up and move to Mexico/China/wherever if the city doesn't come up with multimillion dollar "incentive" programs.

            Remember kiddies, your representatives can (and WILL) take your house to build a privately-owned strip mall, but are powerless to stop a factory that employs 10,000 people from closing or the infrastructure that modern communications require from

        • by Sentry21 (8183) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @02:12PM (#23454534) Journal
          I was thinking about this a few years back, when the CA*Net III project was completed. A huge, national, redundant, ultra-high-bandwidth fibre-optic network, owned by the government and the institutions that provided funding to it. Why not leverage that?

          Step 1: The government and private organizations continue to fund it. From the major hub cities, data is run out to other communities (e.g. from Calgary to Edmonton, Vancouver to Victoria, etc).

          Step 2: In the major hub cities, lines are run out to each household. Now everyone has government-owned FTTH.

          Step 3: Existing 'infrastructure companies' like Telus, Rogers, Shaw, Bell, and so on no longer have to maintain their own networks. They sell their current infrastructure, or parts of it, to the project (this can be done as part of Steps 1 and 2 as well).

          Step 4: Existing 'service companies' like Telus, Rogers, Shaw, Bell, and anyone else with content to push, provides their services over this line, paying an access fee to help maintaint he network.

          Example use: Each endpoint is a unique node ID. Phone numbers are mapped to node IDs, so existing phones will continue to work for people who don't want (or don't understand) fancy new technology. New phones, however, can take advantage of far more advanced directory services. If I meet someone at a party, I can look them up in the directory, but only be aware of them. If I want to contact them, I can make a request to do so (like making a phone call).

          I can also add the phone number to my 'phone book' (which I can transfer to my computer, cell phone, and so on). The person on the other end knows who I am, and can choose to block me if they don't want to talk to me (e.g. harassing phone calls). People still have the option of making 'anonymous calls' (which can be enabled by default), but some 'contacts' won't allow anonymous calls (e.g. myself), and some will always be anonymous (e.g. the various social services hotlines for abuse, teen pregnancy, depression, etc).

          Cable companies move from infrastructure maintainers to content aggregators. Suddenly, anyone and their dog can pay the system access fee and opt to provide a service to customers, but if HBO and NBC and CBC don't want to do it themselves, they sign contracts with Rogers, Shaw, etc. who make packages for consumers to provide these 'channels' (or even just pure 'content').

          Theoretically, you could get the movie channels through Shaw, regular channels through Rogers, and a 'sports package' through SportsNet so you can watch every hockey game of the season.

          The new digital infrastructure allows certain rules for each content provision. For example, SportsNet could allow you to go back and watch any game in the current season; an additional fee allows access to previous seasons. Shaw's movie channels package might let you choose from any movie that's made available for as long as it's made available ('Oh, Ghostbusters 2 is on the movie network this week, let's watch it on Thursday'). Rogers' package might include the major networks, and let you go back to watch any of the season's episodes of Lost, Grey's Anatomy, and Stargate.

          Oh, if only I were in charge of the world...
      • by homer_s (799572) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @11:01PM (#23450070)
        How do you allow "proper competition" in the ISP market? How many sets of wires will you run to every house? How many antennas will you have to erect and satellites to put into orbit? How many data centers and backbone hubs can you build?

        There was an interview on the radio with a young girl from Bhutan who was visiting the US for the first time. While she was surprised by many things here (obese people, clean toilets, etc), she was positively amazed to learn that banks, phone companies and hospitals weren't run by the government.

        She couldn't understand how private companies can be allowed to provide these services.

        Your post reminds me of her. Just because you cannot think of a solution doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
      • by canuck57 (662392)

        How do you allow "proper competition" in the ISP market? How many sets of wires will you run to every house? How many antennas will you have to erect and satellites to put into orbit? How many data centers and backbone hubs can you build?

        As many wires that are needed. Satellites are already there. At least one antenna per home I suspect. Wireless in a mesh network makes the most sense.

        The problem is no competition to access to the home. Impediments include city franchising right up to the CRTC itself. There is no reason 4, 8 or even 12 companies could not operate mesh networks if they had economical and legal access to the right of ways needed.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:54PM (#23449692) Journal

      One thing that confuses the US net neutrality debate is that the ISPs have got massive subsidies in return for apparently better services, which have not occurred. If everyone bit the bullet and accepted they are not going to get them then everything could move on.
      Alternatively, the Government could say "We gave you lots of money, now we want results, or you can pay us back".

      Every now and then, Governments crack down on waste/fraud/etc, usually by making an example of someone. The only reason they don't do it more often is due to the sheer scope of the spending that goes on.

      Personally, I'd rather spend all that wasted money on oversight than leave it to a for-profit company receiving handouts they shouldn't be getting.
    • What is "proper" competition? There's a huge barrier to entry in the telecoms world and it changes the economics. What, specifically, do you see as being a remedy to this issue?
      • by compro01 (777531)
        Force them to lease the lines, which has been done and is generally working (there's tons of competition), and stop them from playing games around that requirement, as Bell is doing now by throttling their competitors.
    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @10:11PM (#23449788)

      Anyway, there was blatantly no net neutrality in the first place.
      I am not sure what you mean by "first place" - as in pre ATT-breakup?

      Because there certainly WAS net neutrality in the USA up until just recently, 2005 in fact, when the SCOTUS ruled that ISPs provide "information services" rather than "telecommunications services." [techlawjournal.com] The net effect was that the "tariffs" (fancy word for rules) that insure network neutrality on the phone network (aka a telecommunication service) no longer applied to ISPs. You'll note that it was in late 2005 - right after the ruling in fact - when all the ISPs started making noise about "google using our networks for free" etc, etc.
  • How convenient (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chonnawonga (1025364) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:03PM (#23449416)
    I think this is a pretty clear effort by the federal government to try to put the matter to bed by giving the big, monopolistic corporation the chance to "prove" that this is "necessary", which they will then accept without question. I've said it before: net neutrality is going nowhere in Canada without a change of government. But that's just my $0.02 CAD.
    • You may be right there - this seems like blowing smoke to confuse the issue.

      The real question is whether they're giving their customers the QOS they promised.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:04PM (#23449418)
    I would rather have the CRTC ask Bell Canada to provide tangible evidence that the laws of arthmetic failed when they computed the bandwidth available to each customer.
    • by sedmonds (94908) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @12:22AM (#23450480) Homepage
      I recall seeing Bell advertisements that DSL from Bell was better than cable, because there are "no slowdowns". I also recall advertisements, but I can't remember if they were specifically Bell advertisements, that your bandwidth was dedicated. I didn't really believe it then, and now it seems that neither does Bell.
      • by Blkdeath (530393)

        I recall seeing Bell advertisements that DSL from Bell was better than cable, because there are "no slowdowns". I also recall advertisements, but I can't remember if they were specifically Bell advertisements, that your bandwidth was dedicated. I didn't really believe it then, and now it seems that neither does Bell.

        Way to twist something out of context in the interests of karma whoring. My karma is quite strong so I can shed some light on the situation without fear of reprisal from the groupthink mods;

        Bell's commercials stated that there was no effect of one's neighbors saturating bandwidth as there is with cable internet connection because the connection to the central office is dedicated to each home. The commercials have always been quite explicit, even the recent ones with Frank & Gordon (Bell's Beavers) w

        • by Sentry21 (8183)
          Aah, Frank and Gordon. Of all the 'personalities' in the media these days, those are the two beavers I least want a good, long look at, and yet, they're the only ones I've seen in a while.
  • by Izabael_DaJinn (1231856) * <slashdot @ i z abael.com> on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:11PM (#23449470) Homepage Journal
    Traffic shaping? That implies it does something artistic or useful to the traffic.

    Throttling conjures up a more accurate image. (I think of Homer throttling Bart.)

    And if they insist on shaping my traffic, I hope they can shape it into things I'm comfortable with like hearts, moons, and stars.

    • by eagl (86459) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:37PM (#23449602) Journal
      That's funny. I was thinking shaping internet traffic into, say, origami swans. But maybe they're thinking shaping as in cutting off sharp corners so more internets can fit through the tubes faster.
      • by Sentry21 (8183)
        It's because all those nets get snagged on sharp corners and rivets in the tubes. They need to shape your traffic into round balls so that they bounce through the tubes instead of getting tangled, but the balls have to be small enough to go through the holes in the nets that end up getting unravelled.
    • by Smidge204 (605297)

      Traffic shaping? That implies it does something artistic or useful to the traffic.
      Perhaps it's a work in abstract expressionism?

      =Smidge=
  • by Cyko_01 (1092499) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:19PM (#23449508) Homepage
    they made promises they can't live up to and now they are handling it by censoring the internet. I don't care if it is "necessary", they screwed up and it should be handled in a responsible way - by upgrading the network
    • by Blkdeath (530393)

      they made promises they can't live up to and now they are handling it by censoring the internet. I don't care if it is "necessary", they screwed up and it should be handled in a responsible way - by upgrading the network

      How much more are you willing to pay on a monthly basis for this proposed upgrade? Would you rather pay a flat fee, a speed surcharge or a charge per volume of traffic?

      Please, don't tell me, tell Bell. While you're at it if you could draft up an agreeable schedule that would allow them to collect additional money from the disproportionate bandwidth users which would, in turn, permit them to upgrade their infrastructure, that would be great.

      In the meantime quit crying. The world isn't free and it does

  • by eagl (86459) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:23PM (#23449538) Journal
    This is funny. If they can "prove" that traffic shaping is necessary, they have essentially proven that they are unable to provide the services they are charging people for. No matter what their proof looks like, they're hosed. Either they will be forced to quit traffic shaping and admit they don't need to do it, or they'll be open to class action lawsuits for failing to provide contracted services.

    I don't feel too sorry for them... The telcos tear up the street every couple of years and I still don't have fiber to my house. To hell with them. The concept of fiduciary responsibility to shareholders has gone way too far, and it's time that service companies get a little legal protection when they choose to provide their customers with their contracted service instead of making an extra penny for their shareholders. Just look at the yahoo debacle... The company leadership might actually end up IN JAIL for trying to do the "right thing" for the company and their customers, because a couple shareholders are pissed they couldn't make a fast buck by selling out to Microsoft. That is a complete perversion of the concept of fiduciary responsibility, and our legal system ought to provide for companies that actually attempt to stay in business and fulfill their contracts with their customers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      This is funny. If they can "prove" that traffic shaping is necessary, they have essentially proven that they are unable to provide the services they are charging people for.
      You make it sound like contention ratios are not the industry standard practice.

      The ISP is complaining that a minority of users are blowing the ratios out of whack and that they need to do something about it. We'll see what their numbers show.
      • How would a Canadian regulatory body react to a communications provider only providing confidential capacity information under some sort of confidentiality agreement? I've seen FCC ID files with the device's theory of operation fully redacted under a rather flimsy pretext, and the devices are nothing an hour or two in a well-equipped lab with someone who reads Chinese fluently won't completely decode.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx . b c.ca> on Saturday May 17, 2008 @09:43PM (#23449640) Journal
    I expect they'll continue to shape traffic even when they can't prove that it's required because the internet infrastructure they do provide is virtually indispensable and there'll be squat the CRTC can do to enforce it.
  • by joocemann (1273720) on Saturday May 17, 2008 @10:21PM (#23449870)
    Selling a specific accessible 'bandwidth' of internet access and then throttling it is not a fair business practice. Even if the terms of service include an allowance for such throttling, the provider should clearly and explicitly make sure the buyer understands such controls. Otherwise, you have buyers like myself who pay for 6mbit wondering why we are not getting 6mbit 24/7, 365. Thats what I bought, just as it was advertised. 6mbit internet access. It didn't read an ad saying 'sometimes 6mbit, mostly 3, and if you use it a lot, then almost none'. For an ISP to advertise a product one way, then provide the product differently is disingenuous and debateably illegal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CrossChris (806549)
      There's no "debatable" about it. It's illegal - it's simply "bait and switch". We've got the British ISP Virgin Media in court over this, and we're applying for an injunction against them operating at all, which should focus their tiny minds somewhat.

      They sold me "20 MB/s" cable service. That suggests to me (and the rest of the plaintiffs) that it should be 20 MegaBytes per second. VM claim (of course) that it's 20 MegaBits per second.

      They then apply "STM" - Subscriber Traffic Management. The effe
      • Yes, but if bait and switch were actually (as compared to theoretically) illegal it would put every fast-food chain in the world out of business... I mean look at the billboard pictures and then look at what they actually hand you over the counter...
  • Well, now that our government is going to try and force ISPs (bell, anyways) to leave packet shaping alone ... all we need to do is get some real politicians back into power (none of this minority/conservative crap) and our country will officially rock (again).
    • by causality (777677)

      all we need to do is get some real politicians back into power

      Be careful what you wish for ...
  • Would be nice, after BC shows how it's traffic is exceeding its system capabilities and preventing broadband users from being able to achieve the speeds they purchased if the ruling authorities dropped the hammer on Bell by telling them: You shouldn't have oversold your network in the first place, and then made them rebate all their profits for the last 10 years to their ratepayers.
  • The CRTC has a long record of sitting on its bureaucratic ass and doing nothing while ownership of Canadian media has concentrated to a degree most nations would find frightening, while telemarketers began entering peoples' homes to prey on the elderly and vulnerable, and while it became more and more difficult for average people to obtain redress for outrages inflicted on them by cable companies and telcoms.

    I doubt whether they will ultimately require any more of Bell than a statement saying "There's co

  • The issue is not backbone bandwidth. Bell has multiple OC192's and probably OC768's+. These are already there, probably heavily unutilized, and used for more than just Internet traffic (i.e. LAN extension business traffic). The justification for shaping traffic is to minimize peering costs with other ISPs. I have no idea how Bell went so wrong in the court case. If I were them, I'd fire the lawyers... but ultimately, I'm hoping this works out for the end-users. Personally, it would suck for our pipes to
  • The REAL message to ISP's should be:

    "If you can't deliver it, don't advertise it. If you won't spend money on your infrastructure, then don't complain that you can't deliver it".

    The problem is obvious: ISPs are spending more and more money advertising services they can't (or can barely) deliver (further depleting the amound of bandwidth available per customer), INSTEAD of upgrading and maintaining infrastructure to support the needs of their current consumers. Insteadt, they spend massive amounts of money a

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