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Bell's Own Data Exposes P2P As a Red Herring

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-wanted-to-say-canadian-throttling-front dept.

Networking 261

dougplanet writes with news from the Canadian-throttling front: "As ordered by the CRTC, Bell has released (some) of its data on how torrents and P2P in general are affecting its network. Even though there's not much data to go on, it's pretty clear that P2P isn't the crushing concern. Over the two-month period prior to their throttling, they had congestion on a whopping 2.6 and 5.2 per cent of their network links. They don't even explain whether this is a range of sustained congestion, or peaks amongst valleys."

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261 comments

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How funny (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23961289)

Anyone else find it funny that the article links to a video in it's "rgbFilter podcast"? Could it be that the explosion of streaming video is one of the real causes of network congestion, not a few "copyright infringes"? Never!

Re:How funny (3, Insightful)

dafrazzman (1246706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961455)

The statistics say nothing about P2P's role in congestion. All it says is that the networks aren't that congested (or is 5 percent a lot?).

Exactly what role P2P plays in the five percent is an entirely different matter.

Harm done. (5, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961705)

Bell's data shows that unrestricted P2P creates no congestion in better than 95% of their networks. Schemes to "filter" P2P will slow down 100% of their networks. It is obvious that either:

  1. They are incompetent. They are going to create a problem to solve one that does not exist. Or
  2. They are liars. Their goals and reasons are different from those stated.

My bet is on #2.

Re:Harm done. (5, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961787)

While I would also tend to vote #2 here, those two options are not mutually exclusive.

=Smidge=

Re:How funny (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961911)

Queueing Theory says that around 70% utilization is when delays occur.

They are not close, they are blowing smoke.

And in other news... (5, Interesting)

Moekandu (300763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962055)

An ISP in Japan will also soon be throttling [arstechnica.com] their user's bandwidth.

Yes, they are creating an upload cap of 30GB per day. Not per month, per day .

I for one, welcome our Japanese ISP bandwidth capping overlords! Please?

Re:And in other news... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23962617)

-2, Jealous

Re:How funny (5, Informative)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962189)

Queueing Theory says that around 70% utilization is when delays occur.

Delays occur whenever anything is waiting in an output queue instead of being immediately transmitted. This could happen at very low average utilization levels if multiple sources all try to send data across a link simultaneously [formortals.com] . The delay time is a function of the number of bytes waiting to be transmitted and the transmit speed.

Retransmission delays occur when the output queue gets full, the router drops additional packets as they come in, and the TCP connection hangs until the retried packets come through (700ms for the first one, much more for subsequent dropped packets). To avoid compounding the problem, output queues on routers are typically sized to something a fair bit less than 700ms.

Re:How funny (5, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961985)

(or is 5 percent a lot?)

I would say that depends on if it's the five percent I am in.

Glad to hear this. (5, Insightful)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961293)

It was quite clear to me all along that this whole throttling issue revolved around the agenda of some nasty people who want to lock the world in to their way of doing things, and had nothing to do with use of bandwidth or any other legitimate issue. I'm glad this is coming out.

Re:Glad to hear this. (4, Informative)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961321)

It was so obvious, we know ISP's are the worst kinds of businesses, they oversell the bandwidth massively on the customer end and yet their backbones are pretty hardly ever used so they just end up cheating the consumer. It's basically extortion.

Re:Glad to hear this. (4, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961475)

Overselling bandwidth is necessary, its called statistical multiplexing.

Capping transfer per month at ridiculously low levels is not necessary though, they get plenty of money to pay for what people use, and lets face it, this is a quasi-socialist ISP environment, people who barely use their connections are paying for those who use the connection all the time.

Might not be fair, but the ISPs have nothing to complain about, they have been taking peoples money without having to provide much in return to most of them for a long, long time.

Re:Glad to hear this. (4, Interesting)

debrain (29228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961603)

Overselling bandwidth is necessary, its called statistical multiplexing.

Capping transfer per month at ridiculously low levels is not necessary though, they get plenty of money to pay for what people use, and lets face it, this is a quasi-socialist ISP environment, people who barely use their connections are paying for those who use the connection all the time.

Might not be fair, but the ISPs have nothing to complain about, they have been taking peoples money without having to provide much in return to most of them for a long, long time.

FYI, the bandwidth Bell is traffic shaping, which this case arises out of, is (1) not Bell customers (Bell simply provides the last-leg of the DSL connection - the DSLAM, I believe) and (2) not using Bell's backbone internet connection.

The traffic is from, for example, Teksavvy (ISP) customers to the Teksavvy backbone. Bell is just an intermediary.

Re:Glad to hear this. (5, Interesting)

sedmonds (94908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961897)

Teksavvy gets last mile copper, and DSLAM to peering location at 151 Front St, in Toronto from Bell. If they had peering at each CO and remote, then Bell really would have no justification to impose throttling. Bell is claiming that some network links between the DSLAM and edges of their network are inadequate. What's particularly greasy is that Bell negotiated transit bandwidth agreements with third party ISPs, and then pulled this throttling crap on them. So Teksavvy negotiates a multi-year agreement with Bell for X Gbps transit, so that they can serve their clients during peak hours and be prepared for anticipated growth of their subscriber base. After being locked into transit contracts, Bell starts throttling during peak hours, thus changing the bandwidth that Teksavvy would need during these hours. Further, they don't provide third party providers information about WHICH clients are throttled, putting third parties at a further disadvantage for planning bandwidth needs. The Supreme Court of Canada just cleared the way for the sale of Bell to interests which are financing the sale to the toon of 34 billion dollars of new debt for a company with annual profits of about 4 billion dollars. I'm not at all surprised that Bell is electing to spend a relatively small amount of money on throttling boxes, rather than making any real investment in infrastructure.

Re:Glad to hear this. (5, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962381)

I know everyone's debated this topic before, but why wouldn't we (as a nation) buy out Bell and convert it into a federally-mandated non-profit ? It's precisely the kind of long-term asset that benefits society as a whole - a perfect candidate for socialization.

34 billion dollars, in the grand scheme of things, ain't all that much when 34 million citizens stand to benefit. That's $1000 per Canadian, but that 4 billion in annual profit would come back to us, which means the purchase pays for itself in 8-9 years. There's no finance minister that can squeeze that much money that quickly; certainly not the inbred albino monkeys we've had lately.

Re:Glad to hear this. (2, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962797)

Because government owned monopolies don't tend to work very well.

Re:Glad to hear this. (1)

TihSon (1065170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962799)

Welcome to Canada folks, where any chance to create yet another government funded monopoly is always embraced ... then extended.

Re:Glad to hear this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23962817)

Rather than buying out Bell, why not light a fire under their collective ass with a heavily-subsidized, government-regulated ISP (that's not Bell)? Then they might actually have to compete.

Re:Glad to hear this. (3, Insightful)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961633)

This is true; in addition, if there actually were a reason that the ISPs were losing money, then they would raise the monthly rate by a few dollars. Most people won't switch ISPs over a few dollars a month since it's such a hassle to do so anyway. However, note that I said *IF* there were such a reason, which there isn't, at least until we start doing everything, including all voice and video communication (think all your cable TV and phones), over the Internet.

Re:Glad to hear this. (2, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961867)

Most people won't switch ISPs over a few dollars a month

Most people would not switch over "traffic shaping" either — not even most slashdotters.

Ultimately this comes down to whether ISPs are free to control their network, if it annoys customers...

Re:Glad to hear this. (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962159)

Switch? WHERE TO, for crying out loud.

It's not like you have any real choice in the cartel they formed. It's a bit like crime syndicates splitting up the areas, you get the west coast, I take the south...

Re:Glad to hear this. (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962251)

It's not like you have any real choice in the cartel they formed.

Don't know about your neck of the woods, but here in NYC I can switch between two different DSL-providers and a cable-company. Plus the T-Mobile's recent announcement of offering wireless static Internet service.

But I did not start talking about (not) switching — the gp did...

Re:Glad to hear this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23962619)

Up here, all DSL flows through Bell's copper.
Until recently, this was (fairly) fine and dandy, as the regulating body (the CRTC) forced Bell to lease time on their lines to third party wholesalers at reasonable rates. Some of these wholesalers have been offering much better AND cheaper service than Bell.

In April, Bell extended its network throttling practices to include customers of these third-party wholesalers (note, they did this with absolutely no notice) -- that's what brought about the complaint to the CRTC from the CAIP (Canadian Association of Internet Providers).

The only alternative is $cableCompany, which is another monopoly with either throttling or lower bandwidth caps, and at a higher price (the specific cable company varies from province to province).

Yes, most people admit that ideally the CAIP would band together and lay down some copper (or better yet fibre) of their own...but the barriers to entry are huge, so it will probably never happen.

Considering how many times Bell has screwed with me (literally cheated me), I would gladly pay an extra 30% for DSL service just to know that Bell won't ever get another penny of my money and won't be able to touch my service again.

Also, it's worth bearing in mind the decades of support (subsidies, tax breaks, right-of-way) that Bell received during the time when they were an official government monopoly. I wouldn't go so far as to say that we as taxpayers paid for the whole network, but we've certainly earned our share.

Incidentally, there are plenty of us who have found our way around the throttling. I won't detail it here (no, not protocol encryption), but the information isn't hard to find.

Re:Glad to hear this. (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962625)

It's not like you have any real choice in the cartel they formed.

Don't know about your neck of the woods, but here in NYC I can switch between two different DSL-providers and a cable-company. Plus the T-Mobile's recent announcement of offering wireless static Internet service.

But I did not start talking about (not) switching — the gp did...

If you actually only have four choices in NYC then I'd take it almost as validation to that statement. Most of the rest of the US is slightly less urban than where you live. My family and friends that live there consider anything that takes more than 20 minutes via highway outside of the city to be the "Boonies".

Re:Glad to hear this. (3, Informative)

bryce1012 (822567) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962713)

So, in New York City -- the supposed center of the world -- "competition" is 3 carriers? In backwoods America, there's generally one cable and one DSL provider... if you're lucky. That is NOT competiion.

Re:Glad to hear this. (2, Funny)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962979)

Wow, so I guess if I want to switch ISP then all I have to do is move to NYC? Brilliant!

Re:Glad to hear this. (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962527)

In most areas the local government grants a single telco and/or single cable company sole access to the city. Your best bet is to complain to your city council and tell them to open your market to competition.

Re:Glad to hear this. (4, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962039)

They're like OPEC. They don't even try to hide behind phoney legitimacy anymore, They're basically saying, "We don't have to rape you, but we will, and you're going to bend over and LIKE IT!".

Re:Glad to hear this. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23962147)

They're like OPEC. They don't even try to hide behind phoney legitimacy anymore, They're basically saying, "We don't have to rape you, but we will, and you're going to bend over and LIKE IT!".

False.

Since when has "and LIKE IT!", in relation to the customer, ever entered into any telco (or OPEC) executive's mind?

Re:Glad to hear this. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962459)

Uh, when they need it for work or school perhaps?

Re:Glad to hear this. (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962523)

Clarification: if you work full-time and go to school(on-campus and online classes) not wanting to exhaust yourself spending an extra 3 hours of the day taking mass-transit(though I am very much in favor of augmenting mass-transit).

Yeah, I do believe that some of us LIKE being connected to the internet and putting petroleum-based fuels in our vehicles, much like Winston Smith loves big brother.

Re:Glad to hear this. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962541)

Whoooooosh. Sorry AC.

Re:Glad to hear this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23962989)

HELLO, ME! :o

Re:Glad to hear this. (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961657)

It doesn't matter, the CRTC (some say it means the 'Canadian Radio and Television Commission, but it is really the Canadian Roadblock To Communication) will side with Bell anyway. They bend over, and force all Canadians to bend over for Bell, Telus, and Rogers.

Re:Glad to hear this. (2, Informative)

g0at (135364) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961687)

some say it means the 'Canadian Radio and Television Commission
Actually, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

The agenda: The internet makes cable obsolete (5, Insightful)

some damn guy (564195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961859)

It's easy to see why Comcast wants to limit customers. Peer-to-peer sharing is the scapegoat. If people think they can download as much as they want all the time, they might start thinking of their computers like the TV. Oh wait, they're already starting to.

Seriously, the day when you can ditch cable altogether is very very near (okay already here for me). Even without pirating anything. Seriously, the networks know the way the wind is blowing. Everything will start going online- it already is. Sure, the cable companies want to bring you the "on-demand" world, but they want to own it. But they're losing control and they're scared and they are starting to do stupid stuff... "WHAT? you watched Netflix ALL NIGHT?? ARRGGHHhh..."

They are realizing they have two businesses- content delivery and connectivity. Now they have to compete with the likes of Apple, Google, and Netflix for the former (among others). Recording industry 2.0. Their business model is a genereation away from being obsolete (well half is). The other half is just fine, and they really should have split the company along those lines, but probably can't for regulatory reasons, at least without further damaging the TV business.

The best course of action is clearly to blame the pirates and bury their heads in the sand.

Re:The agenda: The internet makes cable obsolete (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962059)

I guess the question is, what does it actually cost to get cable internet into your house? Can they actually provide it profitably? The telcos couldn't put copper into your house profitably without help originally, and they don't seem to be doing amazingly well now either (although AT&T has been ratcheting prices up.)

Re:The agenda: The internet makes cable obsolete (1)

some damn guy (564195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23963043)

That's an excellent question. If the TV business isn't profitable, maybe they could try asking for big fees from large, media-heavy sites, and then, if they didn't pay up, they could limit their customers' bandwidth to them.

Of course, I'm probably just talking crazy here...

All I know is, I'm trying municipal wifi. It's way cheaper and very comparable if you buy a year or two at a time, though obviously it might go up later. Still I can lock in now and always go crawling back to cable.

Re:The agenda: The internet makes cable obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23962097)

It's already well on it's way, I haven't bothered having cable for almost 3 years now. The only time I miss it is for sports, and I know there's plenty of streams online for that anyway. Over the next few years I expect a lot more people to follow suit.

Re:The agenda: The internet makes cable obsolete (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962223)

And they got mighty supporters. Imagine someone being able to create a network without having to shell out millions if not billions just for the infrastructure. In fact, a halfway well off person can start an internet TV network.

A worldwide TV network, just to make matters worse (for those that oppose it, that is).

Can you see how not only established TV networks but also governments don't really like that idea? It's already bad enough that Al Jazeera spills counterpropaganda against Fox, now imagine anyone being able to do that. Worldwide.

I could well see that some governments don't really like that idea one bit.

Re:Glad to hear this. (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962205)

The world is already locked. The nasty people want to turn the screws to get more money.

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23961315)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
Bell's own data exposes goatse as a red hole [goatse.ch]

I knew it!! (4, Funny)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961323)

I knew it! I knew it! You sons of whores Bell! $70 fucking dollars a month!! I'm coming down to your HQ and throwing a cinderblock through your front window!

Re:I knew it!! (5, Funny)

aikodude (734998) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961363)

get 'cher fresh hot torches here! can't go to an angry mobbing without fresh hot torches!!!

Re:I knew it!! (5, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961589)

There's no justice like angry mob justice.

Re:I knew it!! (1)

deepgrey (1246108) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962051)

Fresh hot Cher torches!! That oughta scare them into submission! :)

Re:I knew it!! (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962085)

Pitchforks half price! Get 'em while we have 'em.

Re:I knew it!! (5, Funny)

grim4593 (947789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961481)

From www.bash.org:

DmncAtrny: I will write on a huge cement block "By accepting this brick through your window, you accept it as is and agree to my disclaimer of all warranties, express or implied, as well as disclaimers of all liability, direct, indirect, consequential or incidental, that may arise from the installation of this brick into your building."
DmncAtrny: And then hurl it through the window of a Sony officer
DmncAtrny: and run like hell

Re:I knew it!! (2, Interesting)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961971)

Or how about take the software licensing approach and say something like, "By touching, or directing employees or other persons to touch this brick (the Brick) you release all liability for damages caused by the thrower of the Brick (the angry mob) and will adhere to all demands by the angry mob which include but are not limited to: reducing service expenses by half or the square root of current contract offers -- whichever is greater; hiring qualified support engineers according to the type of support call; removing all network throttling hardware not already destroyed by the angry mob that threw the Brick."
Then affix the disclaimer with text facing in toward the brick and hurdle it through ISP of your choice.
Stand there and laugh at said ISP's lawyers who cannot do anything because the evidence they need to convict you is now wrapped within a release of liability notice.

Re:I knew it!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23962243)

Will you be my lawyer?

Seriously, I need you in arguments with my wife!

Re:I knew it!! (1, Flamebait)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961973)

Conflict resolution, Legal Status: This brick may remove other building components without further notice if they conflict with our agreement or copyrights. Pending laws will require the addition of our bricks in every building. If any part of our brick is deemed unenforceable all other parts will remain in force.

Contract change: The brick may be unilaterally changed without further notice. This includes monthly use fees and all other terms of service.

Exclusivity and Ownership if IP: You may not share, duplicate modify, reverse engineer study or understand the brick in any way. You may not discuss the brick with your friends. Harsh civil and criminal laws will be applied to anyone who dares understand the brick. You also agree that the IP of the brick is the exclusive property of Bell Canada and additionally protected by trade secret laws. Any loss of trade secret will irreparably harm Bell and you agree that Bell will not be adequately compensated by applicable laws.

Background check: We don't just give our bricks to anyone, even though law requires them in every house. You agree to divulge your credit, academic, medical and any other records we ask for. You might not be notified as we pilfer your history and you will not be compensated as we sell you to the highest bidder.

Re:I knew it!! (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961887)

Silly person, everyone knows Bell building don't have windows.

Re:I knew it!! (2, Informative)

Slacksoft (1066064) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961899)

If you're going to Canada you'll need to get abreast of the proper Canadian dialect so you're able to voice your frustrations properly. So instead of saying "I'm coming down to your HQ and throwing a cinderblock through your front window!" it would be "I'm going to come down to your HQ eh, and I am going to throw a brick eh, through your window, eh!"

In all seriousness though. I hope this ruling will help in the fight against the plans to start charging for a monthly bandwidth allocation that Time Warner is setting up in response to 'congestion'. If you go over Time Warner's allocation they will begin charging you X dollars per MB over your allotment. I swear I went to high-speed internet (DSL) to get away from pay-as-you-go service. It's like when AOL 2.5 was around where you had to pay per minute, and finally they realized they'd get more business with 20$ a month unlimited minutes. That was the happiest day of my life, or at least it was until we got RoadRunner from Time Warner.

Re:I knew it!! (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962161)

it would be "I'm going to come down to your HQ eh, and I am going to throw a brick eh, through your window, eh!"


I believe what you meant to say was: I will ride my sled down to your main igloo, eh? And throw snowballs at you hosers.

Re:I knew it!! (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962273)

I'm more partial to the technique where you go to a bar, get roaring drunk and then loudly exclaim "Fuck You!" While throwing a cinder block through any window. I figure if enough Canadians do this at least a few will hit Bell.

Nothing new (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23961355)

1) ISP's oversell network
2) network gets congested
3) P2P is a lot (politically) easier to target than streaming video, because they have support from the media industry, so abuse P2P as needed to solve congestion problem
4) PROFIT !!!

Re:Nothing new (5, Funny)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961691)

1) RTFS
2) RTFA
3) Discover that existence of anything more than tiny pockets of congestion is just a bunch of bullshit, and that not only have you been lied to about P2P being a problem, you've been lied to about the whole goddamned problem
4) PRICELESS

Re:Nothing new (1)

Hungus (585181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962803)

Huh?
1) Romanian Translators for Free Software
2) Ready-Team-Fire-Assist
3) ???
4)Pinpoint, Record, Involve, Coach, Evaluate, Law Enforcement Satellite System

So you have something against European FOSS? (Field Operations Support System)

Let's see... (5, Funny)

Monkey_Genius (669908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961371)

1. Advertise unlimited Internet.
2. Throttle customer bandwidth.
3. ?
4. Profit!
Business for the 21st Century 101.

Re:Let's see... (3, Insightful)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961925)

Unfortunately, there's no "???" in this equation.

1. Advertise unlimited Internet (ie: get lots of paying customers)
2. Throttle customer bandwidth (ie: don't use all that money to upgrade systems and screw customers)
3. Profit! (ie: Actual Profit)

So then.. what is this about? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23961373)

If this isn't a "You bittorrenters are maxing out our bandwidth"... what is the real reason they're expending the time and effort to do this?

Re:So then.. what is this about? (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961413)

Research TVants and Sopcast.

Re:So then.. what is this about? (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962263)

The fact that more and more (top level) ISPs are also in some way concerned with TV, broadcasting or content. The last thing you want is to faciliate a competing (internet) TV network.

And the easiest way to do that is to control what your users can do with their bandwidth and what they can't. If you can simply keep them from watching TV online (and I'm not even talking about doing something "illegal" like watching a syndicated show abroad, just something that's more interesting than the reality soaps we get shoveled down our throats on ordinary TV these days), you retain customers for your TV services.

Re:So then.. what is this about? (1)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962369)

To justify a move to a tiered system to charge more for the same service.

Is "I told you so" appropriate? (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961407)

I've said it before, saying it now. There is NO reason to believe anyone in business who cannot show WHY they need legal help, or rights to invade your privacy to protect their business. There has never been proof by the **AA that file sharing is harming their businesses. There has never been proof by any ISP that P2P is harming their businesses. Without proof, what they wish to do is nothing less than criminal.

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=592247&cid=23904147 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=588163&cid=23844923 [slashdot.org]

Sure, they can say, oh it's our network and that's what we are going to do with it, however, in the interests of the national GDP/economy we have to consider ISP infrastructure as vital to the economy now, both of the US and the world. Any shenanigans on how it is run are of vital business interest to business concerns other than the ISPs themselves.

P2P is simply being used as the pike that gets network monitoring in the door. No, I have no actual proof of that, but if it were the danger that it is said to be, there would be plenty of evidence. Some of that evidence would be people complaining on the Internet about how slow their ISP is.

Now, add to that the fact that these same ISPs have a vested financial interest in using more of your bandwidth than you want them to in order to provide the triple-play and quadruple-play service packages that stock holders are counting on for revenue.

There are the two reasons for finding something to blame/fear in order to ease the pain of making the changes to the network at consumer's costs. Sure, some think that right, but they squandered the money/tax incentives etc. they have already been given and still do not provide anything much better than they used to.

They have a technological problem and need someone/something to blame. For better or worse, they chose P2P because it's already scapegoated by the **AA. I don't think this plan is going to work out so well.

Just my opinion

Re:Is "I told you so" appropriate? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23961671)

There is NO reason to believe anyone in business who cannot show WHY they need legal help, or rights to invade your privacy to protect their business

P2P is simply being used as the pike that gets network monitoring in the door. No, I have no actual proof of that, but if it were the danger that it is said to be, there would be plenty of evidence
Listen - I think you need to brush up on some rudimentary logic and debate skills.

As for the +4 insightful, I dunno how your nonsensical rant got that. The ISPs are doing this for one thing and one thing only - limiting actual usage decreases costs while not having to invest in infrastructure, thereby increasing profits. Nothing malicious - just greed.

Re:Is "I told you so" appropriate? (3, Insightful)

jlindy (1028748) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961957)

Nothing malicious - just greed.

I always thought greed was malicious. Just my 2 cents :)

Re:Is "I told you so" appropriate? (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962291)

Nah, it's just a mortal sin. Along with 6 other vices that are today pretty much a "required skills" list for any upper management position.

Re:Is "I told you so" appropriate? (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962035)

Can you explain how decreased usage decreases costs?

I pay for 10Mbit/s. The equipment needed to provide that service does not turn off when I'm not using it. The infrastructure required to support that service has to still be there, in service, awaiting my desires to use it. How does that reduce costs?

You seem to want to justify the practice of overselling your capacity - a business practice that needs to stop. ISPs have been getting away with it for a long time because of the shared nature of Internet resources and networks in general. The recent story where too many people watching sports videos caused some ISPs to think they were being attacked with DDoS is exactly what happens when you oversell your infrastructure. IMO most ISPs have built their networks poorly and cheaply and have to catch up with requirements when they get caught out. When I say poorly and cheaply, read that as centralized and without scaling in mind at the planning stage. Admittedly, virtualization and other new technologies can help improve this, but that is the nature of technology based businesses: you have to upgrade often to stay relevant. It is clear that there is not enough infrastructure to support triple-play and quadruple-play services. An argument that touches on the problems not readily apparent to the North American consumer is here http://innerdaemon.wordpress.com/2007/05/12/while-verizon-fiddles-with-fios-strategy-apple-has-triple-play/ [wordpress.com]

Here is a note about one of the major problems for large ISPs http://gigaom.com/2007/05/07/comcast-smartzone/ [gigaom.com]

Back to the point. The above links and my comments are clearly indicating that ISP do not want you to use LESS bandwidth, they want you to use more but only when connecting to their content services. Blocking and limiting P2P means you will be more likely to use their content services. Triple and quadruple play is a way for them to help ensure that. Read up on net neutrality issues a bit. That little problem is all about ISPs trying to milk their infrastructure for double the money they should get. It will also allow them to make their content cheaper to consume as well as give them a mechanism to sell you special content packages so they get MORE money for what you now enjoy freely for the cost of your connection.

Now, your comment indicates a belief that ISPs are trying to make money by me not using the bandwidth while everything else on the Internet says their stock holders are being told how much content they are going to sell their users. There is a bit of a difference of opinion between you and what seems to be happening in the real world.

Yes, trying to write quickly enough to be useful here means editing and rewrites are often not pragmatic. I'm not sure it was a nonsensical rant, but you are welcome to that opinion.

Re:Is "I told you so" appropriate? (2, Funny)

H0D_G (894033) | more than 6 years ago | (#23963083)

Of course, decreased usage means less photons moving down the fibre optic line. which means less wear on the fibre, cause of all the wear that photons cause on the line.

totally.

Re:Is "I told you so" appropriate? (1)

figgypower (809463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961873)

It's not a good idea to nationalize our network infrastructure. Not now. Not ever. Let me explain: first, it is their network and therefore their property... that is unless the government is giving them our tax money. What needs to stop is the government needs to stop handing out tax revenues to massive corporations.

Second, P2P is the pike which private companies will try to bring in network monitoring; you don't think the government will do the exact same thing? They just passed a broad wiretapping law in Sweden; they promise not to monitor domestic activity, but in fact they don't have to. Gee, I wonder if the Swedes are going to get spied on? And America? I dream for the land of the free and home of the brave, but a lot of times I get land of the monitored and home of the arrested. England? I'm sure all those cameras are to respect the privacy of citizens and only catch criminals.

Third, you don't think the government has its own agenda? You don't think they'll develop their own vested interests, in the name of national security or whatever the latest nonsense happens to be? Why did we go into Iraq...? Or you know... maybe they'd just throttle bandwidth with whoever decides not to shake hands behind the door. I know politicians commit crimes that are never brought to light now, so do I really want those people to have control over the Internet?!

The solution is to have a balance between the two, increase private competition, and push for enforcement of laws that come companies are violating nowadays. Nationalization/socialization will just perpetuate the problems. And that's my 2c.

Sure, they can say, oh it's our network and that's what we are going to do with it, however, in the interests of the national GDP/economy we have to consider ISP infrastructure as vital to the economy now, both of the US and the world. Any shenanigans on how it is run are of vital business interest to business concerns other than the ISPs themselves. P2P is simply being used as the pike that gets network monitoring in the door. No, I have no actual proof of that, but if it were the danger that it is said to be, there would be plenty of evidence. Some of that evidence would be people complaining on the Internet about how slow their ISP is. Now, add to that the fact that these same ISPs have a vested financial interest in using more of your bandwidth than you want them to in order to provide the triple-play and quadruple-play service packages that stock holders are counting on for revenue.

Re:Is "I told you so" appropriate? (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962393)

There has never been proof by any ISP that P2P is harming their businesses. Without proof, what they wish to do is nothing less than criminal.

I'm curious as to what proof you would find acceptable.

Question: who do you think foots the bill when a content creator decides to use BitTorrent to distribute their bytes?

Answer: it's not the content creator. It's the ISPs (.. it should be the "peer", but broken ISP pricing models make it the ISPs).

BitTorrent (the entity) has always billed its software as a way to reduce your content distribution overheads.

These overheads don't magically disappear - the cost of moving those bytes around hasn't gone anywhere. It's just been shifted from you to the "p" in p2p - the peers.

Now, this is "harming" (open to interpetation) the ISPs in the sense that in the US (and sounds like Canada), ISPs have gone the "unlimited downloads" route and are now paying for that stupidity when people actually try to use their pipe in an unlimited capacity (the audacity!).

While I have zero sympathy for the ISPs - in fact it's pretty clear most of them are being complete and utter dicks about the whole thing - I have started to sympathise somewhat, because they're absorbing the costs of content distribution from people who have seen that BitTorrent removes the burden of cost from them and puts its "over there" (ie, anywhere that it doesn't appear on their bill.

This is true even of legitimate content (World of Warcraft patches, Age of Conan Early Access client, Linux ISOs, etc) in addition to the illicit stuff that people use torrents for.

ISPs need to fix it, fast. Blocking BitTorrent is such a stupid option all round that it actually hurts my brain.

Sane monthly download quotes followed by traffic shaping OR EXTRA COSTS for those that exceed those quotas just makes so much more sense for any business.

I guess it's just going to come down to what is going to cost them less - restructuring their plans like that, or getting sued for continuing to advertise "unlimited" plans whilst taking every opportunity to limit them.

Re:Is "I told you so" appropriate? (4, Insightful)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962845)

Question: who do you think foots the bill when a content creator decides to use BitTorrent to distribute their bytes?

Answer: it's not the content creator. It's the ISPs (.. it should be the "peer", but broken ISP pricing models make it the ISPs).

It's the users who paid the ISP for the bandwidth they use.

Re:Is "I told you so" appropriate? (1)

trawg (308495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23963009)

It's the users who paid the ISP for the bandwidth they use.

That's who it SHOULD be - but because the ISPs have fucked up, they're footing the bill. They didn't cater for the fact that their users might suddenly band together and form a content distribution network.

Re:Is "I told you so" appropriate? (1)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962915)

"There has never been proof by any ISP that P2P is harming their businesses. Without proof, what they wish to do is nothing less than criminal."

even WITH proof... it just means they need to reevaluate their business strategy or become a thing of the past... it's called capitalism, some trades survive for generations, others don't.

Unsustainable congestion... (1)

AllIGotWasThisNick (1309495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961483)

Over the two-month period prior to their throttling, they had congestion on a whopping 2.6 and 5.2 per cent of their network links. They don't even explain whether this is a range of sustained congestion, or peaks amongst valleys.
I believe somewhere in their filings they identify their process, which simply involves sampling the "congestion" at a fixed frequency (1/d?), and if any 4 samples during a 2-week period identified "congestion", the entire 2-week period is marked as congested for (eg) the entire DSLAM. I leave the interpretation of this data to the network engineers.

Re:Unsustainable congestion... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961609)

so it's a low-resolution digital peak measurement, like charging 1024K+1 bytes as 2MB for cell phone data usage. Period is 1MB, and 1-1024K bytes counts as 1MB. Do you see a problem here?

From a scientific and statistical viewpoint this data is of limited use; it show that they experience 4 instantaneous states of congestion in any 1 given 2-week period, but not that that period experienced congestion. It's an easy Simpson's Paradox candidate, with the fine grained analog being a tally of those periods which experienced congestion more than X% of the time, or with smaller periods (which would be better, because we do mind if you have 10% congestion being 5 solid days vs 10% congestion being a random distribution of 1-second periods with any congestion states within them).

IOW the data is a crock of shit.

Re:Unsustainable congestion... (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961669)

Just like the 6 to 11 second phone call.
They don't exist. Minimum call is 12 seconds.

Re:Unsustainable congestion... (2, Interesting)

bryxal (933863) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962191)

After a close examination it does say percent of congested links (out of several thousand) but the critical threshold would probably be around 10%. Taking the highest percent before DPI which is 6.6%, that's still not high and if it's that bad it would not have been that expensive to upgrade those links. not to mention the CRITERIA for getting ito that count of "congested links". here are the utilization limits for congested as per Bell Canada: DS-3 61%, OC-3 84%, OC-12 and OC-48 90%. so, for one of those links to be considered "congested" and added to that low % graph the following has to occur (using DS-3 links as an example). Over a 14 day period, utilization measurements are taken every 15 minutes. (snap shot of usage at that time). the limit of 61% must be exceeded atleast ONCE on 5 seperate days over that 14 day period. what that means is that for the total UP TIME of a link over that 14 days (in minutes) is 20,160 minutes (24hrs x 60min x 14 days). The link must only be above 61% for a TOTAL 75 of those minutes to be considered "congested", or 0.37% of it's available time. Lets also not forget that there could be a sudden spike of usage right at that 15 minute mark and then die down, but i'll assume the entire 15 minute interval is at that level for simplicity, lol.

- http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r20690166-The-Bell-Disclosure [dslreports.com]

I guess the CSE doesn't have the fast computers (2, Funny)

johninsf (1159189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961599)

like the NSA does. Maybe they just need some time to upgrade and then everything will be fine, it's just a temporary measure.

IANC... (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961757)

but I would LOVE to see the similar data from Comcast and the other monopolies here in the US. Preferably in pike form lodged firmly up their asses.

If Bell actually cared. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23961759)

If Bell actually was trying to "Support all their customers" and there really is a problem with bandwidth, the best way for them to do that is to actually open up their network with no limits of any kind and push the network to it's limit. If there truly was a bandwidth problem, we would start to notice it and get used to slower speeds in the evening. Then Bell could come out and announce throttling of those "evil downloaders" which is actually their customers and then people would see things improve and say yes, this throttling is a good thing.

The problem is that there isn't actually any problem other then the fact that a red light turned on on someones overview screen so Bell decided it needed to save the internet and they might as well make some more money while doing so.

Re:If Bell actually cared. (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961943)

Common you really think setting them up like that will make a difference? If you are going to sit there waiting for a slow night they can definitely give it to you. Only those who set up the hardware and laid the cable know how much there really is over there . Who cares they are going to lie no matter what the numbers are.

We should buy fiber and lay it across Canada and let anyone who wants to be an ISP set up shop and serve via their own servers. If bell is really that good then they will have no problem making ends meet other wise oh well ...

Re:If Bell actually cared. (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962001)

Only those who set up the hardware and laid the cable know how much there really is over there .

      Yes, and those who laid the cable and "set up the hardware" are laughing when the telco's claim that they're running out of bandwidth on their networks. There is no shortage of cable. There is only greed on the part of telcos who want to bleed the public dry. Especially AT&T, who have ALWAYS favored a metered approach to "internet" since before the internet was even around, as I remember reading in Forbes articles in the early 90's.

Re:If Bell actually cared. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23962471)

Canada already has oodles of dark fiber running across it. My employer leases several runs between cities for our own private network. Claims that the capacity is not there is just bullshit.

To add to the corus (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23961763)

I suggested in the last slashdot report that isp's like Bell should be forced to disclose, using standard measurement methods, the specs on their system so I will know what I am buying. There is no magical mysterious tech here on this thing called the internet. Bell and others should be forced to disclose and not be allowed to fleece their customers with smoke and mirrors. Just like when buying stereo equipment, the law does not allow those companies to misrepresent peak and continuous power etc., There is absolutely no difference. I want what I pay for and I should have ways to see if I'm getting it.

Seeing as it appears Bell was giving us a song and dance and I'm sure others have done similar. I will now take this a step further. This would ensure they are giving us what they claim to be selling. I suggest their networks be monitored by a regulatory body directly. I would even suggest a public channel be open so customers may check for themselves. As a start, why not something similar to the Internet Health Report website for example http://www.internethealthreport.com/ but of course tailored to the individual ISP' internal networks. How else are consumers to know if they are being lied to or cheated regarding this product they are being sold. The public are discovering albeit slowly that internet is just another product and service. Plugging the holes stops misrepresentation just like the power available from my stereo amplifier.

Mmmm Herring. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961847)

Over the two-month period prior to their throttling, they had congestion on a whopping 2.6 and 5.2 per cent of their network links.

Geesh. A few well-timed /. articles could beat that. I wonder if we could organize the /. effect to battle Evil? Like a virtual flash mob - dibbs on "/ mob" - and I don't mean Slash Mob [cheesebikini.com] though I can see some similarites:

The Slash Mob Project is an interesting phenomenon where people gather at a determined point, kill all surrounding onlookers, and then disperse as fast as arriving, thus leaving the onlookers dazed, bewildered, and hopefully dead by what they just experienced...

hmm.. bad smell here (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961865)

Say a particular 4 letter lobbying organization was offering these ISPs money to curb P2P usage.. would that be legal?

Kinda sounds like tortuous interference to me.

Re:hmm.. bad smell here (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962311)

Since when does "legal" apply to or at the very least concern one of the mentioned four letter organizations?

What matters is "getting caught". And so far, I don't see much danger here.

load of BS (5, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#23961999)

In revealing the details, Bell explained in an accompanying letter that "while these numbers may seem low to the average lay person, they are significant to network traffic engineers such that it is important to consider the number of congested links in the proper context." - of-course, the context being that Bell would like to make more money from various throttling schemes as well as from their new IPTV stores.

If only a single link in the network is congested, end users may still experience slowdowns or dropped connections, the company said, - of-course, especially if you throttle these connections.

because the situation is similar to the road system -- where if one major artery is backed up, all connected roads will also have problems. - of-course they conveniently omit the fact that the Internet is designed to route around damaged/congested areas.

Re:load of BS (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962357)

Hold it! The internet was designed to route around congested and/or damaged/interrupted areas. It's anything but that anymore.

The internet is no longer the redundant, resilent network it was. It turned from something with the notion of "working, no matter what it costs" to "cheap, no matter if it's working". In other words, from something the DARPA made to something that has to make profit.

That's why you have "backbones", which by their very definition are an anathema to the idea of a redundant, resilent network (single point of failure). And that's why whole areas go black when one of those precious things breaks down.

Sure, the internet itself and the protocols used do support such a thing. All it takes to route around congested and problematic areas is to add links, "edges" if you want. That would be a solution that allows the internet to exist the way it is, because any kind of congestation can be solved that way. Almost trivially so. But that costs money, so this solution doesn't even get any consideration.

Re:load of BS (1)

TeacherOfHeroes (892498) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962765)

because the situation is similar to the road system -- where if one major artery is backed up, all connected roads will also have problems. - of-course they conveniently omit the fact that the Internet is designed to route around damaged/congested areas.

They also leave out another obvious notion. When a road is backed up, the solution is not to limit the number of cars that are allowed on the road, or to impose rules limiting each family to one car. When a road is backed up, you widen the road.

I'm eating a sandwich (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962077)

I was actually in the belief that torrents were really gobbling up the internet, or at least taking up a gigantic portion of it. It was kind of a blind assumption because of how many simultaneous connections it has and it seems like just all the TCP switching would be hard on the routers.

I suppose if they're coming out with hardware that can sniff EVERY SINGLE PACKET that goes through them now then anything else ought to be able to handle the less intrusive stuff. If it can't, then ISP's seriously need to get their priorities in order.

To Editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23962199)

Editors, can we please include Canada in the headline for these articles? There are several Bells in existence besides Canada Bell.

Re:To Editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23962941)

Really?

Name one?

ok I'll give you Cincinnati Bell

But name another, you can't because there isn't any.

They rob bodies, too (3, Interesting)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962429)

Having been paid in full to have an ailing father's Bell service switched over, a friend of mine is now having to fight Bell to get some money back. They cashed the cheque immediately, then, after his death used their direct deposit privilege on the old boy's bank account to pay themselves twice.

And they're making the family deal with the problem through the bank rather than refunding or crediting the phone bill of the survivor.

If Bell Canada had a totem, it would be a rabid, starving rat.

Interested Party Responses. (3, Informative)

ChanxOT5 (542547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962449)

More interesting than the bell data are the responses from the other concerned parties.

Specifically, the response from Skype is a good read. The response from Cisco is pure crap and doesn't directly address the issue at hand.

Anyways, if you want to see the data yourself, look at the links here.

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/PartVII/eng/2008/8622/c51_200805153.htm [crtc.gc.ca]

Bell zip file with data:
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/public/partvii/2008/8622/c51_200805153_1/920764.zip [crtc.gc.ca]
Note that all the Bell responses are in .doc. Go figure.

Skype response:
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/public/partvii/2008/8622/c51_200805153/920240.PDF [crtc.gc.ca]

Cisco BS:
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/public/partvii/2008/8622/c51_200805153/920258.PDF [crtc.gc.ca]

Which links? (1)

Dave114 (168228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23962501)

From the CBC article on this [www.cbc.ca] :

between 2.6 and 5.2 per cent of the links that make up Bell's network in Ontario and Quebec experienced congestion between March 2007 and April 2008.

The question that comes to mind would be: what type of links are congested?

If it's a relatively minor link - just a few megabits - then the congestion wouldn't affect many people. If it's one of the primary links on Bell's backbone and it's pretty much continually congested then that might be a problem.

Of course, they could just invest in upgraded infrastructure...

Congested links are ATM, not IP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23963065)

When an ATM link is congested, it is dropping 53-byte cells, not 1500-byte IP packets. Lose one cell, you've just dusted 30-odd other cells, even if they do arrive.

Any (ANY!) ATM congestion is very bad, when your payload consists of a train of cells that makes up a 1500-byte packet. It is doubly disliked because ATM links carry many kinds of traffic (voice and QoS private data), and the Internet junk is typically the lowest QoS. So when the overall link gets congestion, the Internet part of it gets the brunt of the cell loss.

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