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Canadian ISPs Limiting Access To CBC Shows

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the hey-we-paid-for-that dept.

Censorship 108

An anonymous reader sends word that, even as ISP interference with BitTorrent traffic is easing in the US, the issue is heating up in Canada. Major Canadian ISPs are limiting access to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's shows, made available online using BitTorrent. This issue has burst onto the scene due to smaller ISPs, such as Teksavvy, blowing the whistle on the fact that Bell was expanding its traffic-shaping policies to smaller ISPs that rent Bell's network. These events have sparked a formal complaint by the National Union of Public and General Employees, which represents more than 340,000 workers across Canada, to the regulatory body, CRTC, and calls for change in Parliament.

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Oh canada (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22908282)

Oh Canada, our home and native land! When Isp's start throttlin' thee bandwidth, we open up a can!

Sadly, I'm not Canadian. Why the heck are the Canadians doing the sensible thing? This is going to ruin a whole bunch of Canadian jokes that could have been posted here. Oh well

I for one Welcome our angry Canadian Overlords.

Re:Oh canada (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22908316)

I shit down your throat as you open your big mouth.

Re:Oh canada (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 6 years ago | (#22908704)

I think everywhere is going to have to do "the sensible thing" cuz the starcraft 2 trailers are bittorrent only as is the SRO expansion and like 5 other HUGE things I can't think of so if people can't use the one and only download method for extremely important files, all ISPs are going to have to get real and stop blocking it.

Re:Oh canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22909108)

I think everywhere is going to have to do "the sensible thing" cuz the starcraft 2 trailers are bittorrent only as is the SRO expansion and like 5 other HUGE things I can't think of so if people can't use the one and only download method for extremely important files, all ISPs are going to have to get real and stop blocking it.

That is one big sentence...

This is bigger than comcast (2, Interesting)

deathguppie (768263) | about 6 years ago | (#22908310)

I mean it is in the way that. Limiting access at this level is akin to harming your competition. Not that it wasn't in the Comcast situation, but this is so blatant.

Re:This is bigger than comcast (4, Interesting)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 6 years ago | (#22908400)

It seems rather convenient that Bell, who own a shit load of TV stations across the country, happen to be messing with CBC, their competition...

I can only speak for my ISP in Canada (Shaw). They throttle Bit Torrent on the default ports it would appear, but not on any other ports. (This is based on my own informal speed tests.)

Nice to see people standing up, but the fact remains that nothing will happen. The CRTC won't do a damn thing. They are the lapdogs of the industry and no more than whores.

Re:This is bigger than comcast (5, Informative)

MrKevvy (85565) | about 6 years ago | (#22908474)

re: "I can only speak for my ISP in Canada (Shaw). They throttle Bit Torrent on the default ports it would appear, but not on any other ports."

I'm with Rogers since they took over @Home's market when it went bust. The throttling is ridiculous but only on the upstream, which now varies between 1-10KBytes/sec. All ports are affected and encryption doesn't help. It did for a short time, but they caught on and started throttling all encrypted traffic which caused work-at-home business users on VPN's to go ballistic.

Re:This is bigger than comcast (2, Informative)

shma (863063) | about 6 years ago | (#22908634)

Actually, I'm with Rogers as well, and where I am (downtown Toronto) I've noticed no problem with encrypted traffic. So it seems that the degree to which they throttle traffic varies from region to region.

Re:This is bigger than comcast (2, Interesting)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 6 years ago | (#22908694)

I'm wondering if it's a regional thing. I've heard folk on Shaw say they're screwed whatever they do. Others there's no problem, even on the default port.

Upstream throttling is murder if you're on any ratio sites. Yet another reason ratio sites suck. (Though that's a rant for another day.)

Re:This is bigger than comcast (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 years ago | (#22909194)

i'm thinking the same thing.

i've got people on shaw in the edmonton area getting the shit throttled out of them, people locally who aren't having any throttling (shaw does caps, but they're upfront about it at least). could be because competition for internet service is alive and well in these parts. we've got shaw, sasktel, access, and a bunch of little guys duking it out for all the marketshare they can get, with the 3 big ones also duking it for phone and TV service.

Re:This is bigger than comcast (2, Informative)

Brickwall (985910) | about 6 years ago | (#22910604)

I'm a Robbers customer in Richmond Hill, and I notice that there seems to be some kind of monthly limit. At the beginning of the month, downloads run pretty quickly, but by the end of the month, they are crawling.

Re:This is bigger than comcast (1)

networkconsultant (1224452) | about 6 years ago | (#22911046)

According to Canadian Privacy Law, it can be argued that communications from your computer are private and inspection of the packet inside the packet from the network layer up is a violation of your private communication; as such to inspect it is actually a violation of privacy law regardless of the purpose, Bell needs a bigger pipe and they need to stop overselling their bandwidth, for some parts they lease from Teleglobe, however no one organization has tested this theory in court yet, should it reach the supreme court it will probably be ruled in favor of the individual thanks to our relatively sane socialist court.

Re:This is bigger than comcast (1)

canajin56 (660655) | about 6 years ago | (#22911724)

I've noticed the same thing with DSL. Last time this issue came up, people reported being heavily throttled on Bell, while I was, at the time, getting 700kB/s off of one swarm. I was only uploading at 45 though, so maybe they do throttle upstream bandwidth, or maybe most people in the swarm already had most of what I had ;)

Re:This is bigger than comcast (2, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | about 6 years ago | (#22908746)

I VPN all the time, I see no speed issues at all. In fact, for a while that's how I did my torrenting... now I just run them on a dedicated server across the pond.

Ultimately, I think these stupid throttling issues will be short-lived, as they are explicitly targeting one type of activity (p2p) which just so happens to be one of the most popular uses for residential broadband access. That's kind of like McDonalds deciding they will no longer sell any burgers, and go out of their way to harass burger lovers. That kind of business attitude is not sustainable in the long term.

Re:This is bigger than comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22909642)

Actually it doesn't affect VPN's as they operate on the UDP protocol unlike encrypted www streams.

Re:This is bigger than comcast (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 6 years ago | (#22914820)

Using shaw, I have VPN connections both over UDP and TCP. I've not noticed any problems. I regularly get 1-2MB/s on a 10Mb/s cable over VPN. (Yes, I've seen 2MB/s from wget, not sure how that worked.)

Re:This is bigger than comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22909932)

Regarding ports, Deluge on Fedora must be poking a hole through my firewall i don't know...

But when i comes to throttling and shaw, i just downloaded the Rawhide-20080328-Snapshot http://torrent.fedoraproject.org/ [fedoraproject.org] tonight and was getting 400-500 kbps download.

thats pretty good i think

Re:This is bigger than comcast (2, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 6 years ago | (#22909380)

I can only speak for my ISP in Canada (Shaw). They throttle Bit Torrent on the default ports it would appear, but not on any other ports. (This is based on my own informal speed tests.)

Actually, no. Shaw uses Ellacoya units [www.shaw.ca] (warning, PDF) which perform deep packet inspection. These units, which have been recently tested [arstechnica.com] (and Ellacoya is one of the two that had faith in their units), do not care about what port traffic is on. They inspect packets and throttle those like BitTorrent, regardless of what port it's on. The Ellacoya units faired quite well during the tests - identifying most P2P traffic, with no false positives.

So far, encryption is the only way to foil these shapers, and there's lots of talk about the traffic shaping that Shaw does in the Shaw forums at DSL Reports. There's a link to Shaw's CEO saying they use traffic shapers as well.

Of course, I think more and more BitTorrent clients are coming with encryption enabled. Eventually, I see everyone encrypting all traffic soon...

Re:This is bigger than comcast (1)

ReK_42 (1061820) | about 6 years ago | (#22910324)

I'm on shaw as well, in the vancouver metro area, and, while I have plently of complaints about other stuff, I have to admit I've never seen any throttling on my connection. I often max out both my upload and download (10/1, or ~1.2 MBps/~120 KBps), especially on private trackers, and I'm forced to actually cap my upload myself to around 80, or my connection craps it's pants when it comes to ping response. I have to say I'm pleased with shaw so far, which is a rare thing for me and a tech service company. But I'm keeping my eye on this and the second I see throttling, I'm going to send them emails, phone calls and letters, and when (not if) they say they won't stop, I'm going to start mailing gov't and anyone else who might be able to stop this. Net neutrality is one of the largest issues facing us recently. It could literally mean the death of the greatest tool of free speech in human history.

Re:This is bigger than comcast (1)

kent_eh (543303) | about 6 years ago | (#22912994)

My experience with Shaw is that even with encryption, and non-standard ports they definitely are still applying throttling.
As I type this my uploads are throttled at 18.3k

Re:This is bigger than comcast (1)

necro2607 (771790) | about 6 years ago | (#22918284)

Bell, who own a shit load of TV stations across the country, happen to be messing with CBC, their competition...

Funny that you should say that - the CBC [wikipedia.org] is owned by the Government, and is thus funded by taxpayers. It's not really a corporation in the traditional sense. I kind of like the fact that Bell has this pretty much unstoppable competition. Hopefully they'll be kept in line, considering this scenario basically means Bell is shitting on taxpayers' national services.

I forsee the CRTC's response... (5, Informative)

Innominandum (453982) | about 6 years ago | (#22908320)

The CRTC's response will probably be similar to the one I received when I tried to file complaint against the grossly incompetent & abusive TELUS: "The CRTC does not regulate the business practices for Internet Service Providers." The CRTC is absolutely steadfast in their position.

The only body willing to oversee Internet issues is the CCTS or "Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services." This entity is completely funded by the telecom industry. If you need help, they're utterly useless and will basically tell you to take a hike.

Re:I forsee the CRTC's response... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22908426)

I doubt it will be that easy for the CRTC this time. Wholesale [bcenexxia.com] GAS service is covered by a CRTC tariff, tariff 5410 [www.bce.ca] . Nowhere in that tariff does Nexxia have the right to throttle traffic. Nexxia is claiming it is under Section 8 - Restriction on use of service of the general tariff that covers abuse of the phone system causing disruptions in service (specifically section 8.3, check your white pages, "Customers are prohibited from using Bell Canada services or permitting them to be used so as to prevent a fair and proportionate use by others."). That rule is clearly intended to cover only landlines, and even if it did cover anything else, other traffic has been working fine on most all access points where the throttling is occurring, negating the use of this rule.

Can't wait to see what the lawyers do about this...

Re:I forsee the CRTC's response... (1)

flyonthewall (584734) | about 6 years ago | (#22908450)

Actually, this will probably have some outcome. What Bell is affecting is ATM connectivity, which *is* regulated by he CRTC.

Re:I forsee the CRTC's response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22908614)

Plus, technically now the ISPs aren't just traffic-shaping, they're restricting access to Canadian Content, and the CRTC mandates a minimum of CanCon on broadcasting and such. This could be fun to watch.

Re:I forsee the CRTC's response... (2, Interesting)

mevets (322601) | about 6 years ago | (#22908966)

The action should come from customers of Bell-branded services. Bell has become a brand-outsourcing company over the past decade - they sell their name to satellite, internet and wireless companies because it is a known success. The slightest hint that the brand has 'gone south' (oblique reference to southern neighbour) will result in more action than 10 CRTCs, 9-RIAAs a leaping, 8-Royal commisssions .... and a pissed of drunken hoser....

Kudos to teksavvy; I have been a customer for 5 years, and couldn't be happier. Hopefully starchoice and fido will work out as well......

Re:I forsee the CRTC's response... (3, Informative)

Arctic Dragon (647151) | about 6 years ago | (#22909046)

I received the exact same response when Rogers tried to screw me over. I receive my phone service from Sprint Canada and my DSL from Storm Internet, a Bell wholesaler. When Rogers bought Sprint, they switched me to Rogers Digital Home Phone, and they assured me that my DSL would not be affected. They lied and my DSL stopped working, so I asked to be reverted to analogue phone service. They flat out refused, saying all they can do for me is switch me to Rogers Highspeed. I argued with them over the phone and by email for over a week, and they kept saying that I can no longer have DSL in my apartment. I complained to the CRTC and got the "we don't regulate ISPs" BS response. I considered complaining to the CCTS, but look at the process involved: ccts-cprst.ca [ccts-cprst.ca] . It can take 60 days for anything to happen!
I ended up getting my DSL restored by converting to dryloop DSL.

That was a month ago. Now this week my connection started getting throttled. It's ridiculous and you can't win. If you choose Rogers, you get screwed. Use Bell's service, you get screwed. Switch to a small local ISP, and Bell still manages to find a way to screw you.

Just an expansion of an existing program (3, Informative)

nilstar (412094) | about 6 years ago | (#22908324)

It's not just CBC news, but all bit-torrent that's been throttled by all the Large ISPs in Canada for a while now. The CRTC/Gov forced them to open up access so that smaller ISPs could resell bandwidth. Now, those same ISPs which charge less $$ than the big players, have had their bit-torrent throttled.

Note: this only affects ISPs which resell bandwidth. Those with their own equipment can still circumvent this.

Re:Just an expansion of an existing program (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22908390)

Cept for the lil fact that you cant lay your own hardware in Canada. The reselling program exists entirely because there's a monopoly on the lines.

Parent incorrect (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22908434)

>Note: this only affects ISPs which resell bandwidth. Those with their own equipment can still circumvent this.

Bell is throttling the connection path to the DSLAM. Unless your ISP has a connection directly to your house, you are still affected. Next time read the facts first.

Mod parent up (2, Informative)

PFAK (524350) | about 6 years ago | (#22908668)

The parent is correct. These people are not resellers of bandwidth, they are wholesalers. They have their own infrastructure, except they have to lease the last mile from Bell.

Re:Just an expansion of an existing program (4, Informative)

LittleStone (18310) | about 6 years ago | (#22908536)

Note: this only affects ISPs which resell bandwidth. Those with their own equipment can still circumvent this.
That's not exactly correct. CRTC forced Bell to open up access to the last mile. Some ISPs (like Teksavvy) have their own network equipments and bandwidth not from Bell, they only rent the last mile from Bell. Bell is actually messing with the data in the last mile.

Re:Just an expansion of an existing program (2, Informative)

InvalidError (771317) | about 6 years ago | (#22909492)

That's not exactly correct. CRTC forced Bell to open up access to the last mile. Some ISPs (like Teksavvy) have their own network equipments and bandwidth not from Bell, they only rent the last mile from Bell. Bell is actually messing with the data in the last mile.
Actually, TSI leases a whole lot more than the last mile: all of TSI's core networking equipment and connections to transit providers PoPs for ON/QC are located at 151 Front-Street in Toronto. TSI actually leases everything from the GbE links to 151 Front St from Bell's GAS down to the DSLAM port in the CO or remote and the copper loop from there to the customers.

TSI does not own anything nor operate any equipment in Quebec - this is why they they are not required to collect the QST.

Re:Just an expansion of an existing program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22909616)

Not true.

A company like TekSavvy is essentially a VAR (Value Added Reseller). There is no way that this company has connections into every CO that Bell (or Telus) has and there is also no way that they have a cross country backbone.

This is essentially the same services that a company like Metaphore provides, also similar to the data services of CallNet.

Speaking of CallNet, word in the telecom market is that they screwed over Rogers pretty good. Pretty much tanked the business division because of poor management.

Re:Just an expansion of an existing program (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 years ago | (#22908794)

but all bit-torrent that's been throttled by all the Large ISPs in Canada for a while now.
sasktel isn't (though not sure if they count for you as "large"), aside from some NAT issues with the 2wire gateways. awesome as modems, but utter shit as routers. good thing you can rig the things as bridges.

i've used bt since 2004 in the us... (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 6 years ago | (#22908338)

and i never came across an isp who packet shaped their network to make bt dling slow.

and in that time I've had 4 isps, because of moving...

really sad to see a legitimate use of bt (other than dling Linux etc) being mangled by bass akwards isps...

Re:i've used bt since 2004 in the us... (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about 6 years ago | (#22908356)

Most of the big torrent programs have had packet encryption enabled by default for a while now. It's still effective against most of the ISPs. It is entirely possible that you just have not noticed.

Re:i've used bt since 2004 in the us... (3, Interesting)

flyonthewall (584734) | about 6 years ago | (#22908484)

Shapers operate on a white list. Any traffic not recognised is throttled by default.

Re:i've used bt since 2004 in the us... (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 6 years ago | (#22909852)

ahh... well I'm starting to think it's because tada, I'm in small town Wisconsin....

although now that i think back to it in one of the small towns nothing i would download went over 1.5 Mbit/sec but that was regular browser downloads AS well as bt traffic, I assumed (at the time) that the Cable setup was using a t-1 and i was the only one in town with cable internet... It could have been some kind of traffic shaping, but this was a REAL small town, a 1 factory town and the factory was a recent improvement (eg: from the 90s on) and that factory was probably the only reason this small town still existed (and had people working for it) I know the company has good high speed inet (they do hourly inventory transactions over the net the factory was originally owned by a small local owner who sold to jennie-o just before hormel bought jennie-o, so yeah they have AWESOME internet at the plant)

most of the people who work at the plant live in nearby communities, although some live locally with hormel they've increasingly been hiring hmong because the pay deteriorated so bad since hormel bought them out.. so i don't have any idea of how many people there would have been using loads of high speed internet in 2004... i moved out of there to a touristy town where i had better cable internet then went to worst for downloaders, hughesnet where i could dl literally 1 anime a day sigh, no movies, no tv shows they all faped you... one anime a day... then i moved into town and they have awesome cable internet here...

usually is shape my own traffic withing bt client here, because i don't want the bandwidth saturated to the point where my folks couldn't use web games(it's their internet my apartment is 1 block away, no internet or tv 'til some far off day when i have income again) but when it's just me i let it go fill throttle, no problems yet...

Re:i've used bt since 2004 in the us... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 6 years ago | (#22908556)

I can't verify this, but a lot of people think that Rogers cable has been throttling encrypted traffic as well, to get around BT packet encryption shenanigans.

Notably, Rogers is mainly throttling upstream traffic. If you hop on a torrent that's got plenty of seeds, you'll still see amazing download rates, but your own will be capped at about 10 KB/s (yes, kilobytes) out of a regular cap that's probably ten times that speed.

Re:i've used bt since 2004 in the us... (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 6 years ago | (#22908630)

mine doesn't use packet encryption by default, i just took a look to see, although it does by default use a different port than the original bt. I've used azureus for as long as i can remember...

Re:i've used bt since 2004 in the us... (2, Interesting)

__NR_kill (1018116) | about 6 years ago | (#22908388)

In Europe the BT is shaped too. My ISP - ownership of the largest multinational ISP outside the US - Liberty Global - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Global [wikipedia.org] , is shaping the TB traffic during the peak hours, giving just 1000KBytes/s for the torrents, when pure ftp and http downloads get to the full 2400KBytes/s. I suspect that they apply the same policy to all of their customers/isp's.

Re:i've used bt since 2004 in the us... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22908604)

I think all the people on the throttled Canadian services (which are maximum 6mbits) would be completely overjoyed to be "limited" to 1Mbyte. ;-)

Re:i've used bt since 2004 in the us... (1)

Random Destruction (866027) | about 6 years ago | (#22908752)

indeed. as one of those canadians, I can assure you I would be thrilled.

My bell connection is rated for 5mbps, but it gets throttled down to 10-30k/sec during peak hours.

Re:i've used bt since 2004 in the us... (1)

rikkards (98006) | about 6 years ago | (#22911494)

I'm not as bad, but I would be thrilled with 1M. The best I have seen on my 10M is about 350k and that was for the last Big Bang Theory. I don't download software or movies only tv shows since my Scientific Digital 8300HD PVR from Rogers is shit. The chance that it won't tape something increases with the desire for you to see it. Pretty much anything I want now I download as I can't trust it to tape. I have returned my last one thinking it was something with it, but the new one does the exact same thing.

What is offered to the smaller isp's in Canada? (1, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 years ago | (#22908340)

A shared best-effort capacity service?
Or do they pay for a part of a pipe ie
high quality path-diverse circuit capacity?

Re:What is offered to the smaller isp's in Canada? (1)

JimCDiver (1217114) | about 6 years ago | (#22908560)

They buy dedicated pipe off of Bell's ATM network and rent use of Bell's copper, DSLAM's and ATM to get customers to their pipe.

Re:What is offered to the smaller isp's in Canada? (1)

flyonthewall (584734) | about 6 years ago | (#22908644)

Dedicated pipes.

Essentially (excuse my non technical jargon..) they rent access to the BRAS (user side) and then buy dedicated bandwith for their internal networks and connectivity to peer routings. I know that my ISP was well within it's limits.

relevant bit (5, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | about 6 years ago | (#22908360)

.."Experts also say there is plenty of capacity left on the networks -- a fact Bell admits to -- so the traffic-shaping is being done merely to interfere with internet applications the companies see as threats to their own businesses."..and there's the rub. There needs to be a clear business separation between bandwith providers and content providers, then there won't be as much inclination for the bandwith providers to engage in net data bits manipulation mischief.

Re:relevant bit (1)

Urger (817972) | about 6 years ago | (#22908516)

What compression setup are you using that you can fit all that in one bit? And was the bit a 1 or a 0?

Re:relevant bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22908588)

Two drums and a cymbal fall off a cliff...

well, that would be... (1)

zogger (617870) | about 6 years ago | (#22908776)

...the new "only moderately evil" bit used with the new ISO corporate "reality compression open mega-profits" standard.....

Re:relevant bit (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 6 years ago | (#22912258)

Expect more of this in the near future. BCE is bought out by the teachers' union, at this point the union is interested only in money and not in business itself. Any competition at all scares the shit out of them and they will do everything they can to prevent it. Any content delivery system other than their own Sympatico (IPTV) or ExpressVu will be throttled down. I fully expect to see this happening even to youtube, not just torrents.

Re:relevant bit (1)

Superballs (1176179) | about 6 years ago | (#22918092)

I can't see Bell deciding to start throttling youtube unless they're going to restrict by URL. It would make too many people unhappy if anything sent via UDP or that just happens to be in .FLV was restricted. Not to mention that it'll probably be deemed going too far creating such restrictions based on URL, there's enough bad press floating around with the Chinese government doing such things.

Not to mention that the quality of the videos on youtube in general hardly pose a threat to the content delivered over ExpressVu.

Well, maybe I'll recant on that a little, I really can't put it above a large ISP to piss off a large portion of their userbase.

Defeating traffic shaping, at least poltically. (3, Interesting)

Hamster Lover (558288) | about 6 years ago | (#22908382)

I was discussing strategies to overcome ISP traffic shaping with a colleague, at least politically or on a public relations level, and it occurred to me that one way to give ISPs a black eye over the issue would be to obfuscate otherwise legitimate traffic as file sharing traffic, such as peer to peer gaming. When such legitimate traffic gets snared in the traffic shaping net, we could point out that it's the evil ISPs that are blocking grandma's card game with her friends.

Someone with greater expertise in this matter could point out the flaws in my brilliant plan.

Re:Defeating traffic shaping, at least poltically. (3, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 6 years ago | (#22909332)

You'd have to convince game makers and other legitimate coders to purposely make a program they know wont work in many places. While i'm sure alot of coders are strongly for net-neutrality I think you would be hard pressed to find one that would break their own work for it. Also, most people will assume its your fault that things are going slowly since the rest of the net is working fine. They might leave on the basis that you have shitty service, even though thats not the case. Grandma wouldn't even notice or just quit.

Re:Defeating traffic shaping, at least poltically. (2, Interesting)

Digestromath (1190577) | about 6 years ago | (#22909468)

Thats like saying: If everyone would just buy a gun and shoot themselves in the foot, we could get some gun control laws passed!

Nobody would deliberately check the "throttle my bandwidth" option. Thats not to say that the premise is wrong, you just putting the onus on the consumers. Doing so also makes it a commercial issue. That opens it up to government regulation and all the red tape.

Instead I would propose setting up a website, preferably with either political or religious content using BT to distribute its message. Now if it was throttled, it would open them up to a human rights violation. It would bypass the CRTC and end up directly in court.

They're our shows anyway (4, Funny)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | about 6 years ago | (#22908406)

Pardon me. But Canadian taxes pay for the bloody CBC and all their programming. Therefore in the broad sense the bloody shows belong to Canadian tax payers. I mean, I don't particularly take pride in claiming ownership of DNTO or Little Mosque on the Prarie... But still.

Re:They're our shows anyway (3, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 years ago | (#22909146)

The CBC actually has a mandate to deliver the shows in the most relevant way for the public to get them. It's the same way a lot of their content is offered on podcast [www.cbc.ca] . It's the way that people want to listen to the radio, so they get it that way. In the same way, people want to be able to download TV shows using bittorrent, so they are trying to see how well it works. Limiting access to the CBC distributed shows is probably illegal in qutie a few ways.

Re:They're our shows anyway (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 6 years ago | (#22909518)

I think you make a good point even if its not being taken seriously. Bell is directly blocking our governments news outlet. It would be the same as delivery boys nation wide cutting information about the government out before delivery. It would be shocking and condemned by every level of government. But since people arent all /.ers they don't realize it (yet anyways, i have some faith it'll find its way to parliament). I hope this gets Bell whipped into shape though. I take it as welcome news they are pissing off people that actually have the authority to do something about it.

Re:They're our shows anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22911954)

I fully agree with you, and started to record CBC produced and share on P2P a few documentaries 18 months ago. Then I realized reading the credits that most shows created by the CBC is usually produced by 'privately owned' businesses that get's paid by by selling rights to broadcast. As years passes (and sometime only days) you can watch reruns on alternate channels on cable.

Ethically I am not sure where I stand anymore because of this.
To me any documentary and shows with no re-runs (like the CBC P2P shared "Next PM") should be available to all for free after it first aired. Using P2P simply lowers costs (our taxes) and gives a better service to the public.

This should be fun. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 6 years ago | (#22908620)

If they are compelled to remove BT traffic shaping from their smaller competitors they will be forced to do so themselves by market pressure or will be relegated to wholesale : )

Censorship? How? (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#22908628)

How is throttling bandwidth remotely considered censorship? If you still get your data, it wasn't censored. Sure it might be breach of contract, and down right irritating, but its not censorship since no information was actually detained in the process.

( of course there is still the problem that a private company cant censor if you go by its true definition, but i wont start that debate up )

Re:Censorship? How? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22908718)

And again, as before, I answer:

You want to watch a live 1 mbit video feed. Your access is 5 mbits, but the throttle makes the maximum usable speed 300kbits.

The live video feed is effectively censored, since you can't watch it, even though you have a fast enough connection.

The same way your mail would be "censored" if the post office screwed a 1/8" slot over your mailbox. Anything bigger than that (newspapers) won't go in the box. And no, removing the slot is not possible. And the mailman isn't allowed to open the box to put in the mail. And you aren't allowed to buy a bigger slot, but you are welcome to buy a box the size of your garage if you'd like, but the 1/8" slot will still be installed.

Re:Censorship? How? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#22915564)

Reducing the size of the slot in your mailbox and mandating that oversized packages get tossed does not equate to bandwidth throttling. That would be a concrete restriction where you cant get your data ( mail ) which isn't what is happening here.

If you want to make your postal guy crawl to to your house instead of driving, that might be a better analogy. Only problem is eventually you still get your mail. so no censorship has occurred. If you get bored and move on before it gets to your box, thats your problem.

( for the record i don't agree with the throttling, but at least i don't pretend its something that it isn't just to get peopled riled up )

Re:Censorship? How? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22908840)

How about the fact that the American web site from Comedy Central is not available in Canada?

Access to the domain comedycentral.com brings you to the Canadian channel thecomedynetwork.ca

Ever since they cancelled 'Intelligence'.. (2, Funny)

arthur5005 (608816) | about 6 years ago | (#22908632)

by Chris Haddock, their only decent show, I think the Canadian ISPs are doing the citizens a favor by limiting access to the subpar programing that comes out of the CBC. Americanized shows such as 'The Border' or 'MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives' are shows that really make me proud to be a Canadian. *coughs*.

Re:Ever since they cancelled 'Intelligence'.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22909006)

At least they make an effort, CTV doesn't (Corner Gas excepted). However, I wouldn't mind CSI: Winnipeg. I want to see David Caruso's sunglasses FROZEN TO HIS FACE!

Gotta change the system (2, Insightful)

TheNucleon (865817) | about 6 years ago | (#22908652)

The only way for this problem to go away is to come up with technologies and approaches that reduce barriers to entry for being an ISP, or surrogate thereof. If competition was allowed to emerge, or if people figured out how to build their own peer/grid networks (in metro areas), then consumers could make another choice when they're fed up with the draconian practices of the Big Boys(tm). The ONLY reason that ISPs can pull this stuff now is that they have a captive audience.

The current method of getting bits over a pipe seems so archaic (although I'm probably jaded by too much Star Trek). If enough people get (a) fed up, and (b) innovative, solutions could emerge.

If enough people don't care and just want to be spoon-fed their Internets by "the man", well, then we've lost the battle anyhow. Sadly I suspect that is the case.

Re:Gotta change the system (4, Informative)

taylortbb (759869) | about 6 years ago | (#22909390)

Actually in this case you're a bit behind, Canada does have a system for letting small independent ISPs setup with low cost exactly so there is competition in the marketplace. The big players are required to wholesale their last mile at government regulated prices. There are independent ISPs that oppose traffic shaping, TekSavvy is one of them, the problem here is that the big players are throttling in the last mile so that independent ISPs have throttling like it or not. TekSavvy plans to fight this one to the end, but right now they're throttled by Bell. What Bell is doing is likely illegal, but they don't give a crap, TekSavvy has been stealing Bell's customers since Bell started throttling their own customers. Bell didn't like that so they decided they would take TekSavvy's competitive advantage away.

Customers get screwed anyhow (2, Informative)

phorm (591458) | about 6 years ago | (#22913578)

Yeah, but even if they stop throttling, it doesn't change the fact that Bell's "last kilometer" of infrastructure is sometimes more like the "last 6-7 kilometers" (hey, it's a Canadian article, what's with this "mile" stuff).

At that distance, there's a pretty heft attenuation of the DSL signal. Bell feels no obligation to fix or upgrade this, so customers who are subscribing to a 5000/1000 down/up package actually end up with less than half that.

The throttling issue is just one of many related to the leasing of Bell lines, as the actual quality of said lines sucks in many instances, Bell doesn't care (even with their own customers, let alone others), and there aren't really other local alternatives (cable=Rogers, which is worse).

About Time This Came Out. . . (3, Informative)

clragon (923326) | about 6 years ago | (#22908768)

While Comcast hogged most of the publicity in the past regarding throttled P2P traffic, almost all Canadian ISPs [azureuswiki.com] limit P2P traffic in one way or another.

Re:About Time This Came Out. . . (2, Informative)

jbpro (1244018) | about 6 years ago | (#22908924)

...almost all Canadian ISPs [azureuswiki.com] limit P2P traffic in one way or another.

Actually ...
In Canada, since the big guys are forced to lease their lines to smaller ISPs, we have dozens if not hundreds of ISPs in Canada. The smaller ones either A) don't have user bases large enough to make traffic shaping profitable (with the sizable management equipment investment required) OR B) choose not to shape their traffic.

This is great!

In the link you posted, Azureuswiki only has 8 ISPs listed for Canada. You seemed to be under the impression that Canada only had 8 ISPs. Since the big telcos don't have a monopoly here we have healthy competition.

Re:About Time This Came Out. . . (3, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 years ago | (#22909262)

that is far from "almost all". competition is generally alive and well, as the CLECs are required to lease out lines.

http://canadianisp.com/ [canadianisp.com] has a rather extensive listing of the little guys.

Re:About Time This Came Out. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22910118)

Canadianisp.com kind of sucks. There don't seem to be any broadband providers in Winnipeg outside of Shaw, MTS, and one or two wireless internet companies, but search and you'll find several DSL ISPs regardless, because they offer dialup nation-wide.

On that: any idea why manitoba has no small DSL ISPs?

Who would actually want to watch the content (1)

FUZee (800034) | about 6 years ago | (#22908858)

and all this gets started because us Canadian's DEMAND that we are able to watch "Canada's Next Great Prime Minister" starring Rick Mercer, three failed Prime Ministers and a newfy via bittorrent

To quote the article: (5, Informative)

Geak (790376) | about 6 years ago | (#22908898)

Bell spokesman Jason Laszlo on Friday reiterated the company's position --that it was shaping traffic in order to prevent a small portion of bandwidth hogs from slowing speeds down for all customers.

He said there has been no backlash from customers, despite the incidents of the past week.
I call bullshit. I used to work for Sympatico's technical support so I KNOW. If a customer complained about traffic shaping, no matter how savvy they are and how much evidence they presented, we would have just told them bit torrent is not supported. Regardless of the fact that the problem has nothing to do with bit torrent, that's where the blame would go. If we escalated something like this we would get written up for it. There is no backlash because management ensures they won't hear any backlash.

NO SHIT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22909212)

Here's the deal. When I try to get a file of codecs for my Linux media player (MPLAYER) and use bittorrent, it starts and the download runs at about 4kB/s. Even though the file is zipped and compressed and only 9 Megabytes, it still takes the better part of an hour. I try to ping the ISP and start viewing web pages. Everything runs at a crawl. Within about 30 minutes of shutting the bittorrent client down, things go back to about 165kB/s (TELUS). If I start it again, WHAM! my entire internet connection once again in the very slow lane. Its not just CBC shows, everything runs slow. This isn't port-oriented bandwidth limiting, this is application based bandwidth limiting. Its bad enough the speed is as slow as it is for the cost (probably the worst speed per dollar in North America), but then they pull this stupid shift. We really *REALLY* need competitive internet here.

Government run ISP (2, Interesting)

Redrover5545 (795810) | about 6 years ago | (#22909232)

You know, if more stuff like this happens, I could see a provincial (or even the federal) government start their own crown-company ISP. I mean, there is a large tradition in Canada of creating companies to serve the public instead of regulating private ones, just look at Hydro-Québec, Bell Canada (back in the day), the SAQ and the SAAQ, public health, Petro-Canada, etc.

Re:Government run ISP (1)

dadragon (177695) | about 6 years ago | (#22909558)

I work for SaskTel, a crown corporation. We offer among other things DSL, IPTV, and telephone services.

Re:Government run ISP (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 years ago | (#22909802)

already have that here in Saskatchewan. Sasktel runs all the lines and also does DSL and IPTV, in addition to phones. also, under CRTC regs, they're required to lease out lines to any other companies wanting to provide services, so there's quite a nice bit of competition. in the nearest town, you can get internet service from any of 7 ISPs (sasktel, access, shaw, and 4 little ones) and this is in a town of just over 30k.

over in the capital, there's over 2 dozen options. competition is quite alive, which is great for the customers.

Re:Government run ISP (1)

Rascasse (719300) | about 6 years ago | (#22910182)

This won't happen in Ontario because crown corporation is an ugly term that the right-leaning "free market" advocates here have taught us all to hate. I'm aware of how successful Sasktel is and that everybody over there seems to have positive feedback about them. But most Ontarians would have a knee-jerk "this can't possibly be good" attitude about a crown corporation offering Internet access.

Not just Torrent, my VPN to work is now ruined. (1)

guidryp (702488) | about 6 years ago | (#22911736)

This programs seems to have wrecked my VPN tunnel to work. I don't know how to prove it, but now at night, starting a month ago, my VPN, repeatedly drops. I can no longer trust reliability when I need it most. But when I try it early the next morning it works fine.

I am also with a third party ISP and they pay $20/month per customer, just to have that customers traffic delivered to their connection hub, where they then supply the interenet bandwidth.

Bell is interfering with customer traffic before it even has a chance to connect to the internet.

Avoiding throttling with encryption (2, Informative)

gubachwa (716303) | about 6 years ago | (#22912384)

There have been a number of posts that have mentioned using encryption to get around the problem of ISPs that throttle bittorrent traffic, but no one has posted a HOWTO for the less enlightened on how to actually enable encryption in a bittorrent client. For those interested, here you go: follow this link [torrentfreak.com] for details on how to enable encryption in Azureus, BitComet, and uTorent.

As has been mentioned, this may or may not improve the download speeds that you experience. But it's worth a try.

There are plans in the works for developing new protocols [torrentfreak.com] that are even better at bypassing existing throttling techniques.

Re:Avoiding throttling with encryption (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 6 years ago | (#22914032)

Rogers aggressively throttles encrypted packets, and uses deep packet inspection and injection to find out what you're using/doing. It varies from location to location but generally that's the case. Someone in North York might not be having issues, but someone else in London or downtown Toronto will have their download and upload throttled to the point of uselessness.

This also extends to ssh and ftp transfers as well, really if they feel like it they're doing it. And in many cases up here, you're very limited on your choices of isp's.

Re:Avoiding throttling with encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22914116)

I wouldn't rely on encryption that much. Sure, they may use DPI to identify what a packet might contain but that doesn't mean the DPI platform doesn't do something like see how much bandwidth is being consumed.

For example, if Bob's pipe is full 24/7 with encrypted data it's likely the DPI (or statistical analysis of DPI data) can identify this with high probability as high volume traffic versus Alice's usage pattern being a few hundred megabytes per month.

There is a misconception that throttling is a direct attack on P2P rather than agnostic network traffic management. If some people weren't so greedy downloading 500GB of, most likely pirated, movies and music a month and trim that down to 100GB we likely wouldn't see ISPs combat network congestion using throttling techniques. Conversely it is sad that certain ISPs choose throttling versus actually building the capacity of their networks to meet demand.

Don't hold your breath (1)

Chonnawonga (1025364) | about 6 years ago | (#22912442)

I don't think anything's going to improve on this front until we have a change of government in Canada. Look at the copyright legislation the Conservatives wanted to introduce! They are in the palm of the CRIA.

Et Tu, Slashdot? (1)

CanConCaf (1264700) | about 6 years ago | (#22914086)

The headline is factually inaccurate.

This is the type of screamingly obvious axe-grinder of a headline that I would expect to see at a site such as Digg, or perhaps Fark.

Slashdot didn't earn its good reputation by greenlighting hypertorqued headlines wholly misrepresenting the content of the ensuing story.

We might be experiencing an age\morality gap here. I dislike the CBC and shady ISP practices, but not nearly as much as I dislike outright dishonesty sullying the pages of one of my favourite websites.

Re:Et Tu, Slashdot? (1)

iark (1169713) | about 6 years ago | (#22917578)

Michael Geist was live on HiSciFi this week, and I think the headline is pretty accurate - www.hiscifi.com - he says that people who tried to download the CBC program took about 11 hours to finish a download. BitTorrent usage is curtailed by traffic shaping.

my two (Canadian) cents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#22916376)

I'm a customer of one of those 3rd party (wholesale) ISPs. I haven't been throttled yet, but I expect it any day now.

I'm right pissed off about it (I've been seriously screwed by Bell at least 3 times in the past).
Here's my logic:

Basically, if Bell is unable to cope with rising bandwidth demand, they either need to upgrade or cede control of the network infrastructure that they were able to build as a result of their monopoly position.

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