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Net Neutrality Debate Intensifies In Canada

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the something-to-talk-about-until-the-hockey-playoffs dept.

Networking 163

MrShaggy tips us to news that the debate over Net Neutrality in Canada is coming to the forefront following the recent discovery that Bell Canada was throttling P2P traffic on the access it had sold to wholesalers. Michael Geist's blog notes a video recording of comments from a member of the Canadian government, as well as coverage from Canadian media. From Ars Technica: "The Canadian government has in the past pushed the CRTC to deregulate the telecom industry, an approach still backed by Minister of Industry Jim Prentice. Prentice also wants to stay out of the current net neutrality debate, which would seem to be a de facto vote against the idea. He was asked in the House of Commons this week whether his government would do anything about the current Bell/Rogers traffic-shaping controversy. According to the Globe & Mail, Prentice said only that "we will continue to leave the matter between consumers on the one hand and Internet service providers on the other."

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You canadians are all alike... (2, Interesting)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961064)

"The Canadian government has in the past..."

Does that only strike me as having come straight out of a South Park episode?

Re:You canadians are all alike... (1, Troll)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961198)

I used to think the net was alkaline when I was a kid...

You canadians are all alike...

But soon enough I began to see it is actually corrosive.

Net neutrality? (the Acid tests come to mind...)

No net neutrality. Just net caos. About 40% of the permanent content on the net is either useless or dangerous. Of the remaining 60%, 30% are becoming casualties of war under copyright battles. And the of remaining useful 30%, about 15% is under some sort of public domain or open license. The net should be like an airport duty free, but it's more like Christiania []

Re:You canadians are all alike... (4, Insightful)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961344)

The Free Expression of Thought is never useless. Just because you think "classic video games of the 70s" is a waste of space does not mean the owner, or his visitors, think it's a waste. Don't be elitist. Support egalitarianism (where all people have a right to pursue their own hobbies, and share their thoughts with the world). Don't sit there and say what is or is not "acceptable speech". It is ALL acceptable because we ALL have an inalienable right to speak our minds freely.


What will likely happen is that Rogers (the consumer) will located a new ISP provider that will not throttle their bandwidth and then say, "Goodbye Bell". That's how the free market works.

We vote with our dollars.

Re:You canadians are all alike... (2, Informative)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961450)

I didn't mention the 70's games. You really need to read more carefully. And I do support egalitarianism, but the fact that I support it doesn't make it true. The fact that I support it doesn't change the fact that the net is indeed elitist.

Re:You canadians are all alike... (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962100)

It doesn't really matter WHAT you mentioned. The point is you said a large chunk of the internet is "a waste".

Who are you to make that judgment call? What you call "waste" I might call "useful". I repeat: Don't be elitist and decide what should or should not exist on the web.

Re:You canadians are all alike... (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962404)

Well, still it's not being elitist. Because what I consider to be a waste you may very well find it useful, but at the same time the opposite may be true. Or are you telling me that the whole of the internet is useful for you? Do you even use more than 1% of its contents? I wasn't providing specific numbers, or trying to insult anyone (you do seem pretty insulted, don't know why) or being elitist. The internet is, I'm not. I didn't try to decide what should and shouldn't exist on the internet. It's all relative and your just being overzealous in the interpretation of what I said and not really getting the point. Losen up.

Re:You canadians are all alike... (1)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961606)

Just to clear something up: Rogers is Bell's competition, not one of their consumers.

Re:You canadians are all alike... (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962130)

OOOPS! (hides head in shame). Let me rephrase:

What will likely happen is that Teksaavy (the consumer) will located a new ISP provider that will not throttle their bandwidth and then say, "Goodbye Bell". That's how the free market works.

We vote with our dollars.

Re:You canadians are all alike... (4, Insightful)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962328)

But that's impossible. Bell controls the phonelines, i.e. the 'last mile'. There are only two currently viable methods to get broadband to the consumer, cable (Rogers), and the phoneline (Bell).

The free market works great, when there's competition. But there's no competition going on here. Little guys like teksavvy only exist because Bell is mandated to lease their lines.

Re:You canadians are all alike... (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962398)

Well in the U.S. we have multiple long distance providers: AT&T, Sprint, MCI, et cetera. Although Bell owns the lines, they are required by law to open the long-distance connections w/o restriction.

Perhaps a similar law needs to be laid-down for internet providers like Teksaavy: Access to Bell's lines without restriction.

Re:You canadians are all alike... (1)

billtom (126004) | more than 6 years ago | (#22963530)

Perhaps a similar law needs to be laid-down for internet providers like Teksaavy: Access to Bell's lines without restriction.
The law you suggest already exists. That's not the issue here. The issue is the interpretation and enforcement of that law.

They (the CRTC, roughly the Canadian equivalent of the FCC) have already done what you say. Forcing Bell to wholesale their lines is the only reason that independent ISPs (like Teksavvy exist).

But, of course, the big cable and telephone companies really, really hate having to lease out their lines at fair prices, so they are doing everything in their power to weaken the restrictions that the regulator (the CRTC) put on them.

Basically, it's about getting the telephone monopoly to adhere to the spirit of the regulations rather than just their interpretation of the letter of the regulations.

There *are* no other ISP providers. (4, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962010)

Ahhh, spoken like somebody who truly doesn't know what they're talking about.

First of all, Bell owns pretty much all the lines, the "last mile" required for any ADSL connection. That leaves pretty much Roger's as their only major competition, as they are a cable-internet provider (they are not a consumer).

There are many other ISP's that offer ADSL services, but they all use Bell lines, and the big issue currently is that Bell is throttling the traffic of their customers. Many of these companies, such as my own provider - Teksavvy - offer reasonable and good service, and have been quite vocal about how Bell is interfering with their services.

So really, the only choice other than Bell is... well.. Rogers. Unfortunately Roger's has a lack of affordable premium options (static IP's, etc), also throttles, port-blocks, and is in general known for service no better than Bell.

That means that:
viable options for the average consumer = 0

The saddest part is that Bell is still getting a cut from all the companies that are leasing lines to provide ADSL service, while doing almost nothing themselves. I would know, because as I've mentioned before, I'm on an ADSL connection that is craptastically slow due to the fact that Bell has overextended the connection to their CO, rather than adding a local repeater/node.

The only other option I could think of would be the local hydro company's (in Toronto at least) wireless offerings, but unfortunately those only work in certain areas, and mine isn't one of them (I've heard that the service is fairly decent though).

Re:There *are* no other ISP providers. (1, Informative)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962234)

No. Actually Teksaavy has TWO options:

- Bell which is lower in price, but throttles the bandwidth due to limited cable availability.

- Rogers which is higher in price, but uses that higher cost to buy extra cables & doesn't need to throttle.

- (Are you sure there's no third company? Like AT&T or Sprint or MCI?)


So you see Teksaavy DOES have options. Each of these 2 choices has a drawback (throttling on one hand; higher price on the other), but that's life in a nutshell. You have to weigh the pros and cons, and then decide what you're willing to live with. ("Do I buy the $4 tropicana, or the $2 store-brand that tastes blah?")

If you're looking for a third option that's both Cheap and Throttle-free..... well it doesn't exist. The technology has not reached that point yet, because high-bandwidth to the home is still relatively new (5 years old). Maybe in 2020, yes, but not in 2008. (You might as well demand Intel/Motorola sell you a 3000 megahertz processor in the year 1980... not going to happen, because the tech did not exist.)

I said it elsewhere, and I'm repeat it:

- The internet is not Harry Potter. It's not magic. It has real-world limits (bandwidth on one hand; cost on the other).

Re:There *are* no other ISP providers. (1)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962360)

I don't think that's true. Rogers only leases to one other company, 3web, and from what I've heard, they're throttled just like Rogers.

So where do you get this notion that teksavvy can get better service from Rogers?

Re:There *are* no other ISP providers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22962434)

fine. If bell is suffering from a lack of bandwidth, they are free to petition the CRTC to raise the rates they are allowed to charge wholesalers (currently set at $20 per DSL user).

I would be comfortable paying, say, $10 more per month (a 33% increase) for my DSL service if the extra money was going into improving the network (a network built on the back of decades of government-granted monopolies and subsidies) and ensuring throttle-free reliability.

Furthermore, to answer your other questions:

- no, there is no other 3rd company.

- Rogers may be a possible option, but forcing 3rd party ISPs to switch all of their infrastructure over to cable would cost (I assume) a fair amount of new money. Is it reasonable to allow Bell to use its control over the network to impose this cost on its competitors (the 3rd party ISPs)?

- Until a week ago I HAD the third option: cheap and throttle-free internet.

Lame suggestion (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962522)

So what you're suggesting is that TS tries to form a deal with Rogers (which is known to have as many or more issues than Bell), then switches their infrastructure from ADSL to Cable (which likely involves switching customers over as well). Not to mention the issues with areas that may have ADSL service but not cable?

Yeah... great idea.

Re:There *are* no other ISP providers. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22962588)

As a Rogers customer, I can say by experience that Rogers throttles as well as Bell (and has ridiculously low bandwidth caps), so you're back to actually no choices. But don't take my word for it - google (try "rogers throttling bittorrent") will give you a bunch of sources for this, such as this [] story.

Re:There *are* no other ISP providers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22962872)

Rogers throttles AND enforces bandwidth caps on its resellers. Bell currently only throttles its leasees.

Re:There *are* no other ISP providers. (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962374)

P.S. I have a 750 kbit/sec ADSL connection. I suppose you would call that "slow" but I think it's fantastic, and I love the cost (only $15/month). It's a wonderful improvement over the 1 kbit modems I used back-in-the-day (when it would take four hours to download just one floppy). Oh and I walked uphill in the snow to get to school.

Both ways. ;-)

But seriously: I really do love my 750 kbit connection. I can download an entire season of Lost or 24 or Galactica in a single day. I can't complain about that! I can not honestly call this ADSL connection "slow" in any way, shape, or form, and I have a hard time comprehending people who use that label about this wonderfully-fast technology.

Re:There *are* no other ISP providers. (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962562)

Hmm. I'm guessing you haven't been bitten by the capping issue then, because those that are have reported that torrents and various other things suddenly slow to around 5-15kbps (which is, indeed, reminiscent of downloading on my old 56k modem)

The other issue is, of course, that a lot of people are paying for more than a 750kbps connection, but can't get it due to issues beyond their own ISP's control at the moment (crappy Bell infrastructure).

Re:There *are* no other ISP providers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22963266)

Thanks for participating. I really wanted to read what you wrote, but your inability to use apostrophes properly drove me fucking crazy.

First off, it's Rogers' (as the guy in charge is Ted Rogers, and when speaking of something he owns, you follow it with an apostrophe)

Next, don't use an apostrophe when you make something plural. They are IPs, not IP's. You are not speaking of something belonging to an IP, you're speaking about multiple IP addresses. The same goes for "local hydro company's" ... try "local hydro companies" instead.

Seriously, I'm not trying to be a dick. But if you start off an argument with "Ahhh, spoken like somebody who truly doesn't know what they're talking about", you better fucking write it properly too.

Re:You canadians are all alike... (4, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961396)

The net should be like an airport duty free

You mean a few selected stores selling a small selection of goods to a price that's marginally lower than in the real world, without any possible competition at all since the airport decides who should be allowed to sell?

Sounds pretty much like what we'd get without net neutrality, and what the big telcos would like to see.

Re:You canadians are all alike... (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961462)

No, I mean the concept of what a duty free was supposed to be and publicized as, and not the concept it actually is.

What the hell. (3, Interesting)

moogied (1175879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961066)

Is anyone else really confused about these ISP's aren't being sued to oblivion for breach of contract?? I'm no expect(ok, I work with wan lines pretty often, but still), but if I have a serious line(say, a t3?) and I find out the SOB ISP is throttling ANY of my data(or even reading it), I will bring an unholy hell of a lawsuit upon them. The likes of which makes most lawyer's cry themselves to sleep. What the hell is going on??

Re:What the hell. (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961088)

But isn't this sort of thing traditionally covered in the fine print of the contract?

Re:What the hell. (3, Interesting)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961146)

Usually, though, a good amount of the fine print doesn't stand up in court.

I think the fine print usually equates to putting on a really thick winter coat under a bulletproof vest; yeah, it's technically extra protection, but if you're at the point where you need it, barring a miracle, you're probably already screwed. You can put anything in a contract, but if it says that you don't have to support your other obligations within the contract, it won't stand.

IANAL and I only took 1 business law class in high school, so I'm more than likely wrong. ;)

Re:What the hell. (1)

kwandar (733439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962868)

Actually I filed a complaint about Rogers with the Competition Bureau for misleading advertising, and while they were very polite and actually did get back, they said that due to the lack complaints (this was a few months back)and their limited resources, they would not be taking it on at that time.

Did anyone notice... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22962534)

how the phrase "global warming" has quietly been replaced with "climate change?" Kind of like how the Iraq war rhetoric quietly switched from being about WMDs to being about freedom for the people of Iraq? Isn't it funny the way fiction can become truth if you repeat it enough times?

Re:What the hell. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961118)

They're not throttling dedicated lines, they're throttling oversold DSL/Cable and it's covered in AUPs. Neither is there anything wrong with traffic shaping, I don't want my SSH/FTP connections slowing to a crawl because some drooling tard is bit-torrenting Hentai with a high upload ratio.

Net neutrality is a different debate entirely.

Re:What the hell. (4, Insightful)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961352)

Who's to say that your Downloads are any more important than the Hentai downloads?

In a society where all our treated equally under the law, such a distinction cannot be made.

Re:What the hell. (2)

jayp00001 (267507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961414)

Who's to say that your Downloads are any more important than the Hentai downloads?

In a society where all our treated equally under the law, such a distinction cannot be made.

That's the problem withh p2p protocols like bittorrrent. They essentially exploit the fact that the more streams you have the more bandwidth you get, thus (depending on how you look at it) either making their download have higher priority or make yours have a lower priority.

Re:What the hell. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961730)

Bittorrent doesn't segment its transfers for speed. The transfers are to and from different hosts - they are segmented for swarming, for the distributed nature of the protocol.

Segmented TCP transfers such as with download managers should not be, with modern TCP stacks, normally faster than single ones except in cases of major packet loss (in which case the network is already screwed).

Bittorrent is dependent on lots of other networks; it goes slower than a single TCP transfer from a fast network.

Thanks to modern TCP stacks, segments would not get a bigger slice of the pie under a congested network (a situation which, incidentally, should never happen if there is sufficient overhead; if you need to throttle, you need more upstream for your current contention ratio or you need to reduce your contention ratio - or stop taking on new subscribers if you don't have the capacity).

Re:What the hell. (5, Insightful)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961772)

Regardless, it's not my fault or problem that my Hentai torrents are slowing your SSH/FTP connections to a crawl, it is the fault of the ISP that you paid for bandwidth which you are not getting and your fault for continuing to pay them. Why should my Hentai torrents be faulted when I am merely using what I paid for?

No, Bittorrents take UNFAIR advantage (1)

davide marney (231845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962382)

Yes, it is your torrent client's fault. Because a torrent client is on 24/7 and opens up hundreds of connections at a time, it grabs an unfair proportion of the bandwidth. By contrast, a web browser only opens 2-4 connections at a time, and once it has completed fetching the page, it disconnects.

See []

Re:No, Bittorrents take UNFAIR advantage (3, Insightful)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962528)

If he is promised 6M on the download, and that's what he uses, then I will have to disagree with you. It doesn't matter if he uses the pipe getting hentai (care to share?) or is using it to chuck linux ISOs about. He is not using it beyond the specifications outlined. He is using 6M and no more.

You're missing the real problem. I'm gonna pull numbers out of my ass, because I have sinus problems and pulling them out my nose right now would prove impractical. If net company X has a total of 100M of bandwidth they can sell, and they only sell it in 5M chunks and only to 20 people, then everyone can download at their max speed, no one notices, everyone is happy. Sadly, that's not what company X is doing. They have 100M of bandwidth, this is sure. They sell it in 5M chunks. But instead of only selling it to 20 people, they sell to 40. If all 40 people use the 5M of pipe they were promised, company X shits bricks, at best each customer is only getting half of their promised bandwidth, and people are cranky.

The point is, in that scenario, it doesn't matter what each customer of company X is DOING on the bandwidth they are promised. It shouldn't matter. They were promised 5M a piece, and because company X OVERSOLD the bandwidth to make more money, assuming their customers would not use the full potential of what they were sold, everyone gets screwed. Everyone except company X who is now making more money, probably gives shitty customer support, and won't use the money they got to upgrade infstructure and equipment.

FYI, I use Cox Cable in Oklahoma. They're a pretty decent company, but their up time ratings SUCK ASS.

Re:No, Bittorrents take UNFAIR advantage (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962736)

Sure, but don't think that overselling is a bad thing. No ISP on earth doesnt oversell it's data connection.

Here is an ISP I do some work for. []

It is a 20 meg unmetered pipe, but he has numerous 10 meg burst piped customers (then throttled down to 2 meg). As you can see he has only exceeded 10 megabits a few times at peak hours.

You have to watch a graph like this (using cacti,snmp scanner w/rrdtool etc) and see if you're banging off the limiter. If you are you need a bigger pipe, if not, keep it as is.

Getting a 100 meg pipe if you have ten 10 meg customers would be insane, you would be paying for 85-90 percent more bandwidth than you needed.

The problem comes when the overselling goes too far. You see a graph that is constantly at the top only coming off of it in spikes and you know you're in trouble. Some companies just don't care I guess.

Re:No, Bittorrents take UNFAIR advantage (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962782)

I agree. I was only using those numbers as an example and I have sinus problems. Company X in reality is probably selling it to 400 customers, not 40 like I gave. This is where we get problems. The more oversold you are, the higher resources are stressed.

Not saying it's a bad thing to oversell, but when greed starts to dictate by how much, we all get hosed. All I want is to play my games (EQ2, WoW, Hellgate, Tabula Rasa, EQ, CoH/CoV, FFO), and download what I want in relative peace.

Re:No, Bittorrents take UNFAIR advantage (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22963364)

Not saying it's a bad thing to oversell, but when greed starts to dictate by how much, we all get hosed. All I want is to play my games(...), and download what I want in relative peace.
As do we all :)

Re:No, Bittorrents take UNFAIR advantage (1)

davide marney (231845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962906)

The only way to get the guaranteed, fixed bandwidth you're describing is to run a fixed connection between the end-points. Nobody wants to run a zillion cables everywhere, so we converge our traffic into shared, common backbones.

The fairness problem happens when we get to the shared portions of the network. Since the bandwidth footprint of a bittorrent client is up to 1,000 times larger than a web client, the torrents always win the competition for the shared resource.

None of us should have a problem with protocol-based traffic shaping. This is generally not a neutrality issue. Not all applications have the same performance requirements. For example, I can live with a delay in showing an image on a web page, but I can't live with a delay in passing a VoIP packet.

Traffic shaping could be a neutrality issue when wholesaling is involved.

Re:What the hell. (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961760)

Who's to say that your Downloads are any more important than the Hentai downloads?
The fact that a 5-second delay in an SSH session makes working very difficult, while a 5-second delay in getting a movie that already takes two hours to download is practically meaningless. Certain protocols are more time-sensitive than others, and anyone that actually understands what Net Neutrality is really about knows this.

Re:What the hell. (2, Funny)

sukotto (122876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962094)

Whatever I'm doing is always more important than whatever the other guy is doing...

Re:What the hell. (2, Insightful)

yidele (947452) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961400)

yeah, right. Let's all pretend that you couldn't tunnel content in ssh or that ftp was never used for wares ( or hentai for that matter).

The idea of traffic grooming is fine as long as the customer knows what he is buying into. Most customers wouldn't know bandwidth grooming from overbooking & this is why it happens.

If they did know, if they were made aware of the fact that their spanking new DSL advertised at XKb/s is worth X/10 worth of their favourite content, they'd likely choose alternatives -- If any were to be had.

Truth in advertising, content labeling shouldn't just apply to vodka, medicines or peanut butter.

Oh, yeah, Bell Canada was selling "groomed" bandwidth to wholesalers who, being just as unscrupulous, passed the ersatz access on to unwitting customers. I guess they all subscribe to the W.C.Fields school of customer relations

--caveat suconis

Re:What the hell. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961762)

Shaping isn't realy the issue most ISP's will shape if theres high load on the network but this isn't what is happening with Bell and Rogers they don't have a bandwith problem in most places. In major cities there is a giant pile of dark fiber. Rogers ran as bundle as big as my head a couple of blocks from were I work 2 years ago, the point is the invasivess of the shaping based on application, meaning they are monitoing the protocols and what is in the packets not the overall bandwith thats the problem []

explains some of the issues in simple terms better than I can

Re:What the hell. (1)

Wavebreak (1256876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961774)

They pay for their bandwidth, same as you. If the ISP sells them an X megabit connection, they damn well should have the right to use X megabit. If your downloads slow down as a result, blame the ISP for not having enough capacity to supply all their users, not the users who are simply using what they paid for. The problem is simply that US ISPs haven't used their profits to invest in infrastructure as they should have, and you're suffering as a result.

Re:What the hell. (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961802)

Here is what your not understanding or at least pretending to not understand; these people, the ISP's have bought and paid for X amount of bandwidth and transfer from Bell, brought that level of service to the central office where it is distributed of lines leased to the ISP's to the ultimate consumers, the ISP's customers, and they are not getting X amount of bandwidth and transfer from Bell, because Bell, the wholesaler, is throttling. A T1 line doesn't cost U$ 300.00 a month because it is blazingly fast at 1.54 Mbs, it costs $300.00 because it provides 1.54Mbs 24/7 for 99.999% of the time. If I'm paying for a T1 line and I'm not getting a T1 line, I'd be one seriously pissed off MoFo too.

Re:What the hell. (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962774)

And this is why I have been "upgrading" many corporate customers from Comcast and AT&T dsl to T1s. Even after I talk them into it and they agree, they are still amazed when 1.5 meg turns out faster than 6 meg. And that is part of the problem...

Re:What the hell. (1)

Pahalial (580781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22963254)

You've completely misread this issue - they're throttling RESELLER lines now. You know, the only 'competing' ISPs who need to buy directly from Bell, who were previously not throttling anything and loudly advertising this fact to compete Bell who was already throttling torrents. And thus Bell is now throttling end-users with whom they have no contract, directly interfering with their competitors' business.

More info on this in Geist's latest post, covering the Canadian ISP Association's filing [] to the regulatory body.

Not only that, but they're throttling ALL encrypted traffic, albeit apparently only outside business hours, with a very small whitelist with few entries (mainly VoIP.) So VPN, SSH, SFTP are all now throttled as well. So your connections are suffering exactly as much as the next guy's hentai downloads.

Twofo Goatse Skiing into a Spruce! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961122)

Twofo [] is Dying is Dying

It is official; GNAA [] confirms: Twofo is Dying is Dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleagured slashdot trolling community when Google confirmed that Twofo troll posts had dropped yet again, now down to less that a fraction of 1 percent of all slashdot posts. Coming hot on the heels of a recent usenet survey which plainly states that Twofo trolling frequency has fallen, this news serves only to reinforce what we've known all along. Twofo troll's are collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in a recent comprehensive trolling test.

You don't need to be one of the Slashdot moderators to predict Twofo Trolling's future. The writing is on the wall: Twofo trolling faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Twofo trolls because Twofo trolling is dying. Things are looking very bad for Twofo trolls. As many of us are already aware, Twofo trolling continues to decline in popularity. IP bans flow like a river of feces out of this man's anus [] .

"Twofo is Dying" trolls are the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of their core posters. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time trolls Daz and xyzzy only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Twofo trolls are dying.

Lets keep to the facts and look and the numbers.

Twofo Trolling leader Echelon states that there are about 7000 "twofo is dying" trolls. How many "Zeus sucks cock" trolls are there? Let's see. The number of "Zeus sucks cock" trolls versus "Twofo is dying" trolls on slashdot is roughly in the ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 "Zeus sucks cock" trolls. "Fuck twofo" posts on slashdot are about half the volume of "Zeus sucks cock" posts. Therefore there are about 700 trolls specialising in "Fuck twofo". A recent article put "destroy twofo" at about 80% of the twofo trolling community. Therefore there are about (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 "destroy twofo" trolls. This is consistent with the number of "destroy twofo" slashdot posts.

Due to the troubles at Twofo, abysmal sharing, ITS, lack of IP addresses and so on, "destroy twofo" trolls stopped posting altogether and were taken over by "Zeus sucks cock" trolls who specialise in another kind of slashdot posting. Now "Zeus sucks cock" trolls are also dead, their corpses turned over to yet another charnel horse.

All major surveys show that Twofo trolls have steadily declined in slashdot posting frequency. Twofo trollers are very sick and their long term survival prospects are very dim. If Twofo trollers are to survive at all it will be among hardcore slashdot posters, hellbent on Twofo's destruction. Twofo trolls continue to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save Twofo trolls from their fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Twofo trolls are dead.

Fact: Twofo trolls are dying

you poor sod (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961392)

that block of uninteresting, unfunny gibberish that must have taken you some time to compose is what you do with your spare time. why? is your life so empty? i don't understand "trolling organisations". It's not like its even funny - it rarely even makes sense. weird.....

Re:What the hell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961312)

I agree. When they start to throttle my DEDICATED connection, I will sue. Otherwise, they are well within their rights to manage their network. It may all be legalese, but it is also logical. I would not want to be the provider who offers truly unlimited bandwidth and tries to stay in business.

Re:What the hell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961532)

These aren't business customers these are home users, they would have to be sufficently organized to to launch a class(which would fail and the litigators would probaly be locked up on security certificates and detained without charge or media coverage indefinatly), bell and rogers are government actors, and the big C party up here is basicly the republicans do not kid yourselves the internet is government property you have no say period.
your blackberry will(and probably is) sending your gps data to the nsa, your ip is regularly reported and monitored, CCTV is comming to a living room(or more likey every room) near you and RFID tags are in your cloths and likely soon under your skin, does anyone remeber the christian comics from the late '80's with the people being bar coded well surprise these people have made their own distopia come true. This is the Regan/bush/Stalin legacy drop you pants because the probe is really big and you can't stop it

PROFIT!!!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961090)

Step 1 monopoly
Step 2 ????????
Step 3 Failure...

Re:PROFIT!!!!!! (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961110)

Step 2: Vast personal monetary gains for the executives and the FCC.

Re:PROFIT!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961172)

We cut past the #. ??? problem and now we're already making profit in step 2! We are improving on these step by step methods.

It would appear that developing business methods in an open manner actually works.

Feuher Harper et al. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961092)

Typical waffling by the current right wing, Harper-puppet, idiots in Ottawa.
I'm surprised they've even learned what a computer is, let alone something about the internet.
The computer illiterates who inhabit the government of Canada (at all levels, incidentally),
  are ruining education, with their pro-MS advocacy, and general incompetence.
So, the safest thing for these fools to say is...nothing.
Something along the lines of "...we'll study the matter...or we'll leave it to the marketplace, etc."
Nice, meaningless, waffling on important issues. Well, after all, they can't say anything at all, unless they have permission from the feuhrer, Harper.

Govt Regulation == Bad (3, Insightful)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961144)

This is a case where a problem is being solved by law vice technical means.

Much like the SPAM problem, you'll never be able to legislate the Internet.

Consumers should vote with their money. If ISP#1 is throttling, then stop subscribing. No other ISPs in the area? Get satellite access.

In the mean time, engineers should start working on things like TOR, Freenet, and encryption to ensure that the content on the wires stays free.

In any event, if you allow government to make inroads into what can and can't be legislated online, pretty soon, they'll legislate everything.

This is one Pandora's Box that should not be opened.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (2, Interesting)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961184)

I suffered with satellite for years. I was among the first one several different systems. I remember having to upload with a dial-up modem in the beginning! If I had to choose between going back to satellite or having a throttled cable connection, I'd choose the throttled cable connection without batting an eye. It may be throttled, but at least P2P activities aren't blocked altogether and threatening to push you over the pitifully small and ridiculously overpriced bandwidth limit.

Only recently was I able to get Time Warner's internet service, and I don't see any other options opening up in the future. I live a little too far out for any to consider me a viable demographic. Just because I don't like the crowding and pollution of the city, go figure. The internet doesn't need regulated, but the providers do. The free market won't work itself out in favor of the consumer when there is no market to compete in (and maybe not even then).

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (1)

Zotos (1020751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22963032)

Part of the opportunity cost you pay for living outside of the city includes more expensive and/or slower network access. Why should other people be forced to subsidize your connectivity just because you choose to live in an inaccessible area? You could always move to a location that has more options. It's no different than restaurant choices in rural versus urban areas. Should the government force restaurants to run a losing business in rural areas just so people who choose to live there have more choices?

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961248)

So basically consumers in this case have 3 choices: Satellite(slow), Cable(throttled), DSL(throttled).

How are they going to vote with their wallet? No matter what they choose, they're supporting sub-standard internet. This seems to me a case in which the ISPs need to be regulated because they have a monopoly.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961918)

Lots of well-intentioned people involved with the "Net Neutrality" debate have the right idea, but are fighting the wrong war. The IMPORTANT battle is for "Last-Mile" neutrality. If AT&T is allowed to provision 6.0m/512k DSL for their own subscribers, they should be EQUALLY required to allow independent ISPs to get local loop access to their OWN customers at the same speed... and should pay AT&T the exact same monthly provisioning charges that AT&T's "official" DSL ISP pays. Ditto, for cable and FIOS -- if Comcast's ISP is allowed to sell local-loop connectivity that's burstable to 10m/6m, and (more or less) bottoms out at 768k/128k, other ISPs should be allowed to pick up THEIR OWN customers' traffic at Comcast's NOC and handle things from there.

As long as independent ISPs are guaranteed the right to take over customers' internet traffic from the point it reaches the network operations center, and are guaranteed the right to obtain local-loop service under the same open, transparent, nondiscriminatory terms as the incumbent's own ISP, "net neutrality" will be moot for anyone who cares enough to choose an ISP whose traffic-shaping strategy is acceptable to them.

Attempting to legislate equality of results is a dangerous, ultimately futile, lost cause. Equality of access, on the other hand, is fairly straightforward to define, and tends to do a sufficiently good job to make 99% of the original supporters happy. There will always be an edge case that loudly falls through the cracks, but for the most part it works, with minimal cost and inconvenience to everyone else in the long run.

Hypothetical examples of access-equality:

Comcast builds a network operations center, connected to their main center via fiber, and sells rack space at open, published rates. Comcast itself is required to locate their "own" ISP there, or at least route its own ISP's traffic through there, to ensure that they can't send the other ISPs to "the back of the bus" if/when the initial fiber link to the NOC gets saturated and needs to be upgraded. Likewise, Comcast has to charge other ISPs the exact same rates for rack space, backup power, etc. that it charges its own ISP. And if the rates are outrageous, Comcast has no right to balk if a bunch of ISPs get together, mount a single router in a rack, and use it to forward all of their own traffic to a different off-site location via their own fiber that Comcast has no right to touch. Ditto, for AT&T and Verizon. Trust me, Verizon won't abandon FIOS, even if last-mile neutrality were forced upon them. They can't afford to. If THEY don't run fiber, the local cable company WILL. Without fiber, Verizon will just be "the phone company" forever... and we all know that landline telephony is an increasingly-profitable, growing industry (*cough* *cough* *cough*)...

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (1)

Rexbron! (1267508) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961292)

While I agree that you could never regulate the internet, it is how ever possible to regulate the companies that provide access to said service while operating within your jurisdiction. I disagree with your slipery slope fallicy how ever. If one applies that logic to the world at large, one must ask the question why do we even have laws at all?

While this is probably not the case, in a market as small as this one, lack of government regulation leaves open far too much of a possibility for collution between so called competitors. Your comment about satellite internet, while true, is completely unfeasible for the market at large.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (1)

MoonlightSeraphim (1253752) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961334)

unfortunately, this is also a case where such tactic won't work. All carrier lines in Canada belong to Bell ... u kinda can't run from them no matter who u will be trying to switch to.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961394)

Which is the problem. The CRTC says that Bell must provide access to DSL wholesalers who them provide their own access to the internet. Bell started throttling their own service (Bell Sympatico) so customers started going to these wholesalers who buy access at the DSLAM level. Bell then started throttling the wholesalers at the DSLAM preventing them from providing a better service than Bell. This is the important issue because it shows that Bell doesn't want to upgrade the infrastructure, it wants to kill all their competition.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (1)

SlashJoel (1145871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961810)

What ought to happen is instead of granting monopolies, the government ought to lay down its own fibre and lease the bandwidth to any company that wants to resell it. This removes the major barrier to entry of major ISPs and encourages competition. Our government funded the construction of a cross-country railroad in the 19th century and a transcanada highway system in the 20th century. In a knowledge-based economy, high-speed internet access is critical; it is the infrastructure of a new century. If we let things stay the way they are now, we'll be stuck paying $50/month for mediocre speeds and throttled bandwidth forever.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22962652)

unfortunately, this is also a case where such tactic won't work. All carrier lines in Canada belong to Bell ... u kinda can't run from them no matter who u will be trying to switch to.

Ummm, no, You haven't traveled much in Canada, have you? Let me guess, you've never gone beyond the GTA?

Bell is the main phone company only in Quebec & Ontario. In the rest of Canada, other companies are the main phone company (Telus in BC & AB, Sasktel in SK, MTS Allsteam in MB, etc).

Further, even in Ontario & Quebec, there is quite a bit of competition in the ISP wholesale market, ie bandwidth in larger amounts, the kind an ISP would buy. My company (downtown Toronto) gets its phone lines & internet connections from Telus, and the price & service is much better than Bell.

On the other hand, in Vancouver, where Telus is the lazy incumbent carrier, Bell is nipping at their heels.

Bell may own the residential phone lines in Ontario & Quebec, but they don't own everything else.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (2, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961408)

This is a case where a problem is being solved by law vice technical means. Consumers should vote with their money. If ISP#1 is throttling, then stop subscribing. No other ISPs in the area? Get satellite access.

That approach, while very commendable and principled, isn't enough.

I've written elsewhere about why this is the case [] , but in a nutshell it comes down to this: Net Neutrality is a basic precondition to an end-to-end network like the Internet.

Think of it as a law. It is, actually, if you read that in the sense that Net Neutrality is axiomatic when we talk about the Internet as designed. If this law is not adhered to, the Internet as we know it ceases to exist. Therefore, given that government's role is to enforce the law, there is a place for it in enforcing Net Neutrality.

None of this takes anything away from your argument for consumer activism, of course. But neither alternative is exclusive of the other, and there's a clear need for both.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961422)

Did you read anything at all? Bell sells their infrastructure to 3rd party ISPs, and it's being throttled. They are, effectively, providing junk service to their competitors, so that customers stick with Bell. It isn't an issue of capitalism at work, it's an issue or corporate throat-slitting. And it's BELL. They have a long history of exploiting their monopoly. I say, bring on the legislation.

mod this Anonymous Coward UP (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961856)

AC has nailed the heart of the issue.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (2, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961566)

The government's already in there, by granting regional monopolies to telcos. In their defense, the last mile is a natural monopoly - you really don't want five different companies all digging up your property to lay their cables. The problem is, the government has granted this monopoly, which puts the telcos outside normal market forces, and then not bothered to keep a check on them. So the telcos have monopoly powers bestowed on them, with no governmental restraints. Economic theory basically guarantees the customer will get screwed at this point.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22963494)

There are (aptly-named) alternatives: []

However, it seems that municipalities and provinces would once again have to do the badly-needed work that this government refuses to do.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (2)

peter_gzowski (465076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961718)

Is that why Canada is 3rd in the world in broadband adoption and the US is 13th? Canada's government regulation of Bell Canada has had a direct impact on driving down the cost of high-speed internet (actual high-speed, not FCC-defined "high-speed"), while the US's deregulation has had a direct impact of limiting choice and increasing the costs for the American consumer. You keep banging the "government = bad" drum if you want. Good luck surfing Freenet at 2Mbps for $50 a month.

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (1)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962540)

The best thing to do to drop Bell and bell related services(Resellers) and shout from mountain tops to everyone you know to do so aswell.. Regulations/Lawsuits blah blah.. They are not effective as a massive sudden drop in subscriber base.. With Regulations and Lawsuits they will allways keep looking for a Loophole or a way around it.. But if you suddenly lose a substantial portion of your customer base because if your business practices... you will think twice about trying anything similar again.


Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (1)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962602)

Assuming I don't want to go without Internet access, where exactly do you propose I take my business?

Re:Govt Regulation == Bad (1)

manitoulinnerd (750941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22963276)

Bell is the primary supplier of Satellite Internet up here in the Great White North (At least in Ontario). It is slow, expensive, and you aren't even switching providers. Doesn't sound like a great option to me. Ciao, Joel

Government Regulation isn't always bad... (5, Interesting)

Cordath (581672) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961148)

Especially in a market dominated by a very small number of giants. When there's no competition, there's no way for consumers to vote with their wallets other than to do without internet access entirely.

I'm fortunate to live in an area where there are *two* competing monolithic ISP's, but if they happened to both engage in these practices I'd be hooped.

Re:Government Regulation isn't always bad... (1) (1120467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961540)

Especially in a market dominated by a very small number of giants. When there's no competition, there's no way for consumers to vote with their wallets other than to do without internet access entirely. I'm fortunate to live in an area where there are *two* competing monolithic ISP's, but if they happened to both engage in these practices I'd be hooped.
That's the exact problem, hey? Rogers does Cable internet, Bell does DSL. Both of them perform throttling here... and all the smaller ISPs are under those 2... so there isn't much to do anymore if you live in Ottawa!

Re:Government Regulation isn't always bad... (3, Informative)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962272)

I'm fortunate to live in an area where there are *two* competing monolithic ISP's, but if they happened to both engage in these practices I'd be hooped.
Here in Ottawa I have several ISPs to choose from, which includes NCF, a local cooperative that are much cheaper and have much better service and support for real problems (as opposed to the great support for only trivial issues that big ISPs have). The problem, of course, is that NCF delivers ADSL, and they get that by leasing from, you guessed it, Bell. Indeed, all the ADSL ISPs here lease from Bell, so if Bell is doing throttling, despite my apparent choice, I actually have almost none. The only other option is to lump for cable internet with Rogers -- which isn't really a choice given how badly Rogers sucks -- and I'm betting they do throttling as well. So no choice at all.

something-to-talk-about-until-the-hockey-playoffs (-1, Offtopic)

Tei (520358) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961226)

WTF? what type of geek are you?

Something to talk about until the release of AoC and WAR!

Québec (0, Flamebait)

agent (7471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961244)

Sound like a great opportunity for Quebec to separate from the rest of Canada!

-----Google Translate-----
Sonnent comme une grande opportunité pour le Québec de se séparer du reste du Canada!

Re:Québec (0, Troll)

yidele (947452) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961420)

i wish they'd just get on with it, also need to give up the loony....

Strike! (3, Funny)

Ninjy (828167) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961430)

The solution is easy... Canada should go on strike! To get more! More money! Like like, Internet money! Yeah that's it!

Writing to Prentice (1)

kwandar (733439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961748)

... I already wrote to Prentice ( to point out that leaving consumers to face a "last mile" duopoly (Rogers and Bell in my case) is insane. If there were competition on the last mile I wouldn't be nearly as upset.

I'd invite any other Canadian "consumers" who have traffic shaping on their "last mile", to do the same!

Re:Writing to Prentice (2, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961852)

Laying last mile cable is very expensive - I'd guess there's no law saying someone couldn't lay cable and compete it's just they'd have to charge 10* as much to get their investment back.

In the UK we have much the same situation, with BT owning nearly all of the last mile cable (and the cable companies have said they can't afford to build any more cable, so most parts of the country can't get that and may never do). BT is under heavy regulation so that must offer access to that at competitive rates equally to everyone, and the system works well - there's a *huge* amount of competition... ISPs can either put their own DSLAMs in the exchanges (again under regulation they're granted the right to do that) or rent BT lines right up to their building if they like, and many combinations in between. As a result everyone has access to literally hundreds of ISPs offering differing levels of service - it all goes through BT copper in the end but that doesn't really matter.

You don't shape the last mile btw. that refers to the cable between the exchange and the house. It's typically just copper wire that happens to have dual use for either DSL or dedicated circuits. You need to open up competition at the exchanges since that's the first point that shaping can actually happen.

Re:Writing to Prentice (2, Informative)

kwandar (733439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962664)

Yes, the situation is the same here, except that they are doing traffic shaping on the last mile. Last mile however goes a little further than you state because while the wholesale ISP has infrastructure at a Bell Canada exchange, traffic has to go through copper wires, then through Bell servers to the exchange where the wholesale equipment is located (even if it happens to be at the same exchange, as data off lines is aggregated at a Bell server somewhere).

We can purchase DSL from other ISPs, but they rely on Bell Canada for this last mile, and Bell Canada has taken it upon themselves to traffic shape EVERYTHING. I'd argue that this is primarily to ensure that their own "Sympatico ISP" doesn't suffer a massive loss of customers when people abandon them for third party ISPs, due to traffic shaping restrictions.

Prentice is a waste of space (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22962084)

Good luck with that. Prentice is an arrogant neo-con douche-bag from a party of arrogant neo-con douche-bags run by a arrogant neo-con super-douche-bag trained by the American Enterprise Institute. They are soley agents of big business and the rich in the same way as their counterparts south of the border. The only way to get the Canadian government to do anything in the peoples' interest is to vote alliance/reform/conservative/douche-bag-party into oblivion, where they belong.

Re:Prentice is a waste of space (2, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962484)

While I wouldn't be so hasty to jump on the conservative hate-wagon, I have to agree that Mr. Jim Prentice is a gigantic waste of governmental space. The man has proven time and time again that he serves only the interests of big business, and in his tenure in office hasn't done a single thing for us consumers. If this was my country I'd have the man tried for treason - he's failing to represent not only his constituents, but ALL constituents in Canada.

Re:Prentice is a waste of space (2, Insightful)

kwandar (733439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962616)

Actually, in my business life, I'm part of "big/medium business". My business interests generally align with my personal interests. So far I've seen little evidence that Mr. Prentice has taken my comments seriously, either from a business or a personal perspective, so I wouldn't say it is because he is all for big business.

While I was formerly an active PC member, I have no interest in this Conservative Party. They aren't making friends even in places they should be.

Re:Prentice is a waste of space (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962688)

Agreed. I had high hopes for the Conservatives, hoping they would represent a sane alternate to the spend-spend-spend Liberals. A party that represents sane social policies, at the same time advocating fiscal responsibility.

Sadly, there doesn't seem to be room for fiscal conservatives anymore... I can't have the fiscal responsibility without the crazy religious fanaticism, or the endless kowtowing to the elite.

Re:Prentice is a waste of space (2)

kwandar (733439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962806)

Funny you refer to the Liberals as "spend-spend-spend". They were the ones who brought in balanced budgets for many years (although much credit should go to the PCs for setting the groundwork and taxation (and biting the bullet) on this initially) and the Conservatives have done some of the dumbest things with our money I've seen, for political optics.

Reducing the GST instead of reducing income taxes (everywhere else in the world it is recognized this is a poor move for the economy)is perhaps the dumbest move of all. If anything they should have increased GST and decreased income taxes even further.

What can I say; the Conservative Party make no sense whatsoever. They are just pandering to the lowest common denominator, and I'll vote Liberal or Green (as they are fiscally conservative, or have been) long before I'll support the Conservatives.

Do you vote just based on emotion & political (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22963304)

Agreed. I had high hopes for the Conservatives, hoping they would represent a sane alternate

Sane? You mean sane like Bush, right? Here's what I don't get:

If people ('hoping for sanity') such as you voted for the current 'ruling' malignancy in Ottawa (and I'll assume for sake of argument that you did), did you not take a few minutes to do some research before you placed your X on the ballot? Did you just buy the advertising? Did you just cross your fingers, hold your breath, click your heals and hope?

The dull, old, ineffectual (but relatively patriotic) "Progressive Conservative" (an oxymoron if ever there was one) party of such great leaders as Bribe-me Mulrooney was co-opted by the former Alliance/Reform party which is a group of right-wing extremists whose roots are in the same neo-conservative stink-tanks that produced the slow-motion disaster south of the border. Just because they put on funny masks and carried around fool's staffs so that they looked like the old Joke Clark "Progressive Conservatives" doesn't make them so. They are extremists out to scorch the earth on behalf of globalized big-business and the rich that bought them, just as was done in the US.

It is amazing to me how the neo-cons were able to exploit the same knee-jerk emotion, naiivete and incuriousness in Canadians that they did 6 years before in Americans, combined with a minor scandal (again, just like the US) to co-opt the government. Really, you were pissed about the Liberal add business right? So was I, but how much were you out of pocket on it, Maybe $10? And did you even notice that Gomery ehonerated the then-current Liberal government of Paul Martin? And this was worth turning over the country over to a neo-con conspiracy out to sell the country out lock, stock and barrel to the highest bidders, while simualtaneously trying to ease the country in the same direction that has proven so fruitful for the robber-barons and military-industrial complex in the US?

Do us all a favour next time and stay home on election day.

Conservative economics and internet access (5, Insightful)

RabidMonkey (30447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961836)

This is one of (many) places where conservative economic/free market politics just don't work.

While the right wing economists tout the free market as the solution to everything, arguing that an unregulated market is the only way to approach pretty much everything, there are cases where the market is dominated by 1/2/3 players that cannot be avoided. We, as consumers, are not able to vote with our dollars - we have no choice. We did have a choice - Bell was allowing ISPs to resell DSL and manage the data themselves, but when they realized that meant that people (who know/care about such things) were flocking to the unrestricted ISPs, they squashed that avenue to unrestricted net access.

The other competitor, Rogers, hasn't opened their network up to competition (that i know of), so they can do whatever they feel like.

That leaves us with the occasional small wireless isp with leases lines, satellite (slow), or of course, leasing our own line. Yes - we have options, but no, none of them are good for the consumer. Without government regulation, and with the small size of our market (ie: very little competition), the few major ISPs will control our destinies, and it's only a matter of time until they start with tiered data speed.

Web - sure, fast as you'd like, it's highly compressible, proxyable, no big deal.
Email - sure, but you can only have small attachments, but we'd prefer you use our free webmail service.
Music? Only if you buy from our store (or from stores that we have deals with), otherwise, we're going to filter you. Otherwise, we'll limit you.
Video? Only if you buy from our store (or from stores we have deals with). Otherwise, no bandwidth for you.
Overall data? Sure, your unlimited plan will apply, if you shop in our stores. Otherwise, here's a cap. enjoy!

I think the real problem is that Bell/Rogers/etc have been severely overselling their networks without paying the money to upgrade them. Our monthly fees have been slowly creeping up instead of dropping (you'd think I could get high speed internet for cheaper now than I did 10 years ago, but you'd be wrong, for the same level of service). Our connection quality has been dropping. The service level at the ISPs is consistently poor. However, Rogers and Bell are turning out huge profits every quarter. Why? Because they've managed to find a way to provide the minimum of service for the maximum of profit, and their shareholders love it. And ultimately, in todays world, the shareholder is the more important measure of a business than their customers. So long as the share prices stay up, the businesses will continue to do whatever they want. Once the prices start to slip, and they will, or once a better level of competition is introduced/forced, then we might see customer focus becoming a priority.

There are some that say any regulation in business is bad for the economy, that we should let businesses set their policies, and the customers will go where they feel is best. But when there are no reasonable choices, when there is no competition, then the customer loses and big business wins. The government must step in and regulate, until such time as market conditions exist to enable the free market to take a go at managing themselves again.

Positive reinforcement hasn't worked so far, it's time for negative reinforcement. Bad doggy, no treat for you.

$0.02 CDN.

Re:Conservative economics and internet access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22961956)

>> it's only a matter of time until they start with tiered data speed.

Speak of the devil! Rogers is planning to implement exactly that in a few months. As a rogers subscriber I got a lovely letter in the mail covering the different subscription speeds, and the new data caps per month that Rogers is planning on implementing.

Re:Conservative economics and internet access (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22963252)

There is an alternative to Rogers, at least in parts of Ontario. CIA/3web [] offers a 5 Mbit cable Internet service over Rogers' network for about $33+tx/month. I have it and I like it. I can't say whether throttling takes place, but I have a CIA IP address and not a Rogers one.

Rogers starts capping (1)

freeasinrealale (928218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22961926)

Also this month (April), Rogers is implementing capping on high speed Cable internet access. There will be billed charges starting now so that one can see traffic overage. These charges will be refunded on the bill for three months, then (July) they will not be refunded. Yahoo.

How come they're the only game in town? (1)

Murrquan (1161441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962264)

What are the laws under which these ISPs operate, both in Canada and the United States? Are they anything like the other utilities, which actually are monopolies because they were legally granted the ability to operate without competition?

What about their political influence? Have they been able to get laws passed that would limit or hinder competitors?

In a geographical area with 20+ restaurants in seemingly every small city, what is it that makes these guys the only game in town? Because if we figure that out, we might be able to open the doors up for ISPs that would be more friendly to their customers. And if we don't, they're going to keep getting more powerful.

Hello, are you there 911? hello? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22962590)

Here's another possible issue. If I understand correctly (I'm not yet throttled), the way that Bell's traffic shaping works is that once a certain protocol is detected (Bittorrent, for example), the entire DSL service is slowed down to something like 30KB/s.

So here's a scenario: I'm downloading a torrent of 'Canada's next great prime minister' (ha!), so Bell is throttling my connection. Suddenly, I suffer a medical emergency and need to call 911. I use VOIP for my telephone service (since Bell doesn't offer the kind of features I want). Since my connection speed is now artificially capped for ALL protocols, just how well is that phone call going to sound? Will the operator even be able to understand me? Am I expected to go to my computer and stop my download first?

(Yes, I do use QOS on my router to prioritize VOIP calls over all other traffic, but I have no idea how well this will work in a throttled condition)

Business opportunity (2, Insightful)

hey (83763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962598)

Might be a good time to start up a ISP that doesn't throttle.

Re:Business opportunity (3, Insightful)

Chonnawonga (1025364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22963622)

You're right, of course, but it would take a colossal amount of capital. This is where we run into the last mile issue: unless you're willing to dig up people's lawns and put in hard connections to people's houses, or you find some way to deliver wireless in a reliable and affordable way, you're stuck going through Bell's or Rogers' connections, and we're back to square one. Bell's lines were built with support from public funding. It's time for the public to step in and say, "We've all paid for this; we should all have access to it." And essentially, that was done, and Bell was required to open up their lines for competition. (The same thing happened out east under Aliant.) But now they're screwing with the end product anyway. Obviously, government needs to squash this nonsense. Doesn't look like it's going to happen under the current Conservative regime, though, which is no big surprise, really.

Finland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22962700)

I was intrigued by a comment some Finnish person posted a few days ago. Apparently the government owns the copper and then private companies offer services. What's wrong with a little mixed economy action?

Stop being sheeple (1)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22962770)

Of course I would never advocate smashing a whole lot of expensive Rogers/Bell equipment..that would be illegal.
Instead you should follow the laws made by your corporate masters and again pay more for less. Don't endanger their profits by defacing everything with their logos on it with obscene words. What ever you do don't break their equipment or they'll never make higher and higher profits off your back.
Our laws were made for the good of all greedy thieving corporations. Who are we to question them?
If these corporations aren't given carte blanche to do what ever they want then they won't be able to create new India.
Just smile, grab your ankles and pretend you're an American..soon you will be.
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