ISP group sticks its neck out to stop throttling

18 Apr 2008

The Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) has requested that the telecoms regulator, the CRTC, orders Bell Canada and Bell Aliant to cease ‘throttling’ wholesale internet traffic, a practice involving limiting bandwidth for the transmission of certain types of online data, reports canada.com. The sister telcos, which dominate the DSL broadband market in eastern Canada, have admitted to their wholesale ISP customers that they limit bandwidth to end-users of certain applications including peer-to-peer downloads during peak usage hours (referring to the measures as ‘traffic-shaping’). The CAIP says the policy has degraded small ISPs’ services ‘beyond recognition’, and the CRTC must now make a decision on whether such measures are lawful or not. The CAIP’s complaint alleges that throttling/shaping is in violation of several sections of the country’s telecoms legislation. Bell claims its policies are meant to prevent a small group of heavy users from monopolising bandwidth. The CAIP says that independent ISPs have approximately 100,000 customers in Ontario and Quebec.