Policy + charging

Rogers Faces P2P Throttling Charge

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission claims to have evidence that Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) is violating its network neutrality guidelines by throttling peer-to-peer traffic, and has given the MSO a chance to rebut the study or explain how it intends to fix its bandwidth management methods.

In a letter issued Jan. 20, the CRTC alleges that Rogers is slowing down P2P traffic amid earlier complaints from gamers that their cable modem connections were being hamstrung during online multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft.

The CRTC has given the MSO until midday Feb. 3 to disprove the agency's findings or provide a compliance plan. Failure to do so "will result in my recommendation to Commissioners to hold a show-cause hearing," wrote Andrea Rosen, the CRTC's chief compliance and enforcing officer.

Rogers wasn't immediately available to comment on Wednesday morning, but did tell The Globe and Mail that it will review the CRTC's data. "We do our own testing constantly and this is not anything that our testing results have shown," the company said.

Update: Rogers confirmed Wednesday that it will indeed respond to the CRTC by the deadline it has set. "Our network engineers are looking at the test results from the CRTC. Our only goal in network management is to deliver a good experience for customers and we believe we are in compliance with CRTC regulations," the company added.

Why this matters
Depending on the outcome, Rogers could volunteer or be forced to migrate to the sort of "protocol agnostic" traffic management system that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) now uses following its big dust-up with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over that MSO's treatment of some P2P traffic.

The CRTC's move may also cause Rogers, which has been using a consumption-based billing policy for Internet services with the agency's blessing, to challenge the CRTC's network usage guidelines much as the FCC's network neutrality rules have been taken to task in the U.S.

For more
Read more about network neutrality north and south of the U.S. border.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

craigleddy 12/5/2012 | 5:44:32 PM
re: Rogers Faces P2P Throttling Charge

Rogers has been out front with consumption based billing and, by most accounts, it started off with a positive response because customers can get rewarded for staying below the caps. But net neutrality advocates are ready to pounce at the first sign of smoke, whether or not there's really a fire.

It's curious that this issue arose from gamers who think that their multi-player game has been throttled down. As I understand it, a graphically rich multi-player game can be difficult for a service provider to support at a high speed and there could be any number of reasons for a slow-down, including potential issues with the game itself. What was the issue -- were the gamers unable to kill each other fast enough? It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.    

Sign In