Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Canada The Internet Games Your Rights Online

CRTC Tells Rogers To Stop Throttling Online Gamers 118

Posted by timothy
from the special-privileges dept.
Meshach writes "Recently Canada's telecommunications regulator revealed that net neutrality was failing and that throttling was taking place. Apparently several months later things have not improved and Canada's telecommunications regulator on Friday gave Rogers Communications Inc., 'mere days' to stop throttling online games."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

CRTC Tells Rogers To Stop Throttling Online Gamers

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2011 @09:56PM (#37426350)

    Many ISPs today are implementing packet shaping in an extremely simplistic way. They simply rate limit everything and then whitelist the most common game servers, such as WoW. The problem comes when Blizzard commission new servers and the addresses change. Then for a few days-weeks, everyone gets extreme lag. If you are not playing an extremely popular game, it may take you months to get your ISP to whitelist the servers. If you are playing a game where anyone can host a server you are totally screwed.

    • by ModernGeek (601932) on Friday September 16, 2011 @10:30PM (#37426482) Homepage
      and it is for that reason that I am pro net-neutrality.
    • by mc6809e (214243)

      Many ISPs today are implementing packet shaping in an extremely simplistic way. They simply rate limit everything and then whitelist the most common game servers, such as WoW. The problem comes when Blizzard commission new servers and the addresses change. Then for a few days-weeks, everyone gets extreme lag. If you are not playing an extremely popular game, it may take you months to get your ISP to whitelist the servers. If you are playing a game where anyone can host a server you are totally screwed.

      ISPs don't "simple rate limit everything". Most of the time, it's servers responding to packet loss that limit the data rate.

      But lets suppose they were rate-limiting everything including WoW packets. Do you have any idea just how little bandwidth WoW requires? At idle, WoW consumes as little as 2Kbps and at most somewhere around 30Kbps. That's nothing. It would take serious rate-limiting to affect WoW traffic. So there's something else going on.

      What's really happening is WoW traffic is sharing a fat link wi

      • by kcbnac (854015)

        The problem is, how do you GUARANTEE that with this ISP-managed method, my Minecraft server doesn't get shafted and its packets dropped to the end of the queue/back of the buffer?

        For all its drawbacks, Qwest (errr...CenturyLink) doesn't rape me with bandwidth quotas or blocked ports. I'm actually ALLOWED to host stuff...the speeds may not be as great as Comcast - but I can actually *USE* the connection... (I'm presently waiting for them to get to my side of Elk River, MN - so I can get the 5Mbit upload, ov

        • The problem is, how do you GUARANTEE that with this ISP-managed method, my Minecraft server doesn't get shafted and its packets dropped to the end of the queue/back of the buffer?

          Whether you like it or not, the ISP is managing your packets, and when packet queuing happens something has to suffer (but a good ISP will specifically target latency-insensitive packets for this, such as known torrents, large HTTP transfers, FTP, etc). If you want GUARANTEED bandwidth to reduce bandwidth and packet loss, you ne

      • You're forgetting that it's Rogers. I have personally seen torrent traffic suddenly drop to 2kbit/s when they start traffic shaping my connection. 2am, not a very busy time of day, I'm saturating my cable connection, and then poof, within the space of 3 seconds, my connection has dropped from multiple megabits to 2kbit/s, and stay there, consistently, for multiple hours. And I have seen the same behaviour when downloading large files such as ISO images.

        That's not network congestion that's causing it, that's

    • by LandGator (625199)

      Many ISPs today are implementing packet shaping in an extremely simplistic way. They simply rate limit everything and then whitelist the most common game servers, such as WoW. The problem comes when Blizzard commission new servers and the addresses change. Then for a few days-weeks, everyone gets extreme lag. If you are not playing an extremely popular game, it may take you months to get your ISP to whitelist the servers. If you are playing a game where anyone can host a server you are totally screwed.

      Do you have a source for that? Really would like to know more.

  • How the HELL did they ever get thru to someone competent at Rogers? I mean, seriously. Or, maybe they haven't.

    • Perhaps they'll be on hold for "mere days"

    • by craigc05 (2377254)

      Oh, that's the competent service department!

      Just key in the following sequence with your phone:

      635373563737463792

      Don't listen to the automated call system, it will just confuse you.

      Wait 30 minutes to speak to some underpaid kid that simply does not give a shit, argue with him for precisely 29:59 minutes, repeat for half a day, and eventually decide that competence is a matter of perspective and so the next person must be competent enough to speak to if you go back to the nice voice that you started your day

    • by w_dragon (1802458)
      When I made a CRTC complaint about them I got a letter from the office of the CEO letting me know the issue was fixed (and, shockingly, it was actually fixed) within a week. Turns out they actually are scared of the CRTC.
  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday September 16, 2011 @10:26PM (#37426468) Homepage

    The problem with Rogers is they throttle everything that looks like P2P. My limited understanding is that they look at the number of simultaneous connections to one host and if you go above their threshold, BOOM connection reset! For things like Xbox Live this means you can't play any team games, like Call of Duty, because your buddies will keep getting disconnected or time out.

    For those who can, switching to TekSavvy cable solved all those problems for me. Now I can host game servers, run torrents at line speed (and beyond, thanks to SpeedBoost), and generally enjoy broadband as it was intended. Their cable service is new and limited to a few cities as they have to install their own hardware, unlike DSL which piggybacks off of Bell, but man is it ever worth it just to be rid of Rogers and my huge Rogers bills...

    • by mc6809e (214243)

      "The problem with Rogers is they throttle everything that looks like P2P. My limited understanding is that they look at the number of simultaneous connections to one host and if you go above their threshold, BOOM connection reset!"

      That sounds more like a NATting problem. I've dealt with ISPs that just didn't know how to set the damned things up properly.

      You know the old saying: don't attribute to malice what you can attribute to stupidity.

      • don't attribute to malice what you can attribute to stupidity.

        Does not apply in the world of Canadian ISP's

        • by GNious (953874)

          don't attribute to malice what you can attribute to stupidity.

          Does not apply in the world of ISPs

          FTFY

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Er, if your ISP is using NAT they are doing it wrong. You should have a public IP.

        Now if your router is being stupid, that's hardly their fault... but then again this is not what you said.

        • Some ISPs have to NAT now. There just aren't enough addresses to go around, and they put off the upgrade to IPv6 for a decade because they didn't want the hastle. Also, NAT screws up p2p completly, which is a nice incidential benefit for the ISPs - p2p users put a lot of load on the network.
        • by tepples (727027)

          Er, if your ISP is using NAT they are doing it wrong. You should have a public IP.

          Seven billion people, four billion IPv4 addresses. Something has to give.

    • by zennyboy (1002544)

      I have to say I had that problem, only to find my router had "Hack alert" type thing enabled (port spamming awareness or something). When uTorrent got busy, the router dropped the connection. Once I'd disabled this (took me MONTHS to discover) all was fine. I'd thought it was my ISP all along, but it was my router...

      If you can access your router with decent settings I'd check this out...

    • Indeed they do. In the past I used to watch MLG gaming broadcasts that were streamed with Octoshape, a proprietary P2P service. After having a lot of problems over the months, I started to think the problem was on my end and contacted Rogers. The response from their tech support was an unapologetic "we throttle all P2P". I tried several times to explain that the broadcast was completely above board, no piracy, etc., but he didn't care in the least and wouldn't even discuss the possibility of a fix. Thi
    • I'm moving shortly, and am deciding between Teksavvy DSL or Teksavvy cable. Do you have any experience with their DSL service, and if so, how does their cable service compare?
  • This is something that really should have been addressed a while ago, not after months and months of hoping Rogers would fix it. Many Canadian telecos like Rogers and Bell are seriously needing some reining in on more than a few matters. I really hope that the CRTC is finally getting reality instead of being spoon fed it by Bell and co.

    It's also unfortunately clear that unless the public screams bloody murder that the Canadian--oops, HARPER--government will do very, very little proactively to improve the in

    • "HARPER--government will do very, very little proactively to improve the internet situation. Unless votes are threatened--ziltch."

      Meanwhile Harper is spending all his time clamming up any source of information that could say anything coming out of government and busily toiling away in the background AGAINST the public good for his corporate buddies.

      If you think some previous governments have had some bad scandals revealed in recent years, they're nothing to what Harper is going to do/doing with this governm

      • by MMCD (1604405)
        They do react when votes are threatened, when Bell and Rogers tried to bring in Usage Based Billing, everyone cared about it, and the Tories could sniff the political winds.... (and then they intervened to forbid UBB, for not Canadians who didnt follow these events) A political campaign will have a big effect, since the Tories arent going to do anything unpopular, they arent that courageous The CRTC doesnt serve Canadians, the wolves are looking after the sheep, it needs to be shook up, if that means bringi
        • by compro01 (777531)

          They do react when votes are threatened, when Bell and Rogers tried to bring in Usage Based Billing, everyone cared about it, and the Tories could sniff the political winds....

          That was during the run up to an election. Since the Tories got a majority, no election is going to happen for 4 years, so they can do pretty much whatever the hell they like for the next 3 years without having much effect on their votes.

  • by rsax (603351) on Friday September 16, 2011 @10:31PM (#37426490)
    Teksavvy have been offering MLPPP as an addon service for a while; it allows their subscribers to evade Bell's throttling. There's even a fork of the Tomato firmware [fixppp.org] dedicated for this. And a friend told me that one of their customer service reps said you can work around Rogers' throttling using this modem [tigerdirect.ca]. Just opt for ISPs that aren't Bell or Rogers.
  • by anubi (640541) on Friday September 16, 2011 @10:32PM (#37426496) Journal
    I am getting fed up with this idea.

    If I sign up for 10Mb service, I feel I should get it. If I agreed to 29.99 a month, I should pay it. I feel terribly shortchanged when I do not get the service advertised, regardless of the "businesstalk" fine print in their contract.

    I live in a country (USA) whose lawmakers find me in terrible breach of law if I as much as download a song. Yet a "health insurance" company can accept premium after premium for years, only to rescind the insurance when the insured comes to need it. None of our "honorable" suits-and-ties of Congress even see fit to require the insurance company to even as much as refund every premium ever sent them. Geez, that's like asking a shoplifter just to pay for what he stole.

    Here we are, in a "jobs" crisis, yet we behave like first graders turned out to the play-yard. The first big kid takes control of the merry-go-round and wants a buck to ride. The "engineer" kid gets fed up and starts building his own. The "entrepreneur" who snared control of the first merry-go-round sees it and sends his thugs (lawyers) over to smash it.

    Now, our governments are all in a tizzy cause the only way they can keep any cash in the economy is to run the printing presses fullbore.

    This whole mess has originated in Congress. It will take a leap of Congressional insight to fix it.

    Hint: Enforce the payments law only to the extent one pays for what one GETS. If the ISP screws up the credit rating of one who withheld payment because of throttled bandwidth, then whoever submitted the credit rating ding will be liable for damages, no different than the one who is liable for damages for downloading a song.

    There is nothing like responsibility for insuring honesty.

    Its something sorely lacking in today's authority laden political and business hierarchies.
    • Prove all things

      Yeah, but most moderns don't realize that that's "prove" in its old-fashioned sense of "test". Once your realize that, it makes sense.

      A related, but different, modern saying is, "That which is not tested is broken".

      • In similar fashion is "the exception that proves the rule" - same meaning of prove as above - the basic meaning is that it is the unusual circumstances that will test whether your rule works, not the circumstances ou were prepared for.
      • A related, but different, modern saying is, "That which is not tested is broken".

        "That which has been tested and found not to be broken, has not been tested enough."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Offtopic much? Try commenting on the article instead of going off on some big butthurt rant.

      • by anubi (640541)
        Your advice is noted.

        You are right, in the sense I did not stick specifically to throttling services.

        I am in interested in high speed internet. I am still on dialup. I go to McDonalds with my laptop to use their high speed internet. Its hosted by AT&T and speedtest.net will consistently rate them a F- in connection speed. "AT&T delivers" is kinda a joke. But its better than what I have at home. If I enable JavaScript, the page likely won't load at all on dialup, as I will encounter TCP tim
    • by kcbnac (854015)

      I have a (general) policy of avoiding companies who believe in the "what the big print giveth...the fine print taketh away." As they are not really interested in serving me, as raping me.

      FUCK. THEM.

      I'll stick to smaller, local companies whom actually CARE that I'm happy - ALL THE TIME. They'll actually try to help me - even if it means me moving companies - but they won't intentionally try to fuck me.

      Somehow, I don't find it at all odd that Muse's 'Uprising' decided to play via my music player's random f

      • I have a (general) policy of avoiding companies who believe in the "what the big print giveth...the fine print taketh away." As they are not really interested in serving me, as raping me.

        Unfortunately, you'll end up making a lot of exceptions to your (general) policy because a lot of companies that take away in fine print tend to be monopolies. Utilities such as home Internet service providers depend on easements to pull their cable under the last mile of roads. Because there's only so much usable space under a road, there are few players in the market, and these tend to be either monopolies or at best in tacit collusion.

    • by MacTO (1161105)

      Billing based upon the Mb/s a data service provides is about as meaningful as billing based upon the A an electrical service provides.

      Which is to say that it doesn't make sense at all. You need to provide way too much capacity for peak consumption so the cost of providing service skyrockets.

      Canadian ISPs tried to fix that with UBB. Their approach may have been deeply flawed, but it was an acknowledgement that billing needs to be based upon consumption. The people who consume a lot pay more for the networ

      • by rho180 (1057712)

        Billing based upon the Mb/s a data service provides is about as meaningful as billing based upon the A an electrical service provides.

        Which is to say that it doesn't make sense at all. You need to provide way too much capacity for peak consumption so the cost of providing service skyrockets.

        Canadian ISPs tried to fix that with UBB.

        The recent flap over UBB had nothing to do with fixing this problem you describe. Rogers and Bell have had UBB on their own customers for years now. What Bell tried to do recently was to force third party ISPs to adopt UBB on their own customers to remove that competition from the marketplace. Third party ISPs like Teksavvy already pay Bell based on the peak bandwidth that their customers use, i.e., on the Bell-to-Teksavvy network link, Teksavvy pays for enough bandwidth to accomodate their peak consumpt

      • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

        The problem is every time we 'pay for what we use' no average consumer can meet what the ISP's want to charge. Mostly because the cost jumps up to the level of a business. Obviously either they simply want to much or they don't charge businesses nearly enough either. The first is more true then the second, though it is the second they try to make seem reasonable.

        Other countries have no problem charging less than american ISP's for more bandwidth and more total consumption as things stand now. If the america

      • I would have no problem paying two parts a fixed cost for x sized pipe and a variable cost for my 95% usage and y for calling support for a local problem. But like any other utility I should only be paying the rel cost of that usage in the states that's less than a buck a megabit. The problem with the usage based billing from these companies is it's like txt messaging rates, they are not looking to make sure that people pay for what they use but rather want to have a huge financial windfall.

        ISP's basicall

      • by tzanger (1575)

        You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. UBB was never about paying for what you use. It was a way for Bell/Rogers to force the wholesalers into offering packages that were no better than what Bell/Rogers were providing. The incumbents were using their monopoly on the infrastructure for the last mile to try and "level" the playing field of the competitive carriers.

        I have absolutely no problem with paying for what I use. The problem is that the pricing they're trying to force is not reasonable. It

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Canadian ISPs tried to fix that with UBB. Their approach may have been deeply flawed, but it was an acknowledgement that billing needs to be based upon consumption. The people who consume a lot pay more for the network infrastructure, and those who do not consume as much pay less for the network infrastructure. The problem is people were screaming bloody murder about that because they basically want everything for free.

        One of the problems with UBB (besides the common one if forcing everyone on it, regardles

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If I sign up for 10Mb service, I feel I should get it. If I agreed to 29.99 a month, I should pay it. I feel terribly shortchanged when I do not get the service advertised, regardless of the "businesstalk" fine print in their contract.

      If you want guaranteed network bandwidth from your ISP get a business connection via a direct fibre pull and pay $300/month (to start).

      Oversubscribing is a fact of (economic) life. It's true of ISPs, highways/streets, mobile networks, etc.

  • It is unfortunate that the alleged brutalizing and violence-inciting tendencies of video games are somewhere between tepid and nonexistent.

    Even the most black-hearted ISP would think twice about pissing off hordes of foul mouthed and odorous basement dwellers if a series of spree-killing reprisals were a serious risk...
  • by germansausage (682057) on Friday September 16, 2011 @11:49PM (#37426776)
    I've been subscribing for about 10 years to a local cable Co / ISP that was lately bought by Eastlink. When I got my HD cable box they upgraded me (for free) from 4.5 Mb/s to 15 Mb/s. Two days ago I got a letter advising that since they have completed the fiber deployment in my neighborhood they are upgrading me (again for free) to 40 Mb/s. Undisclaimer - I don't work for Eastlink or own shares, just a satisfied customer.
  • by magamiako1 (1026318) on Friday September 16, 2011 @11:52PM (#37426790)
    If you wish to thank anyone for this, Ressy on Freenode has been spearheading this movement for nearly a year now, having worked closely with Blizzard support staff to uncover the throttling being used as well as worked closely with end users affected by the issue.
  • The CRTC's framework also says traffic shaping only should be used as a last resort to deal with network congestion and encourages companies to use "economic measures," such as data caps, to manage demand.

    Or, they could, you know, invest in their networks and bring them into the 21st century. It's entirely possible to operate a profitable ISP at lower prices without any kind of throttling or data caps, and without any kind of proxies, BRAS systems, and whatever other manner of junk they put between your loo

    • by zyzko (6739)

      Or, they could, you know, invest in their networks and bring them into the 21st century. It's entirely possible to operate a profitable ISP at lower prices without any kind of throttling or data caps, and without any kind of proxies, BRAS systems, and whatever other manner of junk they put between your loop and the Internet. They just don't want to stop overselling and underdelivering, to paraphrase contemporary internetworking parlance.

      Yes - but this is hard when at the same time investors demand profit and success in stock market and consumers tend to take the cheapest option - that is why regulators are needed in essential services (which data traffic nowadays is). It is just doesn't work - unfortunately. For businesses the game is different - money buys you guarantees and even more money buys you guarantees that have financial incentives for provider to really, really meet those guarantees, always. But it is not cheap, and in the consu

  • Australian ISPs give you x amount of GB per month as part of your plan. Some offer the option to buy more data blocks or even (in a few cases) unlimited data. When you exceed your quota your entire internet connection is rate limited to 64k or 128k or something similar (exactly how much depends on the ISP and plan)

    If I am on a 50GB plan and want to use the entire 50GB in the first week of the monthly cycle downloading from BitTorrent, I can do that and my ISP doesn't care.

    Say what you will about shaping but

    • by Malc (1751)

      Having spent significant amounts of time in Australia, as well as other countries, Australia hasn't got it right. Internet in Australia is bloody expensive, and limited in performance and coverage. Take TPG for instance, their 50GB plan is effectively halved because they have a concept of off-peak usage, which isn't conveniently timed for the average person. Furthmore, that limit is uploads and downloads combined, whereas most places only seem to consider downloads. Of course, they don't even let you bu

    • by number17 (952777)
      Rogers has had caps for a couple of years. On my plan its $1.25/GB to a maximum of $50 after the allotted 95G/month.

      Ironically their FAQ page domain is keepingpace.ca?!?!
      http://www.keepingpace.ca/faq.html#9 [keepingpace.ca]
  • Here's a question about ISP bungling. I signed up with Shaw in British Columbia pretty much the week they began service. I've used them for a long time, and have mostly been pleased with the service.

    A couple of years ago, I started to have some severe performance problems. On my OpenBSD firewall, I would start a ping process and watch the ping arrival times. About once a minute, the ping responses disappear for 30s. Then all thirty ping packets showed up simultaneously with measured delays more or less

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      We went to a speed measurement site, and the connection performed flawlessly.

      He told you to slosh a bunch of nop packets back and forth over a route with an unknown number of hops or was that your decision? Testing traffic rates properly requires you to use known data over a known path so, if needed, you can check each hop on that path. If they tell you to use an online speed test tell the to GFY.

      is it really possible that OpenBSD has a 30-second holding tank for outbound ping packets only when other pack

  • While Internet service providers have said they need to manage online traffic to deal with network congestion during peak hours, the CRTC has instituted a policy stipulating that the noticeable degradation of time-sensitive Internet traffic requires prior commission approval under Canada's Telecommunications Act.

    Maybe they should deal with network congestion by building a faster infrastructure. Perhaps that gigabit network that "nobody could possibly use" IS necessary.

  • The default is to randomly drop packets, which effectively shares the bandwidth equally between all TCP streams, and UDP is kind of undefined. At home I have set up "tc" on linux to share the bandwidth equally between my machines (+1 allocation for wi-fi leechers). It's a pain to set up, but it makes *much* more sense to divide bandwitdh by IP address than by TCP stream. Why can't ISP set up something like this?

    In tc one can use a "Hierarchical Token Bucket (HTB)" where one can set 1) a "rate", which is th

  • It would be nice if they went after Telus next for throttling the skype connections from their smartphone database plans. Every time i use my iphone and skype, i get such bad connection upload/download speeds, yet the exact same amount of upload and download speed is fine when using skyp on say my computer.
    I am sure they are watching for any skype connections to tamper with, as this costs them money from a long distance stand point.

  • They'll set another deadline? Send an even more strongly worded memo?

    Note that the CTRC are still "requesting" and that Rogers are still in denial. I think I know who's going to blink first on this one.

  • So that's what the mean by "UNLIMITED PLAN" - "unlimited throttling". :\

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

Working...