The Rogers network throttling controversy has all the elements of a Hollywood blockbuster – innocence, betrayal, public outcry, confession and a happy ending, or at least we’ve been made to believe so. After nearly a year of back and forth, Rogers last week received a clean chit from CRTC over allegations of slowing down gaming activities on the Internet.
The regulatory body last week announced that it has concluded its technical investigation and it is “satisfied that Rogers has addressed concerns regarding its slowing down certain types of Internet traffic.“
Interestingly, Rogers continues to be in the notorious list of world’s top throttlers for this year.
The trouble started last year when a customer filed a complaint (PDF) with the CRTC in February and Rogers said it had resolved the issue in May. The same customer told the CRTC in June that the “solution” Rogers had implemented actually made the problem worse. Rogers disputed the claim, but the regulator wasn’t buying it. Back then, Rogers claimed it had accidentally throttled WoW and other games.
Last September, the CRTC demanded that Rogers devise a plan to “address and resolve” the communication company’s throttling, either purposeful or accidental, of online video games like Call of Duty: Black Ops. In November, the regulatory body reported the issue to the Compliance and Enforcement Sector for action. Things got worse in January when the CRTC acknowledged that preliminary results of an investigation into Rogers’ Internet service reveal that the company “engages in unauthorized throttling.”
With no option left but to abide, Rogers agreed to stop the malpractice altogether in 2012. At the same time, it categorically refuted the CRTC’s claims that it was guilty of “unauthorized throttling” with respect to video games. And last week, the CRTC said that it’s satisfied that Rogers is no longer slowing down certain types of Internet traffic.
“We are committed to ensuring that Canadians receive good value for the money they spend on communications services,” said Andrea Rosen, the CRTC’s Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer. “Canadians voiced their concerns about certain traffic-management practices and we have acted upon them. Our enforcement efforts are helping to bring about more reliable Internet services for consumers.”
Whether Rogers has actually stopped throttling or is it the carrier’s persistent lobbying that’s paid off, I do not know. I just hope Rogers is now playing the game by the rules, after all, Canada is rated ahead of its American neighbors when it comes to Net Neutrality standards.