CRTC Says It Has Evidence of Rogers’ Throttling

by Jordan Richardson on January 23, 2012

Last week, it was revealed that complaints over throttling were up since last fall. In my article on the subject, I discussed the fact that Rogers Communications was at the centre of nearly half of all complaints over net neutrality and network throttling.

Now the CRTC says that preliminary results of an investigation into Rogers’ Internet service reveal that the company “engages in unauthorized throttling.”

The investigation came out of a case that involved the Canadian Gamers Association (CGO) and its complaint that Rogers intentionally throttles online games like World of Warcraft. This, if true, would be a violation of CRTC rules, so the regulator took to the investigation in October of last year.

The initial findings of the investigation were released to the public on Friday. Rogers has two weeks to provide a rebuttal or a “compliance plan.” If the telecommunications giant doesn’t cooperate, the CRTC says there will be a hearing.

In a letter to Rogers, the CRTC states that “Commission staff is of the belief that Rogers Communications Inc. (‘Rogers’) applies a technical ITMP to unidentified traffic using default peer-to-peer (‘P2P’) ports. On the basis of our evidence to date, any traffic from an unidentified time-sensitive application making use of P2P ports will be throttled resulting in noticeable degradation of such traffic.”

In an attachment to the letter, the regulator lists evidence that seems to fly in the face of Rogers’ recent insistence that it was operating in “complete compliance” with the CRTC’s traffic management policy.

“We are happy the CRTC is finally enforcing net neutrality policy,” said Jason Koblovsky, a systems analyst who filed the original complaint on behalf of the CGO. “CGO believes this is a big win for consumers, gamers, and game developers, all of which felt the effects of throttling. (Friday’s) communication to Rogers is a message to the telecom industry that you can no longer get away with breaking net neutrality policy in Canada, or claim innocence while not in compliance with CRTC policy. It also proves that the technology used for throttling is flawed.”

Rogers appears to be confused by the investigation and its findings.

“We’re actually very surprised by this. We do our own testing constantly and this is not anything that our testing results have shown,” said company spokeswoman Patricia Trott. “We are just looking at the information now and we will get in touch with the CRTC. We’d like to see their detailed testing. It is a little unclear to us what this letter means.”

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