Rogers to Stop Throttling

by Jordan Richardson on February 6, 2012

With complaints over Internet throttling up and with the CRTC saying that it has evidence of Rogers’ throttling, the telecommunications giant says that it will stop the practice in 2012.

The move comes on the heels of Bell’s decision to end throttling effective March of this year.

Rogers revealed its decision to end throttling in a letter to the CRTC on Friday. At the same time, it also refuted the CRTC’s claims that it was guilty of “unauthorized throttling” with respect to video games.

“The testing which the Commission has done was artificial in that it was designed to send a file which would be subject to traffic shaping,” Rogers senior vice president of regulatory affairs Ken Engelhart wrote. “Your traffic was not representative of the way our online gaming customers or other customers use the Internet. The result of your testing is not surprising: it showed that the system operates as it was configured to do.”

Engelhart’s mention of the testing being “not surprising” seems to contradict Rogers’ initial response to the CRTC’s 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 at the time.


Rogers says that the CRTC’s evidence points to “a bit of traffic that never gets classified.” A problem can arise if some of that unclassified traffic is directed to a port on the user’s computer that would normally be used for P2P file sharing. The traffic gets throttled by Rogers’ apparatus because it can’t be identified. Rogers says that this happens to only about 0.005 percent of “real world traffic.”

Some were less than convinced of the company’s explanation. “Rogers failed to provide the CRTC with technical data as to which games and applications they have tested themselves,” said Canadian Gamers Organization founder Jason Koblovsky. “Without the technical data from their tests on online games, the Canadian Gamers Organization worries that Rogers’ response may be an attempt to mislead the CRTC and the public. We continue to call on Rogers to make these numbers public.”

Rogers countered swiftly, stating that it wasn’t “up to anything” sinister. “I can assure you the only thing we are up to is investing a lot of money, time and effort to try and give our customers the best possible Internet service we can,” said Engelhart.

In any event, Rogers appears to be meeting the CRTC’s demands from last month. The company either had to rebut the evidence or present a compliance plan by February 3. Rogers says it will use a phased-in approach to stop throttling, commencing officially at the start of next month.

“New technologies and ongoing investments in network capacity will allow Rogers to begin phasing out that policy starting in March 2012,” wrote Engelhart. “These changes will be introduced to half of Rogers existing Internet customers by June 2012 and to its remaining customers by December 2012.”

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