The Globe And Mail: Bell to stop 'throttling' Internet traffic

Article by Rita Trichur for The Globe And Mail:

In doing so, the companies partly credit their “extensive” network investments for discontinuing the practice. Throttling, known in industry parlance as technical Internet Traffic Management Practice (ITMP), generally targets peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing through sites such as BitTorrent by slowing down speeds of the heaviest users during peak traffic periods.

A spokesman for BCE could not be reached for comment late Monday. A copy of the correspondence was sent to The Globe and Mail by OpenMedia.ca, a non-profit organization which has been a vocal opponent of throttling.

“With the increasing popularity of streamed video and other traffic, P2P file sharing, as a proportion of total traffic, has been diminishing. This is not to say that it no longer has an impact on network congestion,” says the letter.

“Nevertheless, and in light of the extensive investments the Companies have made in additional network capacity, and given economic ITMPs in the marketplace, the Companies will withdraw the shaping of P2P traffic on the Companies' networks, with regards to both retail and wholesale traffic, effective 1 March 2012.”

For its part, OpenMedia.ca immediately hailed the decision. The group has long argued that large Internet service providers, such as Bell, should not play the role of gatekeeper by deciding which types of Internet traffic are acceptable.

Spokeswoman Lindsey Pinto said the group was “very pleased” at the decision. “This is a step forward,” she said in a telephone interview from Vancouver, noting it would serve as a good example to other large Internet service providers such as Rogers Communications Inc.

“It is also a warning sign to the CRTC, which hasn’t been very strong in enforcing net neutrality,” she added. Read more »

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