CRTC reveals most Canadian ISPs filter P2P traffic

By Justin Mann on January 21, 2009, 1:12 PM
ISP filtering isn't new and it isn't relegated to the U.S. either. With the amount of attention being paid to Comcast recently, a lot of people around the world have begun to look at their ISPs and wonder exactly what happens to their traffic once it leaves. This is certainly true for Canada, where several Canadian ISPs have come under the scrutiny of the CRTC, the regulatory agency responsible for Canada. After investigation, it was determined that all large ISPs in Canada filter P2P traffic in some fashion.

Many of them responded to the discovery of the CRTC, claiming that slowing down P2P traffic is necessary as it impacts network performance. Bell, for instance, admitted they use deep packet inspection to slow down the traffic of both customers and wholesalers. What implications this will have on anyone is unclear as the CRTC hasn't decided yet what the best course of action is. This could be a sign of more regulation in Internet traffic, particular when it comes to what ISPs sell to customers versus what they actually deliver. Will the CRTC be influenced by the FCC and force these major ISPs to be more transparent about how they filter traffic?

User Comments: 3

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gobbybobby said:
join the club, They have done it here in the UK on almost all ISP for years.
IT in Alberta said:
I don't really have a problem with filtering P2P traffic if its needed to keep speeds up for the other users on the network. Until technology, and the ISPs are forced to spend the cash, catches up with the amount of people on the net (hello fiber optics) its the way it has to be. At home, I'm on a wireless network to my house ( I live in the country) , with the towers only capable of 54 MB/s (reality is maybe 30 MB/s is usable) so when I'm online with a few other users it slows to a crawl. The ISP is adding a traffic shaper, or filter if you want to call it that, so they can control the amount of bandwidth the big downloaders in my area are sucking up, and hopefully my connection will improve. As it is now, right after the evening meal, I'm lucky to get 500 kb/s down/up. After 11 pm it generally improves to over 4mb/s down/up. The ISP has identified the problem as heavy P2P traffic. The issue i have is the ISP states I'll have a 4 MB/s connection, and 90% of the time I'm not anywhere near that. There definitely needs to be some truth in advertising, not that i have a choice where i am. Only 1 ISP out here. But in the cities, there is competition.
jalmolky said:
Why do you assume that what you are doing is any more important that what anyone else is doing. You all pay the same monthly fee and therefore in my opinion should receive the same service (in terms of speeds because that's what matters here).The problem is that many people associate P2P with illegal behaviour, so therefore condemn it. There are, however plenty of legitimate uses of P2P (many MMO updates use this method).As is stands now, P2P is the transfer method of choice for any large chunks of data. The ISPs are gonna have to come to a mutual decision soon.
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