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Bell Canada Throttles Wholesalers Without Notice 239

Posted by kdawson
from the because-it's-my-last-kilometer-that's-why dept.
knorthern knight writes "The Canadian family-run ISP Teksavvy (which is popular among Canadian P2P users precisely because it does not throttle P2P) has started noticing that Bell Canada is throttling traffic before it reaches wholesale partners. According to Teksavvy CEO Rocky Gaudrault, Bell has implemented 'load balancing' to 'manage bandwidth demand' during peak congestion times — but apparently didn't feel the need to inform partner ISPs or customers. The result is a bevy of annoyed customers and carriers across the great white north."
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Bell Canada Throttles Wholesalers Without Notice

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  • This isn't specifically throttling p2p traffic. It's using a proxy load balancing system to spread the load during peak hours which may lead to congestion. ISP's all over the world do it, in Australia the 2nd and 3rd biggest ISP's - Optus and TPG both implement transparent proxies for load balancing.

    Obviously doing it before the traffic reaches wholesalers is a tad unethical, and I'm not condoning it, but the issue shouldn't be confused with specifically targeting p2p traffic.

    • The summary doesn't claim Big Bad Bell is throttling P2P, merely that Good Small ISP is popular because it doesn't.
      • by kaos07 (1113443) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @05:15AM (#22854988)
        I never stated that it did. I'm merely pre-empting a lot of posts along the lines of "Oh god it's the end of the world another large ISP is destroying our right to download Linux ISO's."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by laptop006 (37721)
      Sure, they have transparent proxies FOR THEIR RETAIL CLIENTS.

      Not for anyone else. Even then most of them don't use the proxies for their "business" plans.

      And they don't implement them for "load balencing", they get that (well, as close as you can) for free with BGP. They implement them because it saves money.

      This is not about transparent proxies, they only affect unencrypted HTTP traffic. It's about low level QoS (Which should be OK if well implemented) or something more along the lines of the recent Comcas
    • You are soooo wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @07:56AM (#22855848)
      You have no clue about what you are talking about. No doubt they do stuff like that in Australia but if you would have bothered to read the newsgroup threads on this at dslreports you would have found out that:

      1. Bell is throttling P2P traffic between 4:30PM and 2AM. This affects BitTorrent and all other forms of P2P
      2. All other traffic is full speed
      3. All P2P is capped at about 30kbps between said hours

      In fact this is exactly what they do to their own Sympatico users but now applied to all 3rd party resellers.
    • by Mike89 (1006497)

      Optus and TPG both implement transparent proxies for load balancing.
      Yep, and now their customers have to put up with their network admin incompetence - here's a few pages of threads with people who've had problems [whirlpool.net.au]
    • by Guspaz (556486) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @10:19AM (#22857722)
      No. It's not load balancing. It's fixed-speed throttling.

      All blacklisted (or non-whitelisted, we're not sure yet) traffic is throttled to 60KB/s from 4PM to 5PM, and from 30KB per second from 5PM until 2AM.

      There are two problems with your load-balancing allegation:

      1) Load balancing would imply that provisioning of available bandwidth would be balanced, rather than limited to very specific thresholds
      2) Users reported that speeds were perfectly fine before throttling; the network was able to handle all load without throttling or balancing. In order for load balancing to make sense as an explanation, there would have to have been congestion.

      Further problems are that when blacklisted traffic is detected (P2P, for example), the users' entire connection is throttled (killing off VoIP service even with QoS). If the user is using a whitelisted service (HTTP), no throttling is performed. This IS protocol-specific.
    • by CKW (409971) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @11:46AM (#22859236) Journal
      BULL-SHIT.

      In late 2007 Bell/Sympatico started throttling p2p to 30KB/s between 5pm and 1am (when you're paying for a line capable of >400KB/s).

      IMMEDIATELY all the technically savy customers (like me) **dumped** them and switched to TekSavvy and other competitors. It was only a matter of time before all of us managed to tell all of our friends and family, and bit by bit Bell's customer base was going to be EATEN ALIVE.

      I DOUBT LIKE HELL there is actual congestion on Bell's common-infrastructure WAN links inside city limits, before they reach the point where it splits into the Bell-internal network and all the reseller's internal systems.

      I GUARANTEE that Bell is just being cheap-asses with bandwidth to the net, and suddenly they discovered that their cheap-assness was NOT flying in the competitive market. So they've invented this reason to throttle everyone (since they control the common infrastructure - the "to the door" bits - that the CRTC *forces* them to re-sell at set rates to competitors).

      Here:

          Customer----(fat ass pipe)----PeeringPointForResellers------Sympatico-----(cheapass tiny pipe)-----Net
          Customer----(fat ass pipe)----PeeringPointForResellers------Competitor-----(fat ass pipe)----------Net

      BellSympaticoThink: "oh jeeze, we're getting raped by our competitors, maybe if we claim we're having congestion problems with the "fat ass pipe" that we're being forced to share with our competitors, then we'll have a level playing field? Yeah, fuck-em."

      Now:

          Customer----(fat ass pipe with packet shaping to make it suck as much as Sympatico)----PeeringPointForResellers------Competitor-----(fat ass pipe)----------Net

      "there, now we won't loose any more customers".

      FUCK SYMPATICO. I was being lazy about switching away from them, but now I'll do it just to save the $10 a month that the cheaper competition would save me.

      PPS: I've been with BellSympatico 8 years, on their most expensive plan, and now I hate their guts and can't stand to pay them money. This is enough to make me want to drop my land line and go with VOIP, even if the latter is shitty quality and service.
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @05:01AM (#22854920)
    Unlike a highway which has a left hand lane for overtaking, the Internet is like a series of tubes through which data packets are propelled at relatively the same speed. When one type of packet starts taking up an inordinate amount of bandwidth, sometimes the tube owners decide to cut back on the number of tubes allotted to those packets and give more tube capacity to other types of packets. Flooding the tube system with any one type of packet degrades the user experience of all users. So it makes sense to protect the user experience of other types of packets by purposefully throttling the antagonist packet types.

    What is the result of the throttling? Is it lost connections, or is it just a slowdown of service? If it is just slowdown, I don't think these bandwidth hoggers have a claim. OTOH, if they are losing connection midstream, they too have a right to the road, even if they need to obey a slower speedlimit.
    • by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @05:13AM (#22854976) Homepage

      Unlike a highway which has a left hand lane for overtaking, the Internet is like a series of tubes through which data packets are propelled at relatively the same speed.
      So what you're saying is the Internet is not something that you just dump something on, it's not a big truck? Well that explains why I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday.
    • by Digestromath (1190577) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @05:40AM (#22855090)
      In the case of a highway. A retailing company is leasing 2 roads, that go from A to B, from a wholesaler. One would imagine it would then sustain the approriate traffic a 2 lane road would during all times of the day. In fact the retailer makes this a selling point.

      However in this case, the road doesn't terminate at B, it goes on to C (and so forth). The wholesaler also controls the flow of traffic from B to C (even if the distance is arbitrary or non-existant). Thus the wholesaler in this case is forcing the retailers two roadways to merge in one single lane during peak times.

      This isn't about the end users clogging up the highways. This is about the unscrupulous merge sign put up during 'peak' times. The idea is the retailer leased two roadways, and they damn well want to use them. If there are too many cars creating a traffic jam, its up to the retailer to decide who gets to use the carpool lane etc.

      • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @05:53AM (#22855136)
        I don't get your analogy at all.

        Let me try to break it down to something simpler.

        Imagine there were an infinite number of Supermen. Where would they fit? How super could he be if there are an infinite number of him taking up all the space in the universe?

        There wouldn't be any space left for Lois Lane or even the planet Krypton. You sometimes need to remove a few "super" users to make room for the normal people.
      • by jamesh (87723) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @06:16AM (#22855234)
        You are in a maze of twisty little analogies, all stupid...
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by n3tcat (664243)
          Go nort^H^H^H^Hsou^H^H^H^H^H^H Get clue. > There is no clue here.
        • your maze analogy about analogies is confusing to me, can you do something with cars or perhaps a locked house?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by perlchild (582235)
        On top of that, it would be quite surprising that the contact between the reseller and the wholesaler NOT explicitely say such a thing is unacceptable. Especially considering that they are in competition with each other, by narrowing down the flow, that's the next thing to unfair competition.

        What seems to have happened from my point of view, is that the wholesaler used to put the resellers before its own retail clients before, and now put everyone at the same level. I expect the wholesaler to be called be
        • by Guspaz (556486)
          Wholesalers like TekSavvy don't have an SLA with Bell. They merely have an SLO that states the levels of service that Bell will probably provide, but makes no guarantees about it one way or the other. It's unlikely that any sort of agreement between Bell and the wholesalers prevent this. It's more likely that CRTC regulations prevent this.
      • by Tuoqui (1091447)
        The problem is... The Reseller probably does not even own A to B.
        • by Guspaz (556486)
          The reseller doesn't OWN A to B, but they're paying for it.

          Some wholesalers actually do own A to B. The problem is that in order to do that, you need to colocate your own DSLAMs in the COs, which limits your coverage and reach. It does have the advantage of letting you pick your own profiles/technology (ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL, etc) since the wholesaler has access to the raw copper wire, and have zero interference since you're providing your own backhaul connection from the CO.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by zappepcs (820751)
      If it is advertised that I will get x number of tubes, and the contract I have signed with my ISP states that I will get x number of tubes, then goddamnit, I need to get x number of tubes. If your infrastructure is incapable of suppling all the people with the contracted number of tubes then you need to increase the capacity of your infrastructure. If your business plan was 'counting on users to not use the contractual number of tubes' then your business plan sucks and you should be penalized handily.

      If you
      • by AvitarX (172628)
        If you are speaking as an end user I recommend you read your contract and stop acting like it does not allow for shenanigans.

        They are usually VERY clear that you are paying for up to a certain number of tubes, and they will arbitrarily take away your maximum number of tubes if they decide you use them too much.

        I'm not saying it's right, just that it is a little dis-ingenuous to pretend you didn't sign something that says I'll bend over and beg you for more.

        If you really want your tube (and it is only one ma
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by molarmass192 (608071)
      The tube analogy is a bad (tm) one. The internet is more like airports. There are small airports that fly into big hub airports. There is only so much room on an airplane. If the P2Petersons book 90% of the seats on the plane out of Poughkeepsie into Newark, then even though there are plenty of empty seats in Newark, the "bandwidth" from Poughkeepsie to Newark is crowded by the P2Petersons. In this case, the ISP only let's the P2Petersons have 25% of the seats on Newark bound planes. Wait no, the internet i
    • by Guspaz (556486)
      The core problem here is that there are no more "bandwidth hoggers". Bell's own service has a 30 GB per month cap, with $1.50 per gig over that cap. They're also removing the limit on the maximum overage charges (currently $30) on new customers June 30th.

      In short, users are already paying per-gig for what they use. Calling them a "bandwidth hog" despite the fact that they're paying Bell 50x cost for that bandwidth is incorrect.

      The same is true when it comes to wholesalers; they pay Bell per-megabit for back
    • Well, in a series of tubes you get the Bernoulli effect and when a tube is throttled, the speed of the data increases and the pressure on the data flow decreases. The decrease in pressure can lead to the data boiling, causing cavitation. The cavitation and collapse of the data steam bubbles can cause severe damage to the tube walls...
  • by mrbluze (1034940) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @05:04AM (#22854932) Journal
    P2P traffic has to get smarter, basically - encryption, port and protocol randomization, methinks. The time has come.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rikkards (98006)
      I mentioned this in another thread but Rogers has figured out how to deal with the big downloaders; drop the cap level that you are allowed to download and start charging for anything over the cap. I wonder how long it will take before people move. Mind you, I think everyone else is doing the same thing (except Teksavvy)
      • by mrbluze (1034940)

        drop the cap level that you are allowed to download and start charging for anything over the cap.

        I think ISP's in Australia are a bit harsh in cropping speeds to 64kbps once the monthly limit is reached, as this is annoyingly slow. Instead they should cap to around 128kbps which allows for fairly useful day-to-day browsing and emails and VOIP calls whilst making P2P too annoyingly slow to contemplate. But in fairness, most ISP's here don't charge for excess traffic once it's shaped. You basically get what you pay for here, by and large, and you don't have to pay for what you don't need.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        The question is, can anybody really provide unlimited throughput at $40 (or whatever) a month. With torrents, and a good connection it's easily possible to get download rates of 500 KB/s. With 2592000 seconds in a 30 day period, one could easily download 1200 GBytes every month. That's 1.2 terabits, and about 20 times the regular 60 GB cap I get on Rogers. Is it really feasible for them offer unlimited throughput, to all users as downloading videos becomes commonplace?
        • by rikkards (98006)
          Teksavvy can and does. They have two options of 200G cap or for $10 more Unlimited. I heard about them last week on here and started investigating.

          Right now, I am mulling at going with them but according to the tech I would only get
          between 1 and 2M while now I am at 5.5M. However over the weekend random tests would show I was getting about 1.5M but this morning it peaked to 4.5M. However I gather you would be using Bell infrastructure which is why I may wait to see what the fallout of this article is befor
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by JimCDiver (1217114)
            I strongly advise you not to touch a working DSL connection until Bell's labor dispute has been resolved. If you disconnect now, you probably will not get a working, new connection until sometime in December.
          • All the DSL providers in Ontario (which is where Teksavvy operates) use Bell Infrastructure because Bell had (and may still have) a monopoly* on the wires. CRTC may have forced them to allow other telecom companies to use the wires to provide voice and internet, but it hasn't forced them to play nice with them. Until recently, if you used a non Bell phone company you could not get DSL on that line. Bell would provide the voice line to the non Bell as per CRTC regulations, but it would be on its older swi
            • by rikkards (98006)
              The other thing is that Bell gives lowest priority to any of the clients of the resellers. I worked for a law firm a while back and our internet conection was provided through a reseller. The DSL modem started getting flakey and it took 3 days and a call to Bell (who said they weren't supposed to be talking to us) and a threat of a lawsuit (these were lawyers) before they came in and replaced the modem which the tech said they were aware of having the problem we were experiencing.

              I may end up just sucking i
        • by Guspaz (556486)
          Yes, because it's a game of averages. TekSavvy pays about 3 cents per megabit for the unmetered customers. They're betting that the average customer uses less than 500GB/mth (their estimated break-even point at the $40 pricepoint). And since the average unlimited user used 118.47GB in January (please see the DSLR thread where TekSavvy's owner listed their average user bandwidth figures: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r20029507-Rocky-DecJan-bandwidth-stats [dslreports.com]), that game of averages currently works in TekSavvy
      • Already moved (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Minupla (62455)
        I moved when my VPN sessions started getting hacked up because of that stupid Roger's "if we can't see the traffic, we'll throttle it just in case it might be p2p" move. I'm now at Teksavvy, which means I'm impacted by this too. No winning for me!

        Min
      • by Guspaz (556486)
        No, TekSavvy does have a cap, and does charge for overage. Of course, your $30/mth DSL line has a 200GB/mth cap, and overage is $0.10 to $0.25 (depending on if you pre-purchase a 100GB chunk or not). So they're really not discouraging heavy users, just trying to get a handle on the insanely-high users. Those users are encouraged to sign up for the unmetered cogent-only service for $40/mth. Same speeds, still have the ability to saturate your line, except you're on cogent instead of the normal multi-homed "p
    • by Detritus (11846)
      I think the long-term solution is plain old IP, probably in the form of IPSEC. The network's job is to switch and deliver packets, not to extract information from the headers of higher-level protocols and use it to "manage" the network.
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @06:38AM (#22855316) Journal
      It's not necessarily that easy.

      E.g., there was at some point an article about what Comcast does. They're not targetting the P2P ports or anything. They just look at which client opens a burst of connections at the same time and has a lot of connections going at the same time.

      You'd get throttled just the same if you connected a large extended family or lan party via the same proxy/router to the 'net, and everyone tried to download 5 porn movies at the same time, and repeatedly reload Slashdot while they download. You know, all via the browser, plain old HTTP, on port 80.

      Basically it's not as much targeting P2P, as just targeting everyone who doesn't behave like one user with a browser.

      Because they're not as much hating P2P, as trying to keep the majority of moms and pops sending emails to their kids happy. Those guys don't open 20 connections at the same time, so they don't notice it.

      The problem is, basically: The ISPs oversold the bandwidth _massively_, and I'm certainly not trying to defend that, but it would sorta work if everyone didn't use all that. Or if they all had the same number of connections, so they're all inconvenienced equally. P2P programs don't act like that. They keep opening bursts of connections until they saturate the pipe, everyone else be damned.

      Think of the following example, basically. Let's say I'm lucky enough to have an 100 mbit/s Ethernet connection to my best buddy's ISP, and decide to share it with the whole neighbourhood. Essentially, I'd be a mini-ISP there. Now I don't want one guy saturating it all, so let's say I connect everyone to my hub via only 10 mbit/s Ethernet. I'd have enough bandwidth for 10 of them. But I figure most of them are old people and don't surf much, so I let 40 people connect there.

      It's already oversold, but let's hope it works out.

      Now if everyone used a browser and, say, 1 connection at a time, worst that can happen is that all 40 download a movie at the same time, and they all see 100/40 = 2.5 mbit/s bandwidth. That's only at peak times, so probably most will understand it, and some probably won't even do the maths there in the first place.

      But then come some people with P2P clients. Those don't play that nice. If they don't get the whole 10mbit/s, everyone else be damned, they'll open more connections until they do. So now as little as a quarter of my users can saturate my whole backbone connection. The other 75% will suck air through a straw. Their 1 connection vs the two dozen connections of the P2P guys means they'll be happy if they see 100 kbit/s on their downloads. They can probably go brew a cup of coffee even while a simple site like Slashdot loads.

      Now they _will_ complain.

      That's the ISP's problem in a nutshell: P2P makes the traditional oversell no longer work. A minority of users running P2P stuff full time, can stuff everyone else's pipe, and massively amplify the effects of oversell for everyone else.

      Not because it's P2P, but because it opens that burst of connections.

      What can you do there?

      1. Stop overselling. That costs money, so I don't think the ISPs will do that any time soon. Especially since they dug themselves into a nasty hole where they advertised more and more bandwidth and lower and lower prices, and they can't afford to actually deliver that to everyone. The only way to do that is to raise prices.

      2. Start charging per MB, and let free market economics solve who gets how much bandwidth. The moms and pops just reading their emails would probably pay cents, while if someone wants to download the whole internet, well, if they can afford it, why not? Downside, it would be extremely unpopular, and again it's a hole that their own marketing dug them in.

      3. Target anyone who opens ridiculous numbers of connections, to stop them from squeezing everyone else out. Downside, it's easy to overdo it, and now P2P users will suck air through a straw and see analog modem speeds.

      4. Implement some kind of smart scheduling, so
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        1. Stop overselling. That costs money, so I don't think the ISPs will do that any time soon. Especially since they dug themselves into a nasty hole where they advertised more and more bandwidth and lower and lower prices, and they can't afford to actually deliver that to everyone. The only way to do that is to raise prices.

        Actually, this is the only thing that they should be doing as "overselling" can, and should, be treated as what it is: a rampant case of criminal business fraud. I am quite dismayed tha

        • by Guspaz (556486)
          It depends how you define overselling. All ISPs oversell. The entire internet is oversold. It's the concept that makes it financially viable.

          If I have 100 customers who each have 5mbit connections, with average usage of 50mbit/s and peak usage of 75mbit/s, why should I (as an ISP) pay for 500mbit/s?

          Overselling only becomes bad when you don't have enough bandwidth to handle peak loads. The internet and ISPs cannot function without overselling, and that includes TekSavvy.
      • by Vancorps (746090)

        I think you've missed the mark on why bittorrent at least is so revolutionary. Yes it can eat a lot of bandwidth, but for a large cable operator a large number of people are going to be on your own backbone not using any of your upstream bandwidth or at least using a lot less of it.

        So from your perspective you have your 100meg connection with 100 million 10meg connections coming off of it, if they are copying from one to another then your 100meg feed is irrelevant and they will not be degrading the perfor

        • by Todd Knarr (15451)

          Doesn't work that way. For cable Internet the bottleneck is the upstream link from the subscriber's cable modem to the cable head-end. That upstream link's got only a fraction of the bandwidth the downstream link does, and's easy to saturate. And that's exactly the link that'd be hit when a subscriber downloads a file from another subscriber, because the download for the recipient is an upload for the machine hosting the file. And that upstream isn't per-customer, it's shared among all subscribers on a give

      • by Kenshin (43036)
        You'd get throttled just the same if you connected a large extended family or lan party via the same proxy/router to the 'net, and everyone tried to download 5 porn movies at the same time, and repeatedly reload Slashdot while they download.

        I'm sorry, but your family sounds scary.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JesseMcDonald (536341)

        4. Implement some kind of smart scheduling, so every user gets an equal chance at their share of bandwidth. So in my small neighbourhood ISP example, you'd see the same 2.5 mbit/s at peak hour regardless of whether you have 1 connection open or 100.

        Now of course, the only honest solutions are #1 and #2, take your pick which you prefer.

        What's so dishonest about #4? As a DSL customer (not an ISP) that approach seems perfectly reasonable to me, so long as the ISP is upfront about the average bandwidth th

        • by Senjutsu (614542)

          Unfortunately, as you said, it would probably be rather unpopular at first, even though it's likely to be less expensive for most users than unmetered bandwidth.

          I don't know what ISPs are like in your experience, but 'round here I can't imagine any of them switching to a pricing structure which sees the majority of their customers giving them less money every month.

          If and when pay-per-MB broadband comes, expect the most basic package to cost at least as much as the current standard package costs right now.

      • Nice argument, nice presentation, totally based on bullshit.

        Connections and bandwith are not necessarily interconnected like you assume. Any moderately smart network appliance (e.g. Tomato for home routers) can measure bandwidth per source irrespective of the number of connections. So saying that the "big bad hacker" who opens 100 connections clogs the pipes for everyone is just spin doctoring the issue.

        The other problem with your argument is that it is not only P2P programs that open flurries of connect
      • by Endlisnis (208453) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:56AM (#22857332)
        Your argument makes sense for some ISPs, but not for this specific situation:
        1) Teksavvy supplies it's own bandwidth, and only leases the 'last-mile' connection from Bell Canada.
        2) Teksavvy does oversell, but currently keeps up with it's traffic even at peak times.
        3) Bell is throttling P2P on Teksavvy's last-mile, even though it has little impact on their ability to provide service to it's own customers.
        4) The type of throttling they are doing is interfearing with QoS systems in routers that ensure VoIP works. It is causing reduced quality in VoIP services.
        5) Selectively throttling specific protocols is a slippery slope. What's to say that they don't decide that VoIP is the next service that gets eliminated because it competes with their local phone service?

        This is a blatant attempt by Bell to remove a competitive advantage from competing ISPs.
      • by rikkards (98006)
        Personally, I have no problem with #2. The problem I have is that they are still throttling bandwidth. I have no issue in paying a little more if I get the data I want as fast as I can get it.

        At any rate, to finally get back on topic, just randomizing ports and encrypting connections won't do much. As long as you still open two dozen connections, you can still be throttled just as well. The only way to be really stealthy there is if you make it all go to a centralized server, tunneled over a single connecti
    • I'd rather see something like the way OpenVPN can be setup to tunnel an encrypted connection over UDP packets as the transport mechanism. Hide all the TCP level details completely. I'd probably go even further and use a protocol like SCTP encrypted and tunneled over UDP.

      At least this would stop the Comcast forged RST problem, but there's not much you could do if they just dropped these packets instead.

    • by Hatta (162192)
      Encapsulate it in HTML/HTTP. See if they can throttle that without slowing down everyone's web.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @05:12AM (#22854966)
    They just started to release their programs as torrents that are DRM FREE!!!!!

    We hope you enjoyed tonight's show! As announced, CBC is happy to present Canada's Next Great Prime Minister to you as a DRM-free bittorrent file [www.cbc.ca] which you can download, share & enjoy. First, pick which file you want to download:

    Xvid AVI at 720x486
    or
    264 MPEG-4 at 320x240

    Maybe marketplace should do a story about Bell and Rogers regarding this throttling...
  • by javilon (99157) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @06:02AM (#22855172) Homepage
    Encrypt all traffic. Kill deep packet inspection. What business do they have with the contents of your communications?
    • Contact your ISP (Score:3, Insightful)

      by earthforce_1 (454968)
      And let them know you notice, and request that they complain to Bell. I wonder if it is even legal, since they have already paid for the bandwidth.
      • by zoney_ie (740061)
        The main point is that you should get exactly what you pay for. It is not necessary for ISPs to use high-tech solutions to specifically target torrent traffic, etc. Instead, all they need do is implement a data cap (you have a choice of different caps, each costing more) that instead of being month-based, applies to the last 30 days. Therefore no network problems with the entire user-base trying to use up their download cap (that's a cap, not a target) within the first week of the month. Instead, it's balan
      • by Pope (17780)
        And have you read the contract your indie DSL ISP has with Bell? Doubtful.
      • by compro01 (777531)
        better yet, complain to your ISP and the CRTC, as i'm sure this violates regulations or at least qualifies as unfair business practises.
    • by mikelieman (35628)
      These ISPs should be freaking out if they're not getting their full CIR *before* any traffic shaping kicks in.

    • More encryption is counter-productive.
      • Until every app is encrypted. (https for web, ssl e-mail, vpn to the office... All legal) Then they throttle all my packets, and in the words of Rickie Ricardo, "Lucy... You got some splaining to do."
        • by Locklin (1074657)
          My ISP (acanac) said they are considering setting up encrypted VPN's if they start running into this. At that point, all bell will see is a single encrypted connection type - so yes, very quickly, everything will become encrypted if they keep doing this.

          They already have 200Gb of online storage and are setting up "online desktops" which are RDP connections to a fedora VM with a 16Mb connection as free services -so I wouldn't put it past them setting up free VPN connections for everyone.
  • Can't Escape Bell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Metaphorically (841874) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @06:51AM (#22855386) Homepage
    I'm a Teksavvy client and very happy with them. You call up and still talk to a person who's actually a part of the company you're calling (in Chatham, Ontario). And quickly. I like the fact that when you talk to them they treat you like you're an intelligent person instead of just an account to be dealt with.

    I was actually considering dropping my Bell telephone number to move completely to voip at Teksavvy after I found Bell adding things to my phone bill that I never asked for. Now to go to voip would require me to get dry DSL service from Teksavvy and probably end up paying more per month than I could for a basic phone bill but I'm seriously considering it just to avoid having to talk to Bell any more.

    I know that the back end is still run by Bell and that the money I pay for dry DSL would probably mostly get passed on to that company anyway but at least I could trust that nobody could decide to add a long distance plan to my account without consulting me first.

    My big concern with moving to voip-only is that Bell will abuse their position to degrade VoIP calls.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rubberglove (1066394)

      I was actually considering dropping my Bell telephone number to move completely to voip at Teksavvy after I found Bell adding things to my phone bill that I never asked for. Now to go to voip would require me to get dry DSL service from Teksavvy and probably end up paying more per month than I could for a basic phone bill but I'm seriously considering it just to avoid having to talk to Bell any more.

      I'm also a very happy teksavvy customer, who moved to dry dsl + voip after bell pissed me off one too many times (By unilaterally, without notice adding an extra year of contract to my cell phone plan. Don't get me started...).

      Since the service and support from teksavvy is so great (not that I often need support), I immediately asked them about their voip plans, and the teksavvy rep actually recommended against using their own voip service, saying it wasn't yet reliable enough (this was about 2 years ago,

      • Yeah, I kind of figured I'd get the shaft on the phone number. I really don't have the strength to argue with Bell any more. Between the horrid machine they _require_ you to talk to when you call them and the useless answers of the people you finally get through to I don't know if I'll even try to keep my number.

        The voip service I use right now is from Les.net (another very helpful small Canadian company) and I think I would end up moving to just using that full-time. I already have one local number from
        • by just fiddling around (636818) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:29AM (#22856948) Journal
          I switched from Bell to Teksavvy dry DSL + VoIP with BabyTel. Excellent quality since I enabled QoS on my own router (linksys with Tomato), and the service is A+.

          I got to keep my phone number, but it cost me some $$: to be sure that the number is not reassigned before it is transfered, I followed these steps:
          1- sign up with Babytel
          2- send a "number portability" form, signed, by fax to Babytel
          3- wait 30 days for the move to be done
          4- profit! Bell cuts off my phone line automatically when the number is gone.

          Total cost: 1 month's fees due to the overlap (25$ Bell line + 12$ for the Babytel line).

          Total hassle: fill and fax 1 form, email twice to Babytel to know the procedure and confirm.

          Total time spent with Bell: no phone, no mail, just the final bill for the amount of 0$.
          • Total time spent with Bell: no phone, no mail, just the final bill for the amount of 0$.

            I like the sound of that. The rates at Babytel look higher than what I get from Les.net but Babytel looks like a full-service outfit instead of just the basic access that I want. I wonder if Les.net does the same number porting thing. I'm going to look into that - especially if it means I don't have to call Bell myself.

            Of course you have to know that since your DSL is supplied over Bell's lines you're really still at their mercy in the end.

            One day maybe we can hope that someone will see the sense in

      • by Durrik (80651)
        I'm also a Teksavvy customer, a new one but out in BC, and using Telus as a back bone. I have some serious issues with my line, I moved from an old provider who was giving me 1.5 mbits/down and 640 kbits up, to Teksavvy's 3 down 1 up service (for $40 LESS a month) and the phone lines are giving me problems. Sure speedtest.net is reporting 1.8 down and 288 up but sustained its more like 640 down and 100 up. When I talked to Teksavvy customer support they've always treated me as intelligent and are houndin
        • Didn't know they went all the way out to BC. Seriously, when I got started with them I bought a modem, screwed it up and I remember very clearly that I talked to Steve when I called them up. He's the guy that answered the phone after a couple rings and he told me what settings I'd need in Hyperterminal to connect to this modem in debug mode so I could recover it. This isn't a modem they sold me - they recommended it but I bought it used from a computer shop.

          That was a few years ago. The last time I called
          • by Guspaz (556486)
            They currently service Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. They're shortly going to expand to Bell Aliant territory, which would include (I believe) Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. At that point, TekSavvy will service eight provinces.
    • I'm a Teksavvy customer, and my biggest frustration thus far has nothing to do with their company at all, but rather that any ADSL provider in the area (North York/Toronto, Ontario) needs to use Bell's lines. This means that Bell gets to tack on an extra charge to my bill, but there doesn't seem to be any requirement from them to provide a decent level of service.

      In my case, after the initial (dry-loop) connection is made, *I* have to pay for any future Bell calls. Further to that, I have a straight run t
  • by Notquitecajun (1073646) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @07:16AM (#22855542)
    It's just saying "eh" a bunch in the sentences.

    Which is how they learned to spell Canada, by the way. C, eh! N, eh! D, eh!

    /Dives behind desk before the RCMP polites me to death, because I've been waiting for a proper Canadian thread to use that joke and couldn't hold back anymore. With credit - I think - to Bob and Doug.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Which is how they learned to spell Canada, by the way. C, eh! N, eh! D, eh!

      Ah, that's a good one me 'bye. I haven't heard 'dat one since before Reagan was in 'de White 'Ouse.

      Really my old trout, you need some newer jokes. :-P

      /Dives behind desk before the RCMP polites me to death, because I've been waiting for a proper Canadian thread to use that joke and couldn't hold back anymore.

      Watch out me son, the RCMP have been known to taser people to death [www.cbc.ca] as well; we could arrange for a demonstration if you like.

    • by Pope (17780)
      Hey, the RCMP only get called if Officer Gord can't take care of it!
    • because I've been waiting for a proper Canadian thread to use that joke

      The number of people in Canada who use "eh" in their sentences is probably about the same number of people in the US who are in the habit of saying "y'all". I've lived half my life on each side of the border, and I probably couldn't use up my fingers counting the numbers I've personally known belonging to either category.

      In much the same way that most folks in the US feel no ongoing need to distinguish themselves from their Southern, Ap
      • I've said "y'all" - and been around people who have - all my life, and never in the singular. Most of that time spent in the "Deep South" - Louisiana and Georgia.

        BTW, the plural of "y'all" is "all y'all". Trust me, Southerners REALLY understand the difference.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @07:36AM (#22855684)
    The problem isn't a company that wants to harass P2P users here (though that could potentially be a problem with many ISP's in the future, particularly Comcast and other ISP's who could be bought off with Hollywood cash), the problem are companies like Bell, AT&T, etc. who have oversold bandwidth while not building up their infrastructure to match. In other words, they've sat on their asses and not build up their networks and backbones the way they should have been doing, all while continuing to promise "unlimited" bandwidth--and now they're mouths are writing checks their asses can't cash.
  • The Censorship Tag (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kellyb9 (954229) on Tuesday March 25, 2008 @09:01AM (#22856588)
    Mod me offtopic if you want, I think its funny that every article that comes across has the "censorship" tag. This, again, really isn't censorship. They're not censoring anything from you. They are not saying you can't look at something. They are just prioritizing their traffic. Again, not saying they are right in doing so, but its not censorship.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe

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