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Networking Your Rights Online

Bell's Own Data Exposes P2P As a Red Herring 261

Posted by timothy
from the just-wanted-to-say-canadian-throttling-front dept.
dougplanet writes with news from the Canadian-throttling front: "As ordered by the CRTC, Bell has released (some) of its data on how torrents and P2P in general are affecting its network. Even though there's not much data to go on, it's pretty clear that P2P isn't the crushing concern. Over the two-month period prior to their throttling, they had congestion on a whopping 2.6 and 5.2 per cent of their network links. They don't even explain whether this is a range of sustained congestion, or peaks amongst valleys."
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Bell's Own Data Exposes P2P As a Red Herring

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  • How funny (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2008 @09:54PM (#23961289)

    Anyone else find it funny that the article links to a video in it's "rgbFilter podcast"? Could it be that the explosion of streaming video is one of the real causes of network congestion, not a few "copyright infringes"? Never!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dafrazzman (1246706)
      The statistics say nothing about P2P's role in congestion. All it says is that the networks aren't that congested (or is 5 percent a lot?).

      Exactly what role P2P plays in the five percent is an entirely different matter.

      • Harm done. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by twitter (104583) * on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:39PM (#23961705) Homepage Journal

        Bell's data shows that unrestricted P2P creates no congestion in better than 95% of their networks. Schemes to "filter" P2P will slow down 100% of their networks. It is obvious that either:

        1. They are incompetent. They are going to create a problem to solve one that does not exist. Or
        2. They are liars. Their goals and reasons are different from those stated.

        My bet is on #2.

        • Re:Harm done. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Smidge204 (605297) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:49PM (#23961787) Journal

          While I would also tend to vote #2 here, those two options are not mutually exclusive.

          =Smidge=

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765)

            What obviously no-one can ask is "just how bad is 2.6% congestion", never mind 5%

            Well, as a network engineer, I can tell you this : it's VERY bad. This number means that some of their core lines were inoperable 1/20th of the time due to p2p.

            The target number in any network, in case anyone doesn't know, is 0%. Congestion == line down. It creates unacceptable and unworkeable slowdowns.

            And let's not forget that this congestion was created while they were upgrading their lines as fast as they could.

            • Re:Harm done. (Score:5, Informative)

              by Guspaz (556486) on Friday June 27, 2008 @05:55AM (#23964571) Homepage

              You're completely incorrect because you're completely ignoring Bell's criteria for a line being considered congested.

              First, their thresholds: They consider anything over the following utilization thresholds to be congested:

              DS-3 61%, OC-3 84%, OC-12 and OC-48 90%.

              Second, they determine usage and congestion by taking samples every 15 minutes. If five samples return percentages over those limits in a 14 day period, the line is considered to be congested for the entire 14 day period.

              Their percentages are actually not all that bad; they're a useful guideline for when it's time to turn on another link. Their methodology for MEASURING the usage, on the other hand, is completely flawed. A two-hour long DDoS attack one afternoon might mark a slew of lines as congested for two entire weeks.

              Further bolstering the fact that they've chosen their measurements to make the issue seem worse than it appears is that despite the supposed congestion on a given percentage of their lines, they only have about 4000 ATM cell loss events network-wide each month. This is out of the trillions of ATM cells flying around their network every month, they only drop a percentage so small that my calculator resorts to scientific notation trying to calculate it.

              In short, they've pretty much made up the issue. Their figures when taken at face value don't indicate significant congestion (5% of lines congested? Why not just purchased a handful more lines?), when examined based on their methodology appear to be garbage data, and when compared against actual packetloss caused by congestion, is proven to be completely non-existent. Bell has zero actual network congestion, their own ATM loss data backs that up.

              Disclaimer: I'm not a network engineer, and so I might be talking out of my ass. But I think that common sense can play a role here; their methodology makes it trivial to declare a line as congested, and having 4000 instances of ATM cell loss on a network in a month with millions of customers (and trillions of ATM cells sent per month) doesn't seem particularly bad.

              • Re:Harm done. (Score:5, Interesting)

                by thegameiam (671961) <thegameiam&yahoo,com> on Friday June 27, 2008 @07:17AM (#23965047) Homepage

                I am a network engineer. 90% is a really high threshold for calling something congested. Also, 15 minute averages are better than a lot of measurements I've seen, but are far from perfect - lots of "microburst" type activity can cause a noticeable loss in performance over a much shorter period than that.

                Bittorrent-type flow patterns do tend to cause microburst issues - it might be that Bell CA needs to implement some more fine-grained measurements to see whether the thresholds are still the right ones for them.

        • Re:Harm done. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Z00L00K (682162) on Friday June 27, 2008 @06:39AM (#23964833) Homepage
          Their ultimate goal is to probe the possibility of various means to inflict harm on streamed video from services outside their network.

          By destroying P2P traffic they are doing it to some traffic that has a large part of the traffic volume in their networks and see what happens. P2P has probably been chosen as a legitimate target since it has a considerable amount of "illegal" or "gray" data which in turn means that the number of companies that are affected and buying services from the ISP is lower. Which in turn means that the risk of costly legal suits are held at bay.

          So the P2P corruption is mostly a test, not the real deal.

          The true reason is that they want to keep the customers to themselves and just tell their customers that they will only get good video if they buy it from them and not any independent vendor.

          And this means that everybody has to sit and watch the movies and TV channels that the ISP provides and nothing else - with injected commercials and other crap.

      • Queueing Theory says that around 70% utilization is when delays occur.

        They are not close, they are blowing smoke.

        • And in other news... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Moekandu (300763) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:25PM (#23962055) Homepage

          An ISP in Japan will also soon be throttling [arstechnica.com] their user's bandwidth.

          Yes, they are creating an upload cap of 30GB per day. Not per month, per day .

          I for one, welcome our Japanese ISP bandwidth capping overlords! Please?

          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:30AM (#23962617)

            -2, Jealous

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Fred_A (10934)

            Yes, they are creating an upload cap of 30GB per day. Not per month, per day .

            That's still an awful lot of tentacles...

        • Re:How funny (Score:5, Informative)

          by rcw-home (122017) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:42PM (#23962189)

          Queueing Theory says that around 70% utilization is when delays occur.

          Delays occur whenever anything is waiting in an output queue instead of being immediately transmitted. This could happen at very low average utilization levels if multiple sources all try to send data across a link simultaneously [formortals.com]. The delay time is a function of the number of bytes waiting to be transmitted and the transmit speed.

          Retransmission delays occur when the output queue gets full, the router drops additional packets as they come in, and the TCP connection hangs until the retried packets come through (700ms for the first one, much more for subsequent dropped packets). To avoid compounding the problem, output queues on routers are typically sized to something a fair bit less than 700ms.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by dotwaffle (610149)

            I was always taught that rate-limiting *causes* congestion on networks. A properly configured network uses QoS to determine priorities, and with the modern equivalents of FECN/BECN, you can end up with a fast, useful, uncongested network with the same traffic flows.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Guspaz (556486)

            The relevant networks here are all ATM (the ones being throttled, the ones P2P is being used over).

            My understanding is that ATM doesn't handle retransmissions. Furthermore, Bell's data shows that network wide, with millions of customers and trillions of ATM cells flying about per month, they only suffer from about 3500-4500 cell loss events per month.

            You'd think that if they had even a single congested line, they'd be dropping millions (or even billions) of ATM cells per month.

      • by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (esidarap.cram)> on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:17PM (#23961985) Homepage Journal

        (or is 5 percent a lot?)

        I would say that depends on if it's the five percent I am in.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Casandro (751346)

        Actually 5 percent is already a _lot_. The network should never be utiliced to more than 50%, even at peak times.

        But it's not the fault of the customers, it's the fault of the company. It's their duty to constantly upgrade their network connections. Why else should they charge money.

        If it really was about network congestion, they wouldn't block P2P-trafic, but they would give those packets lower priority. That way those packets only get dropped whenever there is an actual congestion.

  • Glad to hear this. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @09:55PM (#23961293)
    It was quite clear to me all along that this whole throttling issue revolved around the agenda of some nasty people who want to lock the world in to their way of doing things, and had nothing to do with use of bandwidth or any other legitimate issue. I'm glad this is coming out.
    • by blahplusplus (757119) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @09:57PM (#23961321)

      It was so obvious, we know ISP's are the worst kinds of businesses, they oversell the bandwidth massively on the customer end and yet their backbones are pretty hardly ever used so they just end up cheating the consumer. It's basically extortion.

      • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:14PM (#23961475)

        Overselling bandwidth is necessary, its called statistical multiplexing.

        Capping transfer per month at ridiculously low levels is not necessary though, they get plenty of money to pay for what people use, and lets face it, this is a quasi-socialist ISP environment, people who barely use their connections are paying for those who use the connection all the time.

        Might not be fair, but the ISPs have nothing to complain about, they have been taking peoples money without having to provide much in return to most of them for a long, long time.

        • by debrain (29228) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:29PM (#23961603) Journal

          Overselling bandwidth is necessary, its called statistical multiplexing.

          Capping transfer per month at ridiculously low levels is not necessary though, they get plenty of money to pay for what people use, and lets face it, this is a quasi-socialist ISP environment, people who barely use their connections are paying for those who use the connection all the time.

          Might not be fair, but the ISPs have nothing to complain about, they have been taking peoples money without having to provide much in return to most of them for a long, long time.

          FYI, the bandwidth Bell is traffic shaping, which this case arises out of, is (1) not Bell customers (Bell simply provides the last-leg of the DSL connection - the DSLAM, I believe) and (2) not using Bell's backbone internet connection.

          The traffic is from, for example, Teksavvy (ISP) customers to the Teksavvy backbone. Bell is just an intermediary.

          • by sedmonds (94908) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:04PM (#23961897) Homepage
            Teksavvy gets last mile copper, and DSLAM to peering location at 151 Front St, in Toronto from Bell. If they had peering at each CO and remote, then Bell really would have no justification to impose throttling. Bell is claiming that some network links between the DSLAM and edges of their network are inadequate. What's particularly greasy is that Bell negotiated transit bandwidth agreements with third party ISPs, and then pulled this throttling crap on them. So Teksavvy negotiates a multi-year agreement with Bell for X Gbps transit, so that they can serve their clients during peak hours and be prepared for anticipated growth of their subscriber base. After being locked into transit contracts, Bell starts throttling during peak hours, thus changing the bandwidth that Teksavvy would need during these hours. Further, they don't provide third party providers information about WHICH clients are throttled, putting third parties at a further disadvantage for planning bandwidth needs. The Supreme Court of Canada just cleared the way for the sale of Bell to interests which are financing the sale to the toon of 34 billion dollars of new debt for a company with annual profits of about 4 billion dollars. I'm not at all surprised that Bell is electing to spend a relatively small amount of money on throttling boxes, rather than making any real investment in infrastructure.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          This is true; in addition, if there actually were a reason that the ISPs were losing money, then they would raise the monthly rate by a few dollars. Most people won't switch ISPs over a few dollars a month since it's such a hassle to do so anyway. However, note that I said *IF* there were such a reason, which there isn't, at least until we start doing everything, including all voice and video communication (think all your cable TV and phones), over the Internet.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mi (197448)

            Most people won't switch ISPs over a few dollars a month

            Most people would not switch over "traffic shaping" either — not even most slashdotters.

            Ultimately this comes down to whether ISPs are free to control their network, if it annoys customers...

            • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:39PM (#23962159)

              Switch? WHERE TO, for crying out loud.

              It's not like you have any real choice in the cartel they formed. It's a bit like crime syndicates splitting up the areas, you get the west coast, I take the south...

              • by mi (197448)

                It's not like you have any real choice in the cartel they formed.

                Don't know about your neck of the woods, but here in NYC I can switch between two different DSL-providers and a cable-company. Plus the T-Mobile's recent announcement of offering wireless static Internet service.

                But I did not start talking about (not) switching — the gp did...

                • by bryce1012 (822567) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:41AM (#23962713) Journal
                  So, in New York City -- the supposed center of the world -- "competition" is 3 carriers? In backwoods America, there's generally one cable and one DSL provider... if you're lucky. That is NOT competiion.
                  • In comparison... (Score:4, Interesting)

                    by SpzToid (869795) * on Friday June 27, 2008 @04:55AM (#23964287)

                    In comparison, the tiny Netherlands with all that cheese and those cows seems to have a lot of consumer ISPs to choose from. Here's a partial list:

                    Alice Comfort
                    Argeweb
                    12move
                    Abel Telecom
                    CompuServe
                    Concepts
                    DDS
                    Domestix
                    EDPnet
                    Fiberworld
                    Filternet
                    GreenOnline
                    HCC Net
                    Het Net
                    InterNLnet
                    KPN ADSL
                    Orange
                    Planet ADSL
                    Primus
                    Qfast ICT
                    Quicknet
                    Scarlet
                    Solcon
                    Speedlinq
                    SpeedXS
                    Studenten.net
                    Supersnel ADSL
                    Tele2 ADSL
                    The One Hosting
                    Tiscali ADSL
                    TweakDSL
                    Unet
                    Vastelastenbond Internet+bellen
                    xsDSL
                    XS4ALL tip
                    ZIEZO.biz

                    Even bloody Compuserve (yes that one!) will sell you 20down / 1up ADSL for 19.95 euros a month. For another 5 euros a month they'll add PSTN phone termination and a DID. 30 euros monthly for 20 mb down is most typical now. And little traffic shaping if any, to my knowledge.

                    In fact providers such as XS4all make a political statement against such practices, when they can under legal and contractual agreements, as they do with their statement of privacy too.

                    For more complete info: http://adsl.startpagina.nl/ [startpagina.nl]

                • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

                  by Walkingshark (711886)

                  Wow, so I guess if I want to switch ISP then all I have to do is move to NYC? Brilliant!

              • by jlarocco (851450)

                In most areas the local government grants a single telco and/or single cable company sole access to the city. Your best bet is to complain to your city council and tell them to open your market to competition.

        • [...]this is a quasi-socialist ISP environment, people who barely use their connections are paying for those who use the connection all the time.

          I'm sorry, but I'd say asking for as much money from your customers while delivering as little of your resource as possible is capitalism, not socialism.

      • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:23PM (#23962039) Homepage Journal
        They're like OPEC. They don't even try to hide behind phoney legitimacy anymore, They're basically saying, "We don't have to rape you, but we will, and you're going to bend over and LIKE IT!".
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:38PM (#23962147)

          They're like OPEC. They don't even try to hide behind phoney legitimacy anymore, They're basically saying, "We don't have to rape you, but we will, and you're going to bend over and LIKE IT!".

          False.

          Since when has "and LIKE IT!", in relation to the customer, ever entered into any telco (or OPEC) executive's mind?

          • Uh, when they need it for work or school perhaps?
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Clarification: if you work full-time and go to school(on-campus and online classes) not wanting to exhaust yourself spending an extra 3 hours of the day taking mass-transit(though I am very much in favor of augmenting mass-transit).

              Yeah, I do believe that some of us LIKE being connected to the internet and putting petroleum-based fuels in our vehicles, much like Winston Smith loves big brother.
    • It doesn't matter, the CRTC (some say it means the 'Canadian Radio and Television Commission, but it is really the Canadian Roadblock To Communication) will side with Bell anyway. They bend over, and force all Canadians to bend over for Bell, Telus, and Rogers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by g0at (135364)

        some say it means the 'Canadian Radio and Television Commission
        Actually, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
    • by some damn guy (564195) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:58PM (#23961859)
      It's easy to see why Comcast wants to limit customers. Peer-to-peer sharing is the scapegoat. If people think they can download as much as they want all the time, they might start thinking of their computers like the TV. Oh wait, they're already starting to.

      Seriously, the day when you can ditch cable altogether is very very near (okay already here for me). Even without pirating anything. Seriously, the networks know the way the wind is blowing. Everything will start going online- it already is. Sure, the cable companies want to bring you the "on-demand" world, but they want to own it. But they're losing control and they're scared and they are starting to do stupid stuff... "WHAT? you watched Netflix ALL NIGHT?? ARRGGHHhh..."

      They are realizing they have two businesses- content delivery and connectivity. Now they have to compete with the likes of Apple, Google, and Netflix for the former (among others). Recording industry 2.0. Their business model is a genereation away from being obsolete (well half is). The other half is just fine, and they really should have split the company along those lines, but probably can't for regulatory reasons, at least without further damaging the TV business.

      The best course of action is clearly to blame the pirates and bury their heads in the sand.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)
        I guess the question is, what does it actually cost to get cable internet into your house? Can they actually provide it profitably? The telcos couldn't put copper into your house profitably without help originally, and they don't seem to be doing amazingly well now either (although AT&T has been ratcheting prices up.)
        • That's an excellent question. If the TV business isn't profitable, maybe they could try asking for big fees from large, media-heavy sites, and then, if they didn't pay up, they could limit their customers' bandwidth to them.

          Of course, I'm probably just talking crazy here...

          All I know is, I'm trying municipal wifi. It's way cheaper and very comparable if you buy a year or two at a time, though obviously it might go up later. Still I can lock in now and always go crawling back to cable.
      • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:44PM (#23962223)

        And they got mighty supporters. Imagine someone being able to create a network without having to shell out millions if not billions just for the infrastructure. In fact, a halfway well off person can start an internet TV network.

        A worldwide TV network, just to make matters worse (for those that oppose it, that is).

        Can you see how not only established TV networks but also governments don't really like that idea? It's already bad enough that Al Jazeera spills counterpropaganda against Fox, now imagine anyone being able to do that. Worldwide.

        I could well see that some governments don't really like that idea one bit.

        • by some damn guy (564195) on Friday June 27, 2008 @02:53AM (#23963577)
          That's why YouTube was so highly valued. Anyone can/will be able to have their content distributed anywhere in the world. It's a simple business model, you give us the content but don't necessarily give away ownership, we distribute it for you free, we keep all the ad revenue.

          It's brilliant, because your revenue is proportional to how much you distribute the content. Low interest content generates little money, but little cost, and vice versa for the popular stuff.

          It still seems like a novelty because the video quality is absolutely hideous, but a few generations from now it will be very good, and decades from now, our eyes will be the limiting factor and quality won't even need to improve further. We're basically there with audio already (too bad so many people still think 128k mp3s sound good).

          This is 1.0. In the future, everyone gets their own TV show. If you get really popular (for free), you better believe you'll be able to get a cut of that ad revenue too. Why? Because You Tube is going to have a lot of competition....
      • They are realizing they have two businesses- content delivery and connectivity.

        Exactly, and that's what's wrong! If we simply forced content delivery and connectivity to always be performed by entirely separate, independent companies then we wouldn't have this problem.

    • by Gerzel (240421)

      The world is already locked. The nasty people want to turn the screws to get more money.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      As I have been saying for awhile now,we are at the beginning of a "perfect storm" which will ultimately cause us here in the US to end up in walled gardens like the old days of Compuserve and AOL. You have ISPs that don't want to spend any of their massive profits on infrastructure,even though the taxpayers paid for the upgrade,you have congress critters that will be happy to take the money, and you have big media who wants everyone to end up on a PPV system that will turn everything into a giant jukebox t
  • I knew it!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cathoderoytube (1088737) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @09:57PM (#23961323)
    I knew it! I knew it! You sons of whores Bell! $70 fucking dollars a month!! I'm coming down to your HQ and throwing a cinderblock through your front window!
    • by aikodude (734998) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:01PM (#23961363) Homepage

      get 'cher fresh hot torches here! can't go to an angry mobbing without fresh hot torches!!!

    • by grim4593 (947789) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:15PM (#23961481)
      From www.bash.org:

      DmncAtrny: I will write on a huge cement block "By accepting this brick through your window, you accept it as is and agree to my disclaimer of all warranties, express or implied, as well as disclaimers of all liability, direct, indirect, consequential or incidental, that may arise from the installation of this brick into your building."
      DmncAtrny: And then hurl it through the window of a Sony officer
      DmncAtrny: and run like hell
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by kiehlster (844523)
        Or how about take the software licensing approach and say something like, "By touching, or directing employees or other persons to touch this brick (the Brick) you release all liability for damages caused by the thrower of the Brick (the angry mob) and will adhere to all demands by the angry mob which include but are not limited to: reducing service expenses by half or the square root of current contract offers -- whichever is greater; hiring qualified support engineers according to the type of support call
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Slacksoft (1066064)

      If you're going to Canada you'll need to get abreast of the proper Canadian dialect so you're able to voice your frustrations properly. So instead of saying "I'm coming down to your HQ and throwing a cinderblock through your front window!" it would be "I'm going to come down to your HQ eh, and I am going to throw a brick eh, through your window, eh!"

      In all seriousness though. I hope this ruling will help in the fight against the plans to start charging for a monthly bandwidth allocation that Time Warner is

  • Nothing new (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:00PM (#23961355)

    1) ISP's oversell network
    2) network gets congested
    3) P2P is a lot (politically) easier to target than streaming video, because they have support from the media industry, so abuse P2P as needed to solve congestion problem
    4) PROFIT !!!

  • by Monkey_Genius (669908) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:02PM (#23961371)
    1. Advertise unlimited Internet.
    2. Throttle customer bandwidth.
    3. ?
    4. Profit!
    Business for the 21st Century 101.
  • Article is pure shit (Score:5, Informative)

    by RockMFR (1022315) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:04PM (#23961381)
    The blog linked to is pure shit. Here's a link to the actual article:

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/06/25/tech-caip.html [www.cbc.ca]
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      The blog linked to is pure shit. Here's a link to the actual article:

      A while back, I thought /. instituted (or started enforcing) a 'policy' that linking directly to the news article in the summary was highly preferable over linking to a blog that links to the article.

      Am I just imagining that?

  • by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:07PM (#23961407) Journal

    I've said it before, saying it now. There is NO reason to believe anyone in business who cannot show WHY they need legal help, or rights to invade your privacy to protect their business. There has never been proof by the **AA that file sharing is harming their businesses. There has never been proof by any ISP that P2P is harming their businesses. Without proof, what they wish to do is nothing less than criminal.

    http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=592247&cid=23904147 [slashdot.org]
    http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=588163&cid=23844923 [slashdot.org]

    Sure, they can say, oh it's our network and that's what we are going to do with it, however, in the interests of the national GDP/economy we have to consider ISP infrastructure as vital to the economy now, both of the US and the world. Any shenanigans on how it is run are of vital business interest to business concerns other than the ISPs themselves.

    P2P is simply being used as the pike that gets network monitoring in the door. No, I have no actual proof of that, but if it were the danger that it is said to be, there would be plenty of evidence. Some of that evidence would be people complaining on the Internet about how slow their ISP is.

    Now, add to that the fact that these same ISPs have a vested financial interest in using more of your bandwidth than you want them to in order to provide the triple-play and quadruple-play service packages that stock holders are counting on for revenue.

    There are the two reasons for finding something to blame/fear in order to ease the pain of making the changes to the network at consumer's costs. Sure, some think that right, but they squandered the money/tax incentives etc. they have already been given and still do not provide anything much better than they used to.

    They have a technological problem and need someone/something to blame. For better or worse, they chose P2P because it's already scapegoated by the **AA. I don't think this plan is going to work out so well.

    Just my opinion

    • by trawg (308495)

      There has never been proof by any ISP that P2P is harming their businesses. Without proof, what they wish to do is nothing less than criminal.

      I'm curious as to what proof you would find acceptable.

      Question: who do you think foots the bill when a content creator decides to use BitTorrent to distribute their bytes?

      Answer: it's not the content creator. It's the ISPs (.. it should be the "peer", but broken ISP pricing models make it the ISPs).

      BitTorrent (the entity) has always billed its software as a way to reduce your content distribution overheads.

      These overheads don't magically disappear - the cost of moving those bytes around hasn't gone anywhe

      • by iCEBaLM (34905) <icebalm@NOsPam.icebalm.com> on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:58AM (#23962845)

        Question: who do you think foots the bill when a content creator decides to use BitTorrent to distribute their bytes?

        Answer: it's not the content creator. It's the ISPs (.. it should be the "peer", but broken ISP pricing models make it the ISPs).

        It's the users who paid the ISP for the bandwidth they use.

        • by trawg (308495)

          It's the users who paid the ISP for the bandwidth they use.

          That's who it SHOULD be - but because the ISPs have fucked up, they're footing the bill. They didn't cater for the fact that their users might suddenly band together and form a content distribution network.

  • like the NSA does. Maybe they just need some time to upgrade and then everything will be fine, it's just a temporary measure.
  • To add to the corus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2008 @10:47PM (#23961763)

    I suggested in the last slashdot report that isp's like Bell should be forced to disclose, using standard measurement methods, the specs on their system so I will know what I am buying. There is no magical mysterious tech here on this thing called the internet. Bell and others should be forced to disclose and not be allowed to fleece their customers with smoke and mirrors. Just like when buying stereo equipment, the law does not allow those companies to misrepresent peak and continuous power etc., There is absolutely no difference. I want what I pay for and I should have ways to see if I'm getting it.

    Seeing as it appears Bell was giving us a song and dance and I'm sure others have done similar. I will now take this a step further. This would ensure they are giving us what they claim to be selling. I suggest their networks be monitored by a regulatory body directly. I would even suggest a public channel be open so customers may check for themselves. As a start, why not something similar to the Internet Health Report website for example http://www.internethealthreport.com/ but of course tailored to the individual ISP' internal networks. How else are consumers to know if they are being lied to or cheated regarding this product they are being sold. The public are discovering albeit slowly that internet is just another product and service. Plugging the holes stops misrepresentation just like the power available from my stereo amplifier.

  • Over the two-month period prior to their throttling, they had congestion on a whopping 2.6 and 5.2 per cent of their network links.

    Geesh. A few well-timed /. articles could beat that. I wonder if we could organize the /. effect to battle Evil? Like a virtual flash mob - dibbs on "/ mob" - and I don't mean Slash Mob [cheesebikini.com] though I can see some similarites:

    The Slash Mob Project is an interesting phenomenon where people gather at a determined point, kill all surrounding onlookers, and then disperse as fast as

  • Say a particular 4 letter lobbying organization was offering these ISPs money to curb P2P usage.. would that be legal?

    Kinda sounds like tortuous interference to me.

    • Since when does "legal" apply to or at the very least concern one of the mentioned four letter organizations?

      What matters is "getting caught". And so far, I don't see much danger here.

  • load of BS (Score:5, Informative)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:18PM (#23961999) Homepage Journal

    In revealing the details, Bell explained in an accompanying letter that "while these numbers may seem low to the average lay person, they are significant to network traffic engineers such that it is important to consider the number of congested links in the proper context." - of-course, the context being that Bell would like to make more money from various throttling schemes as well as from their new IPTV stores.

    If only a single link in the network is congested, end users may still experience slowdowns or dropped connections, the company said, - of-course, especially if you throttle these connections.

    because the situation is similar to the road system -- where if one major artery is backed up, all connected roads will also have problems. - of-course they conveniently omit the fact that the Internet is designed to route around damaged/congested areas.

    • Re:load of BS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @11:59PM (#23962357)

      Hold it! The internet was designed to route around congested and/or damaged/interrupted areas. It's anything but that anymore.

      The internet is no longer the redundant, resilent network it was. It turned from something with the notion of "working, no matter what it costs" to "cheap, no matter if it's working". In other words, from something the DARPA made to something that has to make profit.

      That's why you have "backbones", which by their very definition are an anathema to the idea of a redundant, resilent network (single point of failure). And that's why whole areas go black when one of those precious things breaks down.

      Sure, the internet itself and the protocols used do support such a thing. All it takes to route around congested and problematic areas is to add links, "edges" if you want. That would be a solution that allows the internet to exist the way it is, because any kind of congestation can be solved that way. Almost trivially so. But that costs money, so this solution doesn't even get any consideration.

    • because the situation is similar to the road system -- where if one major artery is backed up, all connected roads will also have problems. - of-course they conveniently omit the fact that the Internet is designed to route around damaged/congested areas.

      They also leave out another obvious notion. When a road is backed up, the solution is not to limit the number of cars that are allowed on the road, or to impose rules limiting each family to one car. When a road is backed up, you widen the road.

      • Nope, the solution is to narrow the road and block off side streets so that you can't route around the tailback. Also stick speed bumps everywhere.
        Well, that is what happens here (UK).

  • They rob bodies, too (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:05AM (#23962429)

    Having been paid in full to have an ailing father's Bell service switched over, a friend of mine is now having to fight Bell to get some money back. They cashed the cheque immediately, then, after his death used their direct deposit privilege on the old boy's bank account to pay themselves twice.

    And they're making the family deal with the problem through the bank rather than refunding or crediting the phone bill of the survivor.

    If Bell Canada had a totem, it would be a rabid, starving rat.

    • by freedom_india (780002) on Friday June 27, 2008 @03:20AM (#23963755) Homepage Journal

      The bank needs to repay you the money they let Bell steal.
      If a bank allows money to be withdrawn from an account of a deceased person, then the bank is liable to put the money back WITH interest and penal charges.
      Once a person dies, the bank needs to legally freeze the account to prevent any deposits or withdrawals (esp. withdrawals).
      Only the estate or the nominee can withdraw (not deposit) ALL the money from the account in one single operation.
      Nope, the bank cannot unilaterally close and send you a check for the same. If you are the legal heir, you need to either prove by way of nomination OR successor OR court orders asking the bank to pay you the money.
      The check that the bank cashed and the Direct Debit, if both happened AFTER your dad died, are not valid. In a court you WILL prevail, plus the bank has to pay a nasty fine.
      But BEll cannot be held liable. You were not in a contractual relationship with Bell.
      Order the bank in writing stating facts and giving them 7 days to repay you with interest.
      If the bank fails to respond, file a criminal case stating fraud, and simulatenously ask the court to rule in your favor citing your dad's death certificate and date of debit.
      The court usually will not want to hear from the bank because if the debit happened AFTER death then any legal arguments are moot.
      Get a court order making the bank pay you.
      If you want to play real nasty, send the order by ordinary post undistinguishable from other letters (after all banks hide their rate increases in same way) to the bank's registered office (NOT the branch). Those morons at the registered office will have no clue and throw away the letter. (Assuming you have given a deadline to pay you from date of letter do next steps).
      Approach the court again whining pitifuly (yes it pays) that the Holy Judge's order was disobeyed (get the same judge) by an unruly bank.

      The judge will ask what you want to do next.

      This is most important: Now the culpability of the bank is established as defying court orders (your money now plays a second role. Judges don't like to see anyone defying their orders). Request the court grants you permission to seize and auction the bank's nearest branch's assets to get your money back. The judge will accept this.

      Go with a sheriff and his posse to the branch, and now you are legally authorised to rob the bank. You can shut down the doors, throw out customers, restrain staff, seize cash from tills, auction PCs on the spot (better yet, arrange a few friends to be there for the auction to get bank's PCs at HUGE discounts). Sell ALL their stuff to get your money back: Remember, your goal is to first bankrupt the branch. Don't seize cash. Seize the hardware, valuable furniture anything that the bank needs to run its branch. Sell it on doorfront with sheriff standing by for a dollar or whatever you like.

      The bank will try to move mountains to get the order overturned. So do it quickly, very fast. Get some 100 friends to suddenly appear, bid for the assets, and block the traffic to prevent their lawyers from reaching you to serve you a STOP SALE order they can get from a sympathetic judge.
      Good luck

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by debest (471937)

        I have mod points right now. Where is the "+1 Deliciously Evil" mod option?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by freedom_india (780002)

          I actually did this with my ex-banker. You would have seen a news item about 5 years ago saying someone auctioned assets of a bank because of a court order and how it was stopped by a personal guarantee by the bank president.
          Yup. I did manage to sell off about 5 PCs before the bank served me with a court's injunction.
          I got my order signed by a Justice of Peace -:)
          And eventually i got my money back (the PCs of course were valued at $1.10 each-:))

  • by ChanxOT5 (542547) on Friday June 27, 2008 @12:07AM (#23962449)

    More interesting than the bell data are the responses from the other concerned parties.

    Specifically, the response from Skype is a good read. The response from Cisco is pure crap and doesn't directly address the issue at hand.

    Anyways, if you want to see the data yourself, look at the links here.

    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/PartVII/eng/2008/8622/c51_200805153.htm [crtc.gc.ca]

    Bell zip file with data:
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/public/partvii/2008/8622/c51_200805153_1/920764.zip [crtc.gc.ca]
    Note that all the Bell responses are in .doc. Go figure.

    Skype response:
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/public/partvii/2008/8622/c51_200805153/920240.PDF [crtc.gc.ca]

    Cisco BS:
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/public/partvii/2008/8622/c51_200805153/920258.PDF [crtc.gc.ca]

  • From the CBC article on this [www.cbc.ca]:

    between 2.6 and 5.2 per cent of the links that make up Bell's network in Ontario and Quebec experienced congestion between March 2007 and April 2008.

    The question that comes to mind would be: what type of links are congested?

    If it's a relatively minor link - just a few megabits - then the congestion wouldn't affect many people. If it's one of the primary links on Bell's backbone and it's pretty much continually congested then that might be a problem.

    Of course, they could just in

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