01/17/2013 03:25 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Internet Throttling Canada: Complaints About Deliberate Slowing Of Web Traffic Still Coming In

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Despite promises by some of Canada’s largest internet service providers to stop deliberately slowing down traffic on their networks, complaints are still coming in to the CRTC about the practice.

The telecom regulator’s latest report on the subject of “internet traffic management practices” found 75 complaints were filed over throttling in 2012.

By comparison, there were 67 complaints in a two-year period from October, 2009 to September, 2011. But public awareness of the issue, rather than increased use of traffic throttling by ISPs, may account for the increase in complaints.

The CRTC’s data did not break down the complaints by service provider.

Bell Canada announced in 2011 that it planned to phase out the practice by March of 2012. Rogers followed suit several months later, pledging to stop slowing traffic on its network by the end of 2012.

But a report from the Google-backed Measurement Lab last year found Bell was still throttling 77 per cent of file-sharing traffic on its network in the first quarter of 2012, while Rogers throttled 80 per cent. However, this period took place before the ISPs’ promised final deadlines to discontinue throttling.

Other, smaller providers were also found to be throttling. Indie provider TekSavvy was found to throttle 36 per cent of file-sharing traffic, while Distributel apparently slowed traffic down 38 per cent of the time.

Among the major ISPs, Telus did the least traffic throttling during that period, slowing down file-sharers only two per cent of the time.

ISPs have been found often to throttle traffic on content that uses a lot of bandwidth, such as BitTorrent file-sharing and online video games. While the CRTC allows traffic-shaping of file-sharing, it forbids throttling on any real-time content, such as video games.

The regulator last year warned Rogers its practice of slowing online video games contravened CRTC rules. The telecom giant has since reportedly stopped slowing down video game traffic.

With earlier reporting

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