Packet Shaping

Michael Geist reports that Rogers engages in packet shaping on its network:

For the past 18 months, it has been open secret that Rogers engages in packet shaping, conduct that limits the amount of available bandwidth for certain services such as peer-to-peer file sharing applications. Rogers denied the practice at first, but effectively acknowledged it in late 2005. Net neutrality advocates regularly point to traffic shaping as a concern since they fear that Rogers could limit bandwidth to competing content or services.

Skype is a peer-to-peer application and one which I have used for several years, though it doesn’t seem to work on my Bell-Aliant Ultra DSL connection. Some people have suggested that Skype’s service is just getting worse, but my experience is that it works for everyone on my contact list but me. When I talk, my speech is broken. At the same time, Google Talk works just fine. I’m wondering if Aliant is testing out packet shaping on our local switch and has yet to roll it out to the entire network.

Anyway, it’s clear that telecom oligopolies like Rogers have no problems applying these dirty tactics in their search for profits. According to NetNeutrality.ca:

Net Neutrality in Canada is the principle that consumers should be in control of what content, services and applications they use on the public Internet.

It’s a simple concept that has wide-ranging implications on how the Internet operates.

“When I invented the Web, I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission. Now, hundreds of millions of people are using it freely. I am worried that that is going end” – Sir Tim Berners Lee.

It is our belief that the Internet is more than just the physical infrastructure over which it operates. It is a vibrant marketplace and an entirely new format for free expression, even a political landscape and a tool for free organization. Some ISPs in Canada however, are overstepping their role and cannot separate their participation in this network from their component ownership and commercial interests.

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