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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Canadian ISPs furious about Bell Canada's traffic throttling

Canadian ISPs furious about Bell Canada's traffic throttling
By Nate Anderson | Published: March 25, 2008 - 11:05PM CT

Mandatory DSL line-sharing is a common practice in other developed countries, and was in the US as well until an FCC decision ruled that DSL was an "information service" and not subject to the rules. Line-sharing is what enables much of the competition in other countries and allows small ISPs like Wireless Nomad to thrive in Canada and offer innovative services. But line-sharing has its drawbacks; chief among them, of course, is that without control of the line, an ISP is not ultimately in control of the service it is selling. Canadian DSL resellers learned that lesson the hard way this week as ISPs learned that Bell Canada now runs traffic-shaping hardware even on the lines it resells.

Readers at Broadband Reports noted the issue earlier this week as owners of small ISPs suddenly found that their customers were having traffic throttled, even though the ISPs were vehemently anti-throttling. The problem was compounded by the fact Bell Canada did not apparently tell the ISPs that it was about to make the change. The company has subsequently confirmed the throttling and says it should be fully in place by April 7.



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