wired blog: “Bell Canada, the largest telecom provider in Canada, argues that throttling — the practice of slowing down web speeds for “bandwidth hogs” — ultimately improves the user experience and stokes innovation.”
Of course this comes after Bell was lambasted for throttling, do you think Bell would be so forthcoming about all the benefits of throttling if no one knew about it?
According to an article on American Free Press, Canadian ISPs (Bell & Telus) are paving the way for a new pay-as-you-go cable inspired system that will be in place by 2010 and will serve as a model for the implementation of this system world-wide: “By 2012 ISPs all over the globe will reduce Internet access to a TV-like subscription model, only offering access to a small standard amount of commercial sites and require extra fees for every other site you visit. These â€˜otherâ€™ sites would then lose all their exposure and eventually shut down, resulting in what could be seen as the end of the Internet.”
Whether true or conjecture, articles like this point to the very real fact that ISPs are going to be implementing some major changes in how we can access the internet that are above and beyond typical “traffic shaping”.
France is finally going through with its threat to impose a “three strikes and you’re out” policy when it comes to illegal downloading.Â Offenders will have their be blocked from their ISP provider for up to a year.Â This is certainly a good plan as there aren’t like a million ways to get around this really brilliant legislation…
Virgin Media plans to spy on users in order to curb illegal downloading. It will begin by sending letters to households suspected of hosting P2P files. This is a joint venture with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which has been pushing ISPs to implement a “three strikes and you’re out” rule when it comes to file sharing.
I suspect that there will be many confused British parents receiving letters from Virgin Media in the next while…
In order to fight what it deems as “network congestion”, Comcast is developing a way to slow down particularly heavy downloaders as opposed to all bittorrent users:
“Comcast is starting to test new approaches to protecting its network from what it describes as congestion caused by a handful of customers who use far far more bandwidth than everyone else.
It will test new devices that will keep track of Comcast users and assemble a blacklist of heavy users. Those on the blacklist will find that all of their online activities may slow down at peak times: from downloading movies to checking e-mail.” –nytimes bits blog
Bell’s blatant traffic shaping is has lead to a rally scheduled on Parliament hill tomorrow. The rally is being backed by two ISPs, two unions, and handful of politicians and Google and of course, canadian net neutrality champion Michael Geist.
Michael Geist blog: Last month I wrote about the pressure to adopt “graduated response,” a policy that is better described as “three strikes and you’re out” for ISP subscribers.Â While Canada has yet to take a public position on the issue, a new French document cites Canada as an example of a country that is negotiating an ISP three strikes policy.
Yesterday, the FCC held a second hearing in its investigation of Comcast’s use of forged RST packets to interfere with BitTorrent and other P2P applications. Free Press has a page linking to written testimony, statements, and audio and video recordings from the Stanford hearing.
At the previous hearing at Harvard Law School, Comcast attracted criticism for filling the auditorium with paid attendees. This time around, the telcos declined to participate at all. They sent proxies in their place: a conservative think tank called the Phoenix Center, freelance tech pundit George Ou, and one ISP: Lariat.net of Wyoming. It’s a pity that ISPs aren’t willing to participate in public debate about their own practices.
They could’ve at least pretended that these hearings meant anything….
CNet:Â “The Federal Communications Commission is edging toward taking action against cable operator Comcast for monkeying with its customers’ peer-to-peer traffic, according to several news reports.
On Friday FCC Chairman Kevin Martin indicated during a speech at Stanford University’s Law School that the commission may take action against the cable operator, which has been accused of blocking or slowing down the peer-to-peer file sharing service BitTorrent on its broadband network.”
Bob McChesney, keynote speaker at the Citizen Media Forum on November 3rd, discusses new FCC chairman Kevin Martin’s plan to relax rules regarding media ownership at a public hearing tomorrow with the Minnesota Monitor as well as issues surrounding net neutrality. He cites as an example the Telus incident in Canada, pointing out that there are no net neutrality laws here. Speaking of which, according to BetaNews, Sympatico admitted just a few days ago to many of the same internet filtering techniques as Comcast.