Gamers vs. Rogers: One Month at a Time
Once again, Internet-users of all stripes are reeling over recent accusations that Rogers has been proactively throttling consumer bandwidth.
Teresa Murphy, a World of Warcraft gamer, complained to the CRTC last March that the ISP’s Internet Traffic Management Practices (ITMPs) had led to the discriminatory throttling of users with a history of peer-to-peer traffic.
On top of the alleged policy violation — covertly throttling time-sensitive traffic, including World of Warcraft and other online games and applications (Starcraft and Skype) — Rogers online support staff has also been continually skirting the issue.
After Rogers issued a brief, and untimely rebuttal — a software modification, they stated, would resolve the issue this June — Murphy filed another compliant with the CRTC citing service provider negligence.
To her dismay, the Commission saw little wrong with Rogers’ conduct, and, on the topic of negligence, felt that “Rogers’ reply adequately addresse[d] the specific issues raised by Ms. Murphy.”
Still, despite their general agreement, the Commission did find some fault in Rogers’ actions: namely, their flawed ITMP, and their misidentification of time-sensitive traffic as peer-to-peer.
And, in their response to this significant break of regulation, the CRTC issued an underwhelming, yet typical request: that Rogers continue to work on their software modifications, and send Murphy monthly updates highlighting their progress in resolving the issue.
In keeping with their stiff brand of justice, the CRTC let Rogers off with nothing more then a slap on the wrist, and awaits the issue’s next inevitable public complaint.
As noted in our upcoming report on Internet openness, Casting An Open Net, regulators in other countries — Japan, the U.K. — likely would have acted on the issue, and reprimanded the service provider for over stepping their bounds.
Unfortunately for Murphy, Canada’s own CRTC would take stock in a noted disputant and brush aside a legitimate public concern.
Instances like Murphy’s show a troubling trend of ISPs pushing the limits of regulatory conduct, and placing a discretionary burden on users of all degrees.
OpenMedia.ca and the SaveOurNet Coalition encourage Canadians to rally for stronger public-interest regulation, and a greater stake in our Internet’s future.