Gamers vs. Rogers: Is World of Warcraft being throttled?

Rogers seems to be on a mission to prove that Canada's Internet openness rules need stronger enforcement. The most recent allegations of discriminatory Internet traffic management came from gamers via the Rogers Community Forums.

Internet users who play Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft were sorely disappointed, to say the least, when a Rogers representative told them that the problems they were facing would not soon go away. And they did not accept that the problem was with the multi-player role-playing game, as Rogers had stated, instead defending Blizzard's attempt to communicate with ISPs about software updates.

Gamers started experiencing issues in November of last year, when, as one forum member points out, a Rogers representative came forward and admitted that Rogers was inadvertently breaking the CRTC's traffic management rules.

Yesterday, Rogers sent a letter in response to a complaint about throttling that was issued last month. In it, they stated that the software modification needed would not be available until June, and "recommend[ed] turning off the peer-to-peer setting in the World of Warcraft game and ensuring that no peer-to-peer applications are running on any connected computer."

OpenMedia.ca and the SaveOurNet Coalition have been arguing that the CRTC ought to conduct regular audits of Internet Service Providers in order to enforce Canada's Internet openness.

The rules are as follows: ISPs cannot slow down (throttle), speed up, or block Internet traffic specific to any content or application.

However, the onus to ensure ISPs' compliance with these rules has been placed solely on Canadian consumers. Rather than taking comfort in the fact that Canada has some of the world's strongest Internet openness rules, Internet users like the World of Warcraft gamers must constantly be on guard to protect their online activity from the threat of discriminatory practices.

Update: Find Teresa Murphy's (the author of the complaint) most recent letter to the CRTC and Rogers HERE.

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