traffic shaping

The CRTC recently announced regulations around traffic shaping. The way I (and many others) read the announcement, this is a significant restriction imposed on the carriers by the CRTC; they must give customers 30-60 days notice, they must actually prove that traffic shaping is the only option available, and they cannot slow traffic so much that they are effectively blocking the service (which is what Rogers used to do with BitTorrent, although I haven’t checked lately to see if that’s changed).

Anyway, while it’s not the net-neutrality that some people wanted, I think this is actually a victory for consumers. As Michael Geist puts it :

The CRTC’s net neutrality (aka traffic management) decision is out and though it does not go as far as some advocates might hope, it unquestionably advances the ball forward on several important fronts. When considering the decision, it is important to remember that 12 months ago, there was virtually no ISP disclosure of traffic management practices and even an unwillingness to acknowledge that there was an issue. Today’s CRTC decision signifies that traffic management is not a free-for-all and the days of ISPs arguing that they can do whatever they please on their networks is over.

So, the headline in the Globe and Mail today reads:

Big Internet carriers win right to manage traffic

Now I would never accuse a newspaper of being biased (cough, cough), but if you follow the Globe and Mail’s ownership chain upwards, this headline is … disturbing … :)

posted at 10:30 am on Thursday, October 22, 2009 in Current Events | Comments Off on traffic shaping

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