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Rogers: It’s Bandwidth Management; Not Throttling

Amid TorrentFreak’s contention Rogers is throttling encrypted traffic, I decided to do some “reporting” earlier today to find out what exactly Rogers is doing with its traffic. Here’s what I learned/was told by my “sources” within Rogers. 

For the past few years, Rogers has been partitioning its bandwidth with a certain percentage (probably not a lot, mind you) dedicated to P2P traffic, and the rest allocated for “regular” traffic such as Web surfing and e-mail. Rogers says there’s no blocking going on but, rather, bandwidth resource management. This means that if a whole bunch of people want to access P2P services at the same time, the bandwidth will reach capacity fairly soon, and traffic could slow down. With more P2P traffic being encrypted, Rogers is taking the same partitioning approach – bandwidth allocation rather than packet blocking. When they find the performance is degraded due to capacity constraints they re-segment the network to relieve the congestion. This is done regularly as traffic and usage increases.

One of the issues being faced by consumers is the bandwidth allocated by Rogers to P2P traffic is fixed – irregardless of the time of day. So, if there’s a surge in P2P traffic – encrypted or unencrypted – Rogers doesn’t change the bandwidth allocation percentage on the fly. They do re-evaluate the allocation regularly as traffic patterns change. So what you get is what you get, and if you and your friends clog up the P2P highway, there’s little Rogers is going to do to ease your pain right away.

Update: If you want a really smart look at what Rogers is doing, check out this post by Matt Roberts.

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  • Anonymous

    This provides such a compelling reason to switch to DSL. Don’t they realize they’re shooting themselves in the foot here?

  • Anonymous

    Those Bell “Consistently Fast” commercials actually come to mind…

  • http://www.venicechronicles.com Shaun Rotman

    Problem #1: I know people are considering switching to Bell, but they do throttle bandwidth as well (although nowhere near the extent that Rogers goes to). And furthermore, assuming this act by Rogers affects you, I would assume you use an upper-tier package of Rogers Hi-Speed, meaning 5, 6, or 8Mbps and all of those either meet or exceed Bell’s current offerings. So switching to Bell would effectively lower your max potential speeds regardless of the ISP’s throttling.

    Problem #2: By Rogers throttling bandwidth they are shooting themselves in the foot. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to understand that browsing habits on the internet are not going to change to less bandwidth intensive activities any time soon. We are moving even deeper into a “richer-media-net” and this means more bandwidth required. What does Rogers plan on doing? Hold us all back while the rest of the world progresses? The majority of users don’t actually use bandwidth to the extent that I and many others do, so Rogers doesn’t mind pissing a few off to cut costs. Once the greater majority begins partaking in the viewing of YouTube videos, watching streaming PayPerView content, etc., they will begin whining too. At that point, Rogers will realize they better get off their asses and upgrade their networks, something they should have done LONG AGO like Sweden! Remember when Rogers first became wildly popular between 1999-2001? Speeds sucked pretty much everywhere because they didn’t predict the demand so everyone shared the same tiny “pipe”. Now is their chance to avoid such a dilemma from occurring again. But apparently they don’t learn from their mistakes…

    • John

      8mbps is not the fastest Bell offers. For the prices Roger charges to have my traffic capped, I have 70mbps fiber line with Bell that is excellent. Do more research before you fanboy, bro. InB4Rogers Employee.

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  • http://larryborsato.com Larry Borsato

    This seems to be a case of false advertising though. Rogers claims to provide 5 MB speeds (I know – “up to 5MB”) for internet use. Yet if I choose to use P2P (an example of internet use) they intentionally provide much less.

    So unless they clearly advertise that they limit P2P traffic (and since they long claimed they didn’t and were lying) then they are making a false claim.

  • Ed

    I don’t get the point with ISP here in Canada. Even in France, which has a ~57% penetration rate in terms of computer usage in households (teletude.ca 2006 report), ISPs are investing not only in ADSL2+ (24 Mbps) but in FTTH networks as well.
    As of now, the debate is about which of GPON or P2P is the best technological choice for the future….not about limiting the bandwidth as Rogers does.
    Everyone agrees that the end user is waiting for symetrical 50-100Mbits at home. Orange has started offering 100Mbps symetrical for 70 euros/month and Orange is the most expensive. See what you get with http://www.erenis.fr (100/50 Mbps for 35 euros). And http://www.neuf.fr et http://www.free.fr have started rolling out their fiber networks and will offer a comparable service for not above the commonly agreed upon “psychological price” as the French say.
    I used to pay 29,99 euros (~40$CAD) for 24/1Mbps, phone calls to 32 countries, 100 tv channels, wireless modem/routeur included and everything UNLIMITED. I can’t understand why Rogers or Bell are unable to do the same even in big urban areas.

    PS: As mobile data is concerned, have a look at what a 2 year old MVNO is offering http://www.tenmobile.fr/offres.php.
    And France is still one of the european countries with the highest mobile rates.

  • Jim

    Many ISPs also use products that optimize peer-peer file sharing, so that (transparent to the end user) the files you receive come from end-users that are closer to you. eg Assuming Rogers has this implemented and you are a Rogers customer, you are more likely to retrieve files from other Rogers users rather than from end-users on other ISPs; this means faster downloads for the end-user and cheaper costs to Rogers since they don’t have to pay for bandwidth to connect to other ISPs. Sandvine in Waterloo is the leading product vendor that allows ISPs to do this.

  • Jason

    check out 3web @ http://www.get3web.com/highspeed/highspeedMenu.jsp?page=hsindex
    they resell rogers at a much cheaper price, but without the throttling

  • Ed

    Stay away from 3web, they might not throttle, but come peak hours, service is known to get down to the single digits in speed

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  • gtr

    i switched from rogers to bell last summer, sympatico doesnt block p2p traffic, i have bit comet on 1 pc and emule on the other, they all work perfectly

  • http://www.modcraft.net Steve

    After doing a large ammount of research myself and speaking with countless Rogers reps. supervisors, bosses, etc. here is what I’ve come to discover.

    I went in their accusing them of traffic shaping in BitTorrent and blocking encrypted data. They said both were going on. They said that they have been doing traffic shaping to deal with bandwidth issues, probably for the reasons that Matt Roberts stated, I didn’t much care why myself, just that they were doing it.

    Now as for the “throttling of encrypted data transfer”, what was explained to me was that they recently bought a new set of IP address (the 99.*.*.* addresses) and the company that they bought them from had encrypted data blocked on them. Rogers is trying to get that unblocked, or so I was told, but no one knows when it will actually happen (they claim it could happen in a week or it could take months).

    If you are untrustworthy of Rogers you could see this as a legal lupehole that would allow them to block encrypted data indefineatly. I don’t personally believe that; however I don’t want to continue with this problem for any longer so I am switching to a local ISP at the end of the month, and will await a call from Rogers for when they have fixed the problem. I would recommend the same for other people if possible.

    This is what was explained to me and I believe it to be true as I have one of the 99 addresses and my internet (not just torrent) problems are explained down to every detail by a blockage of encrypted data.

    I hope this sheds some light on the subject for people.

    -Steve

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  • Brandon

    This is an outrage I can’t download the newest rap album without paying now!

    Damn Rogers!

  • jeremy

    after switching from a lackluster dsl service from bell to rogers i have since been unable to use p2p apps at all. mind you i can connect to said p2p servers and chat as such but downloading and uploading is impossible. i have been able to only get one user to connect to me so far and at a blistering 5kbits/sec yeah bits not bytes. prior to having the rogers extreme 10meg down 1 meg upload service installed i was able to upload to the same user at 70kbytes a sec. the dsl service was an advertised 6 meg down 680k up. but being that the phone lines it was running on are circa 1970′s i could only muster a 4meg download.

    after calling to complain to rogers the first time i was directed by the rogers CSR to contact Microsoft for a solution. although i fail to see what Microsoft Canada is going to do about internet shaping…
    after the second call i got a case number and a hollow ” we’ll look into this”
    the third call netted me a “we don’t support p2p apps” and was abruptly directed off the phone.
    the fourth call after directly asking to speak to a tier 2 tech got me bold faced lies “we don’t shape our p2p transfers” i asked for the supervisor… ten minutes passed and i got a rather defensive man named Ian CSR rep #E492. Ian informed me after i had directed him to this and many other forums with thousands of posts indicating their dislike for the new rogers internet. after nearly 40 mins on the phone with ian i recieved little resolution aside from wanting a different isp.
    things i forgot to enter in this post….

    - installer disconnected my dedicated DSL line ( still have half a months service paid for) i mean he pulled the bell wires out of the distribution block [this has NOTHING to do with rogers services]

    - rogers claimed today that i have downloaded 75% of my allotted 95GB for the month (including today i have had the service for 9 days hard to imagine transferring 85+ GB with the inability to connect to anyone)

    - and what takes the cake for me .. Ian ” I’m sorry i don’t know how these p2p aps connect or work” coming from a tier 2 technical supervisor for rogers internet services. perhaps he should look into another field of work ??

  • ali

    rogers really is bad, although most isp’s are throttling traffic, rogers is one of the few that are doing it the entire day. I myself use bell.
    Bell actually has a time frame for throttling, that is from 4pm to 2am the speeds are slowed to 30 kb/s, while at night i get my full 700.

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