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Rogers ISP admits to throttling World of Warcraft, fix will take months


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AuthorMessage
sam_code4u avatar
Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 17:30
Author: Trusted UploaderSite FriendET loverSuperman
Depending on where you live, and which ISP you use for Internet access, you may be having your connection throttled. Typically if throttling is in place it targets specific types of traffic such as peer-to-peer (P2P) as it unfortunately gets associated with piracy while forgetting all the legitimate services that take advantage of it.

Canadian ISP Rogers has overstepped the mark with its throttling practices, however, and has been called out by a subscriber over them. As you may know, Blizzard utilizes P2P technology for World of Warcraft (WoW) during patching. Patches can be applied when not playing, or done as a background task while playing. By default this is done using P2P.

Being an MMO, WoW requires an Internet connection during play, but only uses a low amount of bandwidth even if it is always required (intensive). It is not traffic that should be throttled, and if it was it could make the game unplayable.

According to Teresa Murphy that is exactly what Rogers is doing and has made WoW impossible to play. Rogers claims its intelligent throttling filters would never affect such a game, but Murphy complained to CRTC, the regulator for the Canadian telecoms industry, and now the truth has come out.

Rogers has admitted that its traffic management system does throttle WoW due to the way the game utilizes P2P technology. Rather than fixing the issue Rogers has issued a software update to work around it, but when WoW last got updated that stopped working and another software update is required from Rogers. The only problem is it won’t be ready until June. In the meantime the ISP’s only advice is to disable P2P in WoW completely.

Read more at Ars technica

Matthew’s Opinion

I think this is a prime example of why throttling is a bad idea unless it can be implemented in such a way as to be very specific. If someone is downloading tens of gigabytes from a file-sharing network everyday they should be classified differently to someone who spends 8 hours a day playing WoW. The first could have a negative impact on network bandwidth, the second won’t.

Either Rogers doesn’t fully understand how its traffic management system works or Murphy is not telling the whole truth. She insists she never uses any P2P applications while Rogers says the problem she experiences only happens when running WoW alongside P2P apps. Seeing as Rogers apparently denied it was an issue at all I tend to believe the subscriber not the company.

Two things need to happen here: Rogers needs to re-evaluate its traffic management system to see if it is adequate for the task as it sounds like it isn’t. Users affected by this throttling when playing WoW should be given some form of compensation and a formal apology.

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