A coalition of 70 Internet-based companies including search giant Google, retail giant Amazon and Internet phone giant Skype has called on the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to ban practices employed by Internet access providers known collectively as ‘traffic shaping’.

Traffic shaping is commonly used, by some access providers, to reduce the impact on their networks of data-intensive applications such as BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer systems commonly used to upload and download massive movie and video files.

An AOL study last fall found that just five per cent of AOL’s customers were hogging almost 50 per cent of AOL’s network capacity trading massive media files, and that was putting other users at a disadvantage, slowing the system.

The call, from Internet content providers and shippers, came during ongoing hearings on the future of new media broadcasting in Canada.

The content providers and shippers argue that traffic shaping by ISPs unfairly restricts their business opportunities.

The throttling issue, like others on the table in the new media hearings, actually impacts more directly on the Net Neutrality question, which the CRTC will address directly in its own set of hearings this coming July.

One Response to CRTC asked to ban ‘shaping’

  1. Evolving Squid
    Feb 25, 2009

    Content providers and shippers have provided no evidence that their business is unfairly restricted.

    I made a submission to the CRTC asking them to stay out of this issue, which is solely a business issue and has nothing to do with a regulatory body.

    If there is such a demand for unshaped traffic, a provider will spring up that offers it. I bet it won’t be as cheap as shaped traffic, but that’s the price you pay for being a bandwidth hog.

    I won’t even go into the FACT that the bulk of the bit torrent traffic and peer to peer traffic is copyright violations, although that is certainly a check in favour of ongoing shaping.

Leave a Reply