Canada ISPs lose traffic shaping complaint, but...

Up in the Great White North, Canada's phone regulator, CRTC, has denied a complaint by a group of independent ISPs that Bell Canada improperly manages web traffic on its network connections to third-party providers. However, CRTC does plan to examine the traffic management techniques of Canada's telecom companies, with hearings to begin July 2009.

Also, Bell Canada now will be required to give 30 days notice to third-party companies before making changes to the network connections it sells to them.

Bell Canada is "pleased" with the ruling and said there was a lot of "misinformation" at the start of the filing by CAIP, the industry group representing the ISPs. CAIP complained that Bell had been illegally managing their subscribers' traffic and choking out competition, and that its practices flew in the face of unwritten rules of net neutrality.

CRTC received "thousands" of letters supporting the CAIP complaint, ranging from average Canadians to Google. The outcry has made net neutrality a political issue in the upcoming session of Canada's Parliament.

The agency agreed with Bell that Canadians' increased interest in apps such as online video has led to congestion on Internet networks. Bell Canada says managing peer-to-peer traffic in peak usage periods is "essential" for avoiding network congestion. CRTC wants to take a look at the bigger picture between increased bandwidth usage and the technical and business options available to telecom companies to manage their network. Plus, how it affects the poor end user.

For more:
- The Globe and Mail reports on Canada telcos triumph over ISPs

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