Google jumps into Bell Canada throttling fray

Search-engine titan Google is throwing its considerable weight behind opponents of Bell Canada's P2P throttling practices, saying Bell is breaking Canadian telecom law and adding, "The Internet is simply too important to allow them to act as such a gatekeeper." Bell is scheduled to submit a report to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which regulates telecom activity in Canada, on Thursday and says it will respond to Google's involvement in the brouhaha then.

Bell began throttling its own Sympatico Internet subscribers in November, then extended the practice to its wholesale customers in March, saying a small number of peer-to-peer users was threatening to cause slowdowns for its overall customer base.

"Bell claims its throttling of peer-to-peer applications is a reasonable form of network management (but) network management does not include Canadian carriers' blocking or degrading lawful applications that consumers wish to use," the company wrote.

Google's big-name (and potential financial clout) could also be used as throttling issues crop up more in the U.S., adding to fires telcos and cable companies will struggle to put out.

The CRTC expects to rule on the dispute in September.

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