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In a March 22nd letter to the CRTC, Rogers Cable has admitted that its Internet traffic management practices were preventing some of its customers from playing World of Warcraft, an online interactive game played by more than 12 million consumers worldwide.

The letter was in addition to numerous complaints from Rogers customers since last November who have complained about disconnections and latency increases when playing World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2.

The online players complained to the federal regulator and Rogers that during peak periods, when Rogers actively engaged in throttling internet activtity, the online games were often impossible to play.

In a letter to the CRTC from Rogers, the company admits to blocking the games because of a problem with its traffic management equipment. The company says it won't be fixing the problem until June.

In an attempt to deflect the fact that it is blocking legitimate internet traffic thereby violating every tenant of Net Neutrality, Rogers intimates that the problem only occcurs when customers are using peer-to-peer file sharing applications while running the game, an accusation users deny.
 

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IANAL but shouldn't they be disabling all traffic shaping until they can do it properly? Anyone want to launch a class action law suit or try to get a cease and desist order?
 

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IANAL but shouldn't they be disabling all traffic shaping until they can do it properly?
I agree but the CRTC has no backbone.
 

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Well, this is embarrassing for Rogers. I hope they are having second thoughts about buying all that expensive gear to do deep packet inspection to identify P2P protocols.

Really, I think throttling should exist (aka QoS), but ISPs should do it this way:

0. Calculate everyones rate of bandwidth use, tracked as a 15-minute running average.

1. When there is no congestion everyone gets their "full speed" internet connection irrespective of what they're doing.

2. When congestion occurs in a network segment, begin throttling the users in that segment, starting with users who have the highest 15-minute running average bandwidth utilization whose packets would be tagged as "best effort" service, while the low bandwidth (online game playing) customers packets would be tagged for "priority" service.

3. Publish your QoS policy and implementation details for the public to see so they understand what you're doing and why you are doing it. I think everyone who plays online games or uses VoIP solutions appreciate that network QoS tools exist and are actively used, otherwise your Skype calls and online gaming experience would be very poor.

Something like this would be easy to implement, it wouldn't require expensive hardware to do deep packet inspection (who cares what kind of applications people are using, just look at the 15-minute running average bandwidth use), and it doesn't spark a technology war between deep packet inspection tools and developers adding encryption layers to their protocols to mask their application from deep packet inspection.
 

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From that Rogers letter...
the problem occurs only when our customers are simultaneously using peer-to-peer file sharing applications and running the game.
So I'm not sure why World of Warcraft is singled out - would this not apply to ANY game if P2P (eg. BitTorrent) software is running?
 

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It's WOW and StarCraft II which are both games by Blizzard Entertainment.

My guess is they establish a connection for a lengthy period so Rogers indiscriminately hit anything that appeared to be continuous over a long period of time such as a online game.

People have said the throttling occurs regardless of Torrents. I think Rogers is just saying that in order to try and rationalize its traffic management throttling.
 

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Wow and this from a company advertising its "new" speed boost. I guess if everyone else is getting throttled..they can afford to claim you are getting a "boost" when your speeds return to what you pay for. :eek:
 

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From that Rogers letter...
So I'm not sure why World of Warcraft is singled out - would this not apply to ANY game if P2P (eg. BitTorrent) software is running?
afaik World of Warcraft (WoW) is unique in that it uses P2P to apply game patch/update files.
The letter to the CRTC from Rogers singles out WoW for this,
"Therefore we recommend turning off the peer-to-peer setting in the World of Warcraft game" and they add the following
"and ensuring that no peer-to-peer applications are running on any connected computer"

so they are saying to turn off the p2p option in WoW and have no other p2p(BitTorrent)
app running.
 

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afaik World of Warcraft (WoW) is unique in that it uses P2P to apply game patch/update files.
The letter to the CRTC from Rogers singles out WoW for this,
"Therefore we recommend turning off the peer-to-peer setting in the World of Warcraft game" and they add the following
"and ensuring that no peer-to-peer applications are running on any connected computer"

so they are saying to turn off the p2p option in WoW and have no other p2p(BitTorrent)
app running.
So, the presence of a P2P connection is causing Rogers to throttle that user's cable modem. It's probably not throttling because of a long-open TCP connection because if that was the case it would also hit any other MMO and users of plenty of other low bandwidth applications (e.g. internet radio).

I'd bet that Rogers is using deep packet inspection, sees Bittorrent traffic, then marks anything that comes out of that customer's cable modem as "low priority", so network latency for those users goes up.

That would certainly piss people off if the Roger's customer is a healer in a WoW raid and the tank dies because his/her heal wasn't registered on the server in time. Forget about being competitive in a arena.
 

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It's probably not throttling because of a long-open TCP connection because if that was the case it would also hit any other MMO and users of plenty of other low bandwidth applications (e.g. internet radio).
Good point.
 

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Interesting, this topic came up on Ars Technica, and someone from Rogers posted in the comments:

Hi, this is RogersMelanie, and I work for Rogers.

Our network management policy makes clear that we only manage upstream P2P traffic on our network:

"High-volume, low time-sensitive traffic (such as P2P file sharing) is limited to ensure all customers have a high level of service for time-sensitive tasks like sending email, requesting web pages, video and voice applications." You can find the policy here: http://www.rogers.com/web/content/network_management

There is a problem with our traffic management equipment that is inadvertently slowing the game for some customers. While we have fixed some issues with a software modification, new problems have emerged that we expect will be addressed with a second software update in June.

We believe the problem occurs when P2P is running while simultaneously playing the game. If you are experiencing problems we suggest you turn off the peer to peer setting within the WoW game and ensure no other P2P file sharing applications are running while playing WoW. WoW does use P2P for software updates, but with this setting changed you should continue to automatically receive software updates through other methods.

We would like to stress, this is only a temporary solution. We continue to work closely with the game manufacturer and our equipment supplier to help resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Also, I wanted to give a little background on the $275K donation. The calls in question were to tell pre-paid customers that their service would be interrupted if they didn’t purchase more minutes. We believe we followed the rules but have voluntarily stopped these calls since there seems to be some uncertainty in the interpretation. Also, to avoid the time and expense of going to Court, we have come to a settlement that the CRTC has agreed upon.

@RogersMelanie
So, that basically says "we use DPI hardware, and if it can see P2P packets all the packets from your cable modem get sent to the back of the line".

So, from Rogers point of view all P2P == bad. Of course, turning off those problematic traffic shaping rules on their hardware isn't an option, WoW players need to adjust their software. :rolleyes: If I was a Rogers customer my expectation was that if their DPI rules are broken, they should turn that off until it's fixed!

On a related note, doing DPI is a bankrupt strategy. You're in an arms race with P2P developers, as bandwidth goes up cracking open each packet and looking inside gets more and more expensive (in CPU power). Finally, as more sites turn on HTTPS and other protocols gain encryption DPI will eventually stop working as far as identifying what kind of packet it is. P2P app devs could just wrap their protocol inside of TLS and use standard web ports. Good luck on the deep packet inspection at that point. If they tried to block it there would be so many false positives it would be funny.
 

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Even with rightful bad publicity, we have so few choices in providers Rogers will suffer minimally. :(
 

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I gotta be honest here, I never got disconnected when getting updates for WoW. I did however get disconnected when running a P2P application simultaneously. It was very rare to get disconnected when playing without a P2P app. Also, not only would it disconnect me, it was reboot my Moto modem completely. Not sure if that's what that deep packet is doing.

Edit: cant recall when I haven't been honest, lol.
 

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WoW doesn't just use P2P to apply patches, it often uses the background downloader (which is P2P) during gameplay to download patch data in advance. And with the new launcher, you can start the game while it's being patched via P2P. If you're active on the PTR, you get updated often via P2P. Then there's Warden, their hacking detection tool, that always functions in the background and communicates via P2P.

If you disable P2P for patching, you're only doing it for one part. Shame on Rogers.
 

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Yet another reason I will never go back to Rogers for Internet. I am extremely unforgiving of anything that interrupts my World of Warcrafting! My wife and I are WoW addicts. Shame on Rogers!
 
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