CRTC Investigation Finds Rogers Violated Net Neutrality Rules

The CRTC has written to Rogers Communications to advise that its investigation has concluded that the company violated the Internet traffic management rules (better known as net neutrality rules).  The letter notes:

Based on the preliminary results of our ongoing investigation, Commission staff is of the belief that Rogers Communications Inc. (“Rogers”) applies a technical ITMP to unidentified traffic using default peer-to-peer (“P2P”) ports. On the basis of our evidence to date, any traffic from an unidentified time-sensitive application making use of P2P ports will be throttled resulting in noticeable degradation of such traffic.

The CRTC notes that prior approval is required for degradation of time sensitive traffic and gives Rogers two weeks to rebut the evidence or become compliant with the law. The case highlights a newfound willingness by the CRTC to investigate and enforce the net neutrality rules with full research into the effect of Rogers’ traffic shaping practices.  This represents a major step forward as it sends a clear message – after several years of doubt – that the CRTC is prepared to enforce the net neutrality rules.  Given the recent announcement that Bell is abandoning traffic shaping, the question is whether Rogers will follow suit or drag out the process by facing CRTC enforcement and further user complaints.


  1. YES!
    Finally the CRTC is taking a stand for what’s right.

  2. This is great!
    But it’s time we also get consumer-level UBB struck down now as well.

  3. …and bandwidth caps…but, baby steps.

  4. Prepared to enforce… but how?
    Sure, they found Rogers in violation. But what’s the practical outcome of this?

    There are currently no penalties the CRTC can enforce on Rogers for the violation.

  5. @BT
    At the very least, in light of the CRTC decision, while they’re pretty toothless, public pressure will force Rogers’ hand.

  6. Too little, too late?

    If SOPA and PIPA pass in the US, this wil
    all be a moot point. There will be no such
    thing as “net neutrality” after that.

  7. @Ki
    SOPA and PIPA have been tabled indefinitely and lacks White House support. What the Wednesday protest has now proven is that on-line protesting is no longer a “gimmick” as the MPAA tried to claim. In the US, these issues will now be watched with a much closer public eye. I don’t know if the lobbies with try to sneak anything so extreme in again, after such and overwhelming public outcry. What was it? They estimate some 8 million people in the US contacted their various political representatives? That’s a lot of voters!!! The public has spoken with a HUGE voice that will echo for a long time. That’s huge and may ultimately prove to be a turning point in the copyright war.

    Never in history has a dying business model received so much government protection…and it shouldn’t now. Candles, type writers, film cameras, incandescent light bulbs, etc. Companies that relied on these products either had to evolve or die. Some did it well, others not so much. Most recently, Kodak is a prime example. Where is the government protection preventing the further development of the digital camera market so Kodak can survive?

    The MPAA, RIAA, and the like live a world of extreme privilege and need to have a seriously rude awakening…and it’s coming sooner rather than later, methinks.

  8. @IamME

    No doubting that this is positive news for
    internet freedom, for the short term.

    However, my feeling is that the big movie
    and music industries and their lobbyists
    will not waver until they get what they
    want. I’m not naive enough to think that
    the US government and the lobbyists are
    going to give up their “black and white”
    way of trying to end piracy.

    Instead of doing something logical, like
    lowering prices to compete with the pirates,
    they’ll still go full steam ahead with their
    agendas to take away internet freedom. It’s
    more than just some people downloading music
    and movies for free. It’s also having our fav-
    ourite sites shut down, or links to sites that
    the US would deem “infringe copyright”.

    I don’t think we’ve seen the end of this.Not by
    a longshot.

  9. Just wanted to thank Geist for helping keep our efforts on the radar on his blog, and in the news. It’s been an incredible day on a lot of fronts for the gaming community. I’m happy that we’ve helped a lot over the past few months righting a lot of wrongs. I’m happy to see the CRTC moving in the right direction here. I think Rogers is going to have a very hard time disputing problems with their DPI that the developer Cisco has basically admitted too, and the CRTC has dug up.

    As far as SOPA. The Canadian Gamers Organization has and was very active on the SOPA front. We participated in the black out as did our partner When the story broke during the Holidays about the ESA’s support for it in the gaming news, we turned a lot of our focus and group discussions towards this. We also put out our position on SOPA at the beginning of January.

    This had and did have the potential to be the US’s Fair Copyright moment. I’m also happy to report that The Entertainment Software Association (one of the big supporters of this bill) has pulled support for SOPA today amid facing a tremendous backlash by the gaming community that most certainly would have been present on the floor at E3 with a lot of the gaming sites opposing SOPA planning to attend this year:

    The ESA members have been extremely split on SOPA. Nvida even came out stating they were not consulted on the ESA’s position of support. Gaming journalists and commentators over the past several weeks have been questioning and badgering individual ESA members on a daily basis.

    Also the Hollywood big wigs are really starting to do themselves in big time on SOPA:

    The US National discussion on copyright has effectively started.

    Jason Koblovsky
    Canadian Gamers Organization

  10. TELUS port blocking
    What about port blocking? TELUS blocks several common ports, such as 80 (HTTP), 443 (HTTPS), 25 (SMTP), 21 (FTP), 22 (SSH), 23 (Telnet) as well as various others. They do this under the guise of protecting their users from malware. The only mechanism of opting out of this is by switching to a server plan, which carries a heavy monthly fee. Does this not also violate net neutrality rules, or is it somehow different?

  11. Devil's Advocate says:

    RE: Port Blocking

    Such port blocking, as you’ve described it, not only smacks of disservice, but the whole thing doesn’t even make any sense anyway, given the ports you’ve listed.

    Are you saying Telus completely disallows traffic through these ports?

  12. VPN Throttling
    Rogers’ throttling goes beyond gaming and P2P; it is widespread, pervasive and affects a variety of protocols. Most egregious: they are ALSO throttling VPN traffic. The reason for this is that increasingly P2P file-sharers have switched to Private VPNs like Hotspot shield to circumvent the P2P File sharing.

    Since VPNs are used by corporations world-wide to give employees remote access to their networks; you would have thought Rogers would have accepted defeat in this area and left well enough alone.

    Instead, they simply throttle ALL VPN connections. My own testing has shown that the restriction is around 100K upstream and downstream (when I SHOULD be getting 32Mpbs down and 1Mbps up).

    Since this affects the operations of a significant portion of the Canadian corporate establishement, I suspect a real shit-storm to hit when the lid gets blown on exactly how far Rogers is going in it’s throttling activities.

  13. Now we need them to provide unlimited on net traffic so that providers in Canada can actually offer a value add and host CDN traffic. Better yet would be an unmetered service all the time, but this would be a good step in the right direction and actually spark some business opportunities.

    Say Rogers, why don’t you host an iTunes store,etc. instead of nickel and diming the consumer you can earn revenue from the content we use. Can’t apple give profit sharing based in where te content was purchased from? Sounds like a no brainier. Money gets spread around and everyone is happier.

    It’s really not that difficult. The technology exists and it would support innovation in this country.