CRTC investigating Internet throttling

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission received 75 complaints about bandwidth throttling last year, including 11 that were still active at the end of December.

Also known as Internet throttling, it is a controversial way for service providers to control network traffic and congestion. It can have a negative effect by limiting a user’s upload and download speed and often makes it difficult to stream video. Just 41 complaints were received in 2011.

Analysis has shown Canadian ISPs are some of the worst in the world for bandwidth throttling, with Rogers and Bell interfering most with user traffic. Bell Canada had plans to eliminate throttling by March 2012, while Rogers vowed to the same by year end. It will be interesting to see what the 2013 results hold and whether Canada’s telecom giants hold true to their promises.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Canada has refused an appeal, essentially giving the green light to a class action lawsuit against Bell for alleged Internet slowdowns dating back five years. The lawsuit is on behalf of customers in Ontario and Quebec.