The Internet Access You Buy Is Not The Internet Access You Can Use

from the ISP-knows-best dept

We’ve mentioned in the past how ISPs, like Shaw and Rogers in Canada use traffic shaping tools to block out P2P traffic, but the companies don’t seem to want to admit it. An ISP may have a valid reason for using traffic shaping tools — but they shouldn’t be able to do that without letting users know that their connection has those limitations. The expectation when you sign up for an ISP connection is that you can actually use it. Letting subscribers know gives them the option of not working with that ISP and, instead, signing up with one that actually gives them real internet access… Aha! I think we’ve figured out why they keep it a secret.

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Comments on “The Internet Access You Buy Is Not The Internet Access You Can Use”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

If it is their networks, they should be able to run them the way they want to run them. Heck, Canada sensors plenty of radical ideas — to name two, US satellite television/DirectTV and the US Shock Jock, Howard Stern. As long as the company provides information as to what types of activities it allows and disallows, why shouldn’t they be able to run their lines any way they want to? They are not forced to live up to US or any other nation’s rules & regulations.

Canada is Canada. USA is USA… and China is China, and not the other way around.

oskizzle says:

Re: No Subject Given

did you read this story? yes, it is their company and they can do what they want with it. but should they be able to tell you you’re getting unlimited access and then limit it? then you’re paying for something you’re not really getting.

thats the point of this article, is it not? am i missing something?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

oskizzle, where is the link to the company’s website where it says “unlimited complete internet access” or “unlimited access to the entire internet”? I see links to a public message forum — a public discussion group where anyone is free to sign up and post whatever they feel like typing about… whether it be fact or assumption or just propaganda.

Tom (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Canada sucks

So, now that I have your blood boiling:

This brings up a better point- censorship. Sure, the company doesn’t want their entire bandwidth bill to pay for p2p traffic (legal or illegal). I can understand that.

I was looking into starting an ISP here in rural areas where I live a few years ago. We had lots of killer ideas, and our service would have really been top notch. Problem was, 2 our of 3 investors wanted to censor what people could browse/surf/download. That did not jive with most others, and so the idea fell flat. Sad, that.

But to the point of censorship, it’s complete BS. Howard Stern isn’t allowed in Canada. That makes me laugh every time I hear it. What, does that mean all canadians are more moral because of that? They’re better global citizens? No. It means HS said something to make canadian officials pissy, and so the made a rule: “No Stern”.

Granted, I am going my my standard of living, but if some government official said, “Sorry, you can’t read Al Jezira ever”…well…there wouldn’t even be a question of impeachment…there would simply be a lynch mob.

As to standards and bein biased, I once had a friend (Canadian girl) that wore this shirt- her favorite. It had a picture of N. America on it, and the text around the pic said, “We’re bigger and on top- If this were prison you’d be our bitch”. Well, sadly for Canada…this is not prison. Nobody is anybody’s bitch. and frankly, I find that more racey than anything Howard has ever said on-air.

Oh, and Canada sucks…just ask Peter Griffin.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

If it is their networks, they should be able to run them the way they want to run them

Did I say anything different? I said they might have perfectly good reasons for doing what they do — but they shouldn’t sell things in a way that implies you get full internet access and then not actually offer it.

If they’re going to block certain types of traffic, they need to make that clear.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Mike, I completely agree with you. This is why I also wrote in my first reply, that “As long as the company provides information as to what types of activities it allows and disallows“.

As always though, I enjoy reading your articles. Very stimulating, compared to articles written by other websites.

ZOMG CENSORED (user link) says:

Not all of canada...

…has this problem. I’m actually quite satisfied with my current service from Manitoba Telephone Systems (MTS). Their DSL is a lot better than Shaw’s cable, and we don’t have caps… so I usually download a couple hard drives worth of data (surprisingly most of it is pdf’s) temporarily, and I’ve never had a single complaint. In fact, the only thing ever said regarding that transfer amount is “Whether I was getting enough bandwith this month”.

I, guess what I’m saying is that this really only applies to the conglomerates (and don’t even get me started on Bell).

A Funny Guy / The Poison Pen says:

I find it very intersting that people are actually standing up for a company that is basically censoring you from the internet. I’m not really concerned about who the network belongs to………… and i’m not really concerned about these traffic shaping tools….. no hacker should be…. not hard to get around…. but why is the simple man…. the consumer…… putting up with this?

As far as ISP’s go…. you folks need to get a clue quick…… you have a job… it is a simple one…. your job is to transport data from point A to point B. It is not to choose what data you will or will not transmit…… you job is not to be a censor…… your job is not to choose for me what is and what is not appropiate for me to do on the internet…..

I will decide that….. and if you have problems with that… get out of the business… cause bottom line….. all your job consists of and all we want you to do is transport data from point A to point B…..

You have a good thing here….. don’t screw it up or folks will find a way to do what they wan and leave you out of the loop that includes their bank accounts……..

You don’t want that to happen do you……… I didn’t think so……

So handle your dirty laundry and let us get back to business as usual…

Xichael (user link) says:


Shaw actually does have a stated limit on data transfer: 10, 60, 100 or 150 GB/month depending on which service plan you have, but according to a customer service rep I once spoke with, they don’t enforce it in any way, and he wasn’t privy to whether they’re traffic shaping.

One thing Shaw definitely is up to, I was recently shocked to discover, is the blocking of torrent uploads to The Pirate Bay. I’d been trying for days to upload a torrent I’d created, but I kept getting TPB’s default “database problems” page. After someone on TBP’s IRC chat told of reports that uploads were being blocked by some ISPs, I downloaded Torpark, and via a German IP, was suddenly able to upload with no problems.

I find it reprehensible that a Canadian ISP would be allowed to engage in the same sort of censorship that so many an authoritarian government are condemned for.

shaw FRAUD says:

Shaw is engaging in fraud

Shaw seems to be slowing down all of the websites except the popular speed test sites. I’m paying for a premium service at ten megs but I’m only consistently getting three. They had no explanation as all my hardware and software is functioning properly. So essentially, they are selling a false bill of goods and should be sued. I’ve heard of various other people with the same problem. Class action anyone?

Shaw Bites says:

Traffic shaping and port blocking are different

Traffic shaping actually looks within the packets rather than just blocking ports. Using non-standard ports with your p2p client doesn’t help. At least Telus isn’t doing traffic shaping, although they have participated in web site blocking during their union dispute to block the union’s free speech.

All believing that the net should be open should sign the petition at

Angry in Vancouver says:

Shaw denies using any traffic shaping.

Just got off the phone with Shaw, and they deny that they use any traffic shaping technology at all.
When I pressed further saying that their is mounting evidence, he said “our official position is that we don’t use any traffic shaping or throttling technology”.
It’s bullshit, and he knew I could hear it in his voice.
I say Class Action lawsuit. We need to get this started.

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