Rogers Admits to Throttling ‘World of Warcraft’

About a month ago, a Canadian gamer and World of Warcraft player wrote an angry letter to the government’s telecom regulator to complain that her ISP, Rogers, was inappropriately throttling WoW, making it essentially unplayable.

Normally, ISPs like Rogers use an aggressive deep packet inspection (DPI) based throttling system to track and throttle peer-to-peer traffic, which is used by services such as BitTorrent. However, the system Rogers uses incorrectly identifies WoW as P2P, thus throttling it “accidentally,” according to Rogers.

An excerpt from Teresa Murphy’s complaint details the issue, as she writes:

Rogers’ filters are picking up several very low bandwidth-intensive games incorrectly as P2P activity. Provided these games are fully patched, they can play on a dialup connection with minimal issues, and uses approximately 100-200MB of your monthly cap (as stated by a game manufacturer employee, on the game’s public forums). It’s really not that much considering a single Netflix video in HD is 4GB. These games are time-sensitive applications (such as VOIP is), and like any time-sensitive application will lose connection if throttled, which is why they aren’t supposed to be throttled…

I don’t use P2P at ALL, and yet I’m still affected by this issue because Rogers sees my gaming traffic incorrectly as P2P… Personally, I wouldn’t even care about P2P being throttled, except for the fact that Rogers’ filters are so shoddy they’re lumping non-P2P in with P2P, making many applications completely unusable. Please continue to look into this. It’s not fair that Rogers customers are paying for a service they can’t even use.

When the CRTC forwarded the complaint to Rogers, Rogers admitted they know there is a problem, but that it won’t be a quick fix, saying it may be June until a fix can be made.  However, Rogers stands firm in that the game is only throttled if a person concurrently runs P2P software, and recommends “turning off the peer-to-peer setting in the World of Warcraft game and ensuring that no peer-to-peer applications are running on any connected computer.”

It makes me wonder if other MMOs have similar problems with Rogers, or if it is isolated to WoW.  Any of you have Rogers who have had issues playing MMOs?


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