[kwlug-disc] Rogers Bandwith Limit - Consequences of exceeding?

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Sun Feb 1 17:45:44 EST 2009

Andrew Kohlsmith (lists) wrote, On 02/01/2009 4:27 PM:
> On January 30, 2009 01:29:54 pm unsolicited wrote:
>> Had to move from Golden, er, Execulink (Bell Wholesalers) because I'm
>> too far from the C.O. Having received notice of speed increases, and
>> not getting them, I inquired. They didn't think I could reliably get
>> 1.5 Mbps (which I was getting at the time), so they (Bell, who
>> services the lines) reduced me to 512 kbps. BA BYE!
> Bell will set the port to whatever speed the reseller requests. I have done 
> this numerous times for various customers.

In this case the request was 'as fast as possible'. I forget what the 
upgrade was supposed to give you (3 or 5 if I remember) - they 
overlooked me in that process and I was still at 1.5. When I inquired, 
their immediate reaction was "Well of course you should be getting 
much more!" - so no problems vendor wise. It was at that time that (a) 
they discovered I wasn't even getting what I originally signed up for, 
(b) Bell shmucked me despite vendor protests. I suspect, in hindsight, 
they never should have signed me up in the first place since they 
couldn't deliver even what they originally promised. That was so long 
ago that, essentially, the idea of doing a line check and requiring it 
to be at least somewhat close to what was contracted for, wasn't in 
vogue yet. At the time, the bear dances (better than dialup). Today, 
it's how well.

>> Last time I poked around, Bell may be shaping, but apparently only
>> during prime time - something like 4:00 PM through 10:00 PM (midnight?).
> Yes, and apparently enabling multilink PPP gets around this.

Ultimately, they'll do the same as, or an equivalent to, Rogers - all 
encrypted traffic is throttled. The equivalent will ultimately be, if 
they can't understand the nature of the traffic to shape it, they'll 
throttle it. And in some senses, who can blame them. Yes, let QoS 
(VoIP) go through first. Yes, let torrents go through last. [Haven't 
made up my mind about video - crappy podcasts, or anything that can't 
be 'downloaded', just K.I.S.S. and block them entirely. Let it be 
downloaded instead.] Or something like that.

That is not to say they shouldn't be held to what was promised / is 
reasonable (if you don't have enough capacity, build more capacity), 
and is not to say they should throttle on principle - just on adequate 
average capacity requirements and/or QoS. Let's get back to a solid 
principle of pervasively effecting the traffic prioritization 
problem/solution (QoS) - the rest will take care of itself. 
_Certainly_ Rogers shouldn't be prioritizing their Home Phone VoIP 
over one's own VoIP - nobody should be fooled into thinking they don't.

Bandwidth caps and throttles only matter if they affect you. If they 
don't actually affect you, you shouldn't care. Everyone should play 
nice. If my download takes 10% longer, who cares. If my call quality 
goes down, I very much care. If my neighbour's call quality goes down 
because of my download, I also care - it's not cricket.

All providers will (ultimately) cap and throttle - except, as John 
noted, if you can get away from Bell and Roger's copper. Wireless in 
any form will never be fast / secure enough. People are willing to pay 
for the speed of Rogers / DSL, and not willing to pay so much more for 
fibre, even if they have to live with throttling.

Early on, post-dialup, caps and throttles weren't an issue - dancing 
bear. Alternates appeared, such as fibre - they were smarter out of 
the gate - bandwidth caps and over-usage charges from day 1. I've no 
doubt they too will ultimately throttle. As any given bottleneck 
approaches, a provider will have a choice of not offering a new 
customer service for lack of current capacity. (=$0) Soon after 
they'll say something like, Mr. User, if you let me throttle your 
traffic, say, by limiting torrents, I'll give you a rebate each month. 
You know X number of clients will agree, allowing them to now accept 
that client they didn't have capacity for. (>$0) Maybe, though, unlike 
Rogers, the provider will be up front with the throttling details. But 
I'm not that hopeful.

In some senses, road speed limits are also capacity control 
mechanisms. We have traffic lights to control traffic so everyone gets 
where they want to go in some sort of reasonable time, while allowing 
everyone else to do the same. In some senses, another capacity control 
mechanism. e.g. Traffic at a red light provides an opportunity for the 
cross traffic to enter the stream.

Why is similar controls by providers unreasonable?

(I don't disagree that there are appropriate and inappropriate 
mechanisms to use, and that few consider Roger's extreme actions 

I'm not defending Rogers. I'm not advocating Rogers. I agree, there 
are problems, as John says. But, particularly in the absence of other 
choices, it works 'good enough.' I will not advocate Bell (personal 
experience). I will advocate Execulink / golden (personal experience) 
even though they're Bell resellers - but would still advocate Rogers 
(better service/help infrastructure, easier troubleshooting). Both 
work 'well enough' and both throttle (and cap?). I dislike the idea of 
dry loop - Bell still gets their cut, and I find that idea offensive.

Finally, I don't actually know that I'm being affected by Rogers - 
speed varies at any given time with my ability (rate) to receive, the 
source's ability (rate) to send, and the (world wide) infrastructure's 
ability (rate) in between. I may not know at any given time where or 
if I'm rate limited - I do know there's nothing I can do about it. I 
also know the only thing I want is, I WANT IT RIGHT NOW! To be able to 
put it to bed and move on to other things. That will never happen. I, 
and everyone, will just have to deal.

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