Rogers asked to probe possible game throttling
Canada’s telecommunications regulator has asked Rogers to disclose by Sept. 2 whether it has tested any other games and apps to see if they have been affected by the "bug" that impacted World of Warcraft players.
Rogers admitted in March, following complaints from gamers, that equipment used to slow down some kinds of internet traffic and prioritize others could negatively affect World of Warcraft. The company has since fixed the problem.
However, Jason Koblovsky, who represents a group of gamers called the Canadian Gamers Organization, filed a new complaint with the CRTC in August. He said his own testing found that the game Call of Duty: Black Ops seemed to be slowed down on his Rogers connection.
Koblovsky said he is optimistic about the CRTC’s request to Rogers.
Internet traffic management
Internet traffic management refers to techniques used by network managers to slow down some types of traffic in favour of others. In particular, internet service providers say they slow down applications that use large amounts of bandwidth, but don’t dramatically affect the user’s ability to use the application when they are slowed down, such as peer-to-peer file sharing. They say that allows them to guarantee higher speeds and better quality of service for time-sensitive applications such as video streaming that don’t work properly when they are slowed down. However, problems can arise if the technology used to distinguish different types of applications make mistakes and accidentally classify time-sensitive traffic as peer-to-peer.
"I hope the issue’s going to be dealt with. I hope the CRTC puts through the proper investigation with this issue," he said in an interview Monday.
"With what the CRTC has written, we’ll find out what happened with other games."
As part of its response to the CRTC, Rogers has also been asked to say:
- Whether its internet traffic management practices may be affecting games and non-gaming applications other than World of Warcraft.
- Whether it has told its customers about whether the World of Warcraft problem may be affecting other games and how it solved the World of Warcraft problem.
Rogers said in a statement Monday that its network management is in full compliance with Canadian laws and regulations and that its discloses all the information about its internet service required under Ontario law. The company added that many things unrelated to Rogers’s traffic management can cause problems with games.
Koblovsky said he is currently working on filing a request asking the CRTC to bring in a policy requiring internet service providers to disclose their network traffic management practices to consumers.