Canadian ISP Thwarts WoW & StarCraft 2 Players

Canadian gamer Theresa Murphay wrote a three page letter of complaint after gathering solid proof that her ISP, Rogers, has been throttling games like World of Warcraft.

[...] Rogers’ filters are picking up several very low bandwidth-intensive games incorrectly as P2P activity. [...] These games are time-sensitive applications (such as VOIP is), and like any time-sensitive application will lose connection if throttled [...]

Her proof?

[...] running a VPN (which encrypts/masks your traffic so Rogers can’t see what it is, so can’t tell that it should be shaping it) allows the game to run with no problems.

Thankfully, Rogers has been completely forthcoming and has done all it could to resolve the problem:

Since November users have been complaining to Rogers about disconnections and latency increases, making gaming in World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2 impossible to do during peak periods (which just happens to be when Rogers shapes traffic). Unfortunately, nothing was done because Rogers Tier 1 Tech Support workers refused to open service tickets to actually look into the issue, and to add to this, they vehemently denied Rogers was throttling/packet shaping at all to customers, despite the ITMP stating (at the time) they did indeed throttle P2P uploads.

Oh, wait… Well, at least they’ve proposed a solution:

Rogers employees on their own forums have been stating that these games use P2P to run, which is why they’re being throttled, and that the game manufacturer needs to change the game. Add to this, Rogers employees have been telling us gamers to disable any P2P, wait 10 minutes, and try the game again.

Since Blizzard Entertainment is clearly at fault here, they should immediately release a “Rogers Compliance Patch” for WoW and SC2. Until then, gamers can simply go through an onerous process to receive the internet service they pay for.

Bottom line?

[...] it’s clear that Rogers is throttling the downstream of the entire connection when P2P is active. They’re lying about it to their customers, they’re lying about it to the CRTC [Canada's telecoms regulator].

[...] Rogers’ filters are so shoddy they’re lumping non-P2P in with P2P, making many applications completely unusable.

Rogers issued a response last week after receiving pressure from the CRTC, but it looks like the problem won’t be resolved until June at the earliest.

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