Canada to “throttle” File-Sharers

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The Canadian Telecom Regulator (CRTC) has announced that it will allow Canadian ISPs to ”throttle” the connection of file-sharers as a last resort.

Pirate Bay

According to a Reuters report, the agreement is based on ISPs relying first on “economic measures,” which would see users paying for more or less bandwidth. However, users who go over their data allowance (the proverbial “cap”) will find evidence of that overuse on their bill fairly quickly. According to the new policy, ISPs will be allowed to simply throttle the connection or repeat offenders.

The CTRC’s exact words on it seem fairly cut and dry, “Technical means to manage traffic, such as traffic shaping, should only be employed as a last resort.” Of course, the big issue for many is that “traffic shaping” would mean that anyone using file-sharing networks see their speed take a bit of a knock, which is hardly ideal.

Naturally this will be felt most by those who have cause to use file-sharing style arrangements to download a lot of legal content. That’ll include anyone who’s really into playing around with open source OSes like Linux, many of which are easiest to get via BitTorrent networks. Similarly, World of Warcraft patches have long been made available legally via torrents so that vast numbers of players can grab them at once without killing a host.

It’ll be interesting to see how those legal uses of filesharing networks are effected by Canadian ISPs “throttling,” as it seems likely they will be effected once traffic shaping comes into effect.

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