Bell Canada Begins Throttling BitTorrent Traffic

Bell Canada Begins Throttling BitTorrent Traffic
In case you didn’t have enough reasons to hate Bell Canada, our nation’s de facto phone and DSL internet supplier, the company announced that it has begun to throttle BitTorrent traffic across its entire network. (Throttling is exactly what you think it is: the deliberate slowing down of your connection when using bittorrent and other peer-to-peer file sharing protocols.)

Bell has been doing this to its users since last October, the difference now is that they’re implementing the throttle on all their phone lines, which means any DSL supplier is subject to it. (When you get DSL from another company, they are simply leasing the line from Ma Bell, who owns everything.)

As an extra kick in the face, the company neglected to mention this fact to third party suppliers, and it wasn’t until users started to complain to small provider TekSavvy that it all came out. After a series of complaints, TekSavvy CEO Rocky Gaudrault contacted Bell. He’s quoted as saying, "…we had discussions with Bell management and unofficially, they said some load balancing might be going on. [And then later] they officially told us they were throttling our client base.”

What this means for the average internet user is that "optimising,” as Bell likes to call it, is here to stay: the option of simply switching to a different internet provider is no longer available. So for the foreseeable future, expect that episode of The Wire you’re downloading to keep going slower and slower.