Unintended Consequences of Rogers’ Packet Shaping

Net neutrality advocates regularly point to traffic shaping as a concern since they fear that Rogers could limit bandwidth to competing content or services. In response to the packet shaping approach, many file sharing applications now employ encryption to make it difficult to detect the contents of data packets. This has led to a technical “cat and mouse” game, with Rogers now one of the only ISPs in the world to simply degrade encrypted traffic.
This raises many issues but I would like to focus on just two in this posting. First, not only is BitTorrent legal in Canada, but a growing percentage of the file swapping on BitTorrent clients is authorized. This includes a substantial amount of open source software development, independent films, and other large files. By reducing the bandwidth available for this application, Rogers is impairing the ability for Canadian artists to distribute their work and hampering the development of open source software in Canada. Moreover, this could lead to a situation where Rogers’ own content is unfairly advantaged over competing content.
Michael Geist – The Unintended Consequences of Rogers’ Packet Shaping