Canadian telecommunications giant Rogers has been ordered to stop throttling World of Warcraft and other online games.
It came to light back in March that Rogers Communications, one of the largest telecommunications companies in Canada, was throttling the connections of World of Warcraft players. The company claimed that it was a mistake caused by issues between its “traffic management equipment” and the game which resulted in the MMO being misclassified as a peer-to-peer connection. Rogers said at the time that it was working on the issue and expected to have it resolved by June.
June came, June went, and while Rogers says that the World of Warcraft situation is all straightened out, the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission is concerned that the company’s policies could cause problems with other online games and applications. Following an August complaint by the Canadian Gamers Organization about the possible throttling of Call of Duty: Black Ops, the CRTC sent a letter to Rogers on September 16 stating that its policies and equipment “could potentially continue to misclassify time-sensitive traffic such as other online games.” The letter gave the company until September 27 to present its plan to resolve the issue once and for all.
Rogers said in a statement that it is not aware of any problems with other games and thus intends to simply “table the process that we already have in place to deal with these issues.” It also encouraged gamers who run into issues to contact the company so they can be investigated and fixed. “Gamers are some of our best customers,” it said. “We want them to be satisfied customers.”
Rogers and other large ISPs in Canada say they need to manage online traffic in order to address network congestion issues during peak usage hours, although the CRTC noted in its letter that any such management that results in “noticeable degradation” of time-sensitive traffic requires its prior approval. Under current policies, Rogers’ traffic management system limits users to a maximum upload speed of 80 kilobits per second in peer-to-peer applications.