Canada's Sympatico Admits to Net Filtering

Although it is out of the jurisdiction of the United States Government, a Canadian ISP's admission that it is using similar tactics as Comcast is likely to keep the debate on net neutrality going.

The admission by Bell Sympatico came through its online forums after a user complained that he was noticing problems with his connection when using peer-to-peer downloading programs.

The user -- ironically named "Speedy" -- noticed his internet connection was capped at 30kb/sec for downloads and uploads. The same problem was noted among multiple clients.


Reports of similar throttling have also appeared on as well, which the poster to Sympatico's support forum noted.

Sympatico's forum support administrator responded back on October 31, admitting that the ISP was using a traffic management system that was specifically targeting traffic from P2P providers such as BitTorrent, Gnutella, Limewire, Kazaa, eDonkey, eMule, WinMX, and others.

A "Sympatico Manager" replied with the following: "There continues to be phenomenal growth of consumer Internet traffic throughout the world and Bell is using Internet Traffic Management to ensure we deliver bandwidth fairly to our customers during peak Internet usage," while saying the company would continue to invest in network capacity.

The admission by yet another ISP that it is selectivity limiting the bandwidth of applications -- even though it is outside the US -- should still add fuel to the fire for supporters of "net neutrality."

Until Comcast's admission that they were indeed selectively filtering traffic, there was little to actually prove that it could indeed be a problem. However, now with ISP's actively admitting the practice, net neutrality is again becoming an issue.

"Cable giant Comcast has become the poster child for Net Neutrality with blatant actions to block Internet traffic that make the case for user protections," interest group recently said.

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