Canuckclysm: Canadian ISP Throttling World of Warcraft

Canuckclysm: Canadian ISP Throttling World of Warcraft

The Canadian ISP, Rogers Communications, admitted yesterday that it throttles games like World of Warcraft in its bid to maintain QoS for all customers. The issue came to light when a Rogers subscriber filed a complaint against the company in February. The author details why she believes Rogers is filtering WoW via deep packet inspection , noting, for example, that running a VPN (Virtual Private Network) prevents players from being kicked out of game randomly.

The complaint then discusses the available evidence that points back to improper throttling on Roger's part.
Rogers employees on their own forums have been stating that these games use P2P to run, which is why they're being throttled, and that the game manufacturer needs to change the game.  Add to this, Rogers employees have been telling us gamers to disable any P2P, wait 10 minutes, and try the game again.  (For the record, these games do NOT use P2P, never have and never will.)  I see this as a CLEAR indication that they're knowingly throttling up/down stream of the entire connection while P2P is active, whether it really IS active, or they just think it is. I don't use P2P at ALL, and yet I'm still affected by this issue because Rogers sees my gaming traffic incorrectly as P2P.(All emphasis original)
When the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) investigated, Rogers owned right up to the issue. The company states: "Our tests have determined that there is a problem with our traffic management equipment that can interfere with World of Warcraft... We recently introduced a software modification to solve the problems our customers are experiencing with World of Warcraft.  However, there have been recent changes to the game, which has created new problems.  A second software modification to address these new issues will not be ready until June."


Deathwing thinks you're ruining his Internet access—if you don't improve it, he'll have to file a complaint. Very politely.

World of Warcraft doesn't communicate with any sort of P2P client to connect to game servers but does use a P2P client to patch and update game files. This function, however, can be disabled (there's no word on whether or not this affects gameplay when connected to Rogers Communications. We suspect it doesn't work—if Roger's DPI tools were as sophisticated as the company implies, they'd be able to tell the difference between patch distribution and actual gameplay.

It may not be too long before US customers find themselves in a similar snafu. Past discussions of net neutrality have raised the question of whether or not gaming should be treated as a premium service tier. ISPs are anxious to establish themselves as content providers rather than dumb pipes. Rogers' problems are a good example of why automatic packet inspection isn't a good solution when it comes to saving bandwidth but recent caps and soft limits set by companies like AT&T imply we may be headed in a similar direction. 
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This is a terrible business practice but I know in the many parts of the U.S. we are stuck with only one or two options. Here in the Northeast the only options I have are Comcast and At&t both which will have a cap on the connection and both which throttle certain types of traffic or at least did at one point.

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Hmm does anyone remember that guys girlfriend who deleted his WOW characters?

I dont think anyone wants to come in between a world of warcraft player and his WOW fix, so Canadian ISP's be warned, cataclysm isnt just an in game expansion pack for World of Warcraft, it can expand to you directly as well.

And in case you dont remember that Wow guy and his girlfriend, heres the link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l99nfgols4E

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i haven't seen these youtube reactions before and honestly- they're awesome.

but kinda tragic. tragic like you stole crack from a crackhead tragic.

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I was always much more a fan of the kid who whined about not getting to raid. Or the classic "More dots."

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If ISP's get their way then they will literally stop competition and resort to price fixing. Competition needs to be revamped up in this area and the only way that will happen is if these companies get off their butt and work on beefing up their backbone and expanding to the rural areas.

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As a Canuck myself who abandoned Rogers 4 years ago... Boy am i glad i left... We get friggin throttled for everything! + SUCH LOW caps.... 70$/ month for a measily 10mb @ a max of 70-80gigs... wtf.

At least with www.teksavvy.com I have a 5mb line, but a 300gb cap... i'd sacrifice speed for quantity

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ROFL; Blizzard uses Bittorent for updates, I would say this person leaves it on default which is update over time, so it stays on all the time and pings the update servers randomly.

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One of the reasons Roger's had been "accidently" throttling back W.O.W. is because the game uses a P2P client to install all their updates; and Roger's was under the impression that people using P2P were up to no good-this is far from the case.

I'm with Shaw myself; and although I can't really complain about my download speed (15Mbps), or the 100GB cap (which I never seem to go over?), compared to countries-e.g. the European Union-Canada's pretty much at the bottom of the dung heap for both download speeds, caps (or lack thereof in Europe), and cost.

So how are we supposed to attract investors with this B.S. ?

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quite sad.... caps don't help QOS they just help increase revenue. 

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lol i dont think people should complain... there are people that have it much worse... people that are forced to either have dail-up or satelite internet and there is no WOW playing on that :P lol i know cause i came from such a family :)

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I see a real world quest arising out of this

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It seems odd to me that this is happening with something as widely used as Warcraft. I mean I get the Bittorent thing, or at least understand it, but the updates Blizzard does through it after the initial one are pretty small. They use a wide range of addresses which I am sure are partially random, but they have to be at least somewhat managed. So Blizzard gives them those specific addresses, and they throw them on a do not block list. Then Blizzard uses specifically those addresses for any ISP that has difficulties with Bittorent.

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Rapid,

Remember, the claim here is that Rogers supposedly great DPI technology isn't working correctly. Rogers response indicates that yes, it *is* possible not to filter WoW, but that their current implementation isn't doing so.

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Hi, I am Elise with Rogers social media team. I wanted to bring some clarifications about the issues with the game World of Warcraft.

First I want to stress that we thank all of our customers for their patience while we were investigating.

What we know today is that there is a problem with our traffic management equipment that is inadvertently slowing the game for some customers. While we have fixed some issues with a software modification, new problems have emerged that we expect will be addressed with a second software update in June.

We believe the problem occurs when P2P is running while simultaneously playing the game. If you are experiencing problems we suggest you turn off the peer to peer setting within the WoW game and ensure no other P2P file sharing applications are running while playing WoW. WoW does use P2P for software updates, but with this setting changed you should continue to automatically receive software updates through other methods.

This is only a temporary solution. We continue to work closely with the game manufacturer and our equipment supplier to help resolve this issue as soon as possible.

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You can't really say this is only happening to some Roger's (W.O.W.) customers, now can you,  players rely on this network-and always have-to update their game.

Why should the players cutoff their updates (or P2P network), just so Roger's can (slowly) work on a solution, this is hardly  a fix.

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Hey Rodgers, take off you hoser!

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LMAO June?! Wow your customer service really sucks to make people wait 3 months or more for a viable fix. Really you cant download and install a free program called Wireshark to monitor network traffic on a machine with the free 14 day trial of WoW on and see exactly what data is coming to and from that machine? It is so simple to do this to figure out why your traffic management equipment is having issues with the game and give this information to the traffic management equipment people for a fix. This should take all of a matter of hours to get and send off and a fix should be issued within a few days if you make it a priority for them. Worst case scenario it could take a max of 2 weeks to do all of this but not 3 months. Someone over there needs to get their head out of their *** and think for once instead of brown nosing it.

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Elise,

Thank you for registering and posting on this topic. It *is* possible that a recent change on Blizzard's part aggravated the problem. It's now possible to launch and play the game before a full patch is entirely downloaded; this may cause the ISP to simultaneously detect P2P activity as well as the game itself.

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Yeah Joel H I understand that they say that, but if it is filtering Bittorent then it is. The way WOW works on default (which is the way most install it as well as run it, the server flips while active because it knows it is connected. The reason it does this specifically with bittorent is it spreads the load of course, but it also allows multiple ports of entry with low low bandwidth costs for there servers which only monitor successful link. I have looked at it actively running and many of the connections will say 0 bandwidth, but it is really just super low so it does not effect them or hinder the customer. The problem is it is still Bittorent which rogers does either halt or slow, if it is already running ultra low anyway that then becomes non responsive. At that time the game thinks your disconnected shutting the connection on your end after a short amount of time. When you shut a single portal on Bittorent it is also a random port so double random cancels then, the server thinks it has assured your disco, then in a couple minutes bounces you even though your still connected. Blizzard and Rogers would have to agree on a server range, I don't know if it would be as advantageous for Blizzard if they had to do that because it would lower availability and spread making it take more bandwidth from there end.

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The big Canadian ISPs(especially Bell) have been throttling torrents etc for years.

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