The most frustrating ordeal for online gamers to put up with isn’t the lude comments from other players, or “pk”-ing–it’s lag. Yet, for many gamers across the country, this 3-letter word might be a feature of their Internet service.
Rogers Communications Inc., Canada’s largest cable Internet service provider admitted to throttling access to the popular online role-playing game (MMORPG) this last March. The company claimed that this activity was unintentional and that it was working with the game developer to solve the problem.
Our tests have determined that there is a problem with our traffic management equipment that can interfere with World of Warcraft. We have been in contact with the game manufacturer and we have been working with our equipment supplier to overcome this problem.
The problem was initially brought to attention by a Rogers customer who filed a complaint in to the CRTC in February. After Roger announced that the problem had been fixed as of the end of May, the same customer responded in saying that the “fix” had actually made the problem worse.
Lynne Fancy, director of competition, costing and tariffs for the CRTC, said that “Commission staff is not persuaded that this issue has been completely resolved,” and that “There appear to be matters still in dispute.”
Rogers has been given until July 25 to prove to the commission that the problem has been resolved; otherwise, the CRTC will initiate a public examination.
Many ISPs use “throttling” to slow down certain forms of Internet traffic in order to ease congestion. Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, run through services such as BitTorrent, is typically what is affected most by the service.
While Rogers initially worked to solve the issue, the company suggested that users turn off all P2P file sharing while playing World of Warcraft—as this was what caused the problem.
Although P2P file sharing is typically associated with illegal, or pirated material, companies like Activision Blizzard Inc. (World of Warcraft’s publisher) also use the service to distribute software updates.