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CRTC issues guidelines for dealing with complaints about ISPs throttling speeds

Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission issued guidelines on how it will deal with complaints about Internet service providers slowing down certain types of traffic. 

Under a 2009 CRTC policy, ISPs are encouraged to expand and upgrade their networks to address increases in traffic. Should other measures be required to manage traffic, ISPs can apply Internet traffic management practices. These practices, whether economic or technical, manage traffic to prevent or respond to network congestion. In either case, an ISP must be transparent about its use of traffic management practices.

“The policy sets out clear ground rules, which we expect all ISPs to follow,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “The guidelines we issued today will help Canadians understand which practices are permitted and how to make a complaint. We will require ISPs that are not following the rules to take corrective action as quickly as possible.”

CRTC says it will forward the complaint to the ISP  and request a response, noting that if the ISP fails comply, the CRTC will take further action to enforce its policy. This could include meeting with the ISP to discuss a complaint in more detail, requesting an on-site inspection or independent third-party audit, calling the ISP to a public hearing, or publishing the company’s name and the nature of the complaint (e.g. Rogers, throttling online game speeds).