ISP throttles World of Warcraft “by mistake”

A Canadian internet provider appears to have caused World of Warcraft players to fall victim to its attempts to target peer-to-peer filesharing. Rogers Communications says the effect was unintentional and has offered a workaround.

The case is a classic example of mixing up the medium and the message: while there’s little dispute that most p2p use is for copyrighted materials, it’s not inherently illegal, hence the traditional cry of “what about my Linux distro?” whenever an ISP targets the technology.

It recently emerged that Rogers customers were finding gameplay noticeably affected while using World of Warcraft, prompting speculation that the cable provider was intentionally targeting the game. Rogers then clarified by saying peer-to-peer filesharing was the issue. That initially caused confusion until it was revealed that World of Warcraft creator Blizzard now uses p2p technology to deliver updates to the game during play.

It’s important to note that while Rogers has referred to “traffic management equipment”, it hasn’t specifically said it is throttling peer-to-peer traffic. Instead it says there is a specific problem that occurs when both World of Warcraft and a peer-to-peer service (whether in the game or an external application) are running.

Rogers therefore recommends “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.”

It appears that if users switch off the p2p update setting (which is found at View > Preferences > ¬†Enable Peer-to-Peer Transfer.), they’ll revert to having to wait for an update to download in full before being able to start a gaming session.

Rogers also notes the problem is only temporary: it’s looking for a resolution as soon as possible, but also notes an update in June should address the problems.

 

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9 Responses to ISP throttles World of Warcraft “by mistake”

  1. Sounds like they implemented:

    if( p2p traffic ) {
    throttle all traffic
    }

    instead of:

    if( p2p traffic ) {
    throttle p2p traffic
    }

  2. This is why wantonly limiting P2P is such a bad idea. The technology itself is good and useful for legal purposes. I really don't think there's a good excuse for limiting it.

    Having said that, if the programming you're using to limit P2P breaks a legitimate business method for distributing their stuff, TURN OFF the limitation. Fix the problem. Then turn it back on.

    Making your customers do your work for you? Bad bad bad. Don't use something unless it works right. And when it breaks, take responsibility and fix it. (That's part of what you're being paid for.)

  3. This is why wantonly limiting P2P is such a bad idea. The technology itself is good and useful for legal purposes. I really don’t think there’s a good excuse for limiting it.

    Having said that, if the programming you’re using to limit P2P breaks a legitimate business method for distributing their stuff, TURN OFF the limitation. Fix the problem. Then turn it back on.

    Making your customers do your work for you? Bad bad bad. Don’t use something unless it works right. And when it breaks, take responsibility and fix it. (That’s part of what you’re being paid for.)

  4. This is why wantonly limiting P2P is such a bad idea. The technology itself is good and useful for legal purposes. I really don’t think there’s a good excuse for limiting it.

    Having said that, if the programming you’re using to limit P2P breaks a legitimate business method for distributing their stuff, TURN OFF the limitation. Fix the problem. Then turn it back on.

    Making your customers do your work for you? Bad bad bad. Don’t use something unless it works right. And when it breaks, take responsibility and fix it. (That’s part of what you’re being paid for.)

  5. Personally you should be hung to dry, your company disbanded, and possibly much worse. You have no right to mess with peoples internet and data like that, you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar by messing up their other applications. So go to hell, don't come back.

  6. If you think this was done by accident … well I've got some land for sale in Florida for you then.

  7. There's a problem with your traffic management equipment? It's a problem with your traffic management policy–deep-packet inspection and marking BitTorrent traffic down or up in your QoS stack is easy. I'm guessing the problem is going to be how you will maintain a policy of rate-limiting BitTorrent traffic while providing the general audience of WoW players fast updates with default settings. Stop attempting to spin a story of bullshit, and stop rate-limiting all BitTorrent traffic (it does have legitimate uses). You folks did indeed get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, admit it, fix it and move on or move over for another ISP that will provide more adequate levels of service to their customers.

  8. Punishing people for using a perfectly fine technology – that *can* be used for illegal purposes, but isn't necessarily – is just retarded. It should not be in your interest to limit what your customers can and can't do, and I assure you it isn't in their interest either.

    Thankfully I'm not a customer of yours and have no intention of ever being one.

  9. Why do Canadians still pay the isp when they are bending them over a barrel. Stop giving your money to crappy companies and the crappy companies will magically turn into good companies or they will cease to exist. AND people need to begin to use torrents for all downloading so that the traffic cannot be stopped simply based on it being a torrent. Seriously, Canada, you need to take care of this shit before some companies in the US get ideas.

    Also, if you cannot ensure quality speeds with torrenting going on in your network then take the money and build a better infrastructure. LOL sending an email is being threatened by it? paaaalease. blame canada(ian isp comanies)