Canadian internet traffic growth slowing — so why are ISPs throttling?

Canadians have an extra week to submit comments to the CRTC about internet traffic shaping and network neutrality, after ISPs turned over traffic statistics that show declining rates of growth of internet traffic.

The CRTC had ordered Canada’s ISPs, including Bell Canada Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., and Shaw Communications Inc. to provide traffic information to consumer groups. They only provided that information on Wednesday.

These numbers will provide a window into the ISP argument that they need to manage the network in order to prevent congestion.

So far the data is significantly undermining the arguments of the ISPs. Ten ISPs were asked what percentage of total traffic could be attributed to the top five per cent heaviest users on a month-by-month basis. The responses ranged from 34 per cent for one ISP during one month to 63 per cent for another ISP in another month.

And the CBC reports that, “The figures from seven ISPs also reveal that annual growth in total traffic volume declined for two consecutive years from 2005-06 to 2007-08 for five of the seven ISPs, in one case dropping from 66 per cent growth in 2005-06 to 21 per cent growth in 2007-08.”



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