New Data Reveals ISP's Throttling Activity

Lyla Katz

LOS ANGELES — New data collected by Measurement Lab gives an overview of how often different Internet service providers around the world throttle their BitTorrent traffic.

The findings looked at throttling practices of ISPs from the U.S., Canada, U.K. and several others and are available here.

The data spans a two-year period covering April 2008 to May 2010. For example, in the U.S., Comcast restricted 3 percent of BitTorrent traffic in the first quarter of last year compared to 49 percent in early 2008. Cox also reduced its throttling practices from 51 percent to 3 percent in the same time frame.

In 2010, Clearwire limited 17 percent of all BitTorrent traffic.

Some of the larger Canadian ISPs have been shown to throttle a large percentage of BitTorrent traffic. The data showed Rogers slowing down 78 percent of traffic, while other ISPs, Bell and Shaw, restricted 16 and 14 percent. Videotron slowed down only 3 percent of all traffic.

In the U.K., ISP TalkTalk’s practice of limiting a third of all BitTorrent traffic was reduced to 12 percent in early 2010. The findings showed Tiscali and BT Group to throttle the most traffic with 27 percent.