Bell Canada's confidential network data reveals that P2P congestion isn't really a problem

Bell Canada has been forced by the CRTC (Canadian telco regulator) to reveal exactly how congested its network is. This follows revelations that Bell has been slowing down P2P traffic — even traffic on its wholesale customers' networks, so no matter who you buy your DSL from, Bel gets to ruin your P2P experience.

The confidential documents show that, basically, Bell just doesn't have a substantial congestion problem — in fact, backbone congestion has been going down.

The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is currently investigating Bell's system, which cap throttles P2P downloads at around 30KB/s between 4:30pm and 2:00am every day. Bell's own congestion numbers, which the CRTC said must be made public and Bell has now provided to Ars Technica, show that as the DPI gear was more widely deployed across Bell's network and eventually applied to Bell's wholesale customers (who promptly filed a complaint with the CRTC), rates of congestion at the DSLAM level increased. Between March 2007 and September 2007, the number of congested DSLAM links on Bell's network averaged 4.8 percent; during the period from November 2007 to May 2008, that average increased to 6.7 percent.

Meanwhile, upstream in Bell's network, congestion has been dropping. Over the same time periods, the average number of congested backbone links fell from 2.9 percent to 1.1 percent.