Canadian Gamers Question CRTC’s Speed Testing Project

The CRTC has announced today that it’s launching a program to test Canadian internet speeds vs. advertised speeds.   The project participants are some of Canada’s largest internet service providers, including Bell and Rogers.  The Canadian Gamers Organization [CGO] founder Jason Koblovsky says members of his organization are wary about this project and what it hopes to achieve.

“One the surface, this looks like a great idea until one looks deeply into the CRTC’s news release on this upcoming project.  Unlike other consumer groups, we see major issues with this announcement, and we believe this project will offer little in terms of reliable data on actual internet speeds.” Koblovsky stated.

CGO lists two points of interest regarding this project.  The first is the use of what the CRTC is calling “whiteboxes”.  CGO is concerned that these whiteboxes will allow the ISP to determine which connection is being tested by the CRTC, thus may provide unreliable data.

“This opens the data collection part of this to massive abuse.  We are concerned that ISPs could provide speed preferences to those who sign up for these tests if they know which connections these whiteboxes are installed on.  This would give unreliable data to those at the CRTC studying this.  Our members have voiced concerns on this.” Koblovsky notes.

The second issue Canadian gamers are unimpressed on, is that the CRTC plans on collecting data “when users are not connected.”

“This appears to be the result of big telecom pulling the wool over the eyes of a technically inept regulator.” Koblovsky stated, “While on the outside this appears to be a measure to protect privacy; the technical reality is that most households are now connected through wifi with multiple devices, and it may be extremely hard (if not impossible) to obtain an idle connection to produce proper data for the purposes of this project.  Most devices including next gen gaming consoles utilize wifi connections on a constant bases which communicate with servers to provide firmware updates, pre-order and purchased downloads.  Mobile devices often use wifi to consistently ping location servers, among other things.  Depending on the household, there could be several devices utilizing wifi connections on a consistent basis.”

Koblovsky continues “Consumers need to start questioning appointments made by policy makers to the CRTC especially if those employed by the CRTC have very little to no technical background.  The CRTC can simply not claim it’s consumer friendly, when it can’t even fully and completely understand the technology used in almost every household in Canada.  It’s disgusting.”

The Canadian Gamers Organization is asking Canadian gamers, and consumers NOT to participate in this project until the CRTC comes up with a more technically sound scientific way to produce Internet speed results, that remain technically anonymous and free from influence by the participating ISPs.

Official Statement from The Canadian Gamers Organization on CRTC’s Monetary Penalties

The Canadian Gamers Organization (CGO) was instrumental in bringing to the CRTC evidence that Rogers Communications was going against net throttling rules back in 2011.  We called for back then, the ability for the CRTC to apply monetary penalties as a preemptive measure to ensure that our telecom providers follow CRTC regulations.

Yesterday with the passing of Bill C-43, the CRTC now has the ability to put forth monetary penalties on telecom providers.  While we are pleased to see this policy move forward, questions still remain as to how these will be implemented.  From CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais’ statement (emphasis added):

Monetary penalties also give the CRTC greater flexibility to tailor its enforcement approach to each situation and to the facts before it. In some cases, a monetary penalty might be the right approach. We will be providing further guidance in the coming weeks on how and when the CRTC intends to use this new power.

It’s important to note, that with CGO’s complaint (while it made it to the enforcement division) the CRTC was very, very careful in ensuring that while Rogers was against ITMP regulations for years, that Rogers was given the opportunity to correct, thus no punitive actions the CRTC had at that time (which included the reimbursement of affected customers) were applied nor fully explored.  We are concerned that these new monetary penalties will not be actively and preemptively used by the CRTC to ensure compliance with CRTC regulations, and from the looks of Chairmen Blais’ statement will be very rarely used, if at all.

We would ask that Canadian gamers and consumers hold off on the celebrations, until we have more information from the CRTC on how these new powers will be used, and when.

Jason Koblovsky

Canadian Gamers Organization – Founder

Proper PS4/XBOX One Network Config

To make sure you are gaming without lag, you need to make sure that your network is properly configured.  Follow the video instructions below to help fix:

At about one minute into the video, it suggests ports to be opened on PS4.  I would recommend you forward off these set of ports (PS4) only.  It seems to be the best config I’ve been able to find:

PS4 Ports:

TCP 443, 465, 983, 1935, 5223,
UDP 88, 3658-3659
TCP and UDP: 53, 80, 3074, 3478-3480

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