Bandwidth shaping is how ISPâ€™s (your Internet service provider) throttle down on the bandwidth of your Internet connection whenever thereâ€™s a need for it. But they keep it as low profile as possible, of course. This policy is hidden in the innermost sanctum of their corporate closets.
They justify it thus: bandwidth hogs (you know itâ€™s you if you watch a YouTube video, access e-mail, send IM, play online games, and talk on the digital phone â€“ all at the same time) use up too much Mbps to the detriment of â€˜normalâ€™ users. Weâ€™re going to throttle down on these hogs so as not to ruin the Internet experience of other users.
Sounds fair and innocuous enough, doesnâ€™t it? And whoâ€™s complaining?
Turns out many people are complaining, they are against this policy. â€œBroadband rip off!â€ they cry. We should get what we paid for, is the rallying slogan. Thereâ€™s even a petition in the UK to urge the prime minister to oppose bandwidth shaping.
Columnist Tom Regan of the Christian Science Monitor discusses this issue in his article, why bandwidth shaping is resorted to by ISPs and why so many are up against it.