Bell Canada has dismissed claims that its traffic management practices are negatively affecting other Internet-based applications such as Voice over IP and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). In response to several interrogatories from the CRTC relating to a Part VII filed by the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) in April, Bell explained that its use of deep packet inspection (DPI) technology is part of a larger network management initiative aimed at improving the network for end-users. The company acknowledged that its traffic management may have affected some applications, but noted that "most of these problems have been determined not to be related to the deployment of DPI."For VoIP and other Internet-telephony applications such as Skype, Bell explained that its use of DPI doesn't affect the delivery of traffic from those types of services. Reiterating its previous response to CAIP's application, the company noted that only the protocol headers or signatures of peer-to-peer (P2P) applications are flagged by the DPI system while others are allowed to pass unfettered in the network. "VoIP voice communications are ‘UDP' based and not TCP based and so VoIP communications are not impacted by the current shaping rules," Bell wrote to the CRTC. "To be clear, Skype and all other forms of VoIP traffic are not being traffic shaped by Bell Canada." To demonstrate the bandwidth-hogging nature and the negative impact of P2P applications are having on the network, Bell Canada included data charting the increasing number of cells or packets being dropped. The number of cell loss events, which can be described as lost packets over a 24-hour period, has increased from a negligible back into May 2002 to more than 4,500 events in the early past of this year. Despite Bell's assertions that its DPI usage doesn't affect VoIP, VPN and other Internet applications, CAIP provided evidence and comments from individuals to the contrary. CAIP contends that its member companies have received numerous complaints that services and applications including VPN, VoIP, online gaming, open source and almost any form of encrypted content has been negatively affected by Bell's traffic management. "Bell's assertions are contradicted by the submissions of at least 23 individuals who have submitted comments in this proceeding, each of whom have stated that disruptions to their VPN connections during throttling hours have severely limited their ability to remotely access their work," CAIP wrote in its response to commission interrogatories. With respect to VPN, CAIP notes that Bell has had to admit that its DPI technology has negatively affected non-P2P traffic. "In fact, Bell recently advised Sentex that it would ‘turn off' one of its DPI boxes because it was impacting the VPN applications of Sentex end-user customers," reads the CAIP response. Sentex is an independent ISP. Comment from other parties are due on June 12 with both Bell and CAIP having an opportunity to respond later in the month. The CRTC is expected to rule within three months of the closing of the public record.