As it turns out, Bell is attacking Canadian Internet once again, this time with a push for metered access for their wholesale providers. Basically it means that if the CRTC passes the motion, Bell will be able to stop third-party Canadian providers using its network from providing unlimited bandwidth to customers. The proposed caps start at just 2GB per month for users of 512 kilobits per second services up to 60GB per month for 5 megabit users. This was first brought to my attention yesterday when I received an email from Rocky Gaudrault, the CEO and founder of TekSavvy Solutions on the issue.
Here is the original transcript:
We are writing to you today as many activities are underway to shape/reshape Internet use as you all know it. Over the last year some of you have been made aware and/or have seen activities on throttling in the news or in your daily lives. Another proceeding relating to the Internet in Canada required Telecom providers (Bell/Telus/etc.) to provide ISPs with wholesale service speeds that match those that they offer to their own retail customers. Specifically, Bell has been directed by the CRTC to provide matching speeds which would allow us all to have more flexibility in our day to day online requirements. Instead of adhering to these directives, Bell decided to take this issue to the federal Cabinet and at the same time file a tariff application with the CRTC proposing to introduce Usage Based Billing (UBB) on its wholesale customer accounts.
What does this mean for you, the consumer?
Bell provides TekSavvy with last mile, wholesale DSL access services, which TekSavvy uses to provide you with your Internet access. If Bell were to be allowed to introduce UBB on this service, a cap of 60GB would be imposed on all of its users, with very heavy penalties per Gigabyte afterwards (multiple times more than our current per Gigabyte rate of $0.25/GB on overages). This would inherently all but remove Unlimited internet services in Ontario/Quebec and potentially cause large increases in internet costs from month to month.
If you’d like to make your comments/concerns known about what Bell is
attempting to do, please do so here:
Select the word “Tariff” from the drop down list.
Add the following in Subject Line “File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 – Bell
Canada – TN 7181” and make your thoughts known!
The deadline for filing your comments is today at midnight, so hurry! (Note that it’s too late for submissions now)
For those who are curious, I did in fact get my submission to the CRTC in time. It was as follows:
Bell should not be allowed to further cripple innovation and competition in the Canadian ICT sector. This move is inherently anti-competitive as capping of wholesale bandwidth will automatically cripple new services competing directly with Bell such as IPTV or “NetFlix” movie streaming which inherently use large amounts of bandwidth.
Furthermore, internet services in Canada have been worsening over time and are now well behind most of the developed world. With the introduction of usage caps and indiscriminate throttling of protocols, we are further behind today than we were 3 years ago.
I urge you to act now to protect whatever is left of our once proud Canadian communications infrastructure and encourage competition in critical new sectors.
If you want to learn more about net neutrailty in Canada and how to fight for it, you should visit the guys down at saveournet.ca