Internet chat boards are buzzing with concerns that Bell has begun throttling Internet traffic for its wholesale services. In other words, third party ISPs that buy their connectivity from Bell ("resellers") are being left with irate customers who are suddenly subject to packet shaped services. Apparently Bell did not inform their wholesale partners that new network management practices were on the way, leading to a meeting on Tuesday morning to address the issue.
There are several interesting aspects to this development. First, the early online chat included responses from resellers such as Teksavvy indicating that they do not believe in throttling traffic, presumably unaware that Bell was limiting their service. Second, some posters have reported that the throttling has undermined their ability to download the CBC episode of Canada's Next Great Prime Minister, precisely the concern that many predicted when CBC announced its willingness to use BitTorrent for content distribution. Third, customers have been using Google Maps to chart locations that have experienced throttling, a nice use collaborative mapping technologies.
Update: Bell has now reportedly confirmed that full throttling will be in place by early April. It claims that it is entitled to do so based on its contractual terms. Note that several people have written to emphasize the anti-competitive effects of this policy, given its impact on resellers servicing the business market.