News

Bell Launches On-Demand Video Service

When Bell's throttling practices came to light earlier this year, I wrote the following in an assessing the competition concerns:

The major ISPs claim that throttling is needed to ensure better quality of service to all customers, yet it also has a significant effect on the video marketplace.  Cable and satellite companies have begun to sell new video on demand services to consumers, which compete directly with video distributed over the Internet.

It isn't particularly surprising, therefore, to find Bell launching a new online video download store with the immediate critical reaction focusing on how the company is unlikely to throttle its own video offerings.

23 Comments

  1. as we say in french..
    Le chat sors du sac !

  2. Should be Dismantled now!
    Wouldn’t have wanted the CRTC to have BELL cease and desist with their throttling and affect their product launch! Gimme a BREAK!
    We keep telling the regulators and politicians about exactly what is going on here and nobody does anything to protect the people’s rights. It’s like everyone saying the war in IRAQ is wrong but BUSH doesn’t listen and he keeps going forward with it anyway! I’m so sick of money being more important than people.
    BELL has now clearly demonstrated that it cannot have “our” cake and eat it too!
    They cannot be both a service provider and a content provider at the same time and throttle service for anything that competes with their new business models. This is outrageous, illegal and anti-competitive and SHAME on the CRTC for not stopping them immediately. They should be dismantled right now and the government should step in to provide measures for another group to oversee the infrastructure that we have paid for through our tax dollars. BELL could then go have fun with their CONTENT providing business and pay us back to use the bandwidth on our tax paid infrastructure!

  3. Conflict of Interest
    There must be some sort of “Conflict of Interest” here, the whole infrastructure was paid for by tax dollars.
    Michael, what do you have to say about that?

  4. Farrell J. McGovern says:

    Smells funny to me…
    Doing something like that might make someone want to compare it to anti-competitive, monopolistic behavior. They wouldn’t have to work hard at it either. The fact that they are only doing it Bit-Torrent and other peer2peer type traffic also shows how clueless they are. Http can easily be used through P2P->HTTP gateways off-shore…and maybe even a few on-shore as well. Not polite users of P2P these gateways, but will allow you to get stuff even if you are blocked by your ISP.

    ttyl
    Farrell

  5. grahamcharles says:

    harper
    this is all the work of the harper government, plain and simple. this is what Conservative Party government looks like. this can all be fixed & reversed.

    next time vote to beat harper.

  6. Torrent Revenge says:

    Take it back to source
    How about we take it back to the source…

    Even at the greatly reduced speeds if enough Bell network users are downloading 24/7 we can bring their net to it’s knees.

    ALL BELL USERS should start downloading continuously… load up a dozen movies in Bit Torrent and keep it going… bring down their network…

    Show them we mean business

  7. re: harper
    Right graham. Let’s vote for Sarmite Bulte instead. The fact is the Harper government has responded to public pressure on copyright and other issues. Keeping up the pressure is key.

  8. Ian Harvey says:

    Next Steps
    How long before Rogers jumps in?

  9. re: Harper
    The fact is the the current government has only been in power for less than two years and these problems reach further back than that. At least the current government is responsive to public pressure as long as they are a minority.

  10. I wonder if Rogers would throttle Bell’s download services and vice versa?

  11. Re: Reaction
    @Graham:
    Not everything is a right-wing conspiracy. It seems there are people who love to blame Harper in spite of the fact he is no way involved in the situation. The fact of the matter is Bell is the only one responsible for this.

    @Torrent Revenge:
    I sincerely hope you are kidding, because what you are suggesting would violate the terms of service of your internet access and have your service revoked. Furthermore, I hope you are referring to legal movie downloads using BitTorrent, as downloading illegal content is also a violation of the Acceptable Use policy for your internet access and your service could again be revoked. If you don’t believe me, I suggest you carefully read over the TOS and AUP on Bell’s website.

    @Everyone Else:
    I’m not sure this new VOD service Bell is planning to offer is going to be P2P based. From the sounds of things, it would appear more akin to TV/movies downloads on iTunes. Therefore, if that is true, it’s not a conflict of interest at all.

    In addition, are you people sure you want the government to regulate the internet? After all, aren’t you the same ones complaining about the CTRC’s control over radio, television, and cellular networks? As well, aren’t all those domains starting to be somewhat deregulated by the CRTC in hopes of promoting more competition?

    I think there is a certain amount of baseless paranoia associated with some people’s argument for imposing all these net neutrality rules and restrictions. It seems more like propaganda war by both sides without any real hard concrete facts to back up either position.

  12. \”Smoker\s Rights!\” (?)
    I just made this comment at Kapica\’s Globe and Mail blog, expressing my naive impression that Bell throttling unattended massive P2P downloads to enable free and equal access to active on-screen browsing during heavy use periods is not so puzzling and not so bad, and offering another active on-screen \”streaming\” service on the same basis as other streaming media are available is not anti-competitive:

    \”When I get on a full rush hour subway car, I believe in everybody\’s right to breathe the available air freely and equally. I think therefore that I am an \”air neutrality\” community member. I don\’t want somebody else in the car throttled blue by the TTC so that my air will be fresher. We all bought the same ticket. But if Joe Shmoe comes into the car and lights up a great big stanky Ceegar, it\’s another story. Put him in his own stanky Ceegar car or put him off the train if there isn\’t a stanky Ceegar car. If our car holds 100 people, at least 95 of them will agree on that. Joe can breathe, but if breathing means wrecking the air for everybody else, throttle him with my blessings.\”

  13. Reaction and Smoker
    You still don’t get it. There is no “paranoia” here, just common sense and if it smells like a duck, walks like a duck and looks like a duck, then it is DUCK!
    There is no bandwidth problem. BELL introduced their throttling program under the guise of “network management” because it is the only legal crutch it has to lean on in order to eliminate all other media content sources from the market and force people to use their VOD service if they want to get media in a timely fashion. BELL does not throttle their VOD service. It’s pretty blatant abuse to throttle internet service that never had a problem in the first place, claiming their were bandwidth problems. Now there is an internet service bandwidth problem and it’s called “throttling” and it wasn’t there before! Open your eyes and learn a little bit about Net Neutrality before you start posting about things you don’t understand, it just makes you look like a BELL employee or a Troll. It’s even more blatantly obvious who is in the wrong regarding this whole issue of throttling now that they have immediately offered a HD DRM Video on Demand service after just having finished claiming that there is a bandwidth problem and throttling out all other sources of media content but not theirs! Jeez, open you eyes and your minds!

  14. last comment was for
    That last comment was for James and Albin, not the subject headers!

  15. Non-Smoker Perspective
    I have no problem. I don’t smoke. I have a fresher air in public places than ever before. I have better faster internet access for less from Bell than ever before. Last fall my monthly bill went from $49 to $40 and browser windows are popping open, though certainly not at “advertised” speeds. I don’t like everything about Bell and don’t hesitate to blast it when deserved, but on this I’m just not smoking the stanky Ceegar and I took the trouble to read the CRTC submissions which are available at its site.

  16. Infrastructure paid with Tax Dollars
    JasonN where did you get the idea that the infrastructure was paid for with your tax dollars. The infrastructure is paid for with revenues from the sale of services. Nothing to do with Taxes. BELL, TELUS and ROGERS are for profit enterprises that reinvest their profits, just like every other business, in their infrastructure. They pay taxes they don’t collect them.

  17. Government Aid
    The Telcos have forgotten that their networks, both in Canada and the US, were built, one way or the other, with the good graces and money of the taxpayers. Those right-of-ways were essentially a gift, with the understanding that they would be used to make communications near-universal.

    What’s more, tax dollars paid for the establishment of Bell Nexxia. We paid for that copper which they own. They should absolutely be required to continue leasing service. So actually, the Government should acquire Bell Nexxia and turn it back into a crown corporation, and make BCE, the phone/Internet company, lease time from Nexxia as well.

    Government regulation of telecoms isn’t so crazy considering that all we taxpayers have done is pay for much of the infrastructure, granted them monopolies, and gave up our property for their right of way.

    So I’d like to think we have some say in all of this Mark especially because none of that “profit” money either came back to the public nor is it being invested into more infrastructure to beef up our broadband capacity like other nations that have amazing bandwidth and lower prices compared to us. Instead Bell throttles us back and charges us more and doesn’t care about putting the money into infrastructure. Hell, even 3rd world countries are starting to pass us in bandwidth capacity!

  18. Sadly, the only party who’s got this right is the NDP – and I hate them for so many other reason’s I’d never vote for them. Should the Conservatives bring in something stinking like US DMCA, I will not vote for them in the next election as in the previous one (I’ve already written my MP to advise him of such). I will likely write FREEDOM on my ballot and put an X next to that.

    PS – the Liberals are every bit as cozy with corporate interests. They willingly cooperate with the Bell and Rogers of this world – at least the Cons are simply ignorant, as opposed to fully in collusion.

  19. NDP please!!
    give NDP a chance to fix this mess…and many more.. we will see more lost jobs and price gauging if we continue with harpers “government”รง

  20. Windsong says:

    Re:NDP
    It is funny seeing all the anti-Harper trolls yelping that the Liberals would be the answer to all the problems in the Known Universe. The fact of the matter is that Bell has stated “we will optimize our network as we see fit” and nothing Harper has done has in any way contributed to the arrogance of Bell’s statements. Besides, last time I checked the teacher’s union which seeks to buy Bell was comprised of (for the most part) Liberals.

    NDP is a galactic JOKE.

  21. Didn’t see this one coming
    Well, I didn’t see it coming from this angle, but I have to say, I knew something was coming soon, and there may be more still:

    [ link ]

    DPI is not network management or quality of service – it cannot be so.

    It costs more than any content agnostic solution (which have existed for at least a decade in packet-switched networks, and work fairly), and it doesn’t solve any congestion problems.

    Some reasons why is cannot be for solving congestion issues:
    – You can download the same files over HTTP, or NNTP at full speed at that time
    – How much bandwidth is being used by YouTube versus all P2P? Does your pointy-haired boss (or any other non-savvy person) use P2P? How about YouTube?
    – There is room enough for ADSL2+ (24mbit) traffic on the network, but not enough for 5mbit P2P
    – There is room enough for Bell’s branded streaming video service?
    – There is room enough for Bell’s IPTV offerings?

    Please think!

  22. my God... says:

    victor
    some of the people above actualy defend the IPS ; all that \”air i breath\” nonsense is taken out of context.(globe and mail is more and more like \”national post by the way\”). as the poster above me says —THINK!, and let aside ideological or partizans ideology;

    ah and IF you happen to be on some IPS payroll, (i repeat IF, i guess we will never know but you will for sure)))) then fo \”f… y…..\” i am about having it with obvious business representatives \”educate\” me about COSTS. rogers and bell\’s linew WERE paid BY TAX PAYERS BY MEANS OF GOVERNMENT GRANTS! LOOK IN THE ARCHIVES BEFORE YOU COME HERE AND CREATE CONFUSION…ok i got mad unfortunately((((

  23. Conflict of Interest
    How launch video demand video service 4images?

    [ link ]