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CRTC Approves Bell’s Request For Wholesale Usage Based Billing

The CRTC has approved Bell's request for wholesale usage based billing.  The UBB proposal attracted significant public opposition and raises significant competition concerns.

23 Comments

  1. Marcus Coles says:

    CRTC Approves Bell’s Request For Wholesale Usage Based Billing
    The optics on this thing looks like a protection racket for Bell with the CRTC the accomplice.
    How can Bell controlling directly the offerings of their competitors be seen as healthy for competition and Canadian consumers as a whole.

    If Bell is not making money supplying the mandated last mile connectivity and related transit to the various “independent” ISPs that is where the adjustment should be made and only after full Public disclosure of the costs and mark-up of this segment of the operation.

    Making the adjustment by Usage Based Billing on top of the already paid for transit and usage based connectivity is effectively double billing for the same thing.

    Forcing the competition to toe the line in matching Bells chosen retail limits for their competitors is nothing other than allowing full market control by Bell. Even more disgusting is that these forced rates and speeds do not reflect to Bell’s actual offerings at the retail level.

    Bell is effectively choking out competition with the aid of the CRTC.

    The CRTC mandated access to the last mile connection to promote competition in the market, which spawned the formation of various businesses to use the network connection to supply their own internet connectivity. It seems that the CRTC has now seen fit to allow these businesses to be squeezed out of the market. This protection of Bell at the expense of competition is not healthy for the future of the internet connectivity in Canada and runs contrary to the purpose of the CRTC and the best interests of Canadian citizens.

    What this does is highlight the problems in the CRTC and its inherent internal conflicts in both the Broadcast and Telecom sectors.
    Perhaps rather than have these biased myopians deal with future convergence it is time to disband the CRTC and replace them with a body that really understands the big picture and represents the best interests of Canadians.

    The CRTC’s interpretation of media convergence would seem to be, all Canadian media access controlled by two or three corporate giants. We are firmly on that road, now just a few gratuitous public hearings away from it being cast in stone.

  2. Why do I keep paying more for less? says:

    Why do I keep paying more for less?
    Why do I keep paying more for less?

    Every year, I get less and less and pay more and more. Why does this keep happening!

  3. Paul Lahaie says:

    Internal Network Traffic
    And this is for internal traffic to Bell’s network. We aren’t talking about transit or peering bandwidth. To alleviate bottlenecks in this network, Bell has to literally do equipment upgrades at each end.

    Bell just wants to force smaller ISPs to go UBB and the advantage is now, they get the money the ISPs will charge for UBB. Win-win scenario for Bell.

  4. America
    Welcome to America!

  5. The tide has turned
    Despite continued technological progress in the field telecommunications, the upward trend of better, faster, cheaper and wider availability has been reversed and Internet access in Canada is now getting worse. We can’t deny the trend any more. This is a national disgrace.

  6. Maynard G. Krebs says:

    Where are the cost studies?
    Bell didn’t see fit to provide any cost studies when they submitted this tariff proposal. So how do they justify price increased of between 75% and 300%+ for many internet users?

    Comes back to the same problem – the CRTC is stacked with former telco/cableco hacks who are clueless about anything other than supporting corporate greed.

  7. Were any of us really shocked at this outcome?

    When Bell added caps awhile back it was just the start.
    Then they throttled their users.
    Then they throttled independent ISP’s users.
    Then just before this decision they lowered caps again. (60 gigs to 25 gigs?)
    Now they offer things like Usage Insurance???

    It’s a sad day when I wish I could have the service I had almost 10 years ago, over what it is now.

    The speed might have only been 1-2 Mbps. But at least it was truly unlimited and unthrottled.

    I have no doubt Bell had the inside scope they were getting this and went ahead to drop the caps.

    The CRTC is a joke and doing a disservice to Canadians.

    Truly a sad day.

  8. @Marcus
    Yep, having looked at the bios of the Chairs at the CRTC, there isn’t one that strikes me as having the experience to be able to judge much of any technical stuff put in front of them. They may have that expertise in the lower level positions, but how often are those folks at a hearing?

    So, the next question is why are Bell’s ISP customers not demanding a Service Level Agreement? This would specify bandwidth, availability and cap.

    Even better, Bell should be broken up into a number of companies. One for the last mile connectivity, one for backbone, one for Bell Internet Services, another for Bell Mobility…

  9. America
    Welcome to America!

  10. This has gone on long enough.
    One word: Accountability.
    what are the legal channels to get it$

  11. The tide has turned
    Despite continued technological progress in the field telecommunications, the upward trend of better, faster, cheaper and wider availability has been reversed and Internet access in Canada is now getting worse. We can’t deny the trend any more. This is a national disgrace.

  12. I seem to recall that during the recent net neutrality hearings that Bell argued that they were not able to distinguish the traffic between the different ISPs connected to the GAS and thus throttling was an everyone or no one thing. Interesting that despite this they will be able to measure and charge for the bandwidth usage of the different wholesale customers…

  13. KickingRaven says:

    CRTC should be dismantled
    So we have the net neutrality hearings which were dominated by traffic-shaping practices, are we to have another for restrictive bandwith caps? I have had it with the CRTC. Why are former employees of the very organizations they seek to regulate being allowed serve on the CRTC? I mean lately we are seeing opposition to police investigating police as being a problem, should we not see the same concerns in the CRTC?

  14. Umm. No.
    @CRTC should be dismantled,

    Industry Canada as a whole needs some ripping apart.
    -Competition bureau (ie. the watch dogs) who does frig all and tells people complain to the CRTC
    -CRTC who appears to be on puppet strings from the Industry Minister
    -Industry Minister who wipes his hands and say’s, it’s a CRTC issue, let “market forces” prevail.

    It’s a conservative Con job within Industry Canada for the profit of telecommunication companies.

  15. But there IS competition
    As far as the CRTC is concerned. There IS competition.. Bell vs Rogers, Bell vs Videotron, Telus vs Shaw The existence of these duopolies allows the CRTC to claim competition while protecting the monopoly telephone and cable providers at the expense of smaller players and to the detriment of consumers. The same thing is happening in wireless. The CRTC protects Bell, Rogers and Telus so well that any new entrant has virtually no chance of success.

  16. KickingRaven says:

    Umm. Yeah.
    Considering your points, I agree. Maybe the other shoe will drop when when we see how the Copyright Consultations go. I am not hopeful we will see a positive result for consumers.

    Ever heard of Industry Canada’s BRAND (Broadband for Rural and Northern Development) program? It was a fiasco, where I am from, that just saw huge pots of money going to existing communication infrastructure from what was supposed to be a “grass roots” community-driven proposal process.

  17. Telus vs Bell
    Hmm, I heard talk on the news last night of a possibly merger between Telus and Bell in the coming year or two

  18. Don’t get me wrong.. I think the situation is abysmal. I spent years as one of the small competitors, fighting with Bell, Rogers and the CRTC. After a while it becomes pretty depressing.

    And, I’m also one of those “Rural” folks that BRAND was suppose to help. Bell dropped in a fancy new remote a few years back but we never seem to “make the cut” for the fibre required to energize it ! Today, I found out that they are abandoning their WiiMax solution in favour of betting on the 3G/4G wireless. As if the small towns are going to see that upgrade anytime soon ! Not to mention the fact that the wireless solutions are even poorer than the wired ones (DSL/Cable) when it comes to bandwidth limits and cost overruns !

  19. another Geoff says:

    OMGWTFBBQ?!?!!?!
    What a fucking despicable travesty. Who do these CRTC jackasses think they are? There WAS competition among ISPs, DESPITE those fucking pigs giving the likes of Bell every fucking advantage. NOW THERE IS NOTHING. ZERO. ZIP. ZILCH. FUCKING NADA!!!! A bunch a dupolies that don’t actually compete with other and do everything they can NOT to upgrade their infrastructure to meet demand DOES NOT EQUAL healthy competition.

    I sincerely hope every member of the CRTC who had a hand in this woefully deranged decision dies an extremely slow and exceedingly excruciating death. And soon enough that their replacements might be able to undo this fucking bullshit. I hope the fucking Industry minister and the PM go the same way, and pronto, the fucking pigs.

    Can you tell I’m not happy about this disgraceful situation? I’d try sending my comments to the CRTC, but I’d surely break their 250 character “we don’t really give a fuck about your opinion” character limit.

  20. the same another Geoff says:

    whoops… sorry.
    Seem to have gotten a little carried away in the middle there, my apologies. Internet anonymity has a way of driving the crazy thoughts one would _never_ even consider acting on straight out the ole’ fingers and into the keyboard. I would certainly retract the 2nd paragraph if I was able.

  21. @hal
    hal: I wouldn’t necessarily put a lot of stock in that report. It was produced by an analyst at RBC Dominion Securities Ltd… they may have been thinking of dumping Bell Aliant units (it is an income trust) prior to ITs starting to pay income tax again… this “news” would drive up the price and positively affect the valuation of their funds.

  22. New Petition to Dissolve the CRTC

    Contribute your voice, end the corruption and to make sure you spread the word to everyone you know.

    http://www.dissolvethecrtc.ca

  23. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    Stop Usage Based Billing
    We need to keep this fight going. To help I’ve started a dedicated blog called http://stopusagebasedbilling.wordpress.com/

    In self defense I’ve been learning the jargon, and so compiled a glossary. I hope it will help other non-technical Canadians understand the jargon. If enough of us do we can understand the issue BEFORE we start getting killed by the extortionate Usage Based Billing.