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Bell Secretly Throttling Wholesale Internet Services? - UPDATED

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Monday March 24, 2008

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.

Update II: This issue is clearly not going away - mainstream media coverage from the CBC and the Globe along with a Facebook group.

Comments (80)add comment

Anonymous said:

...
Thanks, Michael. Keep up the good job informing the Canadian public about their access rights and the disregard our ISPs show by limiting our access to information.
March 24, 2008

Jason said:

...
Thanks again Michael. I didn't understand why my 'Next Great Prime Minister' torrent was going so slowly. Your post underlines one of the benefits of living in an online world - consumers no longer have to wonder if we're alone with our problems, when dealing with corporate behemoths.

Knowledge is power.
March 25, 2008

Josh said:

Workaround?
Well, the encrypted packets/protocol under uTorrent allows the following to occur:
20 connections at an average of 1.5kb/s each (presumably, clients that don't support the same encryption on the other end), for a not surprising total of 30kb/s
1-2 connections at an average of about 35kb/s each (presumably, clients that _do_ support the same encryption on the other end).

So at least we're not at the level of blocking any and all encrypted traffic, just BT downloads it seems...
March 25, 2008

Tim said:

It\'s Not Just BT\'s
Sorry to inform you, but Bell's traffic shaping / throttling doesn't just effect Torrents. IT effects ALL ecrypted connections including Imap, secure FTP, FTP, Remote Desktop and VPN's. I'm with Bell now and the RDP has become a huge issue (I utilize RDP daily) - Have you ever used RDP at 30kbps? Not fun. Or how about downloading a 5mb email attachment at 30kbps?

I have chatted with VP's in product management at Bell and they are not happy either. Bell is using the same third party Vendor as Rogers for their throttling and traffic shaping. They had been assured that it would not effect other secure protocols, but obviously that wasn't true.

The thing about Bit Torrents is that only about 20% of all bt traffic is actually encrypted, leavingthe remaining 80% opening to traffic shaping, etc., but bell went whole hog instead of going for the fallen fruit as it were and the repercussions have been felt nation wide.

I think the reason Bell has gone this route is a result of promising everyone 7mbs download rates on an infrastructure that can't handle it. Really, do you need to download at 7mbps? Bell needs to reign in the 7mbps to 4 or 5mbps and do away with the traffic shaping/throttlig!
March 25, 2008

anti-competitive said:

market fixing
Its complete control over the market is what it is.

Shouldn't this be equated with price fixing?

Aside from these small wholesale ISPs there is no competition. Bell is sure trying hard to keep people from fleeing their over-priced throttled network.

March 25, 2008

Mike said:

Just wait..
I think we should wait until we hear the results of the meeting before jumping to conclusions but I also think this throttling is not legal for wholesale customers. In any case, they WILL have to fix it or they will get a lot of backlash from consumers and wholesale clients. Poor network planning is not an excuse for this activity.
March 25, 2008

wha-wha-what said:

Just wait..
Backlash from who?

Their OWN customer left in droves as protest when Bell throttled.

haha Do you think Bell cares about 3rd party customers?

March 25, 2008

Riley said:

...
This is rather obviously unethical and illegal. At the very least the engineering staff who implemented this should be pressed for responsibility - that will put pressure from below to do something or have their entire staff walk out. Has anyone formally written a complaint to the CRTC yet?
March 25, 2008

Mike said:

Re: Just wait..
You didn't read carefully, I didn't say third party customers, I said consumers and yes they will care if they start losing the $20 they make from 3rd party customers.
March 25, 2008

nobody said:

...
Riley Said: "Has anyone formally written a complaint to the CRTC yet?"

CRTC? Heck this should go directly to the industry minister and criminal charges brought up under the competition act.

Not only do we have collusion between the two major players, but now this.
March 25, 2008

Fabio said:

Conserned Citizen
I\'d like to point out some obvious facts here:
1) Cable, Satellite, and any other form of conventional broadcast suppliers are beginning down the road of obsolesce.
2) Bell, Cogeco, Shaw, and Rogers all make a rough average (just math in my head here) of $ 60 / month on Cable/Sat/Whatever subscriptions. In addition to that many of them make an additional 40-70 a month on Internet.
What happens if all TV is viewed over the internet with respect to the average household bill of $ 100 / month?
The fact is we only need 1 reliable wire into our house. That one wire only needs to cost us approximately $ 50 per month. It can easily handle audio/video/phone traffic of any sort; based on current technology.
Now who here thinks that the Bell/Rogers/etc Oligopoly is NOT aware of this? Who here also thinks that Ted Rogers, Bell, whomever are not actively taking every possible measure to impede this from happening. Are we going to continue being lase faire Canadians and watch ourselves fall further behind the rest of the world, or are we going to stand up and actually push back on these $ 2 Billion/quarter greedy monopolists?
March 25, 2008

mr peepers said:

wat
I really hope this issue does not go away - the majority of people leaving Bell, like myself, for a wholesale DSL provider, are doing so because Bell has implemented limited monthly data transfer caps and throttled speeds during peak hours.. Have they realized that this is happening and are doing this to eliminate the only competitive advantage that wholesalers have? This is crazy!
March 25, 2008

Riley said:

...
I will keep this issue alive, and make sure the word gets out around the university. You lawyer types get on taking these guys DOWN. Canada is too swiftly becoming a corporate state, and if we don't stand up to it now we won't be able to afford food.
March 25, 2008

we suck said:

no policies
Why does our CRTC suck so much?
Why can't we have policies in place to protect us?
Why don't we have any federal body that we users can complain to about this?

It seems our government and its ministries are in cahoots with these monopolies.

Makes me wonder how much Bell "contributed" to the industry minister.
March 25, 2008

a guest said:

chris
We need proper quality of service or neutrality. I switched from Cogeco because they started using hard caps for bandwidth usage and teksavvy was a safe haven since that time. Best of luck Rocky, fight the good fight on our behalf!
March 25, 2008

Jean-Franois Mezei said:

Teksavvy customer
Bell's GAS offering offers speed of 5mbps/800kbps to an end user and carries *PPPoE* frames via Bell's backbone network to a point where ISPs take over transport of thoseframes. Bell's backbone network is expected to be capable of handling the load generated by each ADSL line.

In fact, Bell's Beavers still brag about customers not being slowed down when their neighbours also download large files. So Bell must size its backbone to deliver on its promises of not slowing down traffic because too many people download at the same time.

---

The 5410 tarriff says nothing about PPPoE packets containing TCPIP frames. In fact, it even mentions that it can be used for many applications, including LAN extensions. The 5410 tariff makes no assumption on traffic usage patterns.


If Bell made assumptions on traffic patterns that allowed it to get away with a smaller backbone, it must be willing to grow that backbone when usage patterns change, just like it adapted the POTS network when calling patterns changes with the advent of dial-up internet access with call duration measured in hours instead of minutes.



The 5410 tariff makes no mention of usage limits or what types of transactions are to be made. For all practical purposes, it says that Bell will provide a pipe between the end user and the ISP of a size matching the ADSL synch with the end user and allow that pipe to be used in any way the end user or ISP like.

Since the PPPoE GAS service has nothing to do with TCPIP, Bell ha no right to do any traffic management based on contents of TCPIP packets.



If Bell has problems on its Montreal-Toronto backbone, do you think that a bank would tolerate Bell peeking into packets and decide to slow down packets containing ATM transactions in order to reduce the load on the line so it would not impact other customers ? Bell would be expected to increase capacity of those trunk lines so that all customers would get the service they paid for.

If bell was stingy and didn't invest to grow its backbone to match increased usage and increased number of customers, then it is not the end users or ISPs that should suffer. Bell must be made to restore service to what 5410 says it needs to be and spend whatever money to upgrade its backbone to handle the load.
March 25, 2008

Christopher said:

...
Rocky has responded. Everyone is going to be throttled.

[ link ]
March 25, 2008

Harry said:

Director TII
CRTC protecting us consumer/taxpayers! hahaha

Either the Fed/Prov. gov. has to take over the internet in Canada and the internet's infrastructure or even better - a non-profit NGO has to take over. Is the internet any less important that highways?
March 25, 2008

Christopher said:

Official word from Teksavvy
Take from: [ link ]

"Ok... Here's the deal...

They're now openly acknowledging that they are rolling out a full throttling process. They plan to have things fully throttled by April 7th. All BT and P2P traffic will be affected.

They claim they are allowed to do so according to their Terms and Services under the Fair Usage Policy in the tariffed contracts... We'll be looking into this shortly.

The meeting was with Sales and Product Management. They will be preparing a formal letter before end of week.

In the meantime, we (many other ISPs) are going to prepare as well... I guess the high road is the path taken in this case.

Spread the word one and all as this topic needs to reach every level possible... There's now officially an issue and action must be taken by all if we're to rectify things.

Rocky
--
TSI Rocky - TekSavvy Solutions Inc."
March 25, 2008

Kevin McArthur said:

A response to CBC distribution?
We all knew this was only a matter of time, but more curious is the exact timing. This week marks the first mainstream [read publicized] launch of P2P media from the CBC. Coincidentally, it also marks a massive roll-out of anti-p2p technology by an integrated competitor to the CBC.

Earth to CRTC... undue preference. Do something about it.
March 25, 2008

Jean-Franois Mezei said:

No longer rumour
Bell has confirmed to the Teksavvy folks that they intend to have the throttling deployed everywhere by April 7th. Bell says only BT and P2P traffic to be affected.

March 25, 2008

mHanson said:

...
Isn't Bell the Canadian arm of an American owned company? Is this more American "justice" forced onto Canadians, due to our criminal behavior as a result of our "lax copyright laws"?

If so, there needs to be a whole lot more Canadian owned competition. And soon.
March 25, 2008

Jason Walton said:

...
If you want to voice your displeasure, I highly recommend penning a note to Bell Nexxia:

[ link ]

Also, submit a complaint with the CRTC:

[ link ]
March 25, 2008

Geoff said:

...
I'm pretty sure that Bell Canada is completely independent. Consequently, I would argue the opposite. We need open the Canadian marketplace to international players to end the existing oligopoly. Why is it OK for Brazil and China to own our natural resources, but allowing US firms in the telecomm space will threaten the "Canadian" way of life?
March 25, 2008

Jim said:

...
If you're going to be capped to 30kbps, cancel your $70(?) 7meg service an opt for the cheapest option, be sure to let them know why you're doing this. Once you downgrade to an appropriate monthly rate you'll get a better dollar to datarate ratio and be punishing bell's bottom line at the same time.

Why pay for imaginary high-speed service when you're still stuck in the stoneage!?
March 25, 2008

sore butt said:

p2p my butt
Its NOT just BT and P2P that is affected.

ssl-FTP
NNTP
ssl IRC
and much much more

Its covered here as well at P2Pnet
[ link ]
March 25, 2008

John said:

...
If Bell is regulating the speed of Internet traffic by looking at the content of packets, they may be in danger of breaking the law. In order to determine if a packet is encrypted or if it is part of a peer-to-peer protocol, they have to look at its contents. Examining peoples' real time communications without a warrant is called unlawful intercept. The Canadian Criminal code states that an individual's privacy may be invaded in only two very specific instances. Either there has to be consent or prior authorization. I don't think Bell is working under either one of these when they decide to inspect your data to see if they will throttle it or not.

Now that Bell is inspecting their customer's data they may also be held accountable for illegal activities being carried out on their network. There have been rumors, for many years now, that they have pushed aside requests from law enforcement agencies' requests to monitor for illicit activities. The argument always was that they were only the carriers and could not possibly inspect all of their customer data. Some believed that the posture was an idealogical one supported by sound technological reasoning. Now that they are inspecting packets, they cannot really make that argument any more.

I sincerely hope that this angle receives more attention.
March 25, 2008

Gary said:

lordshipmayhem
Would this explain why I can't get the video feeds from CNN?
March 25, 2008

a guest said:

Ian
While they might not be worried about what customer backlash will do to them directly, they should be at least thinking about what that backlash might prompt the government to do. Other countries have fixed the last mile problem by requiring telcoms to open up their exchanges and equipment boxes to permit competitors to install equipment directly attached to the customer's copper wire. Canada could do it too.
March 25, 2008

STARK said:

CEO
Michael,

I run an Internet Radio Station in Victoria.

The Throttling is causing our radio station (160k)
to skip, during the daytimes, making it unlistenable.

This issue is EXTREMELY SERIOUS, and is an ANTI-COMPETATIVE
assault upon Independent Internet Media Streaming Businesses.

The criminal activity which we are witnessing is presently
threatening to destroy our ability to run our radio station,
and is strategically designed to wipe out internet radio competition
in addition to other competing services of the IPRA/MPRA Cartel.

While they say it is against p2p users, it is actually an attack
on all Independent streaming services, especially live radio, which
relies upon normal bandwidth levels.
March 25, 2008

So everyone downgrade accounts said:

heh
I am just going to quit the net all together, i bet a few million of us or ALL of us just said not FOR ONE MONTH or REFUSED to pay for a month that would send the freaking message.
YAH NOBODY PAY BELL OR YOUR ISP.
SEND THE MESSAGE>
March 25, 2008

a guest said:

...
Hurt Bell.

Hi, This is really simple.

Move or reduce your bell land line, sat tv and wireless business, bell is a beast with mutiple heads, if you start poking at the other heads it will have an impact.

Phone line:
- Move to another provider (numbers are portable now!)
OR
- Reduce your services to bare minimum take away all the star options. You can get a cheap answering machine everywhere nowm if you do not already have one gathering dust in the basement.

Expressvue:
- Switch to cable for a while or sat alterntives
OR
- Downgrade to minimum package

Wireless phone service:
- Switch providers (if you are not stuck in a contract)
OR
-Downgrade you phone service remove all extras
OR
- Refrain from using billable minutes or data serviceson your phone (turn it off if you can)


Sympatico
-Downgrade your bell internet service
Or
- Move to another provider even if they are thortled bell will realise what a mistake they have made.

One REALLY IMPORTANT thing is when you call customer service MAKE SURE to tell them you are doing this because of the issues around throtelling. Consumers tend to see bell as a single companny but in fact it is run as silos. When the Product Managers, Salees Managers and VP's running the silos realise that their profits are droping sharply they will put a hell of allot of pressure on the guilty party to fix it.

Today I downgraded from about 97.41$ a month with bell to 21.95$+TX (I had to keep a basic phone line for a while for my home alarm until another provider can take over the line) if enough people start doing this I am almost certain the problem will be resolved.

Just do it!!!

Hang in there and good luck!

Taffey

March 25, 2008

a guest said:

...
RE: Taffey's post

Decent ideas, not convenient for everyone but I do agree they are very focused on the bottom line.

I personally will take action tomorrow morning and spread the word.

Thanks

AR
March 25, 2008

Jon said:

...
In Australia, the monopoly telco was forced to open it's exchanges to allow competitors to install their own equipment.

I'm no longer using -any- services from Telstra, at all, including no wholesale internet access. If Telstra had had its way, we'd still be in the stone age for broadband access. The only solution is to force access to the exchanges and watch the innovation go!
March 25, 2008

Farrell J. McGovern said:

Interesting...
If Bell is claiming that they are having capacity problems on their primary network...that means they are having problems with their infrastructure. Did they disclose this problem with their primary network to the Ontario Teachers Federation and other interests that are in the process of buying Bell? Maybe the OTF should re-evaluate their price they are paying per share if means that the infrastructure needs massive upgrading (thus costing many $$$) to meet the demands of the 21st century? I know I would not be happy to be saddled with these costs if I just bought a company!

ttyl
Farrell
March 25, 2008

Itzy Doosh said:

...
Perhaps Bell will say they're merely "delaying" traffic ... just like Comcast.
March 25, 2008

An On said:

Facebook group
Facebook group

[ link ]

Also, threads at DSL Reports contain some letter you may want to send to CRTC, Minister on Industry and other parties who may be interested.
March 25, 2008

well said:

bell loses the following
they lost me as a dsl customer
i just got sat and theres 30 days to cancel guess what good buy, landlord provides cable so thats end of it.
as to phone tek savvy is offering phone service

in exactly one week right before bells stupidity takes hold on april 7th.
my dad canceled all with them,
and so it goes.
rogers isnt any better but at least basic cable is way cheaper then the sat ripoff
and i may as i said above just go crazy dling and then just say screw the net, who cares
all my innovation just died aka a opensource game i was developing that teksavvy allows me to do.

and im really serious if everyone went dial up that would screw them right up.
like im gonna pay 70$ for 30Kbytes
when i can get 9.95 dial up
theres more then one phone line in the house MY god if everyone here combined dialups wed have same speed at half price.
nad for all the hastle ok they win lets not use hte net
like i said in the 5$ SAC debate there is no sense in having highspeed if you can't use it. and it slovely the MEDIA companies associated to america run the major ISP's dictate how we do stuff just as the sac proposal gains a foot hold this si the ISP's big borther american friends getting scared we'll legalise 100% p2p.
YES that is the reason.
and i have to say even 30Kbytes a sec is for the price is just not worth it when i hear people in sweden getitng 100MB lines ot there houses for 20$ canadian a month.....
my god these pricks are worse the the riaa.
March 25, 2008

STARK said:

It\'s a Net Radio Assault Too!
Oh Well, "my god these pricks are worse the the riaa."

who do you think is behind this.
March 25, 2008

James said:

...
The CRTC website says they do not take complaints regarding Quality of Service issues. So who do we complain to?
March 26, 2008

Joe Montreal said:

Got rid of bell today
Bye bye bell!

Canceled Bell SAT and mobile and my land line will also be transfered soon. Left sypmatico a while ago.

BTW if you are looking for an alternative to Bell for an old fashioned land line check out Yak.

I am sure I will be getting call from bell to try to get me back...LOL!
They really stuck their heads up their axxes when they started messing with my traffic.


JM
March 26, 2008

An On said:

Bell irks ISPs with new throttling polic
[ link ]

March 26, 2008

An On said:

Bell charges $45, Teksavvy $30 - why pay
You see, with Bell's throttling, all DSL providers are similarly throttled. But Bell is WAY more expensive than other providers. Why pay more to Bell here?
March 26, 2008

ScytheNoire said:

...
I cancelled all my Bell services back when they started traffic shaping their own customers. I went to TekSavvy. Now Bell is going to destroy TekSavvy because they can't fairly compete with them? This seems wrong. But I don't want my internet traffic limited, yet, I hate to hurt an innocent business like TekSavvy who didn't do this, but is being harmed because of what Bell is doing. This seems to be very anti-competetive and should be illegal. I don't think it's right to destroy other businesses because you can't compete with them fairly.
March 26, 2008

56k with TSI said:

hrm
unlimited 56K is 17$ a month
yup
like the good ol days
guess mp4 videos will get more play then i thought
considering they are half sized what xvids are of same quality
i almost feel like staying up 10 day sand just going crazy.
i also wonder if the fact i took 200GB capped account is why im not shaped?
and remember im paying for 200GB a month
you dont pull up i want a refund based on that as a percentage fo an entire year.
as i would and am or could have been long term...
TSI you sue bell back for it.
or
i just leave the net and due to the policy you lose a customer.
yup its a competitive market lots a choices

do you all remember when bell did this in quebec

March 26, 2008

Ole Juul said:

Not fit for intended use
@James: "The CRTC website says they do not take complaints regarding Quality of Service issues. So who do we complain to?"

I don't know, but it seems to me that the Quality is fine, rather there is a Quantity issue. A size 8 shoe for a size 11 foot... the term "not fit for intended use" comes to mind. Something like being sold a seat on an airplane, and then discovering that it is too small to sit in.
March 26, 2008

Peter said:

Mr
The broadband environment in Canada has become so polluted and corrupted that there are now virtually no alternatives where one can flee to. It's so sad because Canada used to be so progressive when it came to broadband. I'm just praying for some kind of innovation in the way we can get the internet into our homes (possibly through wireless) so we can finally be free of these dinosaurs.
March 26, 2008

why bother said:

like i said about sac proposal
WHO NEEDS 7 MEGABIT to read email
they ALL just lost.
So did we.
So lets have the DMCA now that we cant do anyhting with the net anyways, it wont matter.
and sorry SAC/CMCC no pay raises FOR YOU. Perhaps you should take some of those massive millions and invest in an ISP like TekSavvy and really promote good will and give them the right to p2p your music for 5$ extra, and with a new network , you can revoke bells ability to your music, as well as that ignorant telus guy on the dslreports who isnt being shaped YET.

March 26, 2008

Michael Richardson said:

President, Sandelman Software Works
Bell has built the dumbest network ever.
They backhaul EVERYTHING to Toronto. All the DSL from Ottawa, Kitchener, North Bay, etc. is all backhauled to Toronto for PPPoE termination. (And they don't even peer with anyone in Canada it seems)
That means that when you communicate with your *neighbour* you use those links twice: once to Toronto, and once back. Of course P2P hurts Bell, because they primary purpose is to sell you to US-based suppliers.
If Bell had a clue, they would terminate the PPPoE *locally*, and that means that bandwidth to your neighbour would cost them much less.
Not only would that solve their lack-of-clue-when-it-comes-to-infrastructure, but that would also make their network much more reliable in the face of back-hoe events, power blackouts, and prepare them to offer digital voice and video.

This is a hole of their own digging.

I only wish I had some bell service of some kind that I could cancel.
March 26, 2008

Patrick said:

privacy guy
Slightly off topic, but as a Sympatico subscriber, Bell happily started charging me for 4Mpbs service, while at the same time continued to rent me my original 1.5Mbs DSL modem. They never bothered to send upgraded hardware to actually USE the service I was forced to pay for.

I must shamefully admit that this went on for ~6 months before I noticed the disconnect, and called Bell on their naughtiness.

It was corrected in time, but shows that Bell doesn't really seem to care about delivering on their bandwidth promises (representations?).

Patrick
March 26, 2008

Brett Glass said:

ISP
There's some information missing here. What are the terms of the wholesale contract between Bell and the resellers? Does it specify a certain amount of throughput? Does it allow Bell to throttle things, or is it attempting to change the terms of, or violate, its contract with resellers? Before anyone can pass judgment, it is important to understand what agreement was made between Bell and the resellers.
March 26, 2008

Shaze said:

Senior
Shaw Cable has been doing this for years; rather than buy more hardware to upgrade, they just restrict popular protocols to make way for the Shaw Digital Phone service.

Oh, and anyone who claims they actually have a second network for their phone service is wrong.
March 26, 2008

Anti Throttling Software? said:

...
What we need now is an anti throttling software which disguise P2P traffic within common traffic. Encryption + one virtual port usage it could be disguised as any other internet service.
March 26, 2008

Phil said:

...
President, Sandelman Software Works, you are full of it. You are the one that needs to get a clue. Sorry about the tone but I hate it when people throw out accusations like that without knowing what they are talking about.

Bell has broadband aggregators in every major city in Ontario and Quebec and PPPoE connections are terminated locally and not backhauled to Toronto as you ineptly imply. Sympatico customers get their PPPoE stripped off on the same aggregator and then use Bell's IP network to go wherever they need to (and if they are talking to their neighbors it stays local on the same BAS).

For wholesale ISPs, the PPPoE session is terminated on the aggregator and the PPP session is carried to the independent ISP's own aggregator (called an LNS) using L2TP. If the idependent ISP has their aggregators in Toronto that's where the PPP session will be backhauled, that is not Bell's fault.

On the peering side, I'll give you that one, Bell doesn't seem to have much peering going on in Canada but they do have an extensive amount of peering in the US. If you would have bothered to do a bit of research before throwing unfounded accusations you would have found out that Bell is rated at the #110 stop in terms of AS connectivity. Compare that to Telus (147), Rogers (214) or Videotron (346) and Bell is not dumb as you would want them to appear.

Source: [ link ]
March 26, 2008

ENO said:

FRAUD
I do not understand these people. They push and sell high-speed connections that we know now is not there. I call that fraud. It is like to overbook an airplane (which now in many countries it is illegal). Why arent private companies ever accountable for fraud? If I commit a fraud as an individual I go straight on jail.
March 26, 2008

Serge said:

...
Note: the new Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunication Services can be accessed at the following link: .
March 26, 2008

R. Bassett Jr. said:

The black box Internet
I believe that I speak for everyone when I say that we Canadians couldn't care less HOW the Internet is physically built, so long as it DOES work as advertised at least 85%.

Let's not agrue over _____ _____ _____ issue that has a complete disconnect with the level of understanding most Canadians have about what the Internet physically is and how its internals work. Instead, let us focus on pressuring our govermnents to make a stand for us and regulate the Internet for public protection. Part of this regulation should include treating the Internet as an "essential service" as well as mandate acceptable service level requirements and down time, which will be monitored quarterly by an independent party.

R. Bassett Jr.
www.bolug.ca
Canadian Internet Registration Authority Member.
March 26, 2008

Concerned Consumer said:

Yuck
This type of behavior makes it clear that Canada needs stronger consumer protection, and needs to allow more competition to balance things out.

I don't like going too much into conspiracy mode, but I do have to wonder if our Industry Minister is smirking. On behalf of the citizens of Canada, his office should be very concerned and looking into this, but do you think this is the case?

The corporate overlords did not get their Copyright reform - could this be a part of plan B?

This situation stinks, but I expect that Bell will have the support of both law and government...
March 26, 2008

Brett Glass said:

ISP
Again, I'd like to know more about what was going on before this throttling was imposed. Was Bell's network completely unmetered, allowing some users (and/or ISPs) to hog bandwidth or saturate parts of the network while hurting the performance of others' connections? Was there a bandwidth cap in the contract that was never enforced (but now must be as traffic has grown)? Does Bell impose the same restrictions upon its own traffic as it does on those of other ISPs? Again, details please.
March 26, 2008

John Davidson said:

...
If I was concerned about ISP throttling legitimate traffic that is within contracted bandwidth limits, I would develop an updated TCP/IP stack for using in P2P environments where it would be impossible to forge the reset packet. The server and the client would both need to use this updated stack, but it can be made part of the client install. The entire conversation can be made to look like something else by reusing an existing protocol identifier. It could event be made so that it dynamically assigns the protocol identifier for each circuit created.

This is similar to the case with Napster, where now the RIAA would dearly love to have only Napster to deal with, rather than the world of torrents. The same will happen to backbone providers if they continue their efforts in this direction. Technology will always find a way around poorly implemented controls that hindered what people wish to do. Especially when they feel they are entitled to behave in the way that is being controlled.
March 26, 2008

Sneaky said:

...
Yet another case of corporate interests over the interests of the majority of common citizens impeding the progress of technology for the betterment of us all. The government doesn't protect the people, it protects special interest groups/corporations. Canada's political system is in need of a big change in government(sad to say for all of you Tory fans out there it isn't Bush's little northern lapdog Harper!) You know, if you look at the EU countries, the governments are afraid of the people and they therefore keep them happy by catering to their needs as it should be in a democratic society, however Canada has seemed to gone of the rails in this respect. What our government needs is a scare/revolution to put them in their place and start doing their elected jobs of protecting the interests of their citizens over a few small interest groups and monopolies with $$.
So who knows who we need to bitch at in the right area about this? Who has links to the proper political governing bodies? I am all ears, start posting links so we can all start bitching and petitioning!
March 26, 2008

Christopher said:

Mission Control of sorts
Some loyal members of Teksavvy have banded together and created a make-shift mission control website of information on this incident. www.freeourbandwidth.com

[ link ]
March 26, 2008

Upset TekSavvy Customer said:

BCE Inc. Stock Forum (Google)

Perhaps some posts from customers and potential investor on the Google News forums would help the BCE executives see the light. Here is a link to the website: [ link ]
March 26, 2008

BELL STOCK down said:

down with its toilet
Change:-0.97 (-2.64%)
March 26, 2008

TO the teksavvy peeps said:

phpman is here
if youd like i would love to help make a very very intense
php site that uses its power to help you update inrformations

note i too am teksavvy person who left bell because of YES there actual illegal activities
oh and if that dslreports telis guy thinks its all good for him it wont be if bell gets away with this there would be no reson that telis share holders wont demand higher profits by way of throttling and caps

chronoss2008@hush.com
[ link ]
[ link ]

all the above was created inside 3 weeks
and as its opensource and utilizes a dbase i need to be able to test this , that means some bandwidth locally
that i already paid for.
gary gygax passed on and i wanted to make what he did 30+ years ago come to life with a new campaign that players can play ONLINE ( which i am even told as long as htey are modules have fun )

not completed of course, and definately getting there.
the facts that copyright ownership are too long gets a guy like me who doesn't see anyone inventing this for people to enjoy shows how restrictive and anti-competitive laws are. Yes i had even considered saying screw the law and jsut rar it all up and torrent it out toprivate boards.
well either april 1st or 7th im leaving the net.
no sense in paying 34$ for 30Kbytes a sec
even my very very law abiding father was shocked at all the crap bell has put me through -- oh yah they also tried to push my internet cost onto him (which those stupid idiots dont realize im on teksavvy -yah billing me again for netand my dad for it.)
i said to one guy i have a good mind to take the pvr down to the store and as i need a cane drop it at the store and fall down
and say this is why you were supposed to send me a kit
make a big arse fuss.
but I AINT LIKE BELL, sneaky underhanded , greedy.
i told teksavvy peps WHAT if we all paid them 50$ a month for a year to build a new network
sucked up bells BULLSHIT and then we can OWN a piece of teksavvy too
say whats the share cost and take that and buyinto them.
March 26, 2008

Rickyk said:

Canada should regulate ISPs
The Canadian phone and cable companies killed off most of the independent ISPs long ago. We are now in a monopoly/duopoly situations with ISPs thoughout most markets in Canada, and therefore this requires government regulation. If the phone and cable companies want to maintain their monopolies, then they will have to submit to regulation. Regulated monopolies is how telephone and airline infrastructure was built throughout the country in the olden days, and it should be done to Internet infrastructure too. The same thing applies to cellphone companies, but that's a whole other story.
March 27, 2008

CADENCE said:

...
The problem is basically that ISPs are unable to meet their transfer caps (it just so happens that these days BT users are the ones who use most of the bandwidth, so all discussions tend to gravity in that direction). The reason for this is that these caps are artificial marketing-inflated numbers - they cannot be met by ISPs. So, the simple solution to this whole problem is to lower the monthly transfer caps to some sane numbers. Who needs 150GB mothly for web browsing and e-mail? Lower it to 10GB or 20GB, and sell for different prices depending on what user needs. Do you want massive BT dowloads? Buy 500GB/month access for $300/month. Do you use BT occassionally? Here is the 20GB/month for $30/month for you. This way everybody will pay for what they really use, plus net neutrality will stay untouched.


What's the problem with this approach? It already works for things like electricity or water. You pay for the amount you use, and nobody cares how you use it.
Flat rates for the Internet access were introduced in times when ISPs over invested in their networks and didn't know what to do with available bandwidth. These flat rates are not sustainable in today's world, as different users have completely different demands and needs (imagine owning a all-you-can-eat restaurant in a world where one person can eat 10000 times more than the other).
March 27, 2008

Paul Kishimoto said:

UTOPIA
Whenever I hear about new service regressions from Rogers or Bell, I think of things like UTOPIA and sigh. Are the telcos sufficiently protected by law that this sort of thing wouldn't even be possible in Canada? If so, those laws need to be changed.

[ link ]
[ link ]
March 27, 2008

fedge said:

...
"Bell Canada doesn't like the word throttling. It prefers "optimizing." "We recently extended our policies of optimizing our network by balancing the load to include our wholesale networks as well," Bell Canada spokesman Jason Laszlo told us."

So there you go -- Bell is simply "optimizing" the network. I'm so glad we have Bell looking out for us, optimizing their network for everyone, including those third party resellers. Thank you bell, for the optimizing!!! :)

Circumcision is merely a way of "optimizing" a penis.
March 28, 2008

ultracat said:

Bell\'s messenger shoots own foot
Hey, check this out. Bell's spokesperson is Jason Laszlo. This guy, up to he realized his mistake today, had a public facebook profile on which he's been bragging about deceiving the public on this issue through the media!

Here's his Facebook status as of yesterday: "Jason Laszlo is realizing how little seperates most journalists from lemmings." [sic] (he doesn't know how to spell separate I guess).

Here's the source people:
[ link ]
March 29, 2008

Jan said:

Mr.
Complain here instead:
[ link ]

CRTC doesn't deal with ISP business practices!
March 29, 2008

John Loshen said:

...
Well, it was only a matter of time, after all just last month the Japanese were presenting their findings on overall Internet traffic and announced that the 4 main ISP’s had throttled P2P traffic and there are similar proposals being floated around in the UK and France…

In Canada there is No Doubt that the carriers have been overselling their bandwidth for a long time and I agree that this needs to be addressed. CRTC???

Legitimate file sharing traffic using Peer 2 Peer does exist and one great example is a Canadian start-up, 2Peer.com. Their premise is the “Private Internet”, it may sound a bit hokey but I have to say I am a big fan. I can share our personal photos and videos with my friends and family and don’t have to waste time uploading and sharing from a third party site.

With 2Peer I can share privately from my computer with people I authorize utilizing a peer to peer framework. This way I don’t have to worry about pedophiles, stalkers, and so on looking at my personal family pictures or videos. Just look at the invasion of privacy issues with Facebook and MySpace in the past couple months…

So I guess I should be getting my refund cheque in the mail since my bandwidth is going to be throttled because I use software that is P2P based. Nothing like hindering a Canadian start-up at the same time, way to go Bell!

Lesson learned from Jason Laszlo is that you may want to check out your privacy settings before you make comments in a open world or get a service that is private like 2Peer.com.
March 31, 2008

Steven Dale said:

Collaborative Mapping
Just a comment regarding Mr. Geist's mention of "collaborative mapping" technologies. The vast majority of online map services (Google Maps especially) are ridiculously copyright protected. Check out www.openstreetmap.org where one is free to edit, remix and change the map of the world. Best part? Most of the world hasn't even been mapped yet because it requires users to map it over time, wikipedia-style. So for any guy or girl who has ever rolled open a map and thought "Magellan . . . Yeah, that coulda' been me . . . " here's your chance.
April 12, 2008

a guest said:

Tom Tom
paying big bucks for only getting 30KB/s MAX., this is unacceptable... i probably switch back to dail-up instead.
May 03, 2008

generic_idea_machine said:

nomonopoly
Cancelled my Bell home phone
Cancelled Rogers High Speed

Signed up for Home Phone and High Speed Internet with TekSavvy

Bell and Rogers are so fixated at throttling our connections that they have failed to pay much attention towards upgrading their network for an entire decade.

So in a day an age where 25, 50 and even 200 MB/s connections are the norm in Asia (and cheap too!)...we here in North America, are stuck with virtually the same internet connection speed(s) for quite some time now. And yet the monopolistic corporations (ISP's in this case) want to dictate how we are going to get the data we want. At the same time they want us to pay more for a service that is sub-far by global standards.

Monopolistic policies = Curbing Innovation
May 07, 2008

DjLevel9 said:

Slow Up Rate
what about the People who pay full Price for DryLoop -I was paying over $120.00 a month for Bell Sympatico's DryLoop Service .
I was On Opti-Max 1040-1088 which 1.5 Meg UpLoad 16.319 Down Load.

now there caling it Total-Max. The after adding the Wet-Loop which is the Phone serve tagged onto the Line they wern't supposto Touch My Dry-Loop Service what so ever but they ever since then my service has Not worked right call after call service being shut down from 2am to 8 am in the Morning and there was No Service Outtage in my area there no service matiance schedualed for this date then I get another Re-activate Order put on my phone when I had to go Borrow another phone to report the trouble the message I got was you're service will be interupted dew to a re-activation New Order you will not be able to you're Modem Un till April 18th 2008 After Midnight if you're service is not working by The Please Call Sympatico at the Number Specified now this was No Mastake it was Done Deleibirly I had found the person who put this order in And Got there Bell Rep ID and Many Ither's who had taken part of this Rest asure I'm gonna see that it's stopped as soon as possable and that bell will not get away with with any other customer hiring employees that are not fully traied on sueing the auto mated programed service and Please enter the right Codes in Before you place and Oder else you gonna find not to many Happy bell customers and I do have a right To Be Pi**ed off at this I have never had a problem with my sevice untill the India office Teir ones tryed resetting my account changeing Line Ports resetting the trying to change my internet speed yes they do have the software Over there I have the Supervisors reps ID and office number they where and the e-mails explaining what they did see there office write little notes on Details what they do to you're accounts I now always ask and get a reference Order Number thoe who worked at Bell Know what a C Order Number and what codes the go under when applyed to nour accounts now any one else been through this simular situation file the complaint with the CRTC this Bell had to Put stricter supervision on there employees and watch them so they don't accsess the wrong codes and put in a dissconection order when they should been sending a Sympatico HIGH SPEED Tech and not one thats been trained only for less then 2 months on A Situation Line mine.

now my Ping rate is way over 218 sometimes 300 they took my off fast pass and put me on Interleave there telling us it's manditory for all of Ontario who made that dession i said you can't do this I'm not paying for Interleave I only had problems when sympaticos test board office in Hamilton Ontario Canada started scrwing aroinf with base 7 to Bas 5 to Bas 1 now I'm on Bas 3 one of there slowest connection it can't handle my 16meg service now they tell me they won't switch me back i said you're gonna cause right now you're in Breach Of CONTRAC weather I use the service or not it's the Principal of the whole thing .
Ither my Bas gos back to Bas7 Toronto and Back to FAST PASS or I will file a Breach Of Contract and Michael Pelleteir from Bell Executives office says this was Manditory for all Ontario I said it was not I'm paying for Fast Pass Not inter leave if half of the Sympatico's Techicions that where sent out NOT Regular 310 Phone hook up's addmited they where not Internet trained the Hamilton Office sent them out instead of a Sympatico High Speed technion
I worked for Bell A Longer the Michael Pelleteir was in the office he is in now most of the bell Employees get transfered up there to make rooom for new interns and half of are not fully trained you can't just jump into a job if you just took Order to sign a customer up.
when I worked In the 211 Bell Office in Sarnia Ontario before I moved up in Toronto,
I did the feild work connecthe Line card and the DSLAMS right in the Central Office we never had the problem then as we do today Hey Bell and Technology is changing Better update You're Lanturn Software and Web care Both programs have Major FLAW'S in it and I have proved it with 101 Customers who are on total max.


Most times bell employees just don't wan't to or can't addmit there not fully trained on I talked to four Bell reps when the service came I was one of the first in Toronto to get it with my Dry Loop my lines where tested Way before the service was implimented at my Residence.
when I first Spoke to Elizabeth In The Missauga Office on get the service I was assured the Line where capable for this new fiber otics service and why doesn't Bell tell the Truth Who Own the Fiber optic Line that run on my street into My Residence HYDRO ONE does not bell this it's the other way around Bell there only 2 blocks away from dn my Demarcaion point is right out side my Building it's the Bas 3 they put is to far and can- not handle the speeds Ither Put me Back or Bells In Breach Of Contract and yes I can file this sute with the CRTC I have enough Evidence to Support My case ...and enough screen shots and after 90 some Escolated ticked into Bells Sympaticos Inda Office they would not tryed to rectify the situation instead they kept making it worse.... half the time you go a rep that didn't know what to do I think i might have to get a supervisor rep cause i cannot fix this my tools on my computer won't let me ahhh Duhhh if yea knew that you should not have taken the call in the first place and passed me to a rep that was More Qaulified in this feld to handle it.
run around after run around So bell Ither Fix the problem put my service back to what I'm paying for Not you's or you're In Breach of Contract and No more Excuses to Me Or any Other Bell Customer.
May 12, 2008

Matthew said:

Yeah Right
Some of these comments are hilarious. Yeah...... that was my concern too. I can't download "Little Mosque on the Prairie" and "The Next Great Prime Minister".... stop pretending. Nobody in their right mind watches that stuff. Be a man. Admit you're a pirate.
June 06, 2008

JasonN said:

Kevin, you are missing the point!
Kevin, you are completely missing the point and principle of Net Neutrality!
I'm gonna throw you a bone here so you can understand what it is that you are commenting about because you obviously don't know right now. I would have assumed that because you are already at Michael Geist's Blog that you would know, but apparently not after the "pirate" comment!
Check this out, or any of the links at the bottom of this page:
www.netneutrality.com
June 06, 2008

Richard said:

Technical problem? or a financial oppo
I have been looking at my throttling, here's what I see.

I only see uploads affected. FTP uploads (not secure) and P2P uploads.

If P2P is detected on your IP address, the IP is flagged... and at 5 pm to 1 am throttling kicks in. Most severely between 6pm and 11pm.

If I use only FTP... and not P2P.... on a fresh IP address ... then nothing is throttled.

It sounds like a profile: if you provide multimedia content on the web, you probably use both FTP and P2P and you are throttled.

If you are only uploading pictures to flicker, you probably only use FTP and you'd escape the throttling.

Comcast has set up their own movie download store. Comcast along with AT&T are the leaders of the movement by ISPs to take control of content, charge users more to access certain sites etc, revenue sharing with the provider.

Techies (more techie than me) have poopooed the idea that this narrow focus... as the throttling has actually been implemented... is going to appreciably free up net resources.

What it does do is reduce subscribers ability to provide independent content on the web. Could it be more political/financial than technical? We channel viewers to the content we make money on noew (movie downloads etc) and in the future (the proposed premium charges) and do what we can to eliminate other content.
September 04, 2008

McneilIsabelle said:

reply this post
People deserve wealthy life and loan or commercial loan would make it much better. Just because freedom relies on money state.
February 05, 2011

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