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The Bell Wake-Up Call

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Wednesday March 26, 2008
For months, I've been asked repeatedly why net neutrality has not taken off as a Canadian political and regulatory issue.  While there has been some press coverage, several high-profile incidents, and a few instances of political or regulatory discussion (including the recent House of Commons Committee report on the CBC), the issue has not generated as much attention in Canada as it has in the United States.  I believe this week will ultimately be seen as the moment that changed.  Starting with Rogers new pricing schedule without much needed transparency on its traffic shaping practices, followed by the CBC's BitTorrent distribution of Canada's Next Great Prime Minister, and now the revelation that Bell has quietly revamped its network to allow for throttling at the residential and wholesale level, there is the prospect of a perfect storm of events that may crystallize the issue for consumers, businesses, politicians, and regulators.

The reported impact of traffic shaping on CBC downloads highlights the danger that non-transparent network management practices pose to the CBC's fulfillment of its statutory mandate to distribute content in the most efficient manner possible. This should ultimately bring cultural groups like Friends of the CBC into the net neutrality mix. Moreover, it points to a significant competition concern.  As cable and satellite companies seek to sell new video services to consumers, they simultaneously use their network provider position to lessen competition that seeks to deliver competing video via the Internet.  This is an obvious conflict that requires real action from Canada's competition and broadcast regulators.

The Bell throttling practices also raise crucial competition issues. 
The CRTC has tried to address limited ISP competition by requiring companies such as Bell to provide access to third-party ISPs that "resell" Bell service with regulated wholesale prices that lead to a measure of increased competition.  Indeed, there are apparently about 100 companies that currently resell Bell access services.  Many have made substantial investments in their own networks and have loyal customer bases that number into the tens of thousands.

Those same companies have expressed concern to Bell about the possibility that it might institute throttling and thereby directly affect their services.  Until yesterday, Bell had sought to reassure the companies that this was not their plan. For example, in response to a question about network speeds to resellers, it told the CRTC in 2003 that:

the throughput will be determined by the customer's user network interface (UNI) access circuit capacity rather than the Peak Information Rate (PIR) setting.  Of course, Bell Canada reserves the right to implement a PIR rate in cases of troubleshooting or to protect the network infrastructure from congestion resulting from malfunctioning or mis-configured equipment or malicious hacking.

The new throttling system has nothing to do with troubleshooting, malfunctioning equipment, or malicious hacking, but rather involves speed limits for a particular class of traffic.  Moreover, for months Bell has been installing "deep packet inspection" capabilities into its network.  Sources advise that the company was regularly asked about its intentions and that it consistently assured ISPs that throttling would not apply to wholesale services. Now that the company has dropped that pretense, the business community is left to wonder whether it will soon target business VPN traffic or broadcasters like the CBC for their streamed traffic.  This represents a fundamental reshaping of the Internet in Canada as we pay (literally) for the dire lack of competition and independent ISPs gear up for likely legal challenges.  Regardless of those outcomes, it will become increasingly apparent that the regulators and politicians can no longer remain silent.  Nor should Canadians.
Comments (87)add comment

only moi said:

Get involved pls.
I hope Dr. Geist/CIPPIC in some way, shape, or form, gets directly involved with the small wholsalers in their fight.
March 26, 2008

Derek said:

...
Michael I agree. This week will be a turning point, looking back a monumentus week.

Before this week, most internet savvy Canadians thought they had a choice, and as long as there was competition from the independent ISPs, there was always an ISP that was effectively net neutral. Bell Sympatico itself was also effectively net neutral.

Now that Bell through it's taxpayer funded monopoly filters it's ISP wholesalers. That single event will be remembered as the turning point Net Neutrality in Canada.

Also one must wonder if BCE should be allowed to be both an ISP and an ISP wholesaler. It is a conflict of interest. Bell Sympatico should be split from Bell. As long as Bell owns the lines, they should not be able be/own an ISP. Bell Carrier Services would still make money from renting lines as they do today, so Bell would in fact want independent ISPs to be successful. Maybe with some real competition, Canada would have internet service comparable to the rest of the modern world.
March 27, 2008

James said:

...
The ONLY thing that will straighten out these corporate whores is a mass class action lawsuit! It's the ONLY thing that will work since it threatens their money. Plain and simple! Let's get on it!
March 27, 2008

dbv said:

Last mile
This expensive and bad service is going to keep happening while Bell/Rogers control the last mile of copper to the house. There's no need for more legislation, just more competition. CRTC should open up wireless frequencies for competitors of Bell and Rogers (those two already run their own joint WiMax service, of course). Or force Bell to open up their exchanges to competitors (essentially cutting them out of the loop completely).
March 27, 2008

Rickyk said:

Regulated monopolies
Okay, so Canada's phone and cable companies want to control the Internet markets for themselves. Fine, but lets put some regulations on you for maintaining your Internet monopolies. Just watch the little rat bastards start behaving themselves properly again with the threat of new regulation.
March 27, 2008

Kevin said:

...
And all the more reason why the CRTC must have full and complete regulation of Bell Canada.

The CRTC degregulated certains aspects of Bell Canada August 2007 giving to much freedom in the playground unattended. Bell has been fighting the CRTC for complete degrulation. The CRTC must step-up and over rule their previous decision and reinstate full regulation of Bell Canada for as long as Bell shall exist. The CRTC should NEVER allow Bell Canada EVER to be deregulated in light of Bell's most recent, sneaky, underhanded action to throttle 3rd party wholesaler and their customers.
March 27, 2008

Classaction lawsuit said:

ok who really wants one
if enough people get on board we could all send a buck to a fund and get a lawyer and really do it.
i have enough myself to present at any hearing as to why i left bell and after its heard , any judge who does not think BELL is nothing short of evil , should not be practicing law in canada, where we are supposed to be free and fair and just.
March 27, 2008

a guest said:

...
Sorry, I don't see the problem, at least so long as Bell is open about what it deos. I don't use BitTorrent and if it accounts for the network slowing down then either Bell should throttle this traffic or charge more to high capacity users and less to the rest of us. And can everyone posting their howls of outrage here truthfully claim that it's only legal sharing that they do?
March 27, 2008

a guest said:

...
James - class actions are basically a way for lawyers to make money, which frankly puts them also into your "whore" category. They are shakedowns and usually aimed at government, which means we all pick up the cost. And Bell won't cave in to the threat, if you look at their past history when sued.
March 27, 2008

Ahab said:

Arrr(gh)
>Sorry, I don't see the problem, at least so long as Bell is open about what it deos [sic].
So, you do see the problem, then?

>if it accounts for the network slowing down
And obviously it doesn't. Since Bell invested in traffic shaping (quietly) over the last year, they could and should have instead invested in lighting more of their dark fiber.

You deserve some credit for your concerted attempt at weaseling, though. Perhaps you should stick with Sympatico?
March 27, 2008

a guest said:

n3k0
"...I don't use BitTorrent and if it accounts for the network slowing down then either Bell should throttle this traffic or charge more to high capacity users and less to the rest of us."

Independent wholesale ISP's, like Teksavvy, already pay Bell for access to the network. Teksavvy have their own infrastructure & equipment & cover the costs of bandwidth through peering arrangements with providers, like Cogent.

Bell's position here is clear: They don't want competition. By throttling wholesale ISP's, they effectively hinder their [Independent ISP's] ability to provide unthrotttled service. Making them appear a less attractive proposition to customers.

ISP's, like Teksavvy, already cover the costs of the bandwidth. Bell isn't losing any money over this.
March 27, 2008

Abe said:

@n3k0
I think also (and more to the point), the Sympatico division started throttling its customers at the request of the Satelitte TV and Telephone divisions, since they were competing directly with their other (more profitable) services. Since Bell then started to hemorrhage customers from Sympatico to other, more reliable ISP's, the other divisions next leaned on Nexxia to start "shaping" the third party wholesale traffic. I believe one TekSavvy customer quite accurately described to their allegations of "bandwidth shortage" as transparently specious.
March 27, 2008

moggy said:

cattermole
I left cogeco 8 years ago do to there p2p limits for bell whose REp promised unlimed service. I asked twice to be sure now as of last night just browsing is slowed to a snails pace . some sites like torrentfreak ( a news site ) wont even loadup and it took 6 hours to download the cbc program as a test
March 27, 2008

Steven G said:

...
Comcast in the U.S has recently reversed its decision to throttle BitTorrent and other P2P Protocol, instead opting to limit bandwidth for users who appear to be sharing entirely to much, I just have to wonder what those limits are.

Either way, Comcast just took a step in the right direction, sort of.
March 27, 2008

\'net neutrality? said:

n3k0
@Steven G

This is certainly a step in the right direction from Comcast, if it is indeed true.

Teksavvy already has a tier bandwidth limit on one of their products, called 'Premium service'.

This 'Premium service tier' has a bandwidth cap of 200GB per month. If a user needs more bandwidth, they simply pay an additional $10 per 100Gb.

Why is Bell saying there is a bandwidth capacity crunch, if Teksavvy is able to offer 100Gb chunks for only $10 per month, on top of a generous 200GB cap?

@Abe:

I totally agree with you, my friend. Bells allegations of bandwidth shortage are false, misleading & completely spurious. Of course they don't want to lose customers to competing Internet delivery services! By throttling users, they are effectively causing a non-neutral 'net. This should be brought to the fore & legislation introduced to deal with network neutrality.

@cattermole

I have read some reports of users experiencing throttling on their lines, which is additionally having an adverse affect on other services, such as VOIP. This is clearly wrong.
March 27, 2008

Ben Lucier said:

VPN traffic is being throttled too
Michael, from what I understand, during the periods of time when the throttling is happening VPN traffic is being affected. This is because when the traffic first started being shaped for bit torrent, savvy users switched to encrypted P2P traffic. Bell responded by blocking any/all encrypted traffic (since it can't decrypt the packets to know what's actually inside).

One of Bell's senior legal counsel spoke with me yesterday and said this won't be a problem for people connected to their offices via VPN because the shaping does start until AFTER business hours.

Essentially, what this means is that people can't work from home after the dinner hour, if your using an encrypted VPN tunnel to the office. This goes for encrypted VoIP too, by the way.
March 27, 2008

Lokase said:

Rogers - Money Grab
Hi,

I got the Rogers "we are giving you better service" letter last night explaining how they are taking my unlimited download internet account and putting a cap of 60GB on it.

Now, I don't even get close to 60GB per month of downloads. I have boycotting the movies and music industry since 2000 until they get their acts together and start providing digital products and services at a fair price.

But thats not the point.

The point is, over night, Rogers degraded the services I receive from them without lowering the price they charge me.

Its like I buy a coffee everyday for $1, then one day I go to buy my coffee and they only put in 1 teaspoon of coffee into the cup, hand me the cup, hold out their hand and say "that will be $1 please".

If anyother type of business tried to do this they would be out in the street by Friday.

From my perspective there are are 2 things happening here:
- I am being punished for the actions of a comparitivly small portion of massive downloaders.
- Rogers is making an unabashed money grab on its consumer base, greed plain and simple.

I called up customer relations and argued my point with customer support (I have become very good at this with customer support types - just don't curse) for 10 minutes.

Her only recourse was to give me a 20% discount on my internet bill for 1 year. Its just a drop in a bucket but I know its the only bone they are going to throw me.

I told her as soon as an alternative hits the market (which I truely hope will happen) then I will be dropping Rogers after 15 years of service.

It's frusturating when you see pure money grabbing by a corp and are handcuffed in the situation, there are HARDLY ANY ALTERNATIVES in the Canadian market.

Cheers,

Lokase
March 27, 2008

Jan Normandale said:

...
It's interesting to read this piece because of the failure of Bell to disclose it's actions until recently forced to do so by market intelligence about their actions.

I've been having ongoing issues with my Sympatico and it has cost me a lot for four technicians visits since January 2008. Now I read this and similar news items regarding CBC's bit torrent d/l's.

Bell throttling
[ link ]

[ link ]

The big issue for me is "weights and measures". If a vendor has a price of $1.00 per Kg for dry beans and he sells me a dollars worth of beans I expect a Kg. Failure to do so brings charges from the Government's "weights and measures" division.

Now lets consider ISP's selling me internet access. I'm paying a premium for my ISP service in order to obtain faster loading of my pages which these days are overloaded with images and advertising inserted by my ISP for additional profit from my subscription. I either pay for bandwidth or wait for a slow "dial up level" of service. I pay. Now I find I'm being charged for something they are not delivering. I think the Federal Government better get someone onto these ISP's such as Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Telus, etc and have a fee roll back to the subscribers for their failure to deliver the goods. Dismantling might be a consideration. This isn't acceptable for phone service why is it acceptable for internet access.

I'm ready to throw my money at this one in a 'throttled' heartbeat.

Jan Normandale
Toronto Canada
March 27, 2008

Daniel said:

...
"Moreover, for months Bell has been installing "deep packet inspection" capabilities into its network."

This should set off major alarm bells for everyone in Canada. Just what do they plan on doing with something like this? I was going to post a comment in other thread yesterday about how if you want to know what is in an encrypted packet you have to do some snooping. And ask a question. If Bell now knows what is going over their network lines, does that make them liable in a criminal or civil case? And is snooping covered under safe-harbour?

Next stop is unauthorized snooping on your private communication and handing it over to authorities for 'safe-keeping'.
March 27, 2008

beeker said:

none
Quoted from a Bell/Sympatico notice recently posted in other forums had this info in it. As Bell/Sympatico would never release the actual numbers, Here is somewhat of an extrapolation.

"Important Usage Billing Changes
dated March 13, 2008"

"only 5% of our base exceeds 60GB/month. In fact 82% of customers stay under 10GB /month."

This leave 13% of customers using between 10 and 60GB/month.

So using the above info at worst case usages:
82 x 10GB = 820GB
13 x 60GB = 780GB

820GB + 780GB = 1600GB

1600GB/95 = 16.8 GB

In effect 95% of Sympatico's own user base average about 17GB a month at worst.

Now lets say the other 5% use 500GB a month on average per user:

5 x 500GB = 2500GB

1600GB + 2500GB = 4100GB

4100GB/100 = 41GB

so as per Bell/Sympatico's numbers: overall, I don't see a real issue here with total amounts of bandwidth used, as 41GB is not a huge amount in our present internet world....

So what is the real reason for capping and traffic shaping?

March 27, 2008

HeWhoBe said:

...
I have to disagree. And I'm sure I'll take heat for it, but I've never had a problem with BitTorrent throttling.

Some say BT traffic accounts for 18% of all internet traffic. Others say 35% or higher. Honestly, how much of that is legal? How much legal traffic can you generate with BT? Some may say it doesn't matter, but it does. Why should an ISP put more money into their infrastructure to accommodate a technology that is primarily being used to pirate movies, music, software, etc.? Just because they state you should be able to get "up to XXMB"? Well my car certainly doesn't use gas like the commercials said it would. I don't see anyone asking Mr. Geist to get involved in that. Why not?

Sure, there are ISP's that don't throttle and offer more consistent speeds. They are usually independent & small, with a small customer base. So why can they get away with it? Simple, they aren't successful.

That said, I'm all in favour of net neutrality. But only when the content is actually neutral (=legal). Of course, that brings in a whole new level of hell.
March 27, 2008

R. Peciulis said:

...
@HeWhoBe

The issue at hand is whether an ISP should at all making a decision of what can or cannot be accessed on through the service that they sell. It is not up to them to make a judgment call on what is acceptable and what is not (both by law and by taste).

There is plenty of illegal activity on the internet outside of "p2p". Perhaps ISP's should be allowed to throttle everything, in the name of the law?
March 27, 2008

Mikey said:

...
What's funny is today Comcast announced they will stop BT throttling.
[ link ]
March 27, 2008

HeWhoBe said:

...
@Mikey
Comcast will still throttle. They will just stop throttling everyone and only focus on abusers. Based on the common argument of net neutrality, this is still wrong.

@R. Peciulis
Maybe taking Comcast's new route is the way to go. From a customer perspective though, I enjoy the full speeds provided by my ISP on a regular basis because of this throttling. Take it away, and I'm no longer enjoying those full speeds.

With that said, most ISP's are not blocking access to anything. They are throttling, yes. But that's a far cry from saying "hey, you can't access XX because we don't agree with the content". I stand by my earlier comments.
March 27, 2008

edhr said:

...
All the older gentlemen in the room ought to take note that P2P technology is only an advanced way of sharing large amounts of information. You are mistaken to assume BitTorrent is a fancy new hacker tool for criminals. Most of the information I access over these networks is of the public domain. File sharing is the new mass media. Your children laugh at you for thinking that sound and video come from a store you drive to in a car, and that your news comes pre-programmed from the local establishment. An open internet can facilitate dialogue and democracy.
March 27, 2008

a guest said:

This is all to prevent competitoin
The future is near and Bell and Rogers are making sure that it will be financially infeasible for their internet customer to download and watch ***LEGAL*** TV and Movies using the internet from places like iTunes. They don't want to loose their Cable/Satellite TV cash cows. This is an anticompetitive behavior.

Internet should become an "essential service" and be regulated since everyone in Canada is talking about the need to move from manufacturing and resource economy to information and service economy. Internet is essential for that transition.
March 27, 2008

Mikey said:

...
@HeWhoBe
That is why I said "BT Throttling".

And I'm sorry. Bell should not be able to throttle wholesale ISP bandwidth. And if I stay under my cap and I'm grabbing a torrent from the CBC, I should not be throttled what so ever.
March 27, 2008

Personne said:

Admin
Class-action ? Anyone ?
March 27, 2008

HeWhoBe said:

...
@edhr
Yes, BitTorrent is being used for legal purposes. But right now, if you look at all the legal BT content out there, it's use does not constitute a significant network impact. It is the illegal use that clogs the pipes.

@
It is arguably anticompetitive behaviour if you look at some of the content available through BT. But that isn't the motivation behind the throttling (or at least, it wasn't to begin with). Let's look at why companies are starting to use BT for legal delivery of content. Joost, for example, provides television service built on a BT infrastructure. They use it because it takes a significant amount of the bandwidth requirements off of them and puts it on the ISP's and users. CBC is providing a documentary for free via BT because it would put them at a serious financial loss if they had to pay for the bandwidth to distribute it conventionally. That doesn't necessarily make throttling right, or acceptable, but it begs the question; why is it ok for a massive company like CBC to offset their costs using BT but an ISP can't do the same by limiting it's use?

@Mikey
They aren't going to stop BT throttling though. They are just going to stop doing it across the board. If you spend all day, every day, downloading legally via BT, Comcast will still throttle you. It is not like this new relationship means BitTorrent is going to dump hundreds-of-millions of dollars into Comcast's network for upgrades. It just means that Comcast is going to target their efforts differently so that it's easier for BitTorrent to find new adopters.

Personally, this is what I see happening. Pressure will build up to the point where the ISP's will finally say "ok, we'll stop targeting BitTorrent users". At that point, they will start throttling all traffic and drop the expected speeds on all of their plans. And then we'll be right back here complaining about how "5 years ago, I could at least watch YouTube at decent speeds".

Eventually, all ISP's will have to upgrade their networks to accommodate higher speeds and more interactive media. But for now, ISP's have a serious problem with having to pay more money so quickly simply because a new technology removes fiscal responsibility from publishers and places it in the hands of receivers.

Meanwhile, I'll be waiting for the day when my local newspaper shows up to cut down the trees around my home, saying simply "what? You expect US to pay for the paper?".
March 27, 2008

a guest said:

It\'s no use
All the chitchat in the world is not going to change this. Bell is a monopoly with hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in legal counsel. Even if it does get to court (which I highly doubt), Bell will win. They always do. No standalone or class-action suit has the resources to match Bell's. It's over, plain and simple. If you want to use P2P, move to the USA, it's the only option.
March 27, 2008

KDH said:

fiscal responsibility>
@HeWhoBe: Not sure I follow your post from 16:31.
March 27, 2008

KDH said:

re: fiscal responsibility
Let's see if I can continue this without accidentally hitting the "submit" button :-)

If I understood you, it would imply to me that the ISP is well within its rights, therefore, to sell 100+% capacity (which they do) as "unlimited" and then say that you are using an application that takes too much of the "unlimited" bandwidth, and throttle down the throughput for it. Rather than have the capacity that they have sold available. So, if they have sold 300 x 60GBytes per month, they are OK with an infrastructure that that only supports 7.5 Terabytes per month even though they sold 18 Terabytes per month.
March 27, 2008

HeWhoBe said:

...
Which part? Heh.

I'll assume the "fiscal responsibility" part, since you put it in your title. It's really quite simple. BitTorrent technology significantly decreases the cost to publish interactive content, from the perspective of the publisher. Of course, it doesn't really decrease the cost, it just puts it on the ISP shoulders. And yes, I've heard all the arguments about how that's what an ISP is there for. I guess I've just been hoping to avoid tiered internet service. But it's becoming clear that we are heading in that direction. It makes sense for ISP's. Give customers exactly what they want and charge them through the nose for it. Meh.
March 27, 2008

a guest said:

...
So they're throttling VPN traffic too?

So I'm a lawyer working from home connecting to the office system via VPN because it's the only safe way to do so. And Bell tosses my packets into the bit bucket because they're encrypted. See you in court Bell. Restraint of trade, lost billing, false advertising, bait-n-switch, if I was trying to VPN from the US to my system in Canada how about RICO statues? What else have I missed?

So I'm a doctor accessing my office medical records remotely via VPN from my home because my patient called at 10pm from Asia with an emergency and needs some details from their health record because they are in hospital with a life threatening illness and needs the information I have for their treatment. And Bell tosses my packets because they are running in a VPN tunnel. I get sued by the patient's family when the person dies. Bell should be named in a civil suit too, and maybe even criminally for contributory negligence causing death, or maybe manslaughter. Just because it's a computer network management system refusing me access to life & death information does not make it any different that if it were a telephone operator with a plug switchboard denying me access to that information. To paraphrase the movie 'Casablanca', "A switch is just a switch" under the control of Bell no matter if there's a person in front of it or not.

So I'm an average Joe sending encrypted e-mail to my lawyer or even just friends in Canada (can't trust CSIS, CSE, NSA, et. al. - for fun try a visual tracert from your city to another IP address across Canada and see how many hops are in the USA and remember than anything you say is monitored and can and will be used against you eventually - data warehouses just keep getting bigger). And Bell drops my packets because the content is encrypted. I have zero recourse for any consequential missed filing dates or my girlfriend dumping me because I "didn't write her back". How could I know Bell was reading my mail and trashing it, or reading her mail and refusing to deliver it to her if she was on Bell and I wasn't.

Or I'm simply using SFTP upload a copy of the latest family video to our hosted web server so my sister can see little Johnny's first steps. And my video never makes it to the server. Or a client on the west coast or in another country uses VPN or SFTP (after Bell's "business hours" in Ont./Que.) to d/l a large file of time critical work I've done for them and the packets get continually tossed by Bell and I get my bill slashed in half by my client because they didn't get the file in time. Is Bell going to compensate me?


Yes, Bell is in a conflict of interest position with Nexxia, Sympatico, and GlobeMedia all in the same corporate basket. Natural gas pipelines are run as regulated utilities - so should the network portion of Bell. If Sympatico wants to packet shape/throttle their customers and Teksavvy doesn't, then that's what each of them should be free to do but the backbone they tap into shouldn't force them both to do the same things.
March 27, 2008

Jean-Franois Mezei said:

\"Resell Bell Services\" is incorrect
It is erroneous to state that the independant ISPs RESELL BELL SERVICES.

What independant ISPs do is purchase raw data transfer service that transfers packets from end users to the ISP. This service is not tied to the internet in any way shape or form. The GAS offering transports PPPoE frames (which can contain any data, not just TCPIP packets). The HSA offering transports ethernet frames.

The Independant ISP has its own TCPIP infrastructure and its own connections to the Internet, its own traffic management, its own AS number (BGP routing) etc.

In no way do independant ISP resell "Sympatico" service. As such, they MUST be free to implement any TCPIP policies they wish and it is wrong for Bell canada to impose TCPIP policies on independant ISPs, especially since the service they purchase from Bell gives an unmanaged raw link between end users and the independant ISP.

Independant ISPs have been growing because they have provided more attractive TCPIP management policies than Sympatico's. Now, Bell seeks to remove the ISP's competitive advantages by imposing Sympatico's policies on everyone.
March 27, 2008

HeWhoBe said:

...
@KDH

Are they well within their rights? Yes. Does that make it okay? No. Overselling capacity is not something new in the business world. It's certainly not something unusual in the ISP/ESP/HSP space. Almost every hosting provider in the world oversells their infrastructure because they know most of their customers will never fully utilize it. My car runs great and exactly as I expect it to. But if I drove that car 24 hours a day at it's top speed, I can guarantee it won't run so great. Is that my fault or the manufacturers?

Look, I'm not trying to argue that ISP's should be allowed to offer speeds/service that they can't provide. I've never really liked that idea. Sure, a cable ISP could cut all their customers speeds in half, toss out BT throttling, and everyone would be able to get their full speeds all of the time. But for me, a user who doesn't use BT and doesn't max out their connection 24/7, I'm quite content with getting my current speeds when & if I need them. I'm certainly not in favour of losing my speed simply because my neighbor, or friend, or family member wants to download massive amounts of content all the time. But hey, that's just me.
March 27, 2008

HeWhoBe said:

...
@Jean-François Mezei

I'm not sure if I can agree with that. Bell Wholesale DLS Gateway Access Service IS resold Bell DSL. You can see [ link ] for more on that. From what I've read, this is the service that Bell is talking about shaping. I'm actually surprised they weren't doing this already. It's the same way CyberSurf does business (or 3Web I guess).
March 27, 2008

HeWhoBe said:

...
@Me

Ignore my post about Bell Wholesale DSL GAS. I am clearly not well educated on that service and my comment was totally wrong.
March 27, 2008

TSI customer said:

...
My understanding is as follows:

Bell Annex is selling ISP's a connection to their DSL subscribers and physically links (in TSI's case is 4 x 1Gbps). They are renting out part of Bell's internal network to the DSL subscribers not selling connections to the internet. This part is under CRTC's regulation.

The ISP's are responsible to connect their customer to the rest of the internet outside of Bell Annex. The ISP's are free on how they are capping/shaping/charging customers that consume excess bandwidth. What Bell Annex does is to interfere that part of the free market/network control on ISP's. They are dishonest and ruin the businesses of others.

There are no excuses for Bell Annex overselling their capacity to the ISP's as they specifically order said capacity. Unlike an individual end customer who order internet service, when an ISP ask for 1Gbps link, they really mean a link that can carry that level of traffic.

I urge everybody to talk to their MP/MPP/CRTC/Media.

If you are an existing Bell's customer, you can ask your Bell rep to connect you to Bell's VP's office and voice your comments/concerns.
March 27, 2008

Cheapohubby said:

...
Just to throw in a comment or two;
HeWhoBe; for your post about how a substantial portion of P2P traffic is illegal, so you see no reason why everyone should pay for improving the infrastructure to support it:
Well a comparative analogy would be that 90% of the people who drive on the roads break the speed limit; why should we pay taxes to pave the roads so they're smoother for people to drive excessive speeds on them? Let's leave all the potholes unfilled, and people won't speed!

The government considers internet access to be important enough that they're sinking loads of money extending infrastructure to cover remote areas of the country. Surely they must recognize that if that access is that important, they must step in and ensure that monopolistic practices are stopped? And Bell's assertion of there policies on their competition can't be viewed as anything but anti-competitive!

I have a simple statement; people in the U.S. have a freedom of choice which allows them to find and buy services from providers who do not limit their P2P speed. Until recently, I had the same freedom. But now; what choice do I have? Rogers and Bell have applied their policies to all available providers!
March 27, 2008

Issachar said:

Legality of BT content is irrelevent...
HeWhoBe and Cheapohubby, you both seem to be missing the point. The legality of the content is irrelevent. The problem is that Bell is taking it upon themselves to throttle traffic on the basis of content rather than on the basis of price.

If cost vs. price is an issue, then Bell should simply charge by the MB. Simply selling "internet access" and then moaning about how people use it is a bit much.

And doing this to their resellers is even more dishonest. They're selling a line and subsequently trying to limit traffic by FALSELY claiming that Bit Torrent traffic constitutes hacking or malfunctioning equipment. Bit Torrent is nothing of the kind. It doesn't matter how illegal the content might be, the traffic is simply traffic. It's not hacking and it's not a malfunction so Bell's actions are dishonest in this case.
March 27, 2008

Ole Juul said:

Bell avoiding responsibility
I agree with Issachar in that the legality of the content is irrelevent. It is not Bell's place to act as self appointed police.

I think Bell is trying to avoid investing in more bandwith. The problem with that is bandwidth is what they're selling. I know it's a drag to work for a living, but not providing more product in the face of higher demand will never work in the long run. Playing police (apart from being illegal) is just an attempt to deflect attention from the real issue which is providing the product for which they are being paid.
March 27, 2008

Cheapohubby said:

...
I was simply responding to the argument that throttling P2P was justifiable. I agree entirely with the point that the resellers purchased a well defined amount of bandwidth, and that throttling the end users is unjustifiable in terms of providing that bandwidth.
My worry is that if you read the newspaper articles that have been posted on this, they're inferring that P2P is illegal and that TekSavvy, by not limiting P2P, is acting as an accomplice in illegal activity! We need to get the media to recognize that P2P is being used for more than just downloading movies; it's an increasingly integral part of the internet!
March 27, 2008

Coridon Henshaw said:

...
Ignoring for the moment issues of P2P restriction, Bell appears to be limiting ***all*** encrypted traffic to a rate below the advertised DSL sync speed.

By ***all***, I mean that I have seen reports posted to forums suggesting that everything from SSH to mainstream HTTPS is restricted. HTTPS is used for basically all ecommerce from purchases to banking. Restricting online banking transactions to 30kbytes/sec on the grounds that anything encrypted just might be P2P traffic is just flat out not acceptable regardless of the P2P situation.

It is not Bell's place to tell me I have no legitimate reason to manage my money after 5pm and should be subject to transfer rate reductions if I decide to do so.

It is not Bell's place to tell me I have no legitimate reason to access academic research sources over HTTPS outside of business hours.

It is not Bell's place to tell me I have no legitimate reason to update my personal website via SCP outside of business hours.

It is not Bell's place to tell me I have no legitimate reason to get email over IMAPS rather than IMAP outside of business hours.

It is not Bell's place to tell me I have no legitimate reason to update client websites via SCP outside of business hours.

It is not Bell's place to tell me I can only telecommute during suit & tie 9to5 Eastern business hours.

It is not Bell's place to tell me I have no legitimate reason to talk to my own family over an encrypted VOIP channel outside of business hours.

Moreover, it's not Bell's place to slow my entire Internet connection to 1/17th of its purchased speed if I have the temerity to attempt any of the things Bell thinks I shouldn't do because their equipment considers anything it can't identify as undesirable.

In case I haven't made myself clear, current indications are that Bell has rendered their backhaul unusable for any Internet activity that requires privacy or security. The implications for civil liberties and economic competitiveness should be clear.

Bell's decision to interfere with P2P traffic is at best anticompetitive. Their reckless disregard for damage done to non-P2P activities is far worse: it is reprehensible and must be pass unanswered.
March 28, 2008

Coridon Henshaw said:

...
Last line should read "must not pass unanswered."
March 28, 2008

ScytheNoire said:

Can\'t adjust to a changing market
There is a conflict of interest in Bell having both their own ISP, selling to others, and having their own pay television service. Considering that a lot of people are getting their television online via torrents, a method that allows them to watch their TV shows when they want, where they want, and not be restricted to the limitations of the past, Bell is fighting against this (like Comcast and Rogers) by limiting torrent traffic.

This is about them not wanting to compete with new technology and adjusting their business models to compete is a new market. The market is shifting, the needs of the market are changing, but like Hollywood and the Music industry, they keep trying to fight the changing market and consumer demand. Consumers obviously want this service, yet, they fight it. They are too big, too old, and too lazy to change their business model. They are fighting dirty. They are breaking the law. And they don't care. They have more money than us, and they will continue to screw over the consumers for as long as they are allowed.
March 28, 2008

mike johnson said:

internet user..
The real issues are the fact that like most are in agreement is that bell with all their greed have oversold their service without investing in their infrastructure.. if allowed to continue with the path they are taking.. not only will our packets which as users of the internet we should be allowed to securely encrypt as we send and recieve across the internet..as we all know .. its not safe to do so other wise( it would be like leaving our doors open in our homes and business).But also Bell will be selling us on the speeds or profiles advertised 5m/800 then turn around and tell us the consumers that it is not possible to supply use with the given profiles , the infrastructure are not capable of handling the advertised profiles ..(due to the fact that the infrastructure is in decline..due to poor maintenance..or due to aging..or there aren't ant dslams in the area) Once allowed to lie and cheat..putting it very bluntly.. then what is there to stop them from continuing in this path.. where are the lines going to be drawn..it would be like buying a car with missing tires and paying full price for it and having Ford or GM tell us that thats the way cars are being sold now due to the fac that there were wild cat strikes at their plants and equipment failures at the plant which manufacturing the tires due to the strike I don't think anyone in their right mind would put up with the situation..
March 28, 2008

KDH said:

...
@HeWhoBe: I think you missed my point. If I signed for 60 GBytes per month, why should they care if I take the information in bursts, or as a steady stream over the course of the month? They should care if I take more than the limit (in case it doesn't show, I agree with the idea of a cap... unlimited was a dumb idea). If I take the entire load over a couple of days and then do nothing for the rest of the month, while I am hitting the folks that are online at that time, the rest of the month I am not hitting them too. Don't forget that when Bell's landline or cell network is operating at capacity, then they don't enable the connection to be established rather than dropping a connection in progress or dropping packets from the connection. I realize that there is a difference between the connection-oriented telephone network and the connection-less Internet, but the basic actions at full operating capacity are comparable.

I hate to bring this up, but it now means that throttling is done in one of three places:

1) My line to the Internet;
2) The site's line to the Internet; and
3) Anywhere in the middle of the "connection" via the infrastructure provider.
March 28, 2008

Hammerman said:

...
Look deeper and this is not about traffic, it's about business. Rogers and to some extend Bell are terrified that as we shift to downloading movies (legitimately) we will stop renting DVDs from Rogers stores, or using PPV from Rogers Cable or Bell Expressview.

They're afraid that as they build capacity on their networks with an eye to their own plans to sell those services that while the tinker around an over the top player will eat their lunch.

And yes, they're right since I can't see Rogers letting me download a movie for less than I would have rented it at their store.

And as far as the caps go, don't you think when a Roger's internet customer downloads a movie from rogers (if and when they get it going) that those data packets will get A#1 priority on the network and won't count to the 60Gb cap. Ditto for VoIP though it doesnt use a lot of bandwidth

It's about monopoly control, about CYA and screw the customer. rogers and Bell don't want to be dumb pipes. They want to get a slice of every kb that zips along their network whether we like it or not.
March 28, 2008

ENO said:

What furure?
The future where we are all legally downloading TV shows, movies, music and the like is getting very "futuristic" right now. This kind of traffic shaping are just telling us how much we are leaving a dream. CBS providing torrents for their shows, Warner Bros planning to provide unlimited music, Nortel developing very sophisticated cloggingӔ teleconference software. Where is the bandwidth for all this kind of network progress? Actually what we are witnessing right now is both a technologic and a social regression.
March 28, 2008

JoeC said:

Interguy
@HeWhoBe

You example is like saying, "I'm all for highways, as long as people who photocopy books don't use them. In that case, I'm perfectly fine with the Ministry of Transport stopping each car before it gets on the highway to make sure that are no photo copied books in the vehicle, and if they suspect there is, even if you have actual copies or legal copies, the ministry will attach a governor to your vehicle to reduce you speed to 30km/h".

Doesn't that sound INSANE! Well, that is exactly what they are doing...

There are legit uses of P2P tech....try wortharchiving.com for a start..

Doesn't that
March 28, 2008

Len said:

...
I can see it now. The TTC will take this approach. They will now sell you a monthly pass and then decide what times you will be able to use there service. Rush hour hits and they will take more streetcars of the streets. You'll still get to your destination...
March 28, 2008

Gerhard Gehrmann said:

Guru
so exactly what do I get for my 1.5 mbps connection, if I can't download at that speed for extended periods of time? Why not simply set the speed to 500kps, and just let me hit that speed 24/7 if I wish? It's all a farce anyways.....besides net neutrality, we should also be asking for truth in the advertising of dsl/cable speeds. the providers should guarantee minimium speeds (256kps might be adequate to maintain voip, etc) rather than etherial max speeds no-one ever sees.
March 28, 2008

Serge said:

...
I wouldn't mind traffic control if it was fair. But look at Rogers practices. Upload speed on bittorrent is capped to ~10KB at all times. If their pipes are so clogged 24/7 why they sell 10/1 Mb/s service?
March 28, 2008

a guest said:

Jeff
Why are Bell and Rogers allowed to keep their monopolies?
I choose Sprint for my home phone service purposely to avoid Bell, but Rogers ended up buying them out. Now I constantly have Rogers salesmen call me and sometimes even come to my door to dry to sell me Rogers internet and cable TV. Also, they disabled my DSL when they "upgraded" me to digital home phone (they said my DSL would still work fine) and took almost 3 weeks to resolve the problem.

For my Internet access, I chose a small Ottawa ISP called Storm Internet (a Bell wholesaler), again to avoid Rogers and Bell. I noticed that Bell started throttling my DSL this week. Great, I'm not even a Bell customer but they still managed to screw me.

People complain about Microsoft having a monopoly, but Bell and Rogers are much worst. I can get away from Microsoft; I don't HAVE to use Windows, Internet Explorer and Outlook.
But for Internet and telephone service, I have to deal with Bell or Rogers, no matter what. They're are smaller companies to choose from, but they're all tied to Bell or Rogers.
March 28, 2008

Christopher said:

Bell officially responds to DSL reseller
Bell has responded to Rocky and other DSL wholesalers. Please see this URL:

[ link ]
March 28, 2008

ultracat said:

teksavvy customer
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 journalist from lemmings." [sic] (he doesn't know how to spell separate I guess).

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

ultracat said:

Bell\\s spokesperson in his own words
Let me correct myself, his Facebook profile is *still* public so you can go there yourself to verify! Wouldn't hurt to post on his profile Wall too letting him know what you think of that...
March 29, 2008

Jack Robinson said:

Jurassic Jackass
First off, I should make it clear that I'm one of those obscure freaks still using standard, relatively cheap and usually reliable dial-up services from Bell Sympatico with no major complaints. But then, other than downloading apps from SourceForge or Snapfiles... I prefer to get my media fixes from off-line sources... and share them outside the digital PanOpticon's omnipotent glare.

But my Luddite Ire is definitely spiked by Bell, Rogers or any other broadband bully attempting to 'shape'... or more blatantly control net media access to their bottom-line advantage... resulting in further corporate-owned media concentration, gatekeeper controls upon creative expression and, above all else... our laissez-faire government's sanctioning of unregulated avarice.

Kudos to the CBC for their chutzpa in flexing their New Media mandate in a fashion that's attracted international attention and support! And a ballot-box pox upon Harper Hegemony Inc. for tacitly torpedoing the Grey Lady's laudable initiatives...
March 29, 2008

Mark Kuznicki said:

...
Here is a screen capture from that Facebook profile: [ link ]

Enjoy! Note also his earlier status, "Jason is Throttle-icious". I'm sure that he is.
March 29, 2008

jm1248 said:

Mr
Soon all forms of communication (TV, radio, telephone etc.) will travel via IP. In all or most cases, the conduit will be wireless (e.g. WiMAX). We'll pay by the bit, and not be subjected to limits.

We are approaching a communications plateau of sorts. Technology has brought us to the point where almost all communications can be wireless. WiMAX data rates have been demonstrated to well beyond HDTV requirements (8Mbits/sec). WiMAX set-top-boxes can easily replace cable boxes at about the same price. Since very few applications would require data rates faster than HDTV and one cannot imagine a connection easier to use than wireless, we can expect this plateau to last quite a long time. Long enough for service providers to cover the substantial cost of this system. The snag that's holding this back is that network capacity is already strained. The technology is here - it's just too expensive. There's hope though. Newer high-bandwidth networks typically offer equipment scalability (the ability to increase capacity and features by simply adding extensions), very appealing to service providers. Nortel has recently introduced optical fibre transceivers that quadruple the bit rate through existing fibres and will soon up that to a factor of ten (100Gbs). Combined with low-cost Metro-Ethernet extending the backbone out to the field, it's enough to at least start introducing wireless All-In-One packages.

It's probable that a single communications provider will be our source for TV, radio, telephone, mobile, Internet, and all other communication services. Our cost could be on a bit basis; making radio, telephone and Internet use almost free compared to TV bit counts. With ad insertion subsidizing a large part of the cost, we should expect to pay far less than our current combined communication bills.

Some interesting probabilities:

We can expect that TV will change from a scheduled broadcast system to an on-demand style. That way we can watch programs whenever we want - even to starting a series from the very first episode. We can pause the news or a ball game to take a phone call or transfer the feed to our cell phone if we have to go out. Broadcast radio will change to on-demand so that we can do things like repeat a tune, rewind a news item or pause an interesting talk show while we're out of the car.

Digital Rights Management will be impacted by on-demand. With virtually all archived material legally available, anytime, at very low cost, content pirating will lose much of its appeal. Content owners can either insert ads or charge a tiny fee. If they're paid per-play, it can add up to lots of money - especially when they open their entire archives.

Service providers will be placed on an utterly level playing field. Competition may come down to price and some exclusive content but little else.
March 30, 2008

PolarUpgrade said:

...
Let's not assume that throttling of wholesale ADSL was not taking place until now. I have DSL service through a small independent phone company that wholesales the service to the ISP.

Last summer I was all set up to be a "caller" calling in with a question to a show called The Lab with Leo Laporte and had Skype and a webcam all set up to call in a question. The show was pre-taped and the producers pre-arranged the call time. Voice was done via a landline connection, just in case Skype disconnected, while video was via Skype.

I had bee testing Skype for several days before the the call-in to the show, and I found that the the more I used Skype, the more frequently connections would seem to become intermittent or drop out completely. In particular, it seemed impossible to hold the Skype video connection open on the webcam for more than a few minutes at a time. My system had been thoroughly checked for function, including having the ports dedicated to Skype open via the router, and also in terms of testing and replacing the DSL modem. The modem was NOT at fault but I replaced it before the "big day" of the call-in just to be sure.

Sure enough, the Skype connection dropped out during the call, although the show handled that drop-out quite gracefully and seemed to be quite prepared for it. The show substituted a photo of me on their in-studio screen instead of the video. I pay for Skype service and I would consider any throttling that did occur, or may obscure, as a possible reason to seek out a class-action lawyer. What we consumers need to do is to file a class action over this issue.

The host of the recently cancelled The Lab with Leo Laporte has commented several times in podcasts that he produces that he eschews use of Skype for calls to his shows from Canada because the connection just seems to be dropped out after a few minutes; he has tended to mention that he suspected this to be a function of bit-shaping, or some other simialr term that he has used.
March 30, 2008

PolarUpgrade said:

...
CORRECTION TO ABOVE POST: Where I said "...I have DSL service through a small independent phone company that wholesales the service to the ISP."

I meant to say: I have DSL service through a small independent phone company that buys the service wholesale from Bell and then resells it to me. I know this because in the days when my phone was with Bell (it is now with the small telco/ISP) my Bell bill noted that I had a "wholesale" ADSL line for which the Bell charge was $0.00, and my bill came from the small independent telco/ISP...

Sorry if I was not clear.
March 30, 2008

Christopher said:

Looming Bell Scandal
Everyone should have a look at this P2PNet story.

[ link ]
March 30, 2008

Digger said:

...
Well, I left Sympatico when I was capped on an unlimited account last fall after 2 months of Bell lying to me and sending me 7 new modems telling me they were to blame for the problem. I signed up with Teksavvy and had no issues at all. Excellent, understanding staff that is willing to help you sincerely without any lies. I thought I had got away from Bell!...guess what? There is no limit to what Bell will do to keep their monopoly going.

At this point all I can do is transfer my phone service to Teksavvy from Bell as they now offer a phone service :) I will no longer put money in Bell's pocket!
March 31, 2008

oh look said:

OTPP
Response from OTPP (Ontario Teachers Penison Plan) Re: Bell Throttling:

[ link ]?
April 01, 2008

SC2Guy said:

...
I wonder if people with the crappy ISPs are having the same problem with all the content from the new movies of SC2. Since blizzard is one of the first true corporations to adopt the use of BT to deliver its content VIA there BT downloader. Since starcraft2 is going to be huge and Blizzard has shown it is willingness to sue anyone in its way, should it not be cause to not indiscriminately throttle BT traffic.
[ link ]
April 01, 2008

Scott said:

...
I just received a mail notice from Rogers that effective with June's billing, they are instituting a new charge per GB for anything they consider to be above normal usage. What a coincidence that Bell is throttling high usage and Rogers is instituting a new charge ... almost simultaneously. The word collusion comes to mind ... something smells.
April 01, 2008

Broad said:

...
I have been with bell for a year now, since I moved to Ontario... and this just makes my blood boil. They just started throttling my home service within the last week.
I spent a month on the phone with their support in India to get anything close to the speed I originally paid for. (I have no problem with India, but don't you think customer support reps should be able to communicate fluently in the same language, and have an understanding of the dialects of the customers they are supporting) I was told moving up to the next tier was only solution(Premium or what-not). Monthly limits have never been a problem for me, speed is the issue. When I need to grab a large file I want to get it as quick as possible.

So I did it and have been happy, other than that I pay more than I wanted to originally.

You get what you pay for right?
Not anymore! :/

And these files are from illegal... Database dumps and backups by sftp that I need to troubleshoot, latest OS images for testing, svn checkouts ... All perfectly legal activities that go with my profession hit with severe negative consequences.

This is IMPORTANT as it is a common misconception....
quoting HeWhoBe:
----------------
It is arguably anticompetitive behaviour if you look at some of the content available through BT. But that isn't the motivation behind the throttling (or at least, it wasn't to begin with). Let's look at why companies are starting to use BT for legal delivery of content. Joost, for example, provides television service built on a BT infrastructure. They use it because it takes a significant amount of the bandwidth requirements off of them and puts it on the ISP's and users. CBC is providing a documentary for free via BT because it would put them at a serious financial loss if they had to pay for the bandwidth to distribute it conventionally. That doesn't necessarily make throttling right, or acceptable, but it begs the question; why is it ok for a massive company like CBC to offset their costs using BT but an ISP can't do the same by limiting it's use?
----------------

Whether the CBC served the shows completely from their servers as single files or they were distributed by bittorent makes no difference. The 'net' amount data being moved about the network is the same. I if download 10 bytes from one computer or 1 byte from 10 computers, I still moved 10 bytes. Sure it is cheaper for CBC, but net cost to internet provider does not change.

Jeremy Broad
Hamilton
April 03, 2008

A.Couto said:

NOYB
To those continually arguing that Bell has a right to limit bandwidth usage on \\\"their\\\" network.....
First off - The network we are referring to is the massive underground and aerial cabling that has been built upon in the last 100years to put phones in canadian households and businesses.(Mostly funded by your tax dollars)
Secondly - The beef that these independent ISPs have is the fact that Bell is trying to cripple their access to the \\\"Last Mile\\\" portion of this infrastructure.(Should we give all ISPs the same breaks Bell Canada had from the 1910s onwards in order for them to duplicate the whole telephone infrastructure needed to bring DSL internet to each household and business premises in Canada...Whole lotta diggin goin\\\' on.
Thirdly - The bandwidth the independant ISPs are using does not come from Bell or Sympatico...Most of them buy their \\\"Gigabytes\\\" from other providers and it costs less than 10 cents per Gigabyte.
That is why they can sell their services cheaper even after paying Bell for access to \\\"Our Canadian Phone Lines\\\"...
Sympatico apparently sells their bandwidth to their direct customers at 2.00$ per Gigabyte if you exceed your cap up to a maximum of 25? a month.
Enjoy the gouging or get your heads of the sand.
April 03, 2008

Ralph said:

...
RE "One of Bell's senior legal counsel spoke with me yesterday and said this won't be a problem for people connected to their offices via VPN because the shaping does start until AFTER business hours."

BZZTTT!!! I guess that's one lawyer who's technically clueless about those of us who may be connecting to work from home at ANY hour of the day via VPN when we are On-Call.

I'll be doing some tests to try and verify this myself but if it ends up that my VPN access via DSL is limited to a rate that's lower than what I could do with a 56K dial up modem then they may be losing a customer as this was one of the major reasons I signed up for DSL service in the first place - to have more effective/productive connectivity to work.
April 04, 2008

a guest said:

...
This national issue needs to be addressed not only from the legal perspective of the supplier of services, but from the consumer/end user POV. If the end user has contracted with a supplier for service elements at a WS level, the Qos accompanying such a sale should be legally defined; in my view this should include performance guarantees (availability, speed, capacity minimums) with penalties for breach.
April 10, 2008

T Smith said:

Net Neutrality
This issue is about fraud. Bell did not advise its customers (Sympatico or independent ISP's) before throttling. At least that would have given the customer a choice to stay or move on. Bell were paid to deliver a service and defrauded the customer. Any individual would have been sued if they had done as much - why should Bell (or anyone else) be exempt from the law?

The government cannot put its 'head in the sand' on this issue any longer. Canadians want leadership and protection from corporate fraud. IMHO, the government needs to introduce and police a long overdue Canadian Net Neutrality Act to guarantee Net Neutrality as a fundamental right - no less important than the right to freedom of speech. By not acting, the government may force this to become an election issue.

Clearly there are some institutions like health care for example, that cannot and must not be placed in the hands of for-profit corporations.
April 12, 2008

Walter said:

Net Neutrality
What Bell is unloading unto the public is pure nonsense. I worked for them.
Here is why:
The have not invested in fiber optics the way other countries have, they are way behind in technology. I will bet that as soon as the furor dies down, they will have a "premium product", free from any shaping. In Europe, IT IS ILLEGAL to throttle traffic in any shape or form, in most of the countries. As well, they MUST replace copper cables on the street with fibre optics. Furthermore, the governments set the standards, and impose these standards on the tel and cable companies. The result is that I can get dsl,in Germany, at 25mb/s for $30.00 Canadian....yes, you are reading this right...25MB/s for $30.00, unlimited downloading. Thailand, Singapore etc. are going the same route. If these countries are doing it why can't we?

Bell is trying to stretch their outdated technology as much as they can(heaven knows why). In all instances where the government does NOT get involved, the consumer suffers, as the government as given a monopoly to a company. It's time we wake up!
April 12, 2008

Walter said:

...
I forgot to mention in my comment...the $30.00 for 25mb/s in Germany INCLUDES Voip with unlimited long distance. What will happen to Voip in Canada when they degrade the speed?,,,,,,,Brother, can you spare a dime....
European Networks will be ready for 40mb/s starting in 2009. these speeds are imposed on the industry by government. Where the heck has our government been?







April 17, 2008

Tony said:

Telcos and Service providers
Telcos and ISPs in Canada in general have gotten away fine print dislcaimers, questionable business practices and misleading adertising for far too long and it's time consumers not only express their concerns on such forums, but take individual responsibility and acutally DO something about it. They are NOT monopolies in the true sense of the word any longer but their behaviours are still very much of that mindset. They still get away with charging customers surcharges for such things as touchtone service when touchtone has been around for eons but they still consider it "new technology" therefor the charge. They've also been billing surcharges for 911 service for years now and there are numerous other things they bill for and will always claim these additional charges are for things such as network maintenance and improvements but many consumers don't realize all those additional charges are already incorporated into their rate applications to the CRTC. We're simply being hoodwinked. If most people took the time to scrutinize their utility bills and actually question what all these additional charges are for and confront companies on these charges, and I mean not just speaking to the front line service reps and escalating these complaints to 1st, 2nd and 3rd level management, our voices stand a much greater chance of being heard. Account delinquency is and late payment fees are yet another one of those charges that are already incorporated into any rate application but we still keep paying them withought question. Front line service reps are paid crap money to field these complaints and are given "scripted" responses to provide to customers and are advised to do everything they can to not have such calls escalated meaning your venting and complaining to the front line will have no impact on the company OR provide you with any satisfaction is resolving your compaint. They're banking on the fact that you won't spend the time necessary to get your voice hear and will recite scripted rhetoric to just get you off the phone. Telecom providers do pay for bandwidth (known as SPECTRUM) and yes it is expensive but AGAIN, the cost of that spectrum in already inforporated into their per customer rating structure. All the telcos, ISPs and cable or satellite providers, to a great degree already have their physicall networks in place and have been granted huge corporate tax breaks and incentives to enable network expansions but much of YOUR hard earned dollars that are paying for these tax breaks are not truly being spent on network expansion and improvement as promised and YET AGAIN, we still keep swallowing it. A few suggestions: don't just speak to the front line reps about your complaints...escalate your concerns to upper management and don't give up or settle for a tiny bill credit to appease you.....use your power and tell them if things don't improve you'll gladly switch to a competitor. It always costs a lot more to service provider to bring new clients on to the network but once they have you, they have you and by sweetening up the deal by making you sign a 2 or three year committment/contract is their way of ensuring the cost of new acquisitions is offset by knowing you'll pay big penalties to get out of your contract but will make big profits by retaining you on their network for that period of time. That's why new subscribers always get the best deal. Once your contract is nearing completion, call them at let them know that if they don't give you some incentive to stay on their network and let them know you'll gladly take your service elsewhere and you'll see just how badly they want to retain you as they've alread nabbed you. That's why most utilities have a customer loyalty and retention department to make sure they keep you. Finally, take the time to call organizations such as the Competition Bureau of Canada, the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunication Services (1-888-221-1687), offices for misleading advertising, The Ombudsman, Consumer Affairs and communication directly with the VP or CEO offices of your individual providers and make your complaints know. Run speedtests on you internest service, compile some data, call & complain and forward your test results to them so it's there in black and white. Don't let them tell you that's it's your antivirus or firewall settings or malware or viruses and clearing your cache or any other excuse they'll give you. Do your reasearch first and then LET THEM HAVE IT. I assure you, if you're organized and can substantiate your complaints and you follow them through until you get some satisfaction, you are much more likely to get results. This lenghty post comes from someone who's been working for Telco and utility companies for the better part of 25 years and learning what I have from an internal/employee perspective, now as a consumer, it has empowered me with the knowledge as to just how underhanded such HUGE companies can be. How does that saying go again??? Oh yeah....it's takes more than one voice to train your provider so let your voice be heard!!!
May 22, 2008

Alex said:

Torrents
I purchased Bell's 7MPBS packages just so that my torrents would go faster, and they did until Bell implemented the throttling policies. At the same time they continue to advertise more expensive and "faster" packages, while removing the old slow ones.

My torrents that used to regularly download at 660KBbs now download at 10!! Just barely over twice the speed of dialup, and I'm still paying 50$ a month for 7mbps package! That is a rip off, if I wanted to just browse the net, I'd just buy a slower package, like their 2mbps 20gb a month one, too bad I have to wait for my contract to expire, because if you call in to complain that you want to downgrade because you are not receiving the service they promised, they just say "too bad".

Something should be done while the issue is hot, too bad Canada suffers from lack of telecom competition, if in USA they were to do something like that, people would go nuts, in Canada everyone just gets shafted and stays quiet! What do we do?
June 05, 2008

a guest said:

Mike
How about to open an online petition for a change. Someone sum up all these information, post it on portals like www.gopetition.com and we collect signatures. What do you think of that?
June 09, 2008

a guest said:

Mike
Actually i found it already on the other site. SIGN THE PETIOTION at:

[ link ]
June 09, 2008

Thee Dude said:

I'm being throttled at 10kbps
I'm being throttled at 10kbps, sometimes I can hit 60kbps... I'm on ADSL with Radioactif, a reseller, and I used to be able to hit 405kbps in best conditions. Bell did not provide No warning, No penalties, No abuse... And they are throttling me. It's completely unacceptable. If it was in Europe, there would be Riots in the streets. Bell and all other major ISP are abusing their power and their customers that have no other alternative. It is an infringement of human rights.

"Human rights are "basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled." "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and RIGHTS. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." -Article 1

They abuse their power to profit themselves and only themselves. The fact that I am not even one of their customer and I am being controlled, monitored and denied full access to what I am paying every month and entitled to. What make it right to allow a reseller to sell me a service that they block at 10kbps. I'm paying for high speed. No download limits and pay 30$ a month for a service that is 1/3 a 9.99$ 56kbps Dial-up Connection. So I am paying 3 times the price for nothing. I am literally getting robbed.
November 28, 2009

JenFryreyesonly said:

na
Can we get an update on the CRTC, verses monies for switch over to digital and the over billing to the customers promised certain rates and still overbilled ????
Someone please help with this
April 17, 2010

JenFryreyesonly said:

Fryreyesonlyathotmaildotcom
please contact me about overbilling with bell canada and what can be done - tooooo many years of overbilling - does anyone care to stop it this? Imagine the many 1000's of people that are paying extra that Bell Canada is keeping. Imagine the extra money many customers are promised back or credited back that is not. Please contact me and help for the sake of my senior mother that would like to pay the amount quoted to her 34.02 for her bell tv but is sent a bill that is higher.
Thanks
Jen fryreyesonly@hotmail.com
April 17, 2010

Rumana Akter said:

DSL vs Cable Internet
DSL utilizes existing copper telephone wire connections to properties but is ‘always on’, so you will not need to dial up in order to use the Internet and it will not tie up your telephone.

DSL vs Cable Internet
http://dslorcableinternet.com/
September 28, 2010

Mr. Guru said:

Specialist since 1980
Someone needs to devise another means of file sharing. But really, the best way is to teach the monopoly Bell and Rogers a lesson. Find someone who knows how to hack into Bell and Rogers shaping software and cause some serious damage. Then hack into their corporate computer facilities that controls stock options, benefits and salaries. This might lower their stock trade price and get them to consider "fair" business practices. Is this the really the way people should think?
November 23, 2010

WhiteNecromancer said:

Specialist? No.... Just another seasoned tech since 1980
D-Pack was the original program used way back in the Unix - Digital Inc., days and is still usable, now called DPI. This was a INTERNET admin / security tool that has now been ABUSED do to its features. Bell.... lays claim to congestion problems, but by using this tool they produce congestion..... Rogers is basically the same. However, I agree D-Pack is a good thing.... in the right hands.... at present time it is NOT.
Bell should stick with telephony / PBX systems......Rogers should stick with cable TV system and leave the data communication realm to the professionals or at the very least, RE-TRAIN ALL techs/staff the right knowledge to do the job properly and stop being so GREEDY and making yourself look like morons when caught. Data is only about $.07 a GIG, statistically, so what's the justification? Any intrusion or removal of content/data/conversation, by whoever, is considered as "THEFT" and is supposedly illegal(something along the lines of "Wire Tap!!!")
We are under the knife and haven't requested the surgery.
January 06, 2012

Advertise Your Business said:

Advertise Your Business
You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can't wait to read much more from
you. This is really a terrific website.
Advertise Your Business
March 05, 2012

Jason said:

...
Great post. Hope everything went ok with the VPN. Check out http://televisionquest.com to see updates on my site.
June 18, 2013

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