Does Bell Really Have a P2P Bandwidth Problem?

Bell filed its response to the CAIP submission to the CRTC on its throttling practices yesterday, unsurprisingly arguing that its actions are justified and that there is no need to deal with the issue on an emergency basis.  Several points stand out from the submission including its non-response to the privacy concerns with deep-packet inspection (it merely says that it does not retain or use the data, but does not deny collecting what could easily be interpreted as personally identifiable information) and its inference that P2P usage could be deemed using a connection as a "server" and therefore outside the boundaries of "fair and proportionate use" under typical ISP terms of use.

Most importantly, however, Bell provides data on its network usage that significantly undermines its claim that P2P usage is causing such havoc with its network that throttling measures that impact 100 percent of its (and some of its competitions') users are needed.  Bell again reiterates that the "problem" lies with 5 percent of its users that are heavy P2P users.  Yet that 5 percent apparently uses 33 percent of available bandwidth during peak periods.  That is a disproportionate use to be sure, yet it struck me as far lower than might have been expected. 
Data from other countries suggest that other countries have a far more disproportionate bandwidth breakdown.  For example, Cisco has claimed that 4 percent of Japanese users account for 75 percent of inbound traffic volumes.  Another study from Korea found that 5 percent of users accounted for about 50 percent of total bandwidth use. Further, a study last fall by Ellacoya Networks, which sells shaping tools, found that P2P is not the dominant use of broadband networks in North America – web traffic is.

This becomes relevant for at least two reasons.  First, Bell has been fighting its public relations battle on the premise that P2P is a problem that necessitates throttling practices that inconvenience 100 percent of its users, yet its own data suggests that the problem may not be as severe as first thought.  Second, while the Telecom Policy Review Panel recommended a net neutrality provision that accounts for "reasonable technical constraints," Bell's current traffic experience may make it more difficult to argue that constraints that affect 100 percent of users are reasonable in light of better alternatives (Bell acknowledges in its submission that Comcast is moving away from this approach) and network usage patterns that do not seem particularly out-of-sorts.


  1. Traffic Shaping
    I am of course very interested in promoting network neutrality in Canada, but with regard to ISP throttling existing customers, isn’t this simply a breach of contract? Bell and Rogers and other ISPs sold “unlimited” internet usage and laughed all the way to the bank when they were able to oversell their capacity. Now people are actually expecting to use what they paid for and these companies are unwilling to expand their infrastructure. This is like selling someone a sports car and then taking out two of the spark plugs if they ever exceed 100 kph. Why isn’t anyone calling these companies to task for not providing the service they heavily advertise?

  2. Bell’s Practices
    Bell truly disgusts me. This was the final straw.

    I’ve been personally lied to by Bell reps, had services added to my account without permission, requiring me to call 3 or 4 times per occasion just to get anything rectified. They’ve verbally abused family members, the list goes on.

    My sister just recently ran into home telephone service problems, she does not receive a dialtone at all. She called 3 times and each time the reps have either said.
    1. you will be charged (not possibly), even before investigating what the problem is.
    2. Told her to go look at the box outside the house herself. (I have no words to describe this comment).
    3. a technician cannot be scheduled, they will just show up within 48 hours.

    Complete nonsense.

    I’ve moved from a loyal customer of 10+ years to just a complete hatred towards them. Their practices including their “network management” with respect to 3rd party ISPs, this anti-competitive measure, has made me initiate a personal crusade in having all my colleagues, peers, friends and family remove their Bell services completely, and so far I’ve had great success.

    I will also be spending EXTRA money out of my pocket to move over my Digital HD TV service to a competitors even if it means to turn my ExpressVu satellite dish into a large paperweight just so that I can finalize my 100% termination of Bell services now and forever.

    Angry and upset? perhaps.
    Completely and utterly satisfied with what I’ve been doing promoting anti-Bell sentiments, DEFINITELY.

  3. Joel Balfour says:

    Traffic Shaping politics
    I have been following this discourse avidly and it has finally struck me as to what the problem is.

    Bell is a content provider, it creates and pays for the right to broadcast content. As much as they are flogging traffic management right now, the real issue is that P2P goes against one of their core lines of business as a publisher.

    They would gladly sacrifice either of the two to preserve the more lucrative of the two.

    Which I would assume at this point is expressvu

  4. Who all does this?
    Here in Saskatchewan, I used to use Shaw Cable, until I got a nasty phone call from a tech demanding I “download less”, because I’m the “biggest downloader” on the “node”. He couldn’t tell me how many others were on the node, nor could he explain what line I’d crossed (Shaw didn’t have an arbitrary “per month” limit at the time, they were thinking of implementing one.)

    When I asked him what exactly, then, had I paid for, when his company advertised “unlimited 3Mbps”, but then got pissy when I actually used it for more than 30 seconds a day… of course he gave me the runaround instead, and left me with the impression that it was unlimited, as long as I didn’t actually use it…

    I asked the same question of Sasktel, which runs over DSL, and confused the tech. “Limit? Um, well, if you max out your bandwidth (384bps), that’s kind of a limit, but if you want more, you’ll have to pay for an upgrade (to 2Mbps), but there’s no monthly max. We don’t share your line.”

    I’ve been with Sasktel ever since. That “we don’t share your line” was the clincher. Shaw is selling you timeshared bandwidth, only without telling each account holder when they’re allowed to use the line, and then blame the customer when a bunch of people all show up at once, or if one stays there all the time…

  5. Antoine W. says:

    Here here
    I wholeheartedly agree with John Y. I have been doing the exact same thing except for the satellite (I do not watch much TV).

  6. Finally seeing the light
    It’s nice to see that people are beginning to see the light/truth about all of this. “The simple fact is that Bell is a content provider now” and they don’t want their business model messed with, but they won’t ever admit that. That greedy corporation would rather mess up the whole internet experience and growth for a whole nation just for $$$ for their company alone. It’s obvious that there is anti-competitive practices working here as well as a very large conflict of interest which is resting on our tax dollars. Bell and Rogers are in collusion and Bell needs to have it’s whole wired line infrastructure regulated and run by the government so that that any company can introduce itself into the market on our taxpayer created wireline structure for the benefit of all Canadian citizens and not just one single corporation. Step in the ring Jim Prentice and do your job for the benefit of the nation and not a single corporation. Shame on you and the CRTC for sitting out this long.

  7. Bell’s Claims
    I recall that Bell used to throw around the claim that 5% of users use 95% of bandwidth. Do you think the number changed that much or were they lying before?

  8. Dwight Williams says:

    A good question
    A good question, given that more people are likely to use more and more varied net services and tech in the months and years to come.

  9. Very easy form to use to submit your comment to the CRTC here:
    [ link ]’ target=’_blank’>link ]’ target=’_blank’>link ]

    Join the Campaign!
    [ link ]’ target=’_blank’>link ]’ target=’_blank’>link ]

    In the most significant legal development yet in the effort to ensure Net Neutrality for all, the Canadian Association of Internet Providers has asked the CRTC to instruct the big telecoms to cease and desist in traffic-shaping that is throttling access to the Web. Please join your fellow Canadians in sending a letter to the CRTC to insist that it Stops The Throttlers!

    Contact the CRTC
    [ link ]’ target=’_blank’>link ]’ target=’_blank’>link ]

  10. Leif Thande says:

    the real reason : IP-TV
    Joel got it right, the reason Bell wants to limit bandwith usage is because they want to create an incentive to use their oncoming service : IP-TV. Television over Internet is the next big thing for Bell, with the ability to download movies on demand as well as mixing this service with the available Internet infrastructure which opens a lot of possibilities ( for example, allowing you to order directly that pizza you are seeing in the ads with your tv controller ).

    But, the problem is that P2P, by spreading the burden on all the users will allow companies to offer content at lower cost. And that isn’t good for Bell’s plans…

  11. Unsubstantiated
    I agree.

    Their claims of congestion are completely 100% unsubstantiated in their response. All they do is state that there is a certain percentage of users that exceed a certain percentage of use. Which is to be expected for any service, of course there will be above-average and below-average users.

    They also pretty well state that the tariff allows them to ensure the health of the network, which I agree with. But again, they just state that they need to throttle to control congestion, but they seem to be throttling due to the presence of heavy users.

    As I\’ve seen in my own personal use, there has never really been any type of congestion on my CAIP ISP\’s connection.

    Anyways, I\’m happy to see them calling it \”deep packet inspection\” and then mentioning how little it inspects the packets…

  12. B Mirabelli says:

    Little Choice
    I think the situation is absurd! We have a complete lack of competition which results in the monopoly powers doing “whatever they feel like”, and on top of that there is nothing people can really do. Nobody is going to start a lawsuit against one of these companies because, despite their possibly illegal actions, what will you come out of the case with…? Either they win and continue to do what they are doing legally, or they lose and continue to throttle bandwidth illegally in some other form because it is in their best interests to do so. I will assume any policy measure taken against them will have little effect also. If a penalty is imposed for every throttling infraction, then maybe it could have an impact but this sort of outcome seems unlikely as there is a cat and mouse game with the criminal and the catcher, and these companies will continuously produce new technologies in order to throttle. Overall, the average consumer has little power in this because of the simple fact that there is little competition and until changes the consumer will continue to be swindled.

    Moreover, I want to make a point that competition in this industry does not seem very likely in the near future. The reason is twofold. One the current person in power does not seem to have it in his best interest to implement policies which will drive fair competition. And two, the market does not seem large enough for any new entrants to gain new customers. I believe that the market is fairly saturated and most of the customers that any new company gets will be existing disgruntled Rogers/Bell customers. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a fairly large amount, but this will create a large barrier to entry for any entrant. In closing I think that it is plan to see that there needs to be some serious changes to the way that these companies are allowed to do business or our powers on the internet will start to dissipate. The only way for any change to happen is through people become aware of this garbage and making people in charge understand that they do not want to take this any longer.

    (Oh and if you haven’t already seen this it is a depiction of what could potentially happen with a lack of net neutrality:
    [ link ] )

  13. song now playing:

    Underneath What
    “Firebomb Telecom”
    One Big Guitar Records

  14. Patrick - privacy guy says:

    Hi folks,

    It’s been said that “a sample of one is not a sample”.

    For the record though, I found it very curious that while this debate rages, I just experienced my highest-EVER download rate (451kbs) while using a Torrent client to download a large file via Sympatico.

    In the past though, I have been very obviously (and painfully) subjected to throttling practices.

    Interesting, no?

  15. to patrick
    The reason why you are getting this speed is because it is outside of “peak hours” and therefore not being throttled.

    Try again this evening.

  16. Illeagal?
    I’m sure selling same pair of pants to 100 people is fraudulent, why isn’t the same true for selling bandwidth?

  17. grahamcharles says:

    oligopolistic business : poor service is
    I find it frustrating that people seem to think this is the fault of the tel cos. they are just doing what corporations generally do. the problem here isn’t the companies, its the economics.

    this entire scenario is literally sanctioned by the government, it’s how things are designed to work according to our government. the thing that Canadians should be enraged at is the crtc via politicians.

  18. Well guys, if there was less illegal file sharing, this wouldn’t be a problem, would it?

  19. Still sleeping?
    What totally amazes me is not the facts that Bell, Rogers and others are doing such illegal and unethical tactics, they just can’t help themselves, but the populace being so passive that they won’t get up and fight for their rights. Most everywhere else there have been court cases, protests, massive emails sent to offenders, pickets in front of their homes and regulators too, almost anything to expose and put such Tyrants and put them in their place.

    This is an attack on Canadian sovereignty by another country’s Tyrants and very little is being done about it by the general population. Can’t you see it’s an attack on all small businesses, farmers, laws, rights, morals, ethics and 99.99% of Canadians? Have Canadians become so complacent that they don’t know how to stand up out of their easy chairs?

    The Tyrants will keep on doing this till they are totally stopped. Running away from the problem by switching to other ISP’s has only supported such actions being implemented by Tyrants further into every aspect of life.

    For such an educated populace Canadians sure act pretty dumb.

    Shame on you Canadians!

  20. Lawsuit?!
    Lawsuit? Give me a break. In order to win a lawsuit, you have to prove that you have suffered some sort of loss (financial or otherwise) as a result of Bell’s throttling. And what sort of loss are people enduring? Oh gee, I had to wait an extra hour before I could watch that pirated porn DVD I was downloading…god forbid, you could read a book or spend some time with your family instead.

  21. “Well guys, if there was less illegal file sharing, this wouldn’t be a problem, would it?”

    This isn’t about illegal file sharing. This is about Bell going against privacy politics on people that aren’t even their customers. This is about the anti-competitive behaviour of Bell Canada. P2P isn’t all about illegality. PS3 and Xbox 360 games uses from time to time this protocol. Linux distros are made through P2P. CBC distributed content through P2P. Yes there is illegal file sharing too. But this isn’t the issue here.

  22. reply to anon
    Quote from anon:
    Well guys, if there was less illegal file sharing, this wouldn’t be a problem, would it?

    You are completely missing the point. Bell’s practices are shady. It’s not about the legality of P2P, if you think that piracy is only limited to p2p you are entirely wrong my naive poster. Apparently you aren’t seeing the full scope of the situation, I’d direct you to the CRTC filing, but you probably wouldn’t be able to get past that “what’s the problem, p2p is used by pirates” mentality to see the greater picture. We don’t even have to start talking about how, just like firearms, P2P can be used as a legitimate tool. Some even suggest that CBC’s use of it is forward thinking and embraces new avenues of distribution. So, just keep quit in your holier than thou corner ok? Thanks.

  23. Keep fighting Michael!
    There can be no doubt that Bell’s dual role as both Internet Service Provider and Content Provider is a matter of conflicting interest. As P2P file-sharing allows individuals to easily and legally share media content, and is increasingly gaining in both popularity and adoption by media providers (CBC most notably) Bell *must* destroy the operability the P2P networks if it expects to earn any returns from its emerging digital marketplace. Their marketplace cannot abide an end-run that allows one user to buy the content and distribute it to everyone else, legal or not.

    Add in all the valid concerns over privacy rights violations occuring because of deep-packet inspection it’s not hard to see that this is clearly an issue in which our Federal Government and the CRTC should intervene and protect the rights of the citizens they work for.

    Thank you for continuing to raise awareness of these issues Micheal, your work is very appreciated.

  24. The real reasons
    It\’s much simpler people. As an unamed Canadian ISP, we have been throttling P2P traffic during peak hours for years (We don\’t throttle other ISP traffic). Why do we do it? To save MONEY on bandwidth, it\’s that simple. No other reason. We pay per mbps per month, so if we can reduce the amount of traffic we send other ISP\’s, we get billed less and save money. If they could get away with it, execs would throttle all P2P to nothing.

    So how much do we throttle P2P? As much as possible, until users start complaining, then we raise the cap a bit, until the next wave of complaints. I can foresee in the future when other protocols and applications will be throttled/shaped….

    Only one solution is really plausible:

    1) Have the Goverment introduce standardized/Regulated Quality of Service parameters across all canadian ISP\’s as part of a Net Neutrality bill. This is the only real solution. Every large company runs QoS on their network, the Internet should be no different. Once VPN, VOIP and streaming become more common, even YOU THE READER will be asking for QoS. (Traffice shaping and throttling are part of QoS)

    All other solutions (pay-as-you-go, unlimited, etc) assume that the Internet backbones can handle all foreseeable traffic and will never get congested…. this is just not realistic. Let me show you why:

    Fact: It\’s cost us about 50$ per meg per month to a particular ISP (and that\’s pretty cheap). So if I sell you a 5meg DSL line and guarantee it all, you should be paying 250$ per month, plus my profit of say 10%, plus port costs (say 25$ for the DLSAM/help desk/techs). If I have dual ISP links the price doubles.

    So take your pick: 300$ – 500$ for guaranteed 5Mbps service -or- 20$ for UP TO 5Mbps service. Almost everyone picks the 20$ plan… go figure…

    (I remember many years ago, when it cost 300$ per meg per month to other ISP\’s, so costs are coming down)

  25. @isp
    Then there’s secret option c) the big fat elephant in the room, where you can have both ‘up to’ speeds, and still curb usage.. its called throughput caps. In a neutral model you’d be free to cap usage, charge for overages etc. If someone actually needs 5megs 24/7 (ie the $250 price plan), then that’s what they’d pay via throughput capping.

    But what Bell is doing is _both_ selling you a defined quantity of throughput, and _then_, of all the absurd things, telling you how to use it. Imagine if we had a natural monopoly on gasoline and the petro canada started telling you which roads you could drive on during peak hours.

    It’s nonsense, and the CRTC will see it as such. The market doesn’t require anticompetitive, self-interested behaviour from the carriers to solve the bandwidth problem — it only needs simple supply and demand pricing and fair, competitive, markets without regulatory capture by the monopolies.

  26. ottawa_dsl says:

    I love this quote from the Bell Sympatico website:

    “Ideal for families or people who download music, stream video or play online games. Do more, faster: speeds up to 7Mbps and usage of 60 GB/month included.”

    They fail to mention that if you actually try to use those 7Mbps, you’re considered as a bandwidth hog.

    As for the wholesaler throttling, Bell is doing it for one reason: to kill the competition.
    People are leaving Bell for the wholesalers, such as TekSavvy, and they’re trying to stop the migration. It’s ridiculous that the government doesn’t see any problem with these anti-competitive practices.

  27. ISP tech
    Throughput caps sound good, and have been tried, but they had one fatal flaw. You can\’t control what traffic is sent to a customer (without Quality of Service).

    So this is what happens: Someone ping\’s your computer constantly for 1 month…. you get billed for it. Maybe instead of a ping, someone performs a denial of service attack on your internet connection…. you get billed for it. Your computer is turned off, but you left your wireless router on, and someone scans it… you get billed for it. And the biggy: You get a virus on your computer, which uses your internet connection to infect others… you get billed for it.

    Customers hated this. Imagine getting a 500$ bill because you left your router on for a week straight (and no one was even home!). Then imagine having to shut off their DSLAM connection because they hit their cap! That\’s what happened!

    It quickly evolved into these UP TO and GUARANTEED plans.

    Only standardized QoS parameters, as part of a larger NETWORK NEUTRALITY BILL can solve these bandwitdh management issues in a fair manner. Just imagine, different ISP\’s could have adjusted Qos parameters to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. ISP A could have higher ratios for P2P for example. ISP B might pride themselves on streaming Video like YouTube… the market place would determine this.

  28. But we’re already capped!
    I’m with a third-party ISP, and it has always had data transfer caps. (I am capped at a rather generous 100 GB/month). I have never had any of the problems described above, but those problems are not my ISP’s problems, they would be mine.

    If someone plugs something into an electrical outlet on the side of my house, I get charged for that electricity. If one of my appliances starts consuming tons of energy, I have to pay for that electricity. But it’s my responsibility to make sure that my house is energy-efficient. Why would it be any less my responsibility to make sure my computer is virus-free and that my wireless network is not completely exposed?

    The major issue here is not so much with the bandwidth throttling (although this is a big one), but with Bell forcing these measures on third-party ISPs who rent their lines. These ISPs do not have a choice; they can’t go lay their own telephone cables. They are forced to go through Bell, and Bell wants to make sure that if customers can’t get neutral DSL from Bell, they won’t get it anywhere else (even though the ISPs, not Bell, pay for this bandwidth). Why can’t the ISPs choose how to manage their own networks? They’re the ones dealing with the cost of providing the service.

    Still, this is not the reason I left Sympatico. I just couldn’t stand their customer service any longer. They would routinely somehow find a way to bill my parents, even after I moved out of their house. When my modem died, it took hours to explain this to their overseas call centre who just kept asking me if it was plugged into the phone jack and how long the cord was. Now, I actually pay $15 less per month, and when I call for service or support I get a polite rep who actually tries to solve my problem. Bell could do so much better, they just don’t care.

  29. the peak hours are a lie
    4:22am.. Still being throttled. This is ridiculous now, they are not even going by their words. Why would throttling at 4am would be so that it doesn’t affect most of the users.. Most of the users are sleeping. Guess I’ll have to have another word with the chat support.

    ok lets say we have 100 people with 5 megabit down and 1megabit up.

    5% = 5 people
    if they use 33% , just how are they getting more? OH they paid for an unlimited account right? OK.
    SO if they use 100% of there account thats a terabyte down.
    BTW no p2p system allows unfettered free downloading, if you share back thats differant.
    in other words for example as BT seems to get press,
    you are limited by your upspeed in the end, so bell already is having issues at 80Kbytes speed,
    1 meg down , 1 meg up
    thats how it ultimately works.
    YOU cant USE 5 meg down and 1 meg up ( leeching) and slowly more sites migrate to ratio system means more of the leechers are not allowed to use p2p.

    like ive said i showed canada’s bandwidth useage for 2007 before most of this got going, and the suprosing thing i noted is that with all the shaping the bandwidth is actually higher???
    So how does bell tell me that they reduce the network 95% and according to gov’t stats show that they are using more? I think on ehas to really have a serious look at the traffic inspection process, and how much drag it might place on a system, LIKE DRM systems of vista and other types a things they add undue processes and overuse that which would otherwise be freed.
    ALL BELL has to do is help technology , go talk to warner brothers, they want ISP liscenses to allow unfettered use of there movies, USE h264 and some of that fee to upgrade network
    ALSO of note is that while they bring traffic shaping to the network they then go and increase account speed form the ultra 5 megabit unlimited to
    7 megabit 60GB capped
    pay 25$ more for supposed unlimited.
    So what they are in effect doing is stealing from the 3rd party carriers who paid for there access and bandwidth, while pretending to give you more at no real gain.
    remember 1$ = 1.2 billion here and would equate to 8-9 bill in the usa
    so we dont need more then that per account.
    and we need civilian overiste to the regulation of said liscense and i would say that its indexed to inflation and reset every 5 years.

  31. Andrew Roth says:

    Bell says you can get around it?
    Since nobody has mentioned it already, this paragraph really stood out (pg 5) when I read the response. Can anyone explain why resellers aren\’t going this route?

    \”7. Furthermore, the Company notes that the regulatory framework has already provided numerous competitive choices in the market. Internet service providers (ISPs) have other options than purchasing access under Bell\’s GAS Tariff. They are free to lease unbundled local loops, to invest in co-location and Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers (DSLAMs), to subscribe to wholesale Internet high speed access service from cable carriers through third party Internet access (TPIA) or to build their own networks. All of these options would avoid any traffic management activity by Bell. They can also purchase High Speed Access (HSA) which is not subject to traffic management.\”

  32. Scott Allison says:

    they have done smae to me and as i see it it seems to be a pattern that cold render them “actionable” as they claimed my use of utorrent for legal free ebooks was.

    They also recently admited knowing i was taping them that they had breached my contract and that a bill for early termination i received TWO MONTHS AFTER GOING TO ANOTHER ISP was in error. They also remitted the previous months bill as well, they harrassed my father tried to bill him for equipment and my account ( im 37 not 13)
    and the fact that lady from telus won a court battle about this very crap makes me real angry.
    she won a huge settlement, a kinda don’t be doing this often that sets a really nice precident that if BELL were held to account everytime they did this we’d be auctioning there assets at bankruptcy.

  33. bell’s crap
    you can make a plaint to the executive office at bell here is the phone number

    the more plaints they get the more likely they will remove this crap

    Sacha Rollin 1-866-701-004

  34. Ignorance is not an excuse
    “Well guys, if there was less illegal file sharing, this wouldn’t be a problem, would it?”

    I delayed answering on the assumption that you were a troll. However, I’ll take the high ground and assume that you’re fed erroneous information and actually believe what you say. Bell has no right shaping traffic when it is not in its mandate to do so. Do you really think that ISP’s like Teksavvy are suing Bell because Bell’s doing nothing wrong? Point is, Bell is selling bandwith to ISP’s. Period. By virtue of the fact that they have to resort to labeling individual users computers ‘servers’ in order to justify throttling an IP I think we can safely assume that they’re grasping at straws to limit traffic so they don’t have to invest in more infrastructure. Plus, that whole, “most of the traffic on the internet is p2p” is bogus and OLD. Most traffic on the internet today is now http (likely youtube/metacale etc…) [[ link ]]

    I don’t honestly believe that it’s just torrents they throttle either. Am I affected? Yes. Do I download torrents? On occasion yes. Are the torrents I download thottled? No, I’m not stupid and shape utorrent so that I have faster than ever download speeds (300kB/s+). What pisses ME off, is that legitimate legal usage of internet apps that may have encrypted packets (Lord of the Rings MMORPG content patches for example) are throttled within 20 min. of beginning a download. My ISP confided with me a few hours ago that I’m likely seeing the influence of Bell-level throttling with a new game patch because Turbine encrypts its packets AND THEY’RE REGULAR HTTP, NOT A TORRENT!

  35. Bell’s shifting story
    [ link ]

    Bell’s figures are always shifting. I have several friends working for the company who’s statistics they are citing, and they say Bell’s claim is way off.

  36. It’s all about stifling competition. We’re having the same issues down here South of the Border with Comcast & Time Warner. It’s been highly publicized what Comcast did (P2P throttling, now the 250 GB cap being phased in), and it’s beyond just P2P traffic. Since these companies want to be your one-stop-shop telecom provider, they’re cracking down on anything that can be used by the competition. Want to use a VoIP service like Vonage or Skype? That counts toward your cap space. But, if you use Comcast Digital Voice, you get no such restrictions. They also have their own video service that competes with YouTube, Hulu, etc. There are people down here that also say “What’s the Big Deal? I don’t use that much anyway,” but as more users take advantage of content streaming for even legit movie or game rentals/purchases (Netflix, XBox & PS3), they’ll hit that cap soon, as well. This is just a way to enact anti-competitive practices in a gradual manner so only a few people will notice, and they’ll be seen as “Chicken Littles.”