Vonage Complains About Canadian ISP's "VoIP Tax"

from the stop-it-eh dept

When we wrote last week about how telcos want to begin charging people different rates to access different types of content, we failed to mention how this is already playing out in a few instances with VoIP. For example, Vonage complained several months ago that one ISP was forcing Vonage subscribers on its network to move to a higher-cost service plan with a static IP address, using the flimsy excuse that they needed to do so to follow some federal law enforcement rules. Vonage is now complaining to the Canadian government that ISP Shaw is charging Vonage subscribers a "VoIP tax" of $10 per month for some undefined "quality of service enhancement". Shaw, of course, doesn't charge users of its own VoIP service the fee, and won't provide a technical explanation of how the enhancement works or why it's necessary. Given comments from other VoIP providers as well as Shaw's penchant for traffic-shaping applications, the technical explanation and necessity appear pretty obvious.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Michael "TheZorch" Haney, Mar 7th, 2006 @ 9:51am

    VoIP Legislation

    This is exactly why we need legislation protecting VoIP servies from this sort of thing happening. Call it anti-competitive activity, which is exactly what it is and should never be allowed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Panaqqa, Mar 7th, 2006 @ 10:52am

    Typical...

    In Canada, Rogers (a large ISP) is using traffic blocking on BitTorrent. Only end to end encryption gets around it. I think we're in for a bad time of it up here when this type of thing really takes hold.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    John Simpson, Mar 7th, 2006 @ 11:05am

    Re: Typical...

    Yeah? Well you're teh ghey.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Deacon, Mar 7th, 2006 @ 11:36am

    Correction

    "Shaw, of course, doesn't charge users of its own VoIP service the fee"

    This isn't really correct. Shaw's VOIP plan costs $55 a month. I have Primus with unlimited long distance in North America, and it costs $30. Vonage is slightly more expensive than Primus, but still less than Shaw. A no frills plan with either of them can cost less than $20.

    So, while Shaw doesn't offer the "VOIP upgrade" for their own service, it's pretty obviously factored into the price. It's not like they're undercutting the competition.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    BG, Mar 7th, 2006 @ 11:52am

    Shaw vs. VoIP

    I have Shaw cable and broadband, and also Skype; I haven't seen any addtional charges from Shaw, though perhaps it's only for monthly-fee VoIP like Vonage?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    DaMan, Mar 7th, 2006 @ 11:57am

    Re: Shaw vs. VoIP

    I have Vonage and Shaw and I have not seen any charges .....yet, that could be because Shaw's VoIP isn't available in my area untill November.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Leonard Smith, Mar 7th, 2006 @ 12:11pm

    Garbage

    Damn Canadians !!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Bulent Akman, Mar 7th, 2006 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Garbage

    Thank you for demonstrating your intelligence and tolerance. Yes, in fact I do have a sense of humour. Do you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Brent, Mar 7th, 2006 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Shaw vs. VoIP

    It's actually an optional fee you can choose to pay if yuo want to make sure your VoIP traffic gets QoS.

    It's BS though, since QoS doesn't solve anything. It only assures your packets get QoS ON Shaw's network...once it leaves their network, it's anybodies game.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2006 @ 6:32pm

    Re: Garbage

    Wow, didn't come across as you having a sense of humor. Guess I missed it. But then again, I am so stupid I can't figure out how to get an account on this leftest pinko blog! lol Sense of humor anyone?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anwar, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 2:46am

    Re: Garbage

    ^^^^^ wanker

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    George, Mar 8th, 2006 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Shaw vs. VoIP

    Good point. But is this also implying that VoIP is deteriorated on Shaws networks? If so, by accident or on purpose?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Someone, Mar 10th, 2006 @ 5:32pm

    Test

    Blah

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Stevey, Mar 27th, 2006 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Shaw vs VoIP

    Shaw is a brazen company with its pricing. They charge an extra $10. per month over and above the high speed internet rate!! That, I was told, is because you "might' get a second or 3rd computer sometime in the future! VoIP would be a second $10. charge. 20 bucks for nothing.

    If you go for a job with them, you have to agree to not tell anyone else working there how much you make.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 4:15pm

    Rogers is totally packet shaping to throttle VoIP traffic in a completely illegal and competitive stance, and I have a lot of material to prove it. If it keeps up our business is going to deliver a report/complaint to the CRTC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Joey, Aug 2nd, 2006 @ 1:31pm

    Is Rogers really?

    What do you mean "if it keeps up"??? Do you think they will change several hundred manhours in setting their network up the way it is now? I've complained a tonne to Shaw about their tax, and I didn't like it, so I stopped paying them when they didn't listen. Are you still paying Rogers every month?

    If you have so much proof that you think they will actually do something, then do it instead of just making empty threats. Things won't fix themselves like you're hoping they will.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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