Bell Canada Looking To Use Pricing Change To Knock Out Competitors

from the but-of-course... dept

In the US, some legal and regulatory rulings effectively kneecapped most line sharing arrangements in broadband. Originally, the big telcos had been required to share their lines with third party service providers, effectively as a condition of being granted subsidies and valuable rights of way to build out their networks. But, they complained and were able to remove that requirement, leading us (in part) to the situation we're in today with a lot less competition. Up in Canada, at least, there have been regulatory requirements for line sharing, which has created some competition for broadband. A year ago, Bell Canada suddenly started traffic shaping all the broadband traffic over its network, without letting these retail ISPs know, and when they complained, Bell Canada told them to shut up and deal.

The latest (which a bunch of you submitted) is that Bell Canada is looking to change how it charges these other providers, moving from flat-rate wholesale pricing to usage-based billing, which will put a significant squeeze on these reseller ISPs. It seems pretty clearly designed to hurt these partners, and limit how they can differentiate themselves to customers. This is one of the many problems of handing control over a national network infrastructure to one private company. Doing so creates tremendous incentives to limit how others can use it.
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Filed Under: broadband, canada, line sharing, usage based pricing
Companies: bell canada

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  1. icon
    Ben (profile), 19 Apr 2009 @ 7:27am

    The reason I had left Bell and Rogers was because of their traffic shaping and low caps. The reason Bell was given money from our government was so they would build the network with the understanding they will be providing wholesale access to encourage competition. Now they are trying to get out of their obiligations. It is time in Canada to have a municipal level built fiber optic connections owned by the people and leased to other ISPs etc., to provide competition in the market in Canada. The third party ISPs (like Teksavvy They offer reasonable rates and their first cap is 200GB!) are the only reasonable providers of internet access, and Bell is losing customers, so instead of trying to offer something better they pull crap like this, and the aformentioned forced traffic shaping. It is time the Canadian government does something about this.

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