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. identicon
    pk, 20 Apr 2009 @ 7:07am

    the CRTC has already answered the question

    When the CRTC allowed Bell to throttle the independent ISP, it said it was OK because Bell also throttled their own retail ISP Bell Sympatico. Therefore the CRTC must think that whatever measure Bell takes are OK as long as they are applied across the board. (Effectively wholesalers are now treated as resellers)
    Sooo, when Bell applies for the caps to wholesalers, their argument will be that they're doing it to Sympatico too. Same argument and like the same result as the CRTC will swallow this as usual.

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