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
    Mechwarrior, 18 Apr 2009 @ 5:08am


    This isnt the same situation since there is only 1 party holding control of most of the infrastructure. You cant adapt if the situation is being changed solely to destroy you. This situation is more of a hostage situation then other instances where there was leeway provided by market forces.

    Wireless internet though isnt the solution to breaking wired monopolies. The reason being you still need a land line connection to ferry information to and from the wireless broadcasting towers. And that will be done on incumbent infrastructure.

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