CRTC Rejects Bell Usage-Based Internet Billing Plan
Decision allows internet wholesalers to charge based on speed, not volume
Small companies selling internet services will likely be paying for download speed under a decision announced by Canada’s telecommunications regulator.
The companies, which buy their internet services from larger established providers such as Rogers and Bell, were fighting an application to the CRTC by Bell to charge more to wholesale customers.
The CRTC's decision, announced Tuesday, gives established providers two options for charging independent internet service providers — a flat rate or a rate based on capacity and the number of users.
Bell had asked to be able to charge based on the total volume of internet data used by its wholesale customers. The regulator rejected that model.
The capacity rate model charges based on the speed of the service — meaning the small ISPs will be paying for the size of the pipe, not the amount of data that flows through the pipe. And it means small ISPs will have to pay more to provide faster internet to their customers.
The CRTC requires Bell and Rogers to allow the smaller companies to use their internet infrastructure and regulates the price which they can charge for it.
The regulator initially approved Bell's pitch to charge fees for going over set bandwidth limits, but the Conservative government pushed back soon after the January 2011 announcement.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper favoured a review of the decision, and Clement announced on Twitter that the government was asking the CRTC to take another look.
Clement 'was right'
Konrad von Finckenstein, chair of the CRTC, says the regulator made a mistake in deciding last year to allow Bell to raise its prices for independent service providers.
"Our original decision was clearly not the best one. It was wrong and it was pointed out by a lot of people, including Minister Clement. He was right. We have today fixed it, we have made this new decision," von Finckenstein said.
That was a beaut! The Smart Meter was installed to make you feel like your massive price increases were YOUR fault, resulting from YOUR choices, not McGuinty's mismanagement.
Bingo! This was political crap at it's finest. "You will save money because we can control what each kW costs at any given hour of the day so if you only use electricity from 11pm to 4am you will see a reduction of the bill. Oh, and by the way, we are also charging you for the meter."
Bell still "won" but just in a round about way. Basically their goal was to weasel out of the existing deals they had to give outside ISPs on wholesale bandwidth and they accomplished it. Maybe not to the full extent they were trying to, but they still get to charge a lot more money to the third party ISPs and they are still able to stifle the competition because now they can charge more for faster connection (to the end user) regardless of how much bandwidth is used. Bell is no longer in the wholesale bandwidth business, they are in the semi-wholesale but still controlling right down to the end user bandwidth racket.