Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Canada The Internet News

Bell Canada To Stop Internet Throttling 159

Posted by samzenpus
from the opening-the-tubes dept.
inject_hotmail.com writes "I just caught wind of a story over at the Huff. Bell Canada has written a letter to the CRTC indicating that it will end traffic shaping on March 1, 2012. Although Bell says that this is due to "increasing popularity of streamed video and other traffic" and 'P2P file-sharing, as a proportion of total traffic, has been diminishing,' it's far more likely that they are interested in higher revenue. In all likelihood, the change of heart is based on the fact that Bell has moved most of their customer base to, and offer no alternative to, low-usage-cap UBB packages, which would ultimately generate more income or deter full usage of their service (and thus require less infrastructure investment)."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Bell Canada To Stop Internet Throttling

Comments Filter:
  • Oh wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mirix (1649853) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:34PM (#38455194)

    Aborting throttling is definitely a good thing.

    However the caps and overage fees are definitely an issue, and I can see this being part of a plan to get that bandwidth used up earlier, and collect the overage fees. Dirty, but we should know better than to assume they're doing something for the good of the customers.

    I'm still dreaming of the day when the physical layer is run by an agency that has no relation to the provider, and the provider of your choice can hook up at the CO.
    The current setup is too much of a conflict of interest, and they'll want low caps so people use their TV services and such. This should never be...

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      It couldn't have anything to do with the face that bell has been hemorrhaging customers for the last year and a half or anything could it? Especially since the incumbents can't lock out other providers from dslams anymore.

    • by Guiness17 (606444)
      The summary got it right on this one. Everyone's on ridiculously low cap plans now. They have one with a 2GB cap! Hello? 1995 called, they want their plans back. But now that they have these caps, and onerous overage fees in place, of course, turn off the shaping and let the suckers (err...customers) have at it!
      • by tepples (727027)

        They have one with a 2GB cap! Hello? 1995 called, they want their plans back.

        Did 1995 reach your cell phone? If so, we know where the single digit GB cap got to.

  • by Ichijo (607641) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @08:41PM (#38455240) Homepage Journal

    Similar to cell plans with unlimited nights and weekends, usage-based-billed broadband also ought to be cheaper during periods of low demand when there's plenty of spare capacity. If I were on such a plan, I would stream movies less and download movies more, during the wee hours, to save money. The ISP would also save money by not having to add capacity just to prevent the network from getting congested a couple of hours each day.

    Everybody wins with efficient pricing.

    • For most ISPs, peak time is in the evening. They would actually save money if they raised everyone's speed to the max during the rest of the day, since large torrent downloads would have the time to finish.

    • Wholeheartedly agree. Would like to see unlimited (i.e. does not count towards monthly cap) from 11pm to 7am everyday. They ISP would see a significant drop during peak usage periods I think. Various download software could then be configured to use that window accordingly.
    • by friedmud (512466)

      I live in a relatively small city in Idaho and just signed up for a 50Mbps (seriously... and I really do get that!) for ~$50 a month (this is with CableOne in case anyone is interested).

      It has a cap at 50GB a month (which is already pretty generous) but it also has a couple of other niceties:

      1. If you go over it's only 50 cents per gigabyte... which I think is pretty fair.

      2. Any traffic between midnight and 6 AM is completely unmetered. So if you have a big download to do (like a new game on Steam) just

      • by damiangerous (218679) <1ndt7174ekq80001@sneakemail.com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @10:01PM (#38455694)

        It has a cap at 50GB a month (which is already pretty generous)

        You have an interesting idea of "generous". Two hours of Netflix a day and your cap is gone.

        • I can't imagine watching two hours of TV per day. I just can't. There isn't 14 hours per week of stuff worth watching.

          • First, most people are not you. Second, Netflix allows you to distill what you do want to watch and do so all at once. Third, that applies to the entire household of at least two or three, commonly more.

      • by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @10:01PM (#38455698)

        I live in a relatively small city in Idaho and just signed up for a 50Mbps (seriously... and I really do get that!) for ~$50 a month (this is with CableOne in case anyone is interested).

        It has a cap at 50GB a month (which is already pretty generous) but it also has a couple of other niceties:

        1. If you go over it's only 50 cents per gigabyte... which I think is pretty fair.

        2. Any traffic between midnight and 6 AM is completely unmetered. So if you have a big download to do (like a new game on Steam) just start it after midnight and you're good to go.

        Overall I'm extremely happy with the service. Streaming over Vudu and Netflix is awesome... downloading game patches happens instantly... And my wife can listen to Pandora while I play an online game without issue.

        Hopefully more parts of the country will get service like this.

        50GB is generous for a 50Mbps connection? That's only 3 hours of downloading at your full bandwidth. Or 25 hours of HD Netflix streaming (less than an hour per day). Or 10 DVD ISO's.

        Comcast's 250GB limit seems much more reasonable, even if I "only" get 15Mbps

        Do you work for Cableone?

        • by rbrander (73222)

          >50 cents per gigabyte... which I think is pretty fair.

          Not remotely. Costs to run a network are partly fixed (same number of kilometres of line, count of humming boxes to buy and then maintain each month, however many bytes flow) and partly per-byte.

          Once you've paid that fixed cost with Internet - clearly around $25-$40 /month range almost everywhere - they can throw in the first 50GB free because that incremental cost has been established to be about 2 cents per GB in huge bulk. This was revealed by

          • by hawguy (1600213)

            The 50 cents/GB is over an order of magnitude high for even a conservative, high-profit "fair price". And remember, this is a regulated, licensed monopoly. Their rates are supposed to reflect service costs.

            For comparison, Amazon EC2 charges 12 cents/GB (if you transfer less than 10TB/month). Their top tier published pricing is for 5 cents/GB for 100 - 350TB/month. (their prices can vary depending on the region).

      • by jroysdon (201893)

        Only thing good I can see there is the midnight - 6am being free. My home server actually downloads all my video/podcasts and rsyncs all my Linux mirrors starting at 2am each night (typically done by 6am). Other than video streaming (NetFlix, Amazon Prime), our daytime usage is pretty minimal.

        If all the major ISPs did this, perhaps we could have pre-buffered real HD (not this "better than SD" so we can call it HD) online streaming from NetFlix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, etc.

      • by jo42 (227475)

        1. If you go over it's only 50 cents per gigabyte... which I think is pretty fair.

        That's at least 50 times what your ISP is paying for their bandwidth. So, no, that's not even close to 'fair'.

    • If I were on such a plan, I would stream movies less and download movies more, during the wee hours, to save money.

      Next thing you know the MAFIAA will have their lobbyists writing new laws to make demand-based pricing illegal because it encourages copying of movies instead of streaming them...

    • by yabos (719499)
      We have time of use billing for electricity here in a lot of Ontario Canada now. It's a crock. Want to do laundry? Wait until after 7PM so you get the "cheap" rates. I could not stand that for internet too. What happens is the "cheap" off peak rate is the same as what the standard rate used to be. The non off peak rates are then more expensive and you end up paying MORE every month. Time of use no matter what it is for is just a way to get you to pay more than you are now. ISPs will never settle for
  • by Stewie241 (1035724) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:10PM (#38455404)

    So, for what this means, here is some data on pricing and data caps:
    Essential Plus - Speeds up to 2Mbps - $34 per month
    2GB of bandwidth per month
    = 2.27 hours of usage per month

    Performance - Speeds up to 6 Mbps - $44 per month
    25GB of bandwidth per month
    = 9.5 hours of usage per month

    Fibe 6 - Speeds up to 6 Mbps - $44 per month
    25GB of bandwidth per month
    = 9.5 hours of usage per month

    Fibe 12 - Speeds up to 12 Mbps - $54 per month
    50GB of bandwidth per month + $5 per 40GB
    ($1.50 per GB not prepaid)
    = 9.5 hours of usage per month

    Fibe 16 - Speeds up to 16Mbps - $64 per month
    75GB of bandwidth per month
    = 10.7 hours of usage per month

    Fibe 25 - Speeds up to 25Mbps - $74 per month
    125GB of bandwidth per month
    = 11.4 hours of usage per month

    Basically, Bell figures that you will use the full capacity of your connection about 10 hours a month or so.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Not only are those 25/50GB caps ridiculous, but that 2GB cap? What planet are those people living on?

      You also forgot to mention the prices for going over the caps. Most Americans will think it's low enough to not care, when it fact it's probably something insane like 5$ per GB.

      • by Stewie241 (1035724) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:58PM (#38455678)

        It's not quite as steep as $5 per GB, but it is still high IMO.

        $2.50 / GB or $5/month for 40GB prepaid
        Performance: $2 / GB or $5/month for 40GB prepaid
        Fibe6: $2 / GB or $5/month for 40GB prepaid
        Fibe12: $1.50 / GB or $5/month for 40GB prepaid
        Fibe16: $1 / GB or $5/month for 40GB prepaid
        Fibe25: $1 / GB or $5/month for 40GB prepaid

        "As a Bell Internet or Bell Fibe Internet customer, you can log in to My Bell and add the 40 GB Usage Insurance plan to your service any time. For the 80 GB or 120 GB plan, call us at 310-SURF (7873)."

        I just love how they call it a 'Usage Insurance' plan.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      http://teksavvy.com/en/res-internet.asp#cable [teksavvy.com]

      I've downloaded well over 1 TB this month (of Linux distros!) on the unlimited package with no throttling or caps so far.

      • by rikkards (98006)

        Guy I work with just moved to Teksavvy and bought a Docsys 3 modem. He did a speed test last week before he left for work and was getting 60M down which is far and above the 30M he pays fo.

        • by kyrio (1091003)
          I don't know about 60Mb, but it should generally be around 45Mb with speedboost. The key point here is speedboost. He's still only getting 30Mb after the first few seconds of his download.
      • http://teksavvy.com/en/res-internet.asp#cable [teksavvy.com]

        I've downloaded well over 1 TB this month (of Linux distros!) on the unlimited package with no throttling or caps so far.

        I was going to second the recommendation for TekSavvy, but wait, what, 1 TB / month?

        That's > 1,000 Linux images.

        I don't believe the internet has that much data. /joke

        Man, that's a lot of downloading.

    • This is a straw man. Most people don't use the "full capacity" of their connection 90% of the time. Some people do, sure, and as streaming video gets more popular it will increase, but you can watch HD video on Netflix at 3Mbps. So the second cheapest plan listed here you could watch 15 hours of HD movies per month (that's 10 90 minute movies) and still have plenty of bandwidth for general web surfing. If you're watching regular TV shows and don't mind a slightly less than HD image, that doubles.

      I'm not say

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @09:17PM (#38455438)

    1. Sell product with *unlimited bandwidth usage. *Restrictions may apply.
    2. Implement traffic shaping because of overselling actual available bandwidth
    3. Change everyone's plans to tiny, capped plans
    4. Announce new *unlimited bandwidth usage plans and upsell existing customers. *Restrictions may apply. ... repeat...

  • Too Late For Me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know if Bell did this in response to competition, but they have lost me as a customer permanently over the issue. I switched to TekSavvy for internet a year ago will never use another another Bell service as long as live (using Wind for cell phone and dropped cable TV entirely).
    • by kyrio (1091003)
      Bell is not cable. TekSavvy DSL is still giving money to Bell. TekSavvy cable is giving money to Rogers. They win unless you cut it all. WIND might still be its own entity, though.
      • by Maow (620678)

        TekSavvy DSL is still giving money to Bell. TekSavvy cable is giving money to Rogers. They win unless you cut it all.

        True, but in my case, I switched from Shaw to TekSavvy. Shaw was getting >$80 / month for basic cable & high speed internet. Internet alone was about $45, if unbundled.

        Having dropped cable TV, I'm now paying $30 / month for high speed internet to TekSavvy, so while Shaw is getting some money indirectly from me, it's a tiny fraction of what it used to be. And I don't hate Shaw like I

      • by Pope (17780)

        Bell is not cable. TekSavvy DSL is still giving money to Bell. TekSavvy cable is giving money to Rogers. They win unless you cut it all. WIND might still be its own entity, though.

        So what the fuck do you expect TSI to do, start running their own phone & cable lines?

  • Sorry, I'm in pain, I'm laughing far, far too hard. Bell doing something positive for consumers, oh stop, please, it hurts! About the only nice thing Bell would do for customers is to provide lube to ease the penetration they usually inflict on users.
  • Screw Bell (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @11:18PM (#38456064)
    Bell is not going to do anything - ANYTHING - unless they believe they can squeeze every possible dime out of their customers. This is a company hellbent on profits at the cost of anything remotely approximating good business. Worse, they are a company that still thinks they have a monopoly and acts like it. And, worst of all, too many Canadians are willing to let them when there are many better options available. I'd go with Rogers (who I loathe) a million times over before going with Bell...

    Believe me, the only reason they're doing this is they did the math and they believe they can screw their customers over better this way. I believe someone else in the thread supplied math that demonstrates this rather nicely...

    Don't for a second think that Bell is doing something good - they are screwing customers every chance they can. They are the worst sort of the greed-corporations...
    • by houghi (78078)

      Bell is not going to do anything - ANYTHING - unless they believe they can squeeze every possible dime out of their customers.

      To be fair, many customers do the same to the company.

      • by hodet (620484)
        They get what they give. Case in point, I have Bell for Satellite TV service. On their website I can add channels and packages at will. But once it is added I can only remove channels by calling their 1-800 line and getting caught in phone menu hell. Once I finally talk to somebody, and I mean clear your calendar because this will take a while, I have to put up with the endless questions of why I am removing channels and would I be interested in this or that instead. To the point that you just get irritated
  • First: I'm glad to see traffic shaping gone.

    Second: I don't really have a problem with caps. I mean, is it really, truly reasonable to expect unlimited bandwidth? And before you flame me, take a moment to calm your gut reaction nerd rage in regards to this issue. I mean, that shit's not free. There should be some expectation that people pay for what they use. We don't expect unlimited electricity, so why would we here. That being said: the overage charges need to be reasonable. I have no idea of what the ma

    • Oh man, I can't wait for the "bits are free" arguments to start flying.

      Look, bits aren't like electricity. Me using more bits doesn't mean there are less for you to use. Bandwidth is limited instantaneously, but *practically* infinite over time. And creating bits doesn't cost anything either. Of course there are infrastructure costs, but really most limits are just designed to do two things: discourage heavy use that negatively affects other users and to make them more money. The pricing is as artificial as

      • Bandwidth is limited instantaneously

        Caps are a way to get people to use less bandwidth at peak times so that it doesn't saturate instantaneously at peak times. For example, a cap on transfer outside the least saturated hours encourages customers to shift large transfers to the least saturated hours. But as more people shift their usage away from peak times to the wee hours, the network will start saturating during the wee hours as well. At that point, use throughout the day becomes fungible, and any use of the network at all negatively affect

  • It is indeed strange to see Bell throttle people when they have ridiculous bandwidth caps and extra fees in the first place... One has to wonder if this wasn't planned all along: throttle down the connexions because they were not technically capable to force usage-based billing to their customers. Now that they have figured out that bit, they can get in the lucrative business of reselling bandwidth. And they resell that bandwidth at high price.

    Doing the math:

    • 10$/mbps/mth - common datacenter bandwidth, in mo
  • I've had Bell internet at my home for 7 years now. I'm still on the original plan: 1Mb/s down, unlimited bandwidth. I know that I could upgrade to a better speed, but that would mean loosing the "unlimited" part. As it is, Netflix, at the highest quality setting, works just fine. What more could I ask?
    • by Maow (620678)

      1Mb/s down, unlimited bandwidth. I know that I could upgrade to a better speed, but that would mean loosing the "unlimited" part. As it is, Netflix, at the highest quality setting, works just fine. What more could I ask?

      A couple thoughts:

      1) You could check out TekSavvy (not affiliated, just happy customer), and you could fund a small, agile company instead of a humongous, predatory one.

      2) You might have unlimited bandwidth, but it's limited by your speed*time_in_month. You could likely get faster speeds fr

Take an astronaut to launch.

Working...