Bell has recently announced that it plans to start charging its wholesale customers usage-based-billing (UBB). These wholesalers include popular 3rd party ISP provider TekSavvy, amongst others. This throws a new wrinkle in the relationship between the telco giant and the wholesalers, who are still waiting to for a decision from the CRTC regarding packet shaping.
The limits imposed on the wholesalers would vary between 2 gigabytes (GB) per month for slower connections, up to 60 GB for higher speed connections, and overage costs would have to be passed on to customers.
In the past, Bell has relied on the idea that it maintains the physical network and it’s inherent costs, while 3rd party wholesalers were unwilling and/or unable take on the costs to build out their own infrastructure. As we mentioned in the past, said wholesalers have complained that this is far from the truth, in that Bell has actually prevented them from building up their own networks in many parts of the country, denying low-level alternate access to over half the population.
Bell’s double whammy of tightening the noose on wholesalers, all the while complaining of government regulations is the height of hypocrisy given the untold millions in infrastructure subsidies Bell received from the government over the decades. Bell is, in effect, trying to turn the wholesalers into nothing more than resellers. There’s a large part of me that wants to see the company fractured in the way that Ma Bell was in the US over 20 years ago.
Then again, why should any Canadian be surprised?
With Bell going into the hands of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, the same folks who spearheaded the continued downward spiral of the Toronto Maple Leafs as a quality team (hell, they make me remember Harold Ballard with fondness… which is a tough thing to do), all I can say is “Wear those Eric Lindros jerseys proudly. Just don’t TXT your friend about it. It’ll probaby cost your friend $37 dollars to read it.”
NOTE: Although I don’t work for TekSavvy, I’m a happy customer. I’m also a Bell customer, but my opinion of them is much less favourable.
(via the CBC)