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Bell Canada To Stop Internet Throttling

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the opening-the-tubes dept.

Canada 159

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)."

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Quick, now's our chance! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455190)

Oh, they finally got it through their heads to listen to the users and the common good? Quick, someone get them to start implementing IPv6 before they start going back to their old habits of repression and ignoring their customers!

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455260)

Like most things Canadian, they'll give the outward appearance of being progressive, but then in the end they'll be just as evil as the US.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (5, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455340)

finally got it through their heads to listen to the users and the common good?

No, they finally understood that at the rate current legislation is going around the world, there will be nothing worth downloading in a couple years anyway.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

aurizon (122550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456694)

Ever hear the comment that a snakes teeth point inward? The prey can not escape!!!
Bell, Rogers and their ilk are like that.
What looks, at first blush to be a gratuitous boon, will in time show the hidden teeth.

Like Google, 'do no evil' has morphed into 'do no weevil', and they protect the honor of weevils.

At the basis of my feelings is the sure knowledge that Bell is a rapacious predator

Don't be evil != Do no evil (1, Informative)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456742)

I love it when all the anti-Google crowd misquote the "don't be evil" into "do no evil".

For those of you who are American English challenged, these two phrases have totally different connotations.

"Don't be evil" is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, more like "don't emulate Hollywood villains".

"Do no evil" is fire-and-brimstone church preacher telling you you're going to Hell.

If you want to rank on Google for being hypocritical, you should first try to understand this. It's important.

Re:Don't be evil != Do no evil (1)

aurizon (122550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456764)

Not antigoogle, but was not sure of the exact phrase

Re:Don't be evil != Do no evil (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456790)

Sorry if I offended, you're now the second one I've caught at this (the first was quite anti-Google, it seemed to me).

Google is far from being entirely free from sin, but it bugs the hell out of me when people misquote that motto (perhaps not the right word for it but... whatever) as a way to subtly introduce a strawman fallacy into their argument.

A second problem is that the misquotation is infectious.

Re:Don't be evil != Do no evil (1)

aurizon (122550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456916)

no worries, I was keen to make the do no weevil joke, LOL

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455452)

Oh, they finally got it through their heads to listen to the users and the common good?

Not even close. Did you happen to see this part of the article?

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).

So basically, what Bell is saying is, "Now that we've got all our customers right where we want them, and we're squeezing every cent out of providing bandwidth, with customers paying more to get less, we would just as soon not have to worry about any government regulations."

It has nothing to do with any pro-consumer decision on Bell's part. It has nothing to do with Bell being concerned about their customers well-being. It has everything to do with what used to be a public utility turning customers upside-down and shaking every penny out of their pockets. Bell is going to continue to ignore you. They will continue to lower caps and raise prices. They'll continue to avoid spending money on improving infrastructure. They'll continue giving you the finger. But now that they're feeling their oats, they're going to give the government the finger too.

Traffic-shaping is a bad thing. Anything that is not providing neutral telecommunications services to customers is a bad thing. Bell doesn't have anything against filesharing, as long as you're ready to pay out the nose for every byte. They're still enforcing the government's rule, but they're making sure they're going to make big money in the process.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455664)

Traffic-shaping is a bad thing.

Don't be an idiot. Traffic shaping is fundamentally necessary to manage a network whose capacity is less than demand (basically any public network). Abusive and discriminatory traffic shaping is a bad thing.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455910)

Abusive and discriminatory traffic shaping is a bad thing.

Of course that's the kind of traffic shaping I meant.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456306)

Don't be an idiot. You know exactly what he meant.

they shaped everyones traffic (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457478)

to a shitty, small, pathetic amount of gb's package.

so you can't even stream 24/7.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (4, Interesting)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455710)

before they start going back to their old habits of repression and ignoring their customers

Not necessarily. Read the summary. All of Bell's customers are now on usage based billing. Here is a summary of a couple of the 'fib' plans (fibre optic network) so you can judge for yourself.

The fastest package is 25Gb/s at $75 per month ($35 for the first year, then it goes up), and has a 125 GB cap. Overage costs $1/GB unless you pay ahead of time for "insurance" at $5/40GB (and similarly 10/80GB and 15/120 GB bucks). Upload is 7 Mb/s.

Their 12Mb/s package is 12 Gb/s at $54 per month ($44/month for the first year), with a 50 GB cap. Overage is $1.50/GB up to $80 each month. Upload is 1Mb/s but if you pay $5 you can get 7 Mb/s. Same download "insurance" as all the other plans including the fastest package already mentioned.

So they are not altruistic. If you download a lot you pay for it. You can make up your own mind if they are reasonable or whether you think they are or aren't still repressing their customers. Personally the 12 Gb/s plan's 50GB cap is pretty bloody low if you ask me. Ridiculous really. But then again bell also has their own IPTV service and pay per view which competes with other services like Netflix. So go figure. The big three regional monopolies do the same thing (Bell, Telus, Rogers).

On the other hand, services like Netflix are far more limited in Canada, and really not of much value. This is mainly because of archaic 'culture protecting' laws (limit foreign networks and shows and enforce certain percentage of 'Canadian content' by hours of broadcast time) and laws allowing the three regional monopolies, Bell, Rogers, and Telus to buy sole distribution rights to foreign (mostly American) shows in Canada. These severely limit what people can download legally or without having technical ability above the average user. So Canadians have been hamstrung us in many other ways in terms of telecommunications and so the need for high caps is somewhat diminished.

And to rub salt into the wound, it is cold for long periods of the year so it isn't surprising that Canadians are near or are the top internet users in the world. So the telecom companies know they dig and still get money. And since the big three dominate so much, they can call the shots and walk over anyone they please will little push back from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (many of whose board members either have worked previously for the big three, or where they often end up when they leave the CRTC).

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455788)

Any additional usage fee that is higher than subscription/cap is absurd.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (5, Insightful)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455842)

That's why I'm on TekSavvy [teksavvy.com] . They offer the same speeds at slightly lower prices but with a 300GB cap. They even have a 5M/unlimited plan.

Small ISP's are the target... (2)

Guidii (686867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456622)

So a lot of small ISP's buy bandwidth from Bell. And then they re-sell that bandwidth to users like you. Up until now, those users haven't been using too much bandwidth, because the "backbone" (from Bell) used traffic shaping to reduce their throughput.

Now that Bell has stopped shaping, what do you think will happen to those ISP's? Their customers will torrent away all their bandwidth, and the ISP's will either have to add their own shaping or add caps to their plans.

End result: Bell's customers (on capped plans already) see no big benefit. ISP customers get some short-term benefit until their ISP's adjust to the new system. ISP's suffer. Bell wins.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455880)

The fastest package is 25Gb/s at $75 per month ($35 for the first year, then it goes up), and has a 125 GB cap. Overage costs $1/GB unless you pay ahead of time for "insurance" at $5/40GB (and similarly 10/80GB and 15/120 GB bucks). Upload is 7 Mb/s.

Their 12Mb/s package is 12 Gb/s at $54 per month ($44/month for the first year), with a 50 GB cap. Overage is $1.50/GB up to $80 each month. Upload is 1Mb/s but if you pay $5 you can get 7 Mb/s. Same download "insurance" as all the other plans including the fastest package already mentioned.

I read those prices and speeds and I think to myself, "Shit, I need to move to Canada. What are they even complaining about?"

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455934)

Move to Hong Kong.

No cap ever for the past 11 years, my utorrent constantly register ~150GB for past 30 days. 30Mbit plan, torrent goes max 2.2MB/s, up 350kbps.

$30 cdn.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456394)

TekSavvy cable: $62, 30Mb down (45Mb w/ speedboost), 1Mb up, no caps.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457238)

I think the cost of real estate (buying or renting) easily makes up that difference though. I really wish people would stop with these tropes.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455886)

I'm assuming that you mean 25Mbps and not Gbps. That said, I wonder what's so different between ontario and manitoba? Shaw gives me 100Mbps for $70/month with a 500GB cap. For $120 I get 250Mbps with no cap. Even MTS (our phone company) offers 25Mbps unlimited for $75.

I had always just assumed that telecom stuff would be more expensive here with our lower population density.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (2)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455960)

Here in the US I'd kill for 25 Mbps @ $75/month... I pay for 8 Mbps @ $75/month... x.X

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

mortonda (5175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456312)

Here in KS with Cable One, I think we can get a 50Mbps package, but they meter it and charge extra if you go over 50GB in a month I think.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456476)

Remember this is in Canada's largest city. 2.5 million people in the city alone. 5.5 million in the metro area (yeah I know it's not the biggest city in the world, but it is a big city especially by North American standards... 4th or 5th largest in N.A.). This size of place they should have higher speeds. But the Canadian companies tend to gouge customers without any improving service in proportion (yes they improve, but relative to how much they screw you).

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455978)

$70/mo with a bundle.
Just so people can compare apples to apples.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456448)

Good point. Unbundled I can still get 50Mbps and a 400GB cap for $75. Either way, it's crazy that we'd be getting better access than Ontario.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456494)

And in a contract.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456612)

No, not in a contract.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456022)

My bad... you're right. 25 Mb/s. Gah!

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456488)

Shaw is cable, Bell is not.

Bell/Rogers have a much bigger market than your providers, and it seems they also have a much smaller outcry when they slam their hands into customer pockets and retrieve the entire contents of their wallets.

Bell/Rogers are trying very hard to put people on ultra limited caps with high speeds (and high prices) so they can charge people an extra $50 to $(whatever they decide the maximum will be) for overages every month.

Bell(especially)/Rogers are trying very hard to keep 3rd party resellers from being able to provide their service.

From the actions of the CRTC and other government members, Bell/Rogers have some very good friends making sure they can continue to do all of this.

UBB should have never been allowed to happen, caps should have never been allowed to happen.

Traffic shaping is actually against the current business plan of getting people to use way more than their caps, that's why it's being dropped by Bell. This actually sort of helps TekSavvy as they shouldn't be shaped anymore, either. I wouldn't be surprised if Bell continues to traffic shape 3rd party resellers, though. Rogers does not have the technology to traffic shape 3rd party resellers, if I understand correctly, and I do believe they shape their own customers.

Those GBs in your cap don't really cost much of anything. They don't really cost anyone anything, any longer.

I'm assuming that your providers would get a ton of complaints if they tried to do what Bell/Rogers are doing, that's why you still have essentially unlimited caps.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456046)

25Gigabits/second residential plan? TAKE ALL MY MONEY!

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456404)

Sorry... s/fastest package is 25Gb\/s/fastest package is 25Mb\/s/

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (2)

WCLPeter (202497) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456560)

On the other hand, services like Netflix are far more limited in Canada, and really not of much value.

People keep saying this but its a bald faced lie.

For the price of two movie rentals at the video store you get access to a wide range of movies and TV shows, as long as you watch a minimum of two movies a month it basically pays for itself. Hell, I've been enjoying watching episodes of Farscape, Xena, Buffy, The Walking Dead, and re-watching the Star Trek movies again. Hell, they just got Bones the other week, I'd never seen it from the beginning so now I've got the chance to; I'm hoping they get NCIS and JAG, I'd never seen those from the beginning either. My young nieces and nephews have been having a blast watching the Land Before Time movies, Astroboy, Pingu, Thomas the Tank Engine, Curious George, The Pink Panther, etc...

Unless you're looking for the latest and greatest, which is usually reserved for the Cable/Satellite providers VOD channels for a premium fee, there is plenty of value on Netflix for the paltry 8.00 bucks a month that they charge.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457150)

You just listed about the best content on Netflix Canada. Didn't take very long did it? That was the person's point- there is very little on it. 90%+ is garbage not worth reading the title of. That is probably what gives people the biggest grudge against it. Having to sift through mountains of crap to find something that is "okay" to watch isn't exactly endearing.

Having the latest and greatest reserved for the cable/sat providers was also one of the parent poster's main complaints. You find some value. I, and many others, disagree.

Re:Quick, now's our chance! (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457592)

For me: MI-5 (8 seasons of it), Lie to Me (1 season, fun so far), Walking Dead (only seen a few episodes so far so good), Luther (havent watched it yet but loved the main actor when he was in The Wire), and a lot of other TV shows, let alone the movies listed. There is a lot on Netflix IMHO, and its well worth the cost.

Oh wow. (5, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:Oh wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455378)

Yeah, fortunately, some of these services are not necessities so they can be cancelled, although that's inconvenient. And not everybody has the option to cancel some of them.

My recommendation to folks is if you can't cancel your internet for practical reasons, drop your cable/satellite TV and get the most minimal phone service that's still practical. Most people can do something physical or intellectual to replace the mind-numbing screen time.

Personally, I've also learned not to use the internet except where necessary (job hunting) or practical (airline tickets, Amazon/Chapters, etc., but I could do this bit from work if it's not on the clock). After I get a new job, I'll be scaling back my package. I won't save much but I've trained myself not to use it anyways to keep from going over my low quota...

If I weren't on vacation at my parents house, I wouldn't have seen this slashdot posting. ;)

It's very odd to live in a supposedly "first world" or "developed" country, be so collectively behind on consumer technology (cell phones, HDTV) and have to pay through the nose for anything newer than POTS.

But as long as Canadians choose to complain (and pay) rather than look at alternatives (like cancelling their service), you can't blame the folks running the duopolies from doing what they're paid to do: maximize corporate profits.

Re:Oh wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455386)

Why don't you get on that skippy? Yeah, because you know that doing this with any amount of fiscal security is damn near impossible.
 
You fucks have all the ideas but I never see a single fucking one of you step up and do it. Mostly because you know you live in a fantasy land.

Re:Oh wow. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456588)

I'll admit right off that I havn't done serious thinking on this, but I think what has to happen is Internet has to become government run and just operate at a loss.

And the barriers to that are obvious...

Re:Oh wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455518)

> physical layer ... provider of choice can be hook up at the CO.

Canadian regulation mandates that any provider can hook up to the wires at the CO.

This isn't used much though. Even providers like Teksavvy use some of Bell's network to get from the CO to a central exchange in Toronto. (141 Front st, the big Toronto internet exchange).

Re:Oh wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455582)

...central exchange in Toronto. (141 Front st, the big Toronto internet exchange).

151 Front Street, actually...A very interesting building to be inside, I must say.

Re:Oh wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457256)

Canadian regulation doesn't mandate access to remotes. CO's only cover a small percentage of customers in large market cities, remotes fill in all the gaps.
CO's do get some use, I frequently visit one in a decent size ontario city (not toronto) and there are about 10 providers in there. But like I said above, the coverage is weak, and as you mentioned you need an uplink to the CO. It's difficult for 3rd parties to make an investment like this.

Re:Oh wow. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455536)

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.

Re:Oh wow. (2)

Guiness17 (606444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456384)

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!

Re:Oh wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457172)

The fiber to the home network in this part of the neterlands is organised this way. There's a fiber network and unrelated companies can provide internet, tv and phone services on that network. Also the ADSL network is setup to work like that and they tried something like that for cable as well, but i think the cable companies got away with not allowing that. Then there's a net neutrality law too.

Which results in uncapped good connections with no throttling for little money, when compared to the us. You can get 20 mbps for €20 - €30, faster if you pay more. So just move here ;)

UBB needs time-of-use pricing (4, Insightful)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455240)

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.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (2)

danbob999 (2490674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455294)

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.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (1)

HeavyDDuty (2506392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455362)

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.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (1)

friedmud (512466) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455634)

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.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (5, Insightful)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455898)

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.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (1)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455968)

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.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456354)

First, count me with the previous guy; most people are probably not like you, rather than him. Second, Netflix doesn't have *that* much selection (2hrs a day? C'mon). Third, we pay attention to what is watched, and how much of it, in our household - generally, it's all or none of us. Who's your babysitter?

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (1)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456826)

You're making assumptions about what I'm like because I mentioned a fact [tv.com] about how much television the average American watches (34 hours per week)? Interesting, considering I don't even have cable so I'm just as atypical as the other guy and people are certainly not like me on average.

I find Netflix has plenty of selection for my needs. I'll find an entire series I never saw, for example I'm watching BSG right now, and watch two or three episodes each weekday. That will keep me busy for almost two months and it only went four seasons.

I don't need a babysitter (though my wife might disagree) I'm in my late thirties and we don't have any kids. Also fairly atypical.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (0)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456184)

It makes me sad that your current state of mind is such that you can't ever imagine living in a house with family & kids. Even with a small family of 4, that is only 30mins per person per day, - or 3.5 hours per person per week (a movie & change)

Modern day isolationism at its worst.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (-1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455816)

That's only 3 hours of downloading at your full bandwidth

Someone fucked up bytes and bits. It's 24 hours at peak bandwidth.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455834)

Wait,no, I fucked up. Oops.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (1)

rbrander (73222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456636)

>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 Netflix court filings that showed a movie costing them a nickel's bandwidth per download. So after you'd hit your cap, Netflix would pay a nickel to their ISP to send it, and you'd pay $1.25 to receive it.

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.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456718)

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).

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456056)

You lost me at planning my downloads around an ISP's schedule. Oh, and the data cap. They shouldn't exist.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456258)

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.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456664)

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'.

Re:UBB needs time-of-use pricing (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456760)

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...

Knowing Bell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455350)

...they have stopped throttling because they have found another way to screw their customers over. And hey, it's not like I'm down just on Bell - pretty much all Canadian ISPs suck. ESPECIALLY TELUS - their suckage knows no bounds.

Re:Knowing Bell... (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455456)

why nit try teksavy, velcom, acanac or any other independent ISP ?

Re:Knowing Bell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455472)

because they all run off bell's infrastructure

they may be "independent" but bell has a monopoly in terms of infrastructure

Re:Knowing Bell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455588)

Most of these providers offer cables and dsl now. So for us in Quebec, it's mostly a difference between Bell and Videotron.

a little more data on usage plans (5, Informative)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:a little more data on usage plans (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455546)

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.

Re:a little more data on usage plans (4, Informative)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:a little more data on usage plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457006)

You think that's bad? Try Northwestel, the only ISP in the NWT, and a subsidiary of Bell.

Lite 384 Kbps/128 Kbps 5GB $41.95
Standard 5 Mbps/384 Kbps 20GB $62.95
Performance 16 Mbps/768 Kbps 70GB $83.95
Extreme 25 Mbps/1 Mbps 100GB $129.95
Overages $7.50/GB (was $10 until a few months ago)

We only just got the 70GB and 100GB packages this month. They haven't even informed their customers through their monthly bills that there are higher caps.

Re:a little more data on usage plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457670)

Maybe you should move out of the fucking sticks then? Or come up with a few tens of millions of dollars to run your own high speed backbone all the way out to CFS Alert [wikipedia.org] or wherever the hell you live.

There is an alternative (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455624)

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.

Re:There is an alternative (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455926)

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.

Re:There is an alternative (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456524)

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.

Re:There is an alternative, TEKSAVVY (1)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#38457674)

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.

Re:a little more data on usage plans (1)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456440)

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 saying these plans are generous. I have Comcast and for US$75/month I have a 250Gb cap and speeds "up to" 20Gbps. We watch a TON of tv and Netflix, as well as downloading videos, ISOs, and playing online games, and rarely come anywhere near that cap.

However, trying to portray the top plan listed here as paying $74/month for 11.4 hours of usage is purposefully misleading. Unless you're downloading a LOT of distros every month and watching all your entertainment online instead of OTA or Cable TV, then you're not going to run into overages in the first week like these numbers seem to suggest.

I hope someday things are better, but using rhetoric like this doesn't help your case, it just makes you look like a charlatan.

Re:a little more data on usage plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457490)

Assuming a 30 day month:

10% of the time = 72 hours.

10 hours a month = 1.39% of the time.

Re:a little more data on usage plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38457106)

That is logical, but not reality. If you set up a script to download the wikipedia database non stop, that may be accurate, but in normal situations tripling the speed and increasing cap by more than 10 times will get you a significant increase of usable time.

A file that is 100 mb with a 2 gb cap is still 100 mb with a 25 gb cap, it just downloads faster because of the speed.

Same with streaming video. If a 30 minute TV show is streamed at exactly 1Mbps it doesn't matter what your speed is, it will always take 225 MB. So with the high speed 25 Mbps connection it can (theoretically) download the entire thing in 72 seconds.

So I guess you are right, but it doesn't mean the 10 hours of usage since you don't necessarily increase the amount of data just because the speed can go faster.

Marketing cycle (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455602)

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).

Re:Too Late For Me (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456550)

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.

Oh my sides! (1)

Sharkus (677553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38455648)

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.

Re:Oh my sides! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455730)

In a world where you're going to get ass raped, pick the rapist who's offering to use lube...

Re:Oh my sides! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456050)

Lube? Oh, you mean the sandsoap.

low data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38455936)

i do not understand why cell companies and internet companies have such low GB limits? 50 GB a month? try streaming a game and you have reached your cap in about 10 minutes..........never mind trying to upload pics from your smartphone to the web......last week i uploaded over 600 GB of hi res photos,.,......not looking forward to the bill.......oy vey.......

i could see caps of 5 to 10 terabytes.....but this 50 GB crap is BS!!!!!

Re:low data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456102)

5 terabytes in a 31-day month is sustaining 15Mbit/s all day every day.

Screw Bell (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:Screw Bell (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456928)

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.

Re:Screw Bell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456962)

Really?? Where can I sign up for that? Bell lies every chance they get too, "only place you can get a Samsung Galaxy" for example..

Throttling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38456134)

Was I the only one who had a double take thinking initially it was "Bell Canada To Stop Internet Trolling" ?

Seems *reasonable* (1)

hipp5 (1635263) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456156)

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 marginal costs to Bell are for each gigabyte over the cap. One *hopes* their overage charges are somewhat in line with this, but who knows.

Third, in relation to that last point: When I lived in Ontario a few years ago I had Bell. I lived in a house with six other guys, and we sucked bandwidth. I don't remember what they charged us per extra gigabyte, but I do remember that the overage charges were capped at $30/month. *If* Bell still has this overage charge cap, then I think this is an especially reasonable thing.

Re:Seems *reasonable* (1)

steamengine (2536922) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456458)

No, it is not reasonable to expect unlimited bandwidth, but it is totally reasonable to expect the speed you pay for. If they cannot sustain it, they should not offer it.

I do have a huge problem with download caps. I may get only 5 Mib/s from my ISP (the slowest speed they offer), but there is no download quota and I cannot imagine having to worry about how much I download during the month. They have no quotas for their 100 Mib/s plan either, the speed is always a little bit faster than the one you pay for, and they do not throttle - not even bittorrent.

I was once told that the reason ISPs kees raising the slowest speed they offer is because with the introduction of higher speed plans lower speeds become unmanageable; but if they cannot sustain the higher speeds either, then what is the point? The only people who need high speed connections are people who use high-bandwidth applications (like streaming and bittorrent software), so if they are going to throttle those or set ridiculously low quotas, then why bother subscribing? Ditch them and hire a decent provider.

Re:Seems *reasonable* (1)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456480)

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 the cost of texting, which IIRC started out as a free service until it caught on and the telecoms realized they could monetize it.

IMO "overage" charges shouldn't exist. You make tiers for max total use and if someone goes over you bump them into the next tier and charge them for that. At the same time, you increase their speed to match the new tier for the rest of the month, just to be fair. People can then decide what tier they really belong in, or let it float month to month and pay for what they use. But the greed-heads would rather use a model like the banks, where they charge you $25 for spending three pennies more than you have in your account. Maybe it makes them more money. You can't really blame them for wanting more money, right? I sure would like some.

Doing the math (1)

anarcat (306985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456430)

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$/mbps/mth - common datacenter bandwidth, in montreal, over a 100mbps pipe, can vary between 5$ to 40$ according to provider
  • 324GB - 1 mbps constant usage over one month (punch this in the excellent "qalculate": 30 * 24 * 60 * 60 second * 1megabit/second to gigabyte)
  • 125GB - highest bandwidth cap you can get from Bell
  • 0.39mbps - equivalent of that in mbps, constant use, over the month (125 gigabyte / (30 * 24 * 60 * 60 second) to megabit/s = 0,38580247(megabit/s))
  • 59.95$/mth - price of that package
  • 24.95$/mth - price for the 2GB (!) package
  • 35$/mth - effective price for a 0.39mbps commitment
  • 90$/mth - effective price for a 1mbps commitment with bell, over a 20mbps pipe

So. This means that bandwidth is sold by bell 90$/mbps whereas they are paying probably something closer to 10$ or even 5$/mbps, probably even less considering the monopoly and sheer volume. We could also observe how those prices usually also involve a 100mbps pipe, whereas Bell offers you a 20mbps connexion. Of course, those are datacenter prices which do not cover the connectivity costs, but still, one could assume those are covered by the 25$/mth base price.

And i'm not even talking about how competitors of Bell *can't* even offer 25$/mth packages because *they're* base price is over 30$/mth... No wonder they fought so hard to try to charge their competitors based on usage too: it is the only edge they have left. (This is still in the cards, by the way [wikipedia.org] .)

I am also ignoring the fact that Bell is also a *content* provider which puts them in a conflict of interest: throttling people and charging them extra for downloading stuff helps them sell their digital TV [wikipedia.org] offerings and other revenues [wikipedia.org]

They have been forced down this route (1)

accessbob (962147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456568)

The smaller ISPs have fought and won the legal battle over throttling. They have won the right to not cap their customers, even though they buy (in bulk) from Bell. Bell is just dropping into line with what their competitors are now doing. I had an email from my own ISP (TechSavvy) a few weeks ago about it.

Re:They have been forced down this route (1)

accessbob (962147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456574)

Sorry I meant "capping" not throttling. But the two seem to be going together here.

Laziness FTW (1)

prograde (1425683) | more than 2 years ago | (#38456834)

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?
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