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Bell Wants to Dump Third-Party ISP's Entirely

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the taking-their-cable-and-going-home dept.

The Internet 227

phorm writes "Not only is Bell interfering with third-party traffic, but — according to CBC — they want third-party ISP and phone carriers off their network entirely. Bell is lobbying to have lease-conditions on their networks removed, stating that enough competition exists that they should not longer be required to lease infrastructure to third-parties. Perhaps throttling is just the beginning?"

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As an American, I would like to know (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967756)

to the Sherman Anti Trust Act in Canada? Not that it has helped much in the US lately.

Re:As an American, I would like to know (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967776)

I hit submit too soon. I meant to ask "Is there any equlvalent to the Sherman Anti Trust act?"

Re:As an American, I would like to know (2, Interesting)

VickiM (920888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967778)

I'd be surprised if the Bells in the USA didn't start making this same argument here soon. After all, they have to compete with cable and satellite. Why would anyone need more choices than that?

Re:As an American, I would like to know (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967852)

Yeah right; america has always been insane on government regulation of telecoms. Yeah they get away with all sorts of abuse, but they do not own their own networks; they operate completely at the mercy of congress and the FCC, and there's no way that they'll let them just cancel the terms of their lease contracts that they don't like.

Re:As an American, I would like to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967944)

true that. most of the lease contracts in america require the companies to lease the network out to the 3rd parties at a rate that won't even cover the cost of maintaining the line just so that the 3rd party companies can offer a competitive price to the consumers.

Re:As an American, I would like to know (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967988)

I know, government regulation of telecoms is so crazy considering that all we taxpayers have done is pay for much of the infrastructure, granted them monopolies, and gave up our property for their right of way. I mean, we should just cancel all our deals with them and let them do whatever they like.

I'd love to see a couple dozen telephone lines coming to my house so I can lease from the company I like, rather than having only one. And I'd also like a couple dozen sewer lines, water lines, and road networks I can choose from, too. As well as competing fire departments, police departments, and sanitation.

I mean, why should I pay for garbage removal when I have no sense of smell. My property, my rules. If I don't want to pay for fire protection, I shouldn't have to. If my house burns down, who else could that possibly hurt?

All these government regulations of private industry do nothing but hurt us. Competition will always ensure we have the best possible services available, and there is nothing government can do that corporations can't do better.

The scary thing is, there are people who actually believe that crap, and want to force those beliefs on us rather than just opting out of the system and making one of their own.

Re:As an American, I would like to know (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968078)

You're going to be modded up by people who don't get to your last sentence o_o Also I was using "insane" as one of those cool kid words, not like how you 4-digit-uid geezers think it means.. highly regulated not unfairly regulated

Re:As an American, I would like to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968228)

The scary thing is, there are people who actually believe that crap, and want to force those beliefs on us rather than just opting out of the system and making one of their own.

How does one "opt out" of the current beliefs which are currently forced upon us? Stop paying taxes? For the record, this is 'our own'.

But hey, continue to bleat^H^H^H^H^Hbeat those strawmen!

Re:As an American, I would like to know (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968476)

You opt out by leaving the country and making your own. Sorry, you don't get to dictate to the rest of us. If you want it to be different, go through the process we all have to go through to change things, or leave and do your own thing. You don't own the whole country, and you own your property only because we all agree to private ownership of property. Without us around, I'd like to see how long you could defend your property from those who don't recognize your unilateral claim to it.

Re:As an American, I would like to know (2, Informative)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968236)

Unfortunately, there is no OPT OUT available for these "public services" or "utilities"
Its take it or move to BFE Midwest and live like a fricken hermit.

That being said the Telecoms and Cable Cos seem to forget they pretty much asked to be a utility to get the (semi)monopoly status, and now don't want to act like one.

And don't get me started on the whole net nutrality subject~!!!! (/sarcasm (for those who do not get the new ~=sarcasm meme))

Re:As an American, I would like to know (1)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968408)

I believe that was implicit in the GP's post. If you choose to live in a civilized society, then you must live by that civilization's rules- for the good of the society, even when it's not 100% in your immediate interest. But you are still welcome to go live like a hermit, or find others who want to move with you and start up a new society in the wilderness from scratch where you can have any rules you want... until you bump up against a neighboring society, and then you have to act civilized again or get spanked down. Might be easier just to learn to live with others in the first place.

Re:As an American, I would like to know (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968486)

Thank you. I hate having to point this out to libertarian types over and over and over again. They seem to want all of the benefits of society without paying the costs.

Re:As an American, I would like to know (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967990)

Just like the government wouldn't give the telecoms billions of dollars in subsidies to upgrade their networks and then allow them to continue to raise rates and delay those same upgrades while spending the money on, apparently, hookers and blow? Congress works for the lobbyists (including telecom lobbyists), not for the people. Same with the FCC, which has spend the last several years either rolling back or just ignoring various regulations intended to keep these companies from having too much power.

Re:As an American, I would like to know (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967962)

I'd be surprised if the Bells in the USA didn't start making this same argument here soon. After all, they have to compete with cable and satellite. Why would anyone need more choices than that?
Didn't they (read: large corporate internet/content providers like Qwest and Charter) already do this, in reverse? I mean, wasn't that one of their major arguments AGAINST opening the Cable networks to competition? "Why should we allow you to get someone else's pipe on your cable modem? You already could just get DSL or Satellite!"

US Bells (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968184)

I'd be surprised if the Bells in the USA didn't start making this same argument here soon. After all, they have to compete with cable and satellite. Why would anyone need more choices than that?

Most people don't have a choice, either for landline phone service or broadband net access. The only substantial choice people in the US have is with cellphone service, however it's not setup for broadband yet. Now though businesses could use the newly available 700 MHz bands to offer wireless broadband.

But back to the question, simply the more choices the more competition.

Falcon

Re:As an American, I would like to know (2, Informative)

skywolf3 (1149597) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968500)

I do know that here in Atlanta AT&T has been making it very difficult for third-party ISPs to operate. With AT&T trying to hard to kick Comcast in the ass, they are now giving priority to AT&T's on demand video, I often get disconnected or get smacked with high latency at peak times. My neighbors who use AT&T's own dsl, don't have these issues. I'm just waiting for the day when AT&T says enough and just boots them. I really don't know what I would do. Comcast filters, AT&T plays mean kid on the block lol. Besides, my third-party ISP actually has employees who answer the phone, speak english, live in the same town as me and KNOW WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT!!

Re:As an American, I would like to know (2, Informative)

jfp51 (64421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967812)

Canada has the Competition Act and also a common law framework that provides the legal basis.

Scuttlemonkey != editor (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967838)

Wow. Not only is the apostrophe erroneously used in the title, but the description is written poorly.

Additionally, what is up with Slashcode lately? It sucks. Comments don't fully load. It is time to fork the older version without this BS. Even Digg's comment system works better than the latest Slashdot comment system. Kevin Rose is still gay, though.

Sincerely,
Angry Sunflower

Agreed; mod parent up (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968110)

Also, what the hell is up with these huge, ugly reply and parent buttons? I liked the simple links better. Also, it is harder to view comments that have been censored by the majority with the new Slashcode. That slide bar is very annoying.

Hmmmmm..... (0)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967774)

Looks like old Ma Bell wasn't really dead after all..... She was just in at home regaining her strength and plotting her next move with her Baby Bells.....

Re:Hmmmmm..... (3, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968064)

Ma Bell is alive and well, and living under the name "AT&T" these days, which is technically what she was known as before the whole "Ma Bell" thing...but the current company is technically SBC (Southwest Bell), which happened to be the nastiest and most voracious of the little bells. They switched their name to AT&T inc after they bought the "original" AT&T co which was the chunk of the original company that was allowed to keep the name after the divesture.

(I know the preceding paragraph is nearly incoherent. The business relationships are completely incestuous.)

Half of the original Bells are owned by AT&T these days, and with buyouts like Cingular, it's arguably nastier than before.

Re:Hmmmmm..... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968434)

Except this is Bell Canada we're talking about, which was split off from the whole bunch about 60 or 70 years ago. They have nothing to do with AT&T or any of the Bells you mention, except that they share a common name, and that's because they were all incorporated by Alexander Graham Bell.

It is in their best interest to 'do no evil' ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967786)

as far as PR goes, but that is generally not how stock holders like the company to operate. The likelihood that this is just the beginning is a little better than 1:1 IMO at this point.

You can also (tin foil hat time) bet that this move is in consideration of some strings being pulled from somewhere else.

They are a utility (0, Troll)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967794)

At this point telecom companies are utilities, so they shouldn't be able to restrict usage like that. Everyone expects their tap water to be of a good quality no matter where you live. However, I don't think that the government should force them to lease infrastructure to competitors. I think bell could probably make quite a bit of money leasing infrastructure though.

Re:They are a utility (4, Insightful)

PFAK (524350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967824)

Why shouldn't they be forced by the government to lease their last mile? The infrastructure that Bell uses for delivery of their service was paid for by Canadian tax dollars, and supported by a government provided monopoly.

Re:They are a utility (3, Insightful)

ancientt (569920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967928)

Essentially the tax payers are the ones who created and funded the company. It has served its purpose.

As with any government agency, once the services it provided are done by private industry, it is time to cut out the public funding. The government should sell back all the hardware to all the companies involved and use the funds generated to cut taxes.

Doubtless this seems unfair to Bell, but the government was unfair to everyone when it created an intentional monopoly. When they whine, and they will whine, they should be told to join the competition that they felt was healthy enough.

Re:They are a utility (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968176)

I think, in those early days, it was a wise investment on the part of government. Within a few decades, phones reached just about every house in the US and Canada. The government (really the people) knew that no company could raise the capital required for such a massive infrastructure program, so they popped in the right-of-ways and the like and granted the companies an effective monopoly, but with some rather important understandings.

What's happened is that the telcos have forgotten that the taxpayer subsidized and continues to subsidize their networks.

Re:They are a utility (5, Insightful)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968022)

Why shouldn't they be forced by the government to lease their last mile?
well that totally ruins there plans to monopolize the last mile, jack prices through the roof and make a metric (its Canada) assload of cash, all at the taxpayers expense. duh.

Re:They are a utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968304)

better than that, why shouldn't the canadian taxpayers just own the last mile themselves? bell got a free ride when they were allowed to have it and the government should take it away from them.

Re:They are a utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967942)

Your missing the point to this. Why would Bell want to lease their infrastructure like they are currently forced to do when they can cut out any competition and force YOU to pay $xx.xx more than what a third party will make you pay. Hell, with no competition they can continue to jack up the prices like they've been doing the last few years and because they'll be the only choice, your stuck paying whatever they charge. Our choices in Canada are very limited when it comes to internet access. DSL or Cable, those are the two main technologies with two or three main players at both ends of the country.

Re:They are a utility (4, Interesting)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968010)

Here's the issue: Bell and the other Stentor consortium members were essentially granted a monopoly--and were given government support--to build the telecommunications network in Canada.

When high-speed internet came to the forefront, Bell utterly failed to deliver a competitive product and was basically going to fall back a the "gentleman's agreement" with the cable- and phone companies that would have allowed a maximum amount of profit for the providers with a minimum amount of service on lines that we, the consumer, subsidized.

The CRTC, deciding that the existing Bell/Stentor cartel had done little except gouge customers and that forcing leased lines had done wonders for the long-distance market, hit Bell with the same thing. The result is that Canada has one of the best broadband adoption rates in the world, despite a fairly unfriendly geography.

Yes, they own the last mile, yes, and pay for it, but it's not like they didn't get a free ride from the CRTC and the Canadian public for years. Revoking this will result in a broadband market that looks like the Canadian wireless market: something like the "gentleman's agreement" mentioned above that keeps prices uncompetitively high.

On that note, I personally think the CRTC hasn't gone far enough: they need to force the incumbent providers to open their wireless networks ("System Access fee" my ass) as well. The wireless market in this country is abysmal (as in "worse than the US, by a large margin") and the reason is that the incumbents maintain a cartel and buy or destroy competition.

Heck, Canadian content rules have actually kept foriegn competition out of the market, which means that all Bell et al have had to compete with are small fish and bottom-feeders, which is what Bell wants to squash. I don't like T-Mobile or Verizon much, but I'd like to see them slap some respect into Bell, Telus and Rogers

Re:They are a utility (3, Informative)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968178)

There is no government imposed system access fee. Every provider in Canada that I've seen charges it, and nobody has to. It was originally intorduced to help expand the network but that day has passed, and now there are no requirements for it, but that didn't stop anybody (including Rogers) from charging it.

Re:They are a utility (2, Informative)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968254)

You're correct. The problem with the System Access fee is that the providers and their resellers have implicitly (and occasionally explicitly) said that it's government mandated. The CRTC has expressed some interest in forcing them to clarify it, which, of course, they're fighting.

I've personally had a "discussion" with a Rogers Enterprise Wireless rep (and his sales engineer) on this point when negotiating our contract. He and several of his colleagues were under the impression that it was CRTC-mandated.

Re:They are a utility (2, Informative)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968328)

I think that's starting to change. Rogers says it relatively clearly on their site when you're looking at plans "A $6.95 monthly System Access Fee (non-government fee), ", and I believe others do as well.

That's one of the reasons I do prepaid service. Its about the only way to avoid these fees. We'll be getting a second phone soon and doing the same thing. I was thinking about a couples' package for ~$35/month, until you realize that its actually over $50/month once you total up all the extra fees.

Re:They are a utility (2, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968292)

However, I don't think that the government should force them to lease infrastructure to competitors.

When the government gives businesses billions of dollars, taxpayer dollars, in subsidies the government better attach strings to the money. Such as open access. And actually building the infrastructure the money was given to them to do.

Falcon

Re:They are a utility (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968460)

I think bell could probably make quite a bit of money leasing infrastructure though.

Not nearly as much as they can make by enforcing a monopoly.

I work for a CLEC & we just went to the PUC regarding this kind of issue - they are literally selling residential service at below wholesale cost.

Re:They are a utility (3, Insightful)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968504)

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you genuinely don't know what's wrong with your suggestion.

There's plenty of competition in high speed internet, but there is *NOT* plenty of competition in terms of technologies in use. Bell Nexxia owns 100% of the copper to the house. Likewise for cable TV lines... in Ottawa, where I live, for example, 100% of the cable TV lines (and that includes cable Internet) are owned by either Rogers (on the Ontario side), or Videotron (on the Quebec side). There is exactly one provider of wireless Internet services.

That means that if Bell's argument is accepted by the CRTC, the Ottawa market will go from having about 50 options for high speed Internet to having exactly 3, each with a monopoly on their respective technology.

To make matters worse, not one of those three providers offers a service that is suitable for technologies like VPN, or running your own server. All three of them filter access on those ports, and won't allow their users any incoming connections. It's also in their service agreements that they can terminate your service if they catch you running a server.

In other words... not only will the variety of consumer-level services be cut down to 3 monopolies, the quality of services available to consumers will fall into the shitter. It's already fairly well known that if you need to run a VPN, you don't go with Bell, Rogers, or Storm in this city... you go with one of the 3rd parties that's leasing time through one of those three, to get unfettered access. If you want decent access to the Internet, you have to buy a corporate connection from these people... Bell's cheapest runs about $80/month, Rogers is the same, and Storm is $195/month. Just for the privilege of actually having a connection to the 'net which you can use for more than surfing and e-mail.

What's more, tax dollars paid for the establishment of Bell Nexxia. We paid for that copper which they own. So no. They should absolutely be required to continue leasing service. Actually, the Government should acquire Bell Nexxia and turn it back into a crown corporation, and make BCE, the phone/Internet company, lease time from Nexxia as well.

what it is that is beginning (1)

rodentia (102779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967840)

Throttling is at the other end of the pipe, where they have you by the short and curlies. This is the latest salvo in another volley of lawsuits. This is the beginning of the end of teh internets. Soon you will have a public utility running a subsidized feed of advertisements and surveilance kit to your boxen, call it TV++.

Whatever we get, it is double-plus ungood. It is increasingly clear to me that the www, at least, has been dead for about a decade.

Re:what it is that is beginning (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968376)

"Whatever we get, it is double-plus ungood. It is increasingly clear to me that the www, at least, has been dead for about a decade."

Dead in what sense? Because if I compare the world wide web in 1998 to the one we have to day, dead is not how I would describe it.

Good for them (2, Insightful)

FireXtol (1262832) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967856)

I've thought for quite a while that forcing telecoms to lease bandwidth to 3rd party providers has been a bad idea. Look at Qwest's leasing options with MSN. MSN has a contract that states they MUST be the lowest-priced Qwest-backed ISP! This is, of course, only BAD for competition. It's just supporting the huge MS monopoly.

Re:Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22967932)

The telecoms own the (last mile) wires! If they're not forced to lease
there will be no competition! They had 100 years to build
the wire plant, with lots of breaks from the government
and no one could afford to do the same (especially since
things are rigged so that you would generally have to
wire a whole state at a time).

Re:Good for them (1)

FireXtol (1262832) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967952)

Right... forcing them to lease, BUT in a competitive manner would be best. This is not the case, unfortunately. So small ISPs have little chance against the larger ISPs.

Re:Good for them (1)

taylortbb (759869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968276)

However the regulatory environment in Canada is different. That competitive approach is what you have in the US, and it results in deals like the Qwest/MSN deal you mentioned. In Canada the contracts are government regulated, all ISPs pay the same fee to Bell and receive the same service, no preferential treatment. And the fee is set by the government at Cost + 15% profit, so that Bell can't set prices so high no one can compete.

Re:Good for them (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967996)

Actually, Bell "owns" the (last mile) wires... emphasis on the '"'. The wires were installed by Bell and paid for by Canadian Taxpayers. Bell is forced to lease them because they don't really belong to Bell in the first place. They just happen to be the government subsidized company that was hired to install and manage the infrastructure. Now they want to act like a private company without giving up their government-given priveleges.

Re:Good for them (2, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968016)

The telecoms should be allowed to keep what they paid for, the rest should go back to the public.

So all that last mile cabling? Welcome to our own network.

monopolies (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968482)

I've thought for quite a while that forcing telecoms to lease bandwidth to 3rd party providers has been a bad idea.

What's bad are taxpayer supported monopolies. These companies, telcos and cablecos, have been given monopolies then they've been given taxpayer money to buildout a broadband infrastructure. Which they didn't do.

Falcon

Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967912)

Can't play well, eh? Dump them-- DSL and landlines-- and go to VoIP. And take Rogers with.

Truly: they don't understand the Internet, only monopolistic revenues. They're never spanked, so hit them in the wallet, where they'll feel it as that's where their hearts and souls are.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

tux_attack (1173501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968038)

A good theory but hard to implement VoIP has less uptime and dies in power-outages. Also cable, at least in the US, has vendors like Comcast and Time-Warner which are terrible as well.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968156)

VoIP isn't that bad, if you spend the same money to protect it that you spend protecting landlines/tip-and-ring. 'Terrible' is relative.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968042)

Dump them-- DSL and landlines-- and go to VoIP
Ummmm... without landline infrastructure, how do you plan on conveying that VoIP data?

Unless what you really meant was get rid of all telephone lines (and by proxy DSL), presumably to make way for direct fiber, which sounds like a whole lot of billions of dollars to me if we're going to go ahead and do the whole system at once.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968186)

Consider: cell phones. Consider: connectivity that doesn't use 'landlines' or tip-and-ring technology, rather, symmetrical fibre and local digital infrastructure (not DSL). Get rid of the monopolies and governmental sanctioned phone-mafias. Be inventive. Be firm.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968056)

OK... we ignore DSL/twisted copper/FiOS, we ignore Cable/co-axial...

What, pray tell, are you running your VoIP over? Satellite? Some cellular network that doesn't use Bell or Rogers trunk lines?

Spanking Bell profits Rogers. Spanking Rogers profits Bell. About the only thing you can do is stop using voice and data services altogether to avoid directly or indirectly paying one of those companies.

Or you can move.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968352)

What you could do is, instead of spanking one or the other, whip out a big stick and whale on both of them. Lay a beating on Telus while you're at it, and a light paddling to Aliant, MTS, Sasktel, Shaw and Cogeco. Oh, and Videotron should be bludgeoned to death.

The bludgeon, in the case of most of these, would be maintaining the wired-line lease requirement and adding a requirement to lease wireless airtime, tower and spectrum access.

A la carte TV would be nice, too.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968420)

A la carte TV would be nice, too.
Isn't that called Bittorrent? :D

Seriously thoughb, sounds like a good plan. Why lease spectrum access though? The companies don't own that or control the infrastructure... the other guys just have to apply for access and be allocated a chunk. I could see mandatory leasing of assigned but unused chunks though; that would get the big boys to at least put SOMETHING on the bandwidth they've reserved.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968406)

Just run the last mile over wireless, and we will in a few years (read: WiMax).

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968448)

You can already do that in a good chunk of Saskatchewan. SaskTel and YourLink both offer wireless internet service. And it's fast enough for VOiP.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

Guido von Guido (548827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968118)

"so hit them in the wallet, where they'll feel it as that's where their hearts and souls are."

So telco managers in Canada have souls? I didn't realize the difference between our two countries was so great.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968370)

Of course they have souls. They're sitting in a climate-controlled vault in Hell, right next to the room that contains the souls of anyone in the Insurance industry.

Separate the infrastructure from the service (1)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968132)

We don't have the option of Rogers in Quebec. Bell is a huge ass monopoly here and if these laws are rescinded we will go back to the dark days of Bell versus Videotron, both of which are monopolies. Both provide overpriced service and poor customer service.

I absolutely love some of the smaller ISPs that resell Bell infrastructure. Their prices and service is way better but they are the mercy of Bell.

The government should nationalize the infrastructure components of Bell and Videotron and the remaining companies should only deal with selling services on top of that infrastructure. This would put Bell, Videotron and resellers on equal footing. They have something similar in Israel and it led to a very versatile marketplace.

Re:Separate the infrastructure from the service (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968226)

As a utility, the crown owns Bell's turf, or at least many pieces of it. The crown giveth, and the crown can take it away. So can provincial governments that grant access, easements, right-of-way, and tax them. I hope it doesn't get to that... but perhaps they'll start to get the idea.

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (2, Insightful)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968152)

See through the politics and bullshit, this is a "red herring" they say they don't want the extra revenue from the 3rd party ISPs, but in reality they are just asking for a concession from the 3rd parties ("OK we'll accept the throttling, just don't drop us")

Re:Do the right thing: dump Bell Canada altogether (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968278)

Seems like a red herrings, but even red herrings add up to fodder to be used to get what they want. The concessions they want aren't deserved.

good thing (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967914)

Google is so happy about all that openness. That they keep talking about. Why not just come out and admit that they took a beating? Now that Verizon got the spectrum (and doesn't have to fear last-mile competition) they are trying to consolidate all access. And Google is trying to claim that possession of the spectrum doesn't give them complete control. Right.... It's only a matter of time until the Bells re-consolidate. Google loss was a huge loss for everyone. No matter how many "don't panic, we are happy" press releases they put out.

Re:good thing (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967956)

Google still had a small victory in that loss. Part of the spectrum required completely open access to all third parties. Now whether that is done voluntarily or through a lawsuit or two remains to be seen.

Re:good thing (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968012)

has beePosession is 9/10 of the law. A "lawsuit or two" can be dragged out for years until the market is manipulated to the point where paying the damages for the past instances of non-compliance will become irrelevant -- a monopoly will have been established.

Re:good thing (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968198)

hPosession is 9/10 of the law. A "lawsuit or two" can be dragged out for years until the market is manipulated to the point where paying the damages for the past instances of non-compliance will become irrelevant -- a monopoly will have been established.
And you know what happens to companies that do that? That really, truly violate a government order allowing private citizens to access something created with private funds?

they get their corporate charter revoked, all shareholders lose everything, and their assests are auctioned off to their competition in a firesale.

This isn't Microsoft selling a new type of phone. It's Enron trying to sell a new type of power line.

Re:good thing (1)

YaroMan86 (1180585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968120)

Knowing Verizon, it's likely to be a couple lawsuits before they play nice with the spectrum.

Re:good thing (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968432)

They forced the providers to pay through the teeth, who now have to manage it, and google still get's access to it? Umm, I fail to see how Google "took a beating" ?

Not only is dumping illegal (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967924)

... but they put up that big barricade to make it impossible. They tested it quite thoroughly by having Cletus attempt to circumvent the anti-dumping device and he was unable to. It's foolproof.s

OK, so an early flaw was that you could ram the barricade with your car allowing you to dump a silo full of pig manure, but they learned their lesson and fixed that.

So good luck Bell with dumping your "third-party ISPs" (whatever that is). There is simply no way you will be able to.

DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22967930)

It didn't work in the US, there seem to be problems in the UK, and now Canada. Retrofitting open access into networks and companies that weren't built for it just doesn't work politically or financially, because the telcos always find ways to screw it up (aka loopholes, regulatory capture).

If we want an open access infrastructure, I am forced to conclude that we need to build it.

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (4, Interesting)

rpp3po (641313) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968014)

It didn't work in the US...
Of course it works! For example, there is a very healthy and competitive DSL resale market in Germany. It is protected by strong anti monopolistic government regulation and works out quite well. Needless to say that you need something else than a lobbyist infiltrated FCC to accomplish something like that.

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968158)

It didn't work in the US...
Of course it works! For example, there is a very healthy and competitive DSL resale market in Germany.
I'd like to be the first to give a big American welcome to our 51st state, Germany!

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968296)

Poor American. Literacy isn't what it used to be in your country, is it?

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968422)

Does appear that the dumbest American still manages to comprehend meaning that stuck-up Eurofags can't.

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968546)

Let me break it down for you: The response to "generalization, examples" was "opposite generalization, example", but Mr. Doesn't-understand-his-own-language couldn't make that link because his reading comprehension only covers 2 lines of text.

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (2, Interesting)

masdog (794316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968066)

The question is - how do you build an open-access infrastructure without having to completely rip and replace all the last mile infrastructure in the United States and Canada? Not that I doubt its possible, but from a business standpoint, they like the current infrastructure. They make money no matter what - either by charging competitors to allow them access to the system or by charging customers. And they don't have to invest capital in updating the network (which everyone but Verizon seems to be avoiding). Now...I'd love to see more municipal networks that lease access to the telcos, but I don't see that happening.

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968136)

The question is - how do you build an open-access infrastructure without having to completely rip and replace all the last mile infrastructure in the United States and Canada?
Exactly, so we're screwed either way. (Technically you don't have to rip and replace; you can build a parallel infrastructure. But the cost is the same.)

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968222)

It's not their decision to make, it's ours. I think the next time they whine about the conditions of their "parole"(what I call their inheriting a monopoly and behaving like it still exists) I think we need to tell them they're just a managing company, and can be replaced at our whim. Let's see bell paying the network access fee, and see if they like it. They want to charge for use of something WE own, they shouldn't be allowed to profit from that.

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (2, Informative)

dadragon (177695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968362)

I work for SaskTel [sasktel.com] , a smallish telco in Canada, but still an ILEC in Sasktchewan. Here's how our network works:
  • Our landline switches have access points for third party long distance switches interconnecting with ours. This allows for long distance competition.

  • Our landline switches also have access points for third party telephone company switches, for example Shaw [www.shaw.ca] has telephone service in my city. Rogers and SaskTel mobility also provice local service.

  • Although we don't have any, third party unbundled loop CLECs are allowed to lease space in our COs to directly provice traditional copper based services like phone or DSL from their own equipment.

  • Our IP core network allows for multiple backhauls onto the internet, so you can lease DSL ports from SaskTel and use your own internet connection for the backhaul. If you're a SaskTel DSL customer you get SaskTel's default backhaul.


I feel this provides for a fairly open access network. Competitors can hook into just about any area of our network. We have more than enough bandwidth to our DSLAMs to handle 10 meg connections to every port. The only "competitors" that I feel are completely useless are the rebilling kind, the ones who will charge you for our service, which we provide the whole way, just front line tech support is provided by the rebiller.

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968112)

Hello from Germany. For 30EUR (ca. $45) a month we can get a phone line with 16MBit/s DSL, unlimited internet traffic and unlimited calls to landlines. There's fierce competition even though the former state-owned Telekom owns most of the last mile connections. Competitors can buy several forms of access, from raw wire to bitstream access at central locations.

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968114)

it's working now, they're simply trying to break it.

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (1)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968166)

It works in great Israel and it somewhat works in Canada. Just because Bell doesn't like it doesn't mean it doesn't work.

In Israel you have two types of companies: one sells you access to the infrastructure and another sells you access to the service (internet, phone, etc). This places Bell on equal footing as any other internet provider and it has led to a very competitive marketplace.

Re:DSL reselling/unbundling doesn't work (2, Informative)

Froster (985053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968172)

Until this all hit the fan in recent weeks (after the CRTC affirmed their policy to force Bell to continue to lease its lines) I had no idea there was a problem. Just looking at the math on paper, it seems relatively clear that Bell is still making decent money maintaining the network, as $20 of my $29.99 internet service is going directly to Bell, and I am also paying $9.10 extra for a dry loop to my house as well. So, of my monthly internet cost, $29.10 is for Bell to provide the connection, and roughly $10 is for my ISP to provide a service over that connection. For that small portion of the cost, they provide a generous cap, do not throttle, have excellent customer service and provide a very reliable internet connection.

Bell gets the lion's share of the monthly fee, and my ISP gets the smaller chunk, and does not complain at all about the service they provide vs. its cost.

I would have to say though that my preference would be that Bell should be broken up into one company that maintains the network, and another company that sells the service. That way, Bell's Sympatico service would have to compete on equal footing with any other DSL provider.

the infrastructure business model (1)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968008)

The "infrastructure" business seems like a hell of a niche to get in to. Rather then being a provider yourself, you provide the copper/fiber/whatever and lease it out to whoever. If you agree to a few monopoly stipulations (like not competing with your third party vendors), you could probably suck on the government tit for generations to come. Someone get me a VC on the line, I think I can take over Manhattan by Monday.

Re:the infrastructure business model (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968080)

Yeah, that sounds like a veritable utopia [pff.org] .

Re:the infrastructure business model (1)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968140)

Yikes. Glad I made a joke about it instead of actually doing it.

ISPs, not ISP's. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968058)

Sincerely,

Grammar Nazi.

Re:ISPs, not ISP's. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968190)

Grammar Nazi
Grammar Nazi?- Is that an old lady with unpleasant political views?

Competition? Really? (1)

vecctor (935163) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968074)

I know this is about Bell Canada, but I thought the situation was pretty much the same there as here in the US; that is - very little competition.

The first thing I thought when I read "there is plenty of competition" was "Bahahahaha, yeah right! Good one!".

Most places you get one or maybe two choices (and no, satellite doesn't count).

And hey, more choice would be good, but the opposite wouldn't be bad either: municipal fiber being more common. As far as I'm concerned, broadband is a utility.

VoIP,etc,etc, (2, Interesting)

loconet (415875) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968090)

I can't believe they could actually get away with this. There goes VoIP. This basically leaves us with Rogers and Bell to choose from. Period. Since Bell is still mainly a telephone company, I can't imagine Bell being too happy with customers switching to VoIP providers either (same with Rogers, they also offer a home phone service. ). If they can get away with throttling their internet provider competition or flat out lobby against their existence, what's to say they won't plain out choke out VoIP as well? Or Skype? Or "Youtube" - because they "compete" against their sat service. Where does this stop.

We, citizens, need to light a fire up the government's ass to step in on this one.

dumb much? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968100)

Oh yeah, and there would be SO much competition if all the 3rd party ISPs had to lay their own cables! Either it'd be basically a monopoly or they'd get crushed when the 3rd partiers band together and actually do lay their own cable and it's fiber.

Re:dumb much? (1)

YaroMan86 (1180585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968180)

That seems probable.

If a bully pisses off enough of the little guys, eventually the little guys pop and take out the bully.

Say Yes, But With A Caveat... (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968134)

If I was in government, I'd say yes to Bell, but with the caveat that they would now to have rent the right-of-ways they were effectively given all those years ago.

The Telcos have forgotten that their networks, both in Canada and the US, were built, one way or the other, with the good graces and money of the taxpayers. Those right-of-ways were essentially a gift, with the understanding that they would be used to make communications near-universal.

If the Telcos want to end that universality, then I think their automatic right to those right-of-ways should be removed. We can either go to an open bid, or we can do annual leases, the rates dependent on how nicely the Telcos behave. If they don't like it, they can go buy their own right-of-ways. Might be a bit problematic in major cities, but oh well, I don't think these bastards deserve an ounce of consideration any more.

Re:Say Yes, But With A Caveat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968466)

"If I was in government, I'd say yes to Bell, but with the caveat that they would now to have rent the right-of-ways they were effectively given all those years ago."

Retroactively and with interests on the late payments, please.

I hate my DSL (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968192)

I have Sympatico and it SUCKS great steaming tourdes. Right out of my butt. It seems like EVERY night right around 7 PM everything grinds to a halt. first thing in the morning - bing bang quick as lightning, but in the evening, it's like they're specifically jerking me around.

It really bites. Example: lest night, 8.30 pm. I fire up my computer (MacBookPro) click connect, and suddenly the DSL light goes out. Then it comes back on. Then it goes out. when it finally links up I've got a DL speed of something like 42kbps.

It's ridiculous. So, I disconnect, turn off the modem, fix myself a martini, and when I get back I turn on the DSL modem, and wait a minute for it to go through its motions. Then I click to connect and bingo - same little soap opera.

So, I give up, and in the morning, I fire everything up, and I get online with 1.2mbps DL speed - thing is ROCKIN.

It really pisses me off. I had totally crap service in San Francisco from SBC/ATT, but this is MUCH worse. Although, when it works, it's way better than what I had in SF.

RS

Simple. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968244)

The amount of regulation should be proportianal to the barrier of entry in a market. $1 trillion to enter? Regulate the fsck out of the one or maybe two entities that can afford that. Capitalism only works when healthy competition exists, otherwise the market must be regulated simply because the feedback mechanisms that make capitalism so wonderful just break down with monopolies. Also, monopolies are natural features: they emerge every once in a while and need to be broken up when they do - they are a symptom of our incomplete understanding of capitalism. If we fully understood capitalism we would not let monopolies emerge in the first place.

Canada: regressing once again (2, Interesting)

Powercube (1179611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968256)

In 1996 my family signed up as beta-testers for cable internet with Videotron. We were given a 5/5 connection, as beta-testers at the time it was free but once the service was mainline it was only 40 dollars a month. Not bad, keep in mind that Telus wasn't even offering DSL at this point... Shaw then buys out Videotron in Alberta and creates the "powersurfr" brand... prices go up and speeds fall to 2/768! Now, for a lovely 60 dollars a month I can get a 10/1 connection that has a cap... it used to be unlimited! Oh, did I mention that anything meaningful is throttled? I think the Canadian telecoms saw Australia's clusterfuck and wanted to be just like them. Okay, maybe not. Even though Telstra may be a constant thorn in the side of every Aussie, there are a lot of third party providers leasing their lines. The ACCC requires Telstra to lease the last-mile out and I doubt this will ever change.If Bell gets their way, the caps that Rogers are starting to put into place out East are going to look like amazing deals in mere hours. I can't tell you how much I hate to side with the CRTC but they'd be morons to let this happen (that said they've done everything they can to prop up CTV and ExpressVu).

If competition is so great.. (2, Informative)

Seek_1 (639070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968298)

Would someone please tell me where I can an ISP in Ottawa (Canada's Capital of all places) that doesn't have a downstream cap, or throttling/traffic shaping and has (god formid) decent customer service.

I'm looking for a new ISP because just this week I got a notice from Rogers that they've decided to change the definition of 'unlimited' to 95Gigs + $1.50/Gig after that. While I understand that Rogers is utterly incompetent, once my services and billing were properly set up, they required very little maintenance once they were up and running (it took me almost two years for their 'system' to properly bill me automatically and send me a paper invoice). Because of this I haven't had a reason to switch. ***Attention Shareholders*** Now I do.

I've been looking at CIA.com (www.cia.com) recently as they come highly recommended, but I'm waiting until I can get some more concrete numbers before signing up.

And yes, I will be cancelling my Rogers account now (After nine years), and have no plans to switch over to Bell.

Plenty of competition? Hardly (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22968474)

Here in the Yukon, we have NorthWesTel... owned by Bell Canada. That's it for land lines. No options.

For internet, we used to have 4 ISP's, NWTel's pricing to those ISP's (same idea as the leased services that Bell is trying to kill) crushed two ISP's and NWTel bought the 3rd. So... NWTel is the only option. Oh, wait, there's Navigo as well. hmm it's crappy and ultimately owned by NWTel as well.

Cellular services. We have Latitude wireless (owned by NWTel) and Bell (which, once again, owns NWTel).

NWTel is really great at lobbying the CRTC to expand and extend their monopoly in the north, to the detriment of northerners.

I can only imagine (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22968494)

I can only imagine that Bell's public relations director is out-sick today. He'll walk in Monday, see his 1,046 new voicemails, go in the corner and cry.
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