Canada's telcoms regulator gives bloated, throttling incumbent the keys to the kingdom

The CRTC, Canada's telcoms regulator, had handed Bell Canada, the incumbent former state monopoly, a giant, giftwrapped early Christmas present. Bell — whose infrastructure was built with tax-dollars — is required to share its lines with independent ISPs, so that there can be competition in Canada's ISP market. Bell itself provides a distinctly inferior sort of retail ISP service, with secret throttling and filtering ("traffic shaping"), as well as bandwidth caps, making Canada one of the worst places to get network access in the developed world.

But Bell's competitors have responded by competitive offerings that deliver a neutral network — one that gets you the bits you asked for, as quickly as possible. But that's not going to last.

The new CRTC ruling allows Bell to charge the same rates to its resellers that it charges to its retail customers — in other words, a third party ISP will pay the same to buy a line as one of Bell's customers would (meaning that they have to charge more than Bell charges in order to turn a profit). And Bell will be allowed to impose the same network filters and throttling on these ISPs as it subjects its own customers to.

The Globe and Mail has an interview with Rocky Gaudrault, CEO of TekSavvy, one of Canada's best independent ISPs.

What does it mean for end users, TekSavvy customers or other users of competitive Internet Service Providers?

It means you could get charged in the hundreds of dollars for what you currently pay $35 or $40 dollars for. You could have multiples of your current monthly fee when this all comes through.

Anybody using TV over Internet right now is going to be severely affected by this. I mean, it makes anybody trying to do streaming right now a pretty big concern. Do you keep surfing the Internet? Do you watch TV on the Internet? Just how much gaming do you do because some games now require some pretty big bandwidth? There are far-reaching consequences. Between that and speed-matching, if these are removed it pretty much decimates the entire market space.

CRTC ruling handcuffs competitive market: Teksavvy

(Thanks, Scooter!)