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CRTC Proves that Monopolies are Good

in Chutzpah, Computers, Consumer Advocacy, Technology

I wrote this many years ago, but isn’t it refreshing that “…plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…”? The CRTC continues to protect the monopolies.

For those of you who are not techno-dweebs or geeks (like I am), you may not have noticed that this past week the CRTC ruled in favour of Bell (and Rogers, I would assume) in their battle with Service Providers who “sublet” bandwidth from them and repackage that to customers (specifically Teksavvy, but others as well) that they must uphold Bell’s Usage Based Billing rules when they repackage the service.

Previously, companies like Teksavvy allowed you to have unlimited usage for a month, with no “caps” on your usage of broadband access to your house. This meant you could run NetFlix, YouTube, and many other bandwidth hogs with impunity, without having to worry about overrunning your monthly bandwidth allowance and then being gouged by your Service Provider. Remember, I have already Needed to Ask for special dispensations from Rogers for the same kind of problems (so this is a topic near and dear to my heart).

This is another blow to those who are unimpressed by the Monopoly that the Major  Communication Service Providers have in Canada (for Phones, Internet and Cell Phones), and now we are being held by a much tighter shock collar as well.

However, putting on my Bell Share Holder hat lets me also explain something to my fellow geeks. This is what large companies do. They use their sway and clout to try to crush competitors that are taking away their client base. This was to be expected, and if the CRTC had not made a judgement in their favour, I would guess that Bell would have choked the bandwidth in some other way to stop rampant usage of High-Speed Internet access. You need to be a realist here, and as long as the CRTC (and the FCC to a certain extent in the U.S.), is in charge of this service (or at least make the rules), the monopolies are going to get what they want (sorry to rain on your parade, but that’s the way it works these days).

What can you do?


Simple, ain’t it, though? Not quite true either. There is little you can do to get what you had with Teksavvy again. However, you can negotiate/argue/cajole with your current service provider to get a better deal. I check RedFlagDeals forums to see what other folks have received from Rogers and Bell so that you can get a better deal, but it will not be Unlimited.

If anyone cares to prove me wrong on this one, please post a comment on how it is possible (no, I am not asking for which petition to sign, I mean an actual deal or procedure that gives you unlimited High-Speed Internet access). If I can verify it is legally possible, I will make an entire post about it (and give you full credit, too!).


  • Rogers_Chris February 10, 2011, 12:31 PM


    This is Rogers_Chris, part of Rogers’ social media team. I just wanted to share our blog post on the subject to clear up any confusion for our Hi Speed customers.



  • My Own Advisor February 1, 2011, 9:48 PM

    I agree with others, use your democratic right and power to VOTE for change. Email your MP if your ticked. Otherwise, might as well roll over and take the beating.

    At least if you’re getting played by the game, might as well own some of it; own Bell.

    • bigcajunman February 2, 2011, 7:20 AM

      Very much so! If Rogers and Bell can continue these monopolies, they are going to make good money.

  • Kathy January 31, 2011, 5:25 PM

    I’m curious how this is going to shake out in SK — here in Regina we have 2 major ISPs, Access Communications (“cable”) and SaskTel (“phone”). At this point neither mention anything about data limits. But with SaskTel having a “link” to Bell (I’m not too sure how it’s defined), I’m curious what changes they’ll make, if any.

    I’m sure over time, if the usage billing continues, we’ll eventually get nailed with it here. Unfortunately.

  • bigcajunman January 31, 2011, 2:59 PM

    What about National Capital Freenet (in Ottawa)


    They offer up to 300 GB per month? Better than nothing.

    Anyone care to comment?

  • hedgecore January 31, 2011, 12:48 PM

    It may be important to note that Bell’s own IPTV service will not count against traffic. In other words, not only are they toying with denting net neutrality, but they’re also engaging in anti-competitive behaviour against apple, netflix, and any other streaming content providers.

    • bigcajunman January 31, 2011, 1:00 PM

      That’s again, all for the courts to decide too! Gotta love “Free Enterprise” 🙂 where Monopolies are allowed to crush competitors with impunity.

  • schultzter January 31, 2011, 11:08 AM

    I agree, the situation does not look good!

    Like someone else said, start with the letter writing campaign at http://OpenMedia.ca/meter.

    I wrote a similar article over at http://www.2fatdads.com/2011/01/of-coffins-nails-and-innovation/

    And for something funny see http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5608/196/

  • Sustainable PF January 31, 2011, 9:01 AM

    My MP refuses to acknowledge my communications. As such I will constantly and consistently re-send my email until such time he pays attention to his constituents. He could reply to me and i’d cease the email SPAM campaign. Until he does he will get a plethora of emails from me.

    • bigcajunman January 31, 2011, 9:07 AM

      Fair enough, you can also make paper mail too, that is FREE (no postage needed to mail to your MP).

  • Sustainable PF January 31, 2011, 8:48 AM

    There are a few things you can do.
    First, start spam emailing your MP.
    Second, use your vote to oust your MP if they refuse to take action on behalf of their constituents.

    • bigcajunman January 31, 2011, 8:50 AM

      OK I am good with the first one, let’s leave SPAM out of it though. The second point is key, use your VOTE!

  • JJ January 31, 2011, 8:45 AM

    At some point we should let the legalities of such things play out.


    The only thing you can argue is if the internet is a commodity or security, i argue once you put a price on it, industries will be affected on mass. Amazon,Netflix,Apple, Video,TV,Movies,IT, advertising, Absolutely everything now is affected.

    Everything but what you tangibly buy.

    • bigcajunman January 31, 2011, 8:50 AM

      Excellent points, legality is an argument best left to the courts I agree, but be very vocal about your displeasure is important too.

  • Beth January 31, 2011, 8:36 AM

    For anyone who is interested, visit Openmedia.ca (A consumer advocacy group). They’re trying to do something about it. Not sure if it will succeed, but there’s good info on the issue on their website.

    • bigcajunman January 31, 2011, 8:40 AM

      Good! Yes, please feel free to fill in all of the petitions going on (I have little confidence they will change much), but this is an important ELECTION issue to bring up to your Candidates (at open mic sessions especially).

  • JJ January 31, 2011, 8:09 AM

    This is not a TOLL. Again another mistake.

    This is like controlling the price of gas. Since when has the toll you pay on a highway based on the gas you use. The idea is that gas affects the price of delivering goods. Raise the price of gas you affect the economics of an industry and the internet is the highway for multiple industries. And your not devils advocate your spreading the misinformation that lead to this in the first place. You might as well be working for BCE (Bell).


    It’s a real thing, and yes its illegal.

    • bigcajunman January 31, 2011, 8:26 AM

      Now, let’s not get libelous in our accusations, I am simply pointing out the same arguments that Bell and Rogers pointed out.

      If you read this blog, you will know I have railed against Rogers and Bell countless times, I am simply pointing out that this is not Bell this is the CRTC doing what Bell asks.

      You want to change this? I suggest you talk to your MP candidate in the next election and find out where THEIR party stands on this.

  • JJ January 31, 2011, 7:45 AM

    There needs to be a proper evaluation of actual costs. 20,000% markup over the actual costs of service is nothing more then market manipulation. It’s illegal. This affects the business of many industries. Internet is not a utility like electricity, it’s more like a highway. You may be aware that it was labeled information super highway over a decade ago, there was a reason for such a label. The government must intervene as this market manipulation cannot continue. As BCE is affecting the price of gas on the information super highway and thereby raising the price for many many markets which sell goods and services on this highway.

    BCE is owns TV, competition of which is delivered by internet. BCE is in conflict of interest to be the gatekeeper of its competition. This is not just a manipulation of one market as you so simply framed it in your article. Please do some research before writing.

    • bigcajunman January 31, 2011, 8:03 AM

      Illegal? Immoral maybe, but Illegal? I think that’s a little harder to prove.

      Information Superhighway? 🙂 I remember, I also remember the paper-less office too (another great oxymoron).

      Bell’s argument: Even superhighways have tolls..

      Just being Devil’s Advocate here.


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