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Canadian ISPs Fight Back, Again 200

Posted by kdawson
from the there-goes-competition dept.
jenningsthecat writes "With the recent CRTC decision giving Canadian telcos such as Bell and Telus the legal right to deny third-party ISPs access to their infrastructure, smaller Canadian Internet providers are again fighting for their lives, and are asking their customers for help. The ISPs are seeking public support, asking people to go to competitivebroadband.com to send either a form letter or a personalized message to the Industry Minister, the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader, and optionally the respondent's local Minister of Parliament. If the CRTC's decision is not overturned, approximately 30 ISPs will likely be forced out of business. Competition in the ADSL market will be totally eliminated, and Canadians will have only two choices for wired Internet access: the local Cableco or the local Telco. Given that Canadian taxpayers have heavily subsidized the telcos in multiple ways for several decades, this decision to hand over exclusive control of the keys to the cookie jar hardly seems fair."
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Canadian ISP's Fight Back, Again

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  • Re:Goverment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday September 25, 2009 @01:31PM (#29541499) Journal

    The ISP I worked for for ten years, and was the system/network admin for for seven of those years went under because Telus and Shaw basically set up a scenario in which we couldn't compete with them. Yes, we did have a fiber connection via Shaw's Big Pipe subsidiary, but it was damned pricey. Worse was Telus's stranglehold on the PRI dialup lines. Worst of all was that while both technically were supposed to open their networks to us so we could resell DSL or cable, the hoops one had to jump through and the poverty-level profit margins they allowed made it all but pointless. In the end, we tried to roll out our own WiFi, but geographically or area just wasn't conducive to that.

    The whole deck was stacked from the very beginning, and the CRTC, despite all these grand proclamations of protecting competition, had already handed the keys to the kingdom. To be honest with you, if I were a small ISP now, I'd close shop. There's no money in it any more.

  • Re:Goverment (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 25, 2009 @01:41PM (#29541603)

    Unless you live in a rural area, where your choicess are $100/month satelite or.. nothing because a decade ago verison sued to prevent a wifi co-operative, since it would prevent them from competing (read: price-fixing) in a market they're going to enter any day now.

  • I swear to you (Score:5, Interesting)

    by e-scetic (1003976) on Friday September 25, 2009 @01:49PM (#29541701)

    Seriously, you do NOT want to have to deal with Bell Canada customer service or support for any reason whatsoever. They are legendary for the atrocious level of customer care, for bilking their customers, for owing customers money but never giving it back, for simply getting every last little thing amazingly wrong, for the amounts of pain inflicted and for their sheer level of unfairness.

    I remember when I got my first telephone line back in the mid-80's, within months I had an unexplained and impossible charge, and I simply couldn't contest the charge - it was either pay it plus (growing) interest or have no phone.

    My god, recently I moved to an apartment and had to endure two months of support calls to get my line moved too, and a Bell representative tried to sell me something called Line Insurance - basically, for an extra $20/mo it would guarantee that this sort of thing didn't happen. They wanted to charge me extra to ensure that I got what I already paid for! Can you imagine?!

    No, Bell Canada is evil incarnate and must die.

  • Re:Bigger picture! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Friday September 25, 2009 @01:54PM (#29541773)

    Shaw uses the cable lines.

    Telus uses phone.

    Where does the cable start going through the phone?

  • Re:Goverment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:06PM (#29541905) Journal

    Sorry but I don't see the distinction. Whether you're talking about the power company, the natural gas company, or the internet provider, they still have a monopoly over the market, which was granted by the government's express permission. (Example: Comcast was granted monopoly by my local politicians.) That grant gives the government the power to control pricing. That grant also gives the government power to revoke the monopoly and give it to somebody else.

  • Re:I swear to you (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cassini2 (956052) on Friday September 25, 2009 @02:38PM (#29542291)

    Bell employees call it: "Bell Hell."

    My horror stories are endless. They somehow messed up my move, and after 1 year and many many lengthy and repeated phone calls, still were not billing me at the correct address. I finally canceled all my Bell services. It was the only way I could get them to stop billing the wrong address.

    Once, someone hacked Bell's backbone routers. All the tech support people would do is go: "We do not support trace route. We do not support trace route. Trace route is not installed on our computers." I finally got them to type in "tracert" at the command line. At that point, they admitted they mysteriously had to leave the phone ... I seem to remember being hung up on, and never getting a call back.

    The Bell outgoing email server routinely fucks up. I am pretty sure that they are tweaking the anti-spam settings, and either delete or delay the customer's email messages. Magically, my home internet connection, and all my business customers internet connections, simultaneously loose outbound email for 2 to 3 days. Then it all comes back again. Bell technical support insists the problem is that we use ThunderBird and Microsoft Outlook. Only Microsoft Outlook Express is supported on Bell's network.

    Bell Technical Support is so inept: "Bell does not allow them to install any software including Microsoft Outlook Express on there computers." The next time you are trying to debug an email problem with Bell, always remember that you are talking to a person not allowed to use any email software whatsoever. Bell Tech support is only allowed Webmail.

    Some of the business types are undoubtedly thinking: Why don't you stop using crappy ADSL lines, and spend $1800/month on a partial T1? Firstly, $1800/month is a significant amount of money to be spending on Internet services, especially in comparison to an $80/month business ADSL line. Secondly, I have spent that much money on fancy Bell Lines. Bell can mess them up too!

    Simply put, having ISP's other than Rogers and Bell is vital for Canada's competitiveness. It's called "Bell Hell" for a reason.

  • Re:Letting it die? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by camperdave (969942) on Friday September 25, 2009 @03:47PM (#29543091) Journal
    If the small ISP's don't offer anything beyond what Bell and Telus offer why not let it die?

    Teksavvy is a linux friendly provider that lets me run my own servers. I get a 200G bandwidth cap, 5M/800K DSL line for $29.95/month. Static IP address for an extra $4/month. Bell's service is a 25G cap 6M/800K DSL on which I cannot run servers, cannot get static IP addresses, and their customer service is notoriously bad! (Die Emily, Die!)

    Rogers is almost twice the cost (however, twice the speed): 95G cap, 10M/1M cable. Chances are they don't allow servers either. Unfortunately, their website is experiencing technical difficulties now, so I can't tell. I doubt they're linux friendly, though.

    Frankly, I don't know what I'm going to do if this goes through and Teksavvy closes shop. Either pony up the extra dough, or go without internet (like that would ever happen).

    Is this going to affect third party phone companies as well? I was thinking of switching to Teksavvy for my phone service as well.

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