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CTRC Orders Big ISPs To Provide Matching Speeds For Resellers 91

Posted by Soulskill
from the streaming-hockey-is-a-serious-business dept.
Meshach writes "In Canada there has been a regulatory decision rendered by the CRTC ordering ISPs to provide the same speed to resellers as they do for their own customers. 'Smaller internet providers such as Teksavvy and Execulink had argued that without requirements to offer matching speeds, the big companies would put them out of business. Bell and Telus are selling internet connections of up to 25 and 15 megabits per second respectively over newer fibre-based networks, but smaller providers can typically offer speeds of no more than five megabits per second over older copper-based infrastructure. After holding a public hearing earlier this year, the CRTC now says it will allow phone companies to charge smaller providers an extra 10-per-cent mark-up to use their newer infrastructure in order to recoup the costs of their investments. The regulator also said it would require cable companies to modify their existing internet access services to make it easier for smaller, "alternative" providers to connect to them.'"
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CTRC Orders Big ISPs To Provide Matching Speeds For Resellers

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  • Wow! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The CRTC did something reasonable for a change! Woo!

    That's a step in the right direction, however the lines are still owned by the monopolies, and they still set the base prices.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cgenman (325138)

      I remember back when DSL last-mile resellers would sell access per-user access to ISP's for $5 per month more than they were charging direct customers, for whom they also provided backbone access, service, and aquisition. It met the letter of the law for open networks, but it basically guaranteed that they wouldn't have to compete with small ISP's for service and access charges.

  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Monday August 30, 2010 @07:33PM (#33421346)
    The summary left out the "up to..." with regard to speeds.
  • About Canada (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Monday August 30, 2010 @07:38PM (#33421386)
    For those foreign readers one must realize that in Canada we have very little competition in that the competitors don't really try and compete. I doubt they conspire but they just like things as they are. With each other cut throat is just not in their nature. But for newcomers cut throat does not even begin to describe the environment. The cards have been traditionally stacked against anyone new. If a newcomer does somehow make it then they are usually bought out by one of the monsters.
    But there has been a sea change. The CRTC(our FCC) that seems to have supported this anti consumer situation is no longer friends with the government and thus the big players have lost their biggest weapon to stop annoying things like pro-consumer companies. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
    Interestingly enough this is not part of an anti-big-business campaign like the Democrats in the US but a pro level playing fields campaign.
    If the government continues on this path we might have a chance to have one of the greatest internet systems at low cost that is found on earth. As a heavy user of this sort of technology I can't wait.
    • For those foreign readers one must realize that in Canada we have very little competition in that the competitors don't really try and compete. I doubt they conspire but they just like things as they are.

      A little bit more relaxed up there, eh?

    • by causality (777677) on Monday August 30, 2010 @07:41PM (#33421422)

      Interestingly enough this is not part of an anti-big-business campaign like the Democrats in the US but a pro level playing fields campaign.

      Dear Sir,

      A pro-level playing fields campaign IS an anti-big business campaign. In fact it is an outrage!

      Signed,
      Lobbyists for Major Monopoly ISPs

    • by Nadaka (224565)

      Since when were the democrats anti-big business? The only difference is which big business they support.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Malc (1751)

      There's always been competition in the DSL market, thanks to the CRTC. For many people though, this is not enough as it's often a case of a choice between cable or DSL. If your phone isn't up to scratch, then you have no or little choice of ISP. That sucks.

      Canada used to be a leader with high speed internet, but has fallen behind in recent years. Why are the DSL resellers limited to the speeds they were offering four years ago? It's about time they were offering ADSL2+, which, ignoring the story's comm

      • by Mr. DOS (1276020)

        Isn't that what Bell's Fibe service is – renamed ADSL2+?

      • by haruchai (17472)

        DSL competition always? I recall that a group of ISPs, possibly as many as 12 , had to light a fire under the CRTC over Bell's control of DSL.This would have been back in '98, IIRC.

        • by Malc (1751)

          What, when residential DSL was just starting out? Yes, I too had one of those terrible grey Nortel modems with their silly linecards at the exchange and pathetic upload speed. Wow, a long time without competition.

          • by haruchai (17472)

            The Nortel 1-Meg modem - I may still have one lying around somewhere. Probably can use it to prop up my couch. The line filter alone was only a bit smaller than the last DSL modem I had.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SeaFox (739806)

      If a newcomer does somehow make it then they are usually bought out by one of the monsters.

      And who's fault is that? If the newcomer is privately held they don't have to accept an offer. They have no one to answer to like shareholders in that situation. It's simply human greed and an unwillingness to try to change the system by staying that causes the competition to fall apart then.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by skids (119237)

        We've seen this movie already down here in the U.S. The government steps in to break the stranglehold on the market, forcing the private owners of the infrastructure (ILEC), after much biting and screaming to sell to competitors. Then the small competitors (CLECs) come in. The ones that try to play fair get kneecapped by the ILECs mercilessly. The other ones are ravenous bastards who do things like telling customers to order service from the ILEC (so that they, under common carriage, have to build out

        • by lindoran (1190189)
          --Of course, then the legislative charter would have to be carefully set up to prevent it's use as a giant patronage job bank for do-nothing political allies.

          you made a funny!
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Guspaz (556486)

          the CLEC comes in there undercutting the ILEC and the ILEC is forced to let the CLEC use the equipment below cost.

          In Canada, the CLECs often undercut the ILEC (by running tighter ships and accepting slimmer margins), and the tariffs the ILEC charges the CLEC for use of equipment is far from below cost (indeed, for the new usage-based-billing aspect of the tariffs, it's most likely a markup of 5000-10000% of cost).

    • Re:About Canada (Score:4, Insightful)

      by javacowboy (222023) on Monday August 30, 2010 @08:09PM (#33421640)

      What are you talking about? The CRTC nearly always sides with Bell. They allowed them to throttle their resellers and imposed a 60 Gb cap on their resellers (which will take effect once Bell discontinues all their unlimited contracts). The CRTC seems determined to put the Bell resellers out of business but for some reason I can't fathom decided to throw them a bone in this case. Maybe this has something to do with just how unpopular the CRTC is among Canadians, with an online petition that has over 10,000 signatures [dissolvethecrtc.ca].

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by c6gunner (950153)

        Maybe this has something to do with just how unpopular the CRTC is among Canadians, with an online petition that has over 10,000 signatures [dissolvethecrtc.ca].

        Dude. The "Help nominate William Shatner for Governor General of Canada" Facebook group has over 40,000 votes. I'm not a big fan of the CRTC either, but let's keep things in perspective here ....

        • Dude. The "Help nominate William Shatner for Governor General of Canada" Facebook group has over 40,000 votes.

          There's a difference between clicking a link on Facebook (which a person was logged into anyway) and going out of your way to visit a petition site.

          From the comments I've read and speaking to people, the CRTC really *is* that hated. I wouldn't doubt that a paper petition would collect even more signatures if put in the right hands.

          And looking at the recent GG's we've had, I dare say we could do mu

          • by c6gunner (950153)

            There's a difference between clicking a link on Facebook (which a person was logged into anyway) and going out of your way to visit a petition site.

            Not really, no. It's not important though - I was just pointing out how ridiculously low a number you were crowing about. Maybe if you were trying to petition the mayor of Tuktoyaktuk to cancel the annual Caribou Rodeo, 10,000 signatures would get results. When you're petitioning the Federal Government to scrap a major part of the bureaucracy, all it'll get you is a lot of poorly concealed laughter.

            • More people care about shatner than know what the CRTC is. So 10k is comparatively a lot. Maybe not compared to the Caribou Rodeo but still.
              • by haruchai (17472)

                True. Every time I mention the CRTC to a non-tech friend, they start talking about their mortgage.

                • by rikkards (98006)

                  You think that is bad try working for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

                  • by haruchai (17472)

                    I know what you mean - I've worked for a healthcare organisation in Ont; I've heard the jokes.

    • > If the government continues on this path we might have a chance to have one of the greatest
      > internet systems at low cost that is found on earth.

      Pfft, spoken like someone that doesn't know about systems anywhere else in the world. Look up Japanese pricing some time. Even the US gives you reasonable bandwidth caps, not the 50/60 GB you get from Bell and Rogers.

      Maury

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mini me (132455)

      I would argue that competition is strong in this rural region of Ontario. We have a handful of independent telephone companies, a couple of cable companies, not to mention the big players all duking it out. Everyone has their own infrastructure so we do not have problems with the alternative ISPs having to use Bell's last mile, for example.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Moryath (553296)

      As opposed to the US, where the companies DO conspire, and when caught simply buy off the judge or buy off some legislators or "regulators" to claim that it's not "really" collusion, or else just buy up whole local areas for "exclusive" provisioning.

      I remember when Warner Cable ran Viacom Cable out of my hometown and got a monopoly in the county. Ads with a king declaring "I declare Warner Cable for my entire kingdom", and then hiking the rates by $40/month because what was someone going to do - go to a com

      • by sznupi (719324)

        Ads with a king declaring "I declare Warner Cable for my entire kingdom"

        Really? But he didn't say that with a straight face, right?

    • by i_ate_god (899684)

      tell that to Quebec, where competition in telephony, internet, and tv are heating up extremely fast.

      Bell vs Rogers/Fido vs Videotron

      It is shaping up to be an epic fight

      • If by epic fight you mean it took a third conglomerate to force Bell and Videotron to pretend to compete, kicking and screaming.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Guspaz (556486)

        Rogers/Fido doesn't offer TV or wired internet service in Quebec. Internet remains a duopoly between Bell and Videotron, TV has a third competitor (Star Choice/Shaw Direct), but it has a relatively small market share (less customers over the whole country than Videotron has in Quebec alone).

        Only the telephony market sees a fair amount of competition, with a variety of options (POTS/VoIP/cell) and providers (Bell, Videotron, Rogers, all the VoIP carriers, Public Mobile, etc).

        Internet access infrastructure la

    • I doubt they conspire but they just like things as they are.

      The things are the way that they are because the regulatory body (CRTC) is primarily run by executives from our major telecommunications corporations. The only thing that makes this not a conspiracy, is that it's not done in secret.

    • by mewsenews (251487)

      The CRTC(our FCC) that seems to have supported this anti consumer situation is no longer friends with the government and thus the big players have lost their biggest weapon to stop annoying things like pro-consumer companies.

      When I read this you rang a bell, and sure enough I had read a Globe and Mail article a couple of weeks about about how Harper's government is trying to neuter the CRTC. Here is the link [theglobeandmail.com].

    • by DarthVain (724186)

      I love how people think oil and gas companies and stations conspire etc... set prices. They are NOTHING compared to the telcos in Canada.

      Bell and Rogers don't even try to hide it. They just price everything the same. They even use the exact same sales methods. With convergence I bet their business model is exactly the same now also. They all sell the same services, though slightly different. Cable VS Sat, Landline VS VOIP, Cellphone VS Cellphone (of which both own several subsidiaries), Cable Internet VS Ph

  • CRTTCSJER? (Score:3, Informative)

    by udowish (804631) on Monday August 30, 2010 @07:44PM (#33421438) Journal
    CTRC should read CRTC..messed up banner
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by skids (119237)

      Is there also a GRPH, ATTR and DAC? Oh. Is it too late for VGA humor? I suppose nobody got that.

  • USA (Score:3, Informative)

    by pleappleappleap (1182301) on Monday August 30, 2010 @07:51PM (#33421492) Homepage

    If only they would do that here. There's a local ISP here called Cloud 9 Internet which has EXCELLENT service. I'd much rather use them. However I'm forced to deal with Verizon (who don't even know how to route a CIDR block to me) to get my 35Mbps symmetric connection. It' infuriating.

    • At least you can get 35Mbit symmetric. Here in Oz I'm on 1.5Mbit plus a separate 0.5Mbit connection for VoIP.

      • by conufsed (650798)
        Here in Oz I get 30Mbit down, and 1Mbit up. But I can't get ADSL of any variety at all
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is separate from the 60GB UBB cap. So now you can run into a wall faster.

  • That will surely result in cheaper access for everyone!
  • Maybe it's just me, but if you're using copper lines, you're hopelessly outdated and deserve to be kicked out of the market, like horse carriages and floppy disks.
    • Re:WTF copper lines? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dynedain (141758) <{slashdot2} {at} {anthonymclin.com}> on Monday August 30, 2010 @09:23PM (#33422234) Homepage

      The problem isn't copper vs. fiber. The problem is that the large telcos who own the backbones and built the networks with government funding/subsidies were forced to open up the copper networks to other smaller players on a reseller basis. Now that fiber to the home is being rolled out, they are not obligated (until now) to grant access to the fiber networks.

      The small companies don't own the physical wires and so by not letting them access the next generation infrastructure rollout, the monopolistic big companies can effectively force them out of the market.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Psaakyrn (838406)
        Yes, but that's a separate problem which "matching speeds" or "network neutrality" doesn't solve. That's a problem with "monopoly", plain and simple.
        • Should read up on a concept called natural monopoly. Some things are only efficient to produce if you can have a monopoly. Telco is one of those. Would nearly every house be wired for cable and phone if every potential vendor of phone and cable had to run there own wires around the country in hopes of getting enough subscribers? Would homeowners like to buy houses with 10 phone jacks in each room and a few cable boxes "just in case" they decide to go with another provider? Nope so the monopoly exists. Simil
          • by Psaakyrn (838406)
            The obvious solution would be to have the government do the wiring, just as they build roads.
            • Yep, but a little late for that now unfortunately. What the government could do is replace the backbone with fiber and then give customers the option of sticking with the old copper from the old provider, get service which the old provider leases from the government or from the government/government controlled company directly.
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Welcome to Canada? We have 33m people, and the majority of them live in a 100mi corridor along the US border. And where cable won't go, in some cases all you can get is copper.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      For one group that has a major chance of running Australia - copper and wireless are the future! None of this "obsolete optical technology" for them! They are of course noisy idiots.
  • FIBE (Score:2, Insightful)

    by simonbas (1319225)

    They should rule against Bell Canada for pretending to have fiber services with their DSL "Fibe" network

  • I don't know about you guys, I'm on the high/highest end internet connection and have been for the last 10 years. Over that time my bandwidth has increased about 6X down and 16X up for roughly the same price. So 10% premium is roughly 10 years to recoup costs but will they really be able to sell there 25Mbps connection for anything like the same price 10 years from now? It will be the discount bin $20/mth "highspeed" by then. That is the problem, network gear lasts a bit longer than servers but I'd say its
  • Just for comparison (Score:4, Informative)

    by ZDRuX (1010435) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @05:11AM (#33424240)
    For comparison to those outside of Canada:

    My current ISP is Rogers Inc and I'm using their 15mbit/1mbit package which costs about $54 and comes with about 90GB cap (that's not a misprint).

    Since I'm a heavy user, I always end up using upwards of 300gb/month, which they charge extra for. My total monthly bill is always $102.

    Now, I can get the same speed service with NO bandwidth cap from "Montreal-DSL" for $54 flat. The two big ISP's Rogers and Bell will now be losing half of the money I was giving to them each month just for being total dicks, and I'm calling to start the switch over tomorrow morning.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Teksavvy is getting access to Rogers cable internet now. Cheaper than Rogers, no caps. I think twice before jumping to dsl and look at staying with "Rogers" infrastructure but using the resellers option.

      • They have an unlimited option, but they also have other cable options with a 200 GB cap, which is the same as their DSL tiers. Info is here. [teksavvy.com] Unfortunately, the cable offering doesn't list MLPPP support, which means you won't be getting around Rogers throttling that way. I have heard that Rogers doesn't throttle nearly as bad as Bell though, so maybe MLPPP isn't necessary for the cable option. I should look into that, because we're using MLPPP on their DSL package. The service is great and reliable, but
      • by ZDRuX (1010435)
        Tekksavvy doesn't provide service in Mississauga where I live, I already tried. And I cannot use DSL service because the lines are bad in my house - and Bell obviously isn't about to start digging up the street so I can have fast internet access from a 3rd party ISP, so I'm forced to stick with anyone who can provide Cable internet in my area.
    • by volmtech (769154)
      Poor baby. I live one mile past the last mile for cable or dsl. I have HoughesNet satellite service, $94 for 1.5 mbit with a 450mb per rolling 24 hour period limit (thats not a misprint). If you go over that they impose a penalty by cutting speed to 36kbit for 24 hours.
    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Not sure where you live, but I know in many parts of the country the options are even worse.

      Where I live in Ontario, its not too bad, but I still pay about the same as you for a 60GB cap from Cogeco, which I believe is owned by Rogers. It was a 10mbit, but they improved it the last couple of years. I currently get about 12mbit so it probably is a theoretical 15mbit by now. I also am a heavy user (though not that heavy) and also usually exceed my cap by a bit, though I have been trying to monitor my usage an

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