Bell announces good news for ISPs and bad news for its customers

Bell announces good news for ISPs and bad news for its customers

Bell, a major telco in Canada is proposing a new pricing model that would enable independent ISPs to purchase network capacity in bulk as opposed to the unfavorable usage based billing structure currently being reviewed by the Federal government.

To bring you up to speed, the usage based billing (UBB) controversy has been heating up over the last few months after the CRTC had announced its support of a UBB pricing in Canada. Canucks were completely outraged because the CRTC’s decision meant that ISPs would no longer be able to offer consumers unlimited Internet packages.

Almost half a million Canadians swiftly turned to the government for help by signing a petition to stop Telco price gouging. Tony Clement, Industry minister and Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister quickly responded via Twitter  telling the Canadian public that the government would be looking into possibly overturning the CRTC’s decision.

On Wednesday, the Financial Post published an article written by Mirko Bibic, a senior vice-president of Bell’s regulatory and government affairs department. Within the article cleverly titled “Bell now agrees with small ISPs” he explains that Bell hopes to implement a new pricing model for wholesale Internet services, which would enable ISPs to purchase network capacity based on the needs of its entire customer base.

This would eliminate the requirement for Independent ISPs to pay-per-customer.  Bell’s calling the new pricing structure aggregated volume pricing, or AVP.

With AVP, Independent ISP’s such as TekSavvy and Acanac would have the flexibility and freedom to offer unlimited Internet packages without being forced to charge its customers with “overage” fees. Bell’s suggesting that the aggregated volume pricing should cost $200 for 1 TB and it’s hoping to charge 29.5 cents in overages per GB.

Bell has basically repackaged UBB with a new name however it’s good news for ISP and consumers alike — no caps, no overages, no over priced packages.

Hot on the heels of this news, Bell has just announced that it will be nailing its customers with an extra $3 on monthly fees for select Bell Fibe TV and Bell Internet services, effective May 2011.

It’s almost comical that Bell would make this move amidst the UBB fiasco and considering it’s now making it possible for its competitors to offer “unlimited packages” it seems that Bell is literally driving customers away.

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