Despite the fact that bandwidth costs for ISPs are dropping as fast as user traffic rates rise, many ISPs still face congestion problems at the last mile, and Bell Canada is no exception, as internal data recently showed. Not content with simply throttling P2P traffic for ten hours a day, the company has just announced plans to impose usage-based billing on the small ISPs that buy wholesale access from Bell. In some cases, the “free” monthly limit will be as low as 2GB. No, that’s not a typo.
News of the move began to percolate through online forums this week as small ISPs expressed outrage over a practice that could make them even less competitive with Bell, and it then expanded (a bit) into blogs and outlets like the CBC. The Canadian government requires Bell to lease access to other firms because of its infrastructure dominance, but Bell recently extended its P2P throttling techniques from its own ISP service (Sympatico) to wholesalers as well. (link)