Bell to End Throttling by March

by Jordan Richardson on December 20, 2011

Bell Canada has announced that it plans to end the practice of throttling effective March 1, 2012.

Throttling is a “reactive measure” apparently put in play to help diminish network congestion. The measure can actively limit upload and download rates on various programs, including file-sharing applications. Throttling differs from the act of capping in that throttling limits the rate at which a device can accept data and capping limits bitrate or speed of data transfer.

Bell, in a regulatory submission to the CRTC, made the announcement to end throttling because of the efficacy of a boost to network capacity and to implementation of current billing practices.

Torrent users, those apparent data gluttons, have long been in the crosshairs of Bell and other network operators across the country, but this move lets some of the pressure off. That’s not to say that Bell is ready to play nice, though, as they still consider network congestion a concern.

“This is not to say that (peer-to-peer swapping of large files) no longer has an impact on network congestion. Nevertheless…in light of the extensive investments made in additional network capacity, and given economic ITMPs (Internet Traffic Management Practices) in the marketplace, the companies will withdraw the shaping of P2P traffic on the companies’ networks, with regards to both retail and wholesale traffic,” Bell said a letter to regulators.

This move from Bell comes on the heels of what has been called a “win” for larger carriers, namely with the implementation of capacity rate billing. The model allows Bell to charge higher costs as consumers use more bandwidth, so the argument for throttling starts to dissipate in the light of more profit.

As TekSavvy Solutions Inc. spokesman George Burger said when the new billing model was announced just a short while ago, “video viewing on the web” is going to get “much, much more expensive.”

Bell gets to pat itself on the back for the move while collecting massive profits, so it really is a triumph for the company now that they’ve figured out how to properly benefit from capacity rate billing.

“We implemented traffic management because we had to ensure the user experience remained robust on our network,” Mirko Bibic, BCE’s senior vice-president of regulatory affairs, said. “Now we’re removing traffic-shaping so it is nothing but a good story.”

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{ 1 comment }

nt300 December 24, 2011 at 6:29 am

This is nothing but money grab. First of all Bell should never have been throttling high speed internet consumers. Second of all, charging people for bandwidth is outright fraudulent IMO and costs absolutely nothing for service providers. Third of all the people that will get hurt regarding this nonsense are going to be the legitimate consumers.
What Canada is greatly lacking is far none-monopolizing competition. The big three here in Canada have been working to keep prices artificially high. They’ve also been responsible for keeping competition out of Canada. If any other company enters Canada, the big 3 try to squeeze them out of competition.
I’ve lost confidence in the CRTC; they’ve allowed these SP’ers to charge people ridiculous system access fees and/or maintenance fees that are setup just to pay for the employees of these companies, while your actual over-payment for the services become pure profit.
It pays to know people in the accounting department for both Bell & Rogers.
What Canadians need to do is completely Boycott the big three and sign up with smaller, more legitimate companies…

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