CAIP Responds to Bell Anti Competitive Behaviour: Requests application of CRTC regulations to end customer throttling
April 29, 2008 - Ottawa, ON - Canada's largest Internet association has
submitted its reply to Bell Canada's response to a regulatory complaint
filed with the CRTC by the Canadian Association of Internet Providers
(CAIP). CAIP's reply states that Bell's response confirms that the
association's arguments of wrong-doing by the country's largest phone
company in what has become known as "traffic shaping" or "throttling" were
CAIP's original Part VII Application was filed earlier this month in
response to certain "traffic shaping" measures that Bell Canada is applying
to local access and transport services it supplies to competitors on a
regulated basis. Independent competitors interconnect with Bell in order to
gain access to their end-user through the "final mile" of access on Bell's
local network. Competitors deliver their own services, including Internet
access, VoIP, VPN, etc., over this regulated facility.
Bell has admitted that it is "throttling" traffic between the ISP and end
user for ten hours each day. Canada's other major phone companies have
publicly stated they do not shape the traffic of their competitive wholesale
Tom Copeland, Chair of CAIP, said "In our reply we have further demonstrated
to the CRTC that Bell's activity is counter to regulations Bell is obliged
to follow under the Telecommunication Act and that the anti-competitive
action is having a negative impact on our members and our customers".
Bell executives have maintained that they are throttling, or impeding, only
peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic but tests by CAIP's members and Internet users at
large have upheld CAIP's argument that other forms of traffic, including
VoIP and VPNs, have become collateral damage. This presents significant
reliability issues for many Canadian businesses.
CAIP has noted that coincident with when the traffic shaping began, Bell had
announced its retail "unlimited" Internet accounts would be discontinued in
favour of usage-based billing. Bell has also undertaken a marketing program
advertising its residential high-speed service as a "direct, uncongested
gateway to the Internet" using a "new, next-generation fibre optic network"
with "consistent, super-fast access speeds".
"If Bell can advertise their service in this manner, while at the same time
claiming to suffer from bandwidth congestion, then clearly there is a
conflict between their traffic shaping action and reality. We hope the CRTC
agrees with the evidence we have presented and returns the market to the
state it was at prior to Bell's implementation of traffic shaping," says Mr.
"This matter is now squarely in front of the CRTC. The industry is appalled
by Bell's actions. Canadian Internet users are outraged and Canadian
businesses are being negatively impacted," concludes Mr. Copeland.
Formed in 1996, CAIP's Mission is to foster the growth of a healthy and
competitive Internet industry in Canada. Contact Tom Copeland: