Bell Canada has had its talons pried off the practice of throttling traffic, thanks to a decision by the Canadian Radio Television and Communications Commission (CRTC) that could potentially make it illegal. Don’t worry, minions of evil: Bell isn’t going to give up that easy.
As of March 1, it will be illegal in Canada to “shape” traffic – a practice that’s also known as throttling in which certain kinds of Internet traffic are intentionally (and sometimes nefariously) slowed. At present, Bell Canada throttles certain protocols, such as Bit Torrent or the iTunes Store (no doubt in order to encourage users to subscribe to their own TV and movie services). The CRTC have said “no more” and none of the major Canadian ISPs will be allowed to use this practice in roughly two months.
While this is good news overall, Bell is also at the vanguard of efforts to bring usage-based billing to clients. There are no official plans at the moment, but word has it that Bell could “meter” Internet use for its clients. Essentially, the more you use, the more you pay. It’d sure create a steep bill for some of us, and Bell has made several attempts to charge heavy users more, but in a way that wasn’t really fair or sensible. Metered Internet fees could potentially be the most reasonable approach to billing, but I still expect shenanigans.