The subject of Net Neutrality seems to be reaching a head here in Canada. And the driving force behind it, is not consumers, or ‘think tanks’ but rather ISP’s themselves. The internet is not a level playing field, but rather a type of grand MLM scheme. Most ISP’s in Canada are small fish serving from a few hundred to a few thousand customers. They have no real infrastructure, but rather lease space from the big companies. The biggest player being Bell Canada.

Stories have been emerging over the past two weeks that Bell Canada has been throttling internet traffic to these small ISP’s, The technical term is ‘Traffic Shaping’.  The result has been a dramatic slowdown for the small ISP’s customers.

These small ISP’s do belong to a loose trade organization The Canadian Association of Internet Providers, and they have now petitioned the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (the equivalent of the FCC) to block Bell Canada from engaging in any more throttling or traffic shaping.  They are in practice asking the government to step in and stop the practice.

All in all it has been a rough time for the PR folks at Bell Canada, and as if this throttling issue were not enough of a challenge, a report published by the anti virus company Symantec today, claims that Bell Canada is the worst offender in Canada for originating and propagating malware and spam! 

On throttling, the Bell folks deny that such a slowdown exists, and if it does they say it is not from traffic shaping. But customers of Bell Canada have reported that they are experiencing a loss of as much as 90 percent of their normal bandwidth and speed.

And on the Symantec report…. a Bell spokesman managed some fine doublespeak “I trust that once we’ve had a chance to review the data, we will be able to reinforce what we’ve known all along, that we have Canada’s safest and most secure network”

Simon Barrett  

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