[kwlug-disc] UBB comes to Teksavvy

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Mon Jan 31 03:11:50 EST 2011

unsolicited's argument might hold water, except that no other country in 
the world has a telecom charging its customers (AND the customers of 
third-party providers) that much money for such low bitrates and monthly 
caps, and DPI-inspected throttled applications.  On the latest (October 
2010) OECD survey of broadband affordability, Canada ranks 6 from the 
bottom of a list of 29 countries, averaging $11.85(USD) per Mbps for a 
monthly subscription.  Best was Korea, at $1.76(USD) / Mbps.  That's 
advertised bandwidth, which is vastly inflated over actual rates 
experienced by customers.

Yes, population density is a factor, but Southern Ontario is not that 
sparsely populated.  I'd be more willing to believe that we've 
subsidized the cost of bandwidth for Canada's sparsely populated areas, 
if those areas actually had any broadband connectivity at all.

My objection to UBB isn't that we're being charged for the bandwidth we 
consume.  My objection is that Bell can collect money from people who 
are not their customers, forcing third-party ISPs to do their dirty 
work.  My objection is that Bell can collect these surcharges AND 
continue to apply caps and throttling.  My objection is that there is no 
evidence of Bell's true bandwidth costs, or their costs in implementing 
new infrastructure. Such information may have been submitted to the CRTC 
in their tariff application/filing, but those pages were withheld from 
public scrutiny, ostensibly because Bell claimed this was proprietary 
information and that its publication would compromise Bell's ability to 

Bell doesn't only provide the infrastructure for its third-party ISPs, 
it is also an ISP itself, competing directly with those third-party 
ISPs.  Since it owns the infrastructure, it can undercut those 
third-party ISPs.  Bell doesn't just provide infrastructure, it is also 
a content provider. Since it owns the infrastructure it can price the 
cost of bandwidth to make the offerings of other content providers 
(Netflix, YouTube, CanWest/PostMedia) unaffordable. But you can always 
subscribe to Bell TV (formerly ExpressVu) if you're unhappy with 
Internet video, right?  We've been paying for bandwidth all along.  Bell 
is business savvy - you won't convince me they've been operating at a 
loss all this time, so there's never been a free ride here.  What is is, 
is some major anti-competitive action on Bell's part.


The latest OECD survey results are available at:


My figures came from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/22/43/39574979.xls

Bob Jonkman<bjonkman at sobac.com>          http://sobac.com/sobac/
SOBAC Microcomputer Services              Voice: +1-519-669-0388
6 James Street, Elmira ON  Canada  N3B 1L5  Cel: +1-519-635-9413
Software   ---   Office&  Business Automation   ---   Consulting

On 11-01-30 08:50 PM, unsolicited at swiz.ca wrote:
> On Mon, 31 Jan 2011 00:58:20 +0000, rbclemen at gmail.com wrote:
>> Your post office example may stand. Except in this case we are talking
>> about the post office charging you a buck for each letter that arrives
> at
>> your house per month in excess of 4.
> Your numbers are too low. I haven't done any number crunching, but in
> excess of 90 would seem more applicable.
>>   It does not cost them 1.27 to provide
>> me with a GB of data. I would like to see their justification that
>> providing me with a continuous stream of data at the maximum rate a DSL
>> connection can sustain will cost more than 15 bucks more than a DSL line
>> that is connected but not transfering any data for a month.
> You're right, it probably costs them many more thousands of dollars than
> $1.27. Without recouping their costs, why would they invest more in
> infrastructure, yet we are all complaining about speeds, and costs.
> Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating Bell in any way here. But that
> first customer on that piece of equipment that causes the capacity of that
> piece of equipment to be exceeded will trigger a cost incursion of many
> thousands of dollars. By the time you acquire, let alone install, maintain,
> track usage for billing, and all the other costs, you're into many
> thousands of dollars. Which is really all to say - ISPs have oversold lines
> per piece of equipment, stupidly, and now have found a way to finance a
> capacity increase.
>      It must be unimaginably ridiculously expensive to lay a piece of fibre
> - to recoup the costs over how long?
> Let alone, another aspect of the real problem - Bell isn't, nor has any
> need to be, operationally efficient or cost effective. To borrow Paul's
> phrase ... thanks unions. Granted, that's too carte blanche, but again, an
> easy target to blame.
>> No I don't want to pay more for the canada post carrier to carry two
>> letters to my door than they do if they were only carrying one.
> OK, so part of the problem here is that you (and all Netflix and video
> streaming users) have had a free ride, and now you're throwing a temper
> tantrum.
>> And the internet provides services that consume bandwith. That is why we
>> don't use dialup anymore. Bell has always wanted to charge people for
>> phonecalls that were data or faxes differently than regular calls. They
>> weren't allowed to.
> I don't think you're broad enough - Bell has always wanted to levy a per
> call charge.
> And I suspect you're not quite right - we don't use dial up because of
> speed, not total bytes. We can browse the web and send e-mail much faster
> now. Hmmm. (Bet some on the list are wishing to go back to dialup at this
> point!)
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: "Unsolicited"<unsolicited at swiz.ca>
>> Sender: kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org
>> Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 19:45:07
>> To: KWLUG discussion<kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
>> Reply-To: KWLUG discussion<kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
>> Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] UBB comes to Teksavvy
>> Are you sure your example is reasonable?
>> Isn't it more like the post office saying after the 100th letter
> delivered
>> to your house, there's a surcharge? (Which is what the courier companies
>> have been doing, and the post office for that matter, and airlines, for
>> some time now, with gas surcharges.)
>> If you are receiving many more bytes, shouldn't you pay more? (Without
>> video, it takes a while to consume a GB.)
>> On Sun, January 30, 2011 7:36 pm, rbclemen at gmail.com wrote:
>>> Sorry, meant to elaborate on that one but my Blackberry sent by
> accident.
>>> UBB is a vicious attempt to use one monopoly to leverage oneself into
>>> another. Or looked at another way, Bell is leveraging additional profit
>>> from every single service offered on the internet. It is absolutely the
>>> equivalent of Canada Post demanding a cut of every payment made on a
> bill
>>> that is mailed to a customer.
>>> To give one potent example, every Netflix.ca customer will be paying
>>> Netflix about 9 dollars a month, and Bell about a dollar per movie.
>>> Brent
>>> Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
>>> Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de
>>> Bell.
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: "Unsolicited"<unsolicited at swiz.ca>
>>> Sender: kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org
>>> Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 19:27:00
>>> To: KWLUG discussion<kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
>>> Reply-To: KWLUG discussion<kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
>>> Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] UBB comes to Teksavvy
>>> On Sun, January 30, 2011 2:27 pm, rbclemen at gmail.com wrote:
>>>> Co-location doesn't matter from what I hear. The charge will be for
>>>> anyone
>>>> using bell's copper. Yes it is unbelievably stupid.
>>> Don't mean to be provocative here - guess I'm just uninformed.
>>> Why is UBB "unbelievably stupid"?
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