Bell Canada's revised UBB plan is a "Band-Aid," says critics

Bell Canada (NYSE: BCE) has decided to rethink its initial Usage Based Billing (UBB) plan for its wholesale ISP customers.

The move by Canada's largest incumbent service provider follows a great public outcry from ISPs and consumer groups and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) decision to conduct a hearing Usage Based Billing (UBB) practices in July.

Initially, Bell Canada asked the CRTC to allow it to charge its wholesale ISP customers like TekSavvy and Primus that rent the incumbent's copper lines to provide DSL service to their customer by how much bandwidth each of their respective customers uses each month.

Under its new plan, Bell will implement what it calls an "aggregated" volume pricing scheme where it would charge ISPs data one rate for the data used by all their customers versus charging them for every customer that uses more bandwidth than what's set in their terms of agreement.   

In the term, Bell's revised UBB plans mean that subscribers won't have to deal with broadband usage caps and higher prices.

Critics, however, aren't fazed by Bell's move.    

Online activist group Openmedia.ca, which has gathered more than 400,000 signatures against the move on its website, said Bell was "squirming" and called the move a "Band-Aid solution to a much larger problem."

For more:
- The Globe and Mail has this article

Related articles:
CRTC to conduct hearing on usage based billing in July
Canada's UBB restrictions: A blow to competitors and consumers
Canada's CRTC requires incumbents to offer 15% discount to wholesale customers
CRTC allows Bell Canada to implement usage based on competitive ISPs

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