Bell Canada to levy $1 per gigabyte penalty on heavy users

Conveniently hidden in the fine print of its DSL offering page, Bell Canada's (NYSE: BCE) DSL subscribers will be required to pay $1 per gigabyte if they go over a 300 gigabyte limit each month.

As calculated by Broadband DSL Reports, a C$44.95 (US$45.25), 7 Mbps DSL subscriber would have to pay C$154.95 (US$156) if they happen to use 350 GB during one month.

Although it's unlikely that your typical web surfer is going to even come close to violating this new rule, those customers that are keen on cutting the TV cord by downloading new movies from Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), which in September started offering its online wares in Canada, probably will.

Interestingly, Bell's rule follows the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruling in November to implement a usage-based billing (UBB) plan for wholesale carrier customers that resell its DSL service. The ruling was an obvious setback for competitive carriers that are trying to differentiate their offerings with higher speeds and dual and triple play bundles.

Of course, Bell isn't the only company to implement such penalties on their broadband subscribers. Along with previous experiments taken by both AT&T (NYSE: T) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI), Frontier (NYSE: FTR) announced in August that it would set a 5 GB cap on its DSL tiers.

For more:
- Broadband DSL Reports has this post

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