Canadian ISP Woes - The Intrepid

Monday, September 08, 2008

Canadian ISP Woes

If you subscribe to a high-speed internet service in Canada from Bell or Rogers you have probably had to deal with degrading download speeds, traffic throttling, and the invasion of privacy.

So, who is to blame for these problems? According to Bell and Rogers, apparently we are. We are downloading so many files and sending so many emails that we are crippling bandwidth speeds. To protect us from ourselves ISPs have stepped in to impose bandwidth restrictions and punitive measures for going over bandwidth limits.

The real problem that Canadian ISPs have refused to acknowledge is that their networks are horribly outdated and the services that they sell cannot meet demand. Canadian users endure some of the slowest internet speeds and the highest costs in the industrialized world. While Canadian ISPs often claim that their services can go “up to” a certain speed, they are rarely able to meet that speed.

So, what is a consumer to do? Unfortunately, the choices are limited for most Canadians. In most regions, there are only a handful of ISPs to choose from. Choice is further limited by Bell’s decision to throttle the traffic of third party ISP providers that re-sell Bell’s DSL system.

Traffic throttling and bandwidth restrictions are a slippery slope that will end up cutting Canadians off from the most important pipeline of information and innovation in the world. Just think. If Bell, Rogers, and the other ISPs around the world had started traffic throttling years ago sites like youtube, facebook, and flickr would probably have never come to fruition. If Canadians want to continue to be one of the primary technological innovators in the world, we need to stand up and say no to restrictive internet providers.