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Canada Telco BCE Drops Internet Usage Fee Hike

28 Mar, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Bell Canada Enterprises, one of the country’s largest telecommunication providers, March 28 said it would back away from raising wholesale bandwidth usage fees charged to third-party ISPs and other services.

The move comes after public outcry and government intervention sought to hinder attempts by BCE to raise rates. Instead, Toronto-based BCE said it would aggregate the fees based on the overall amount of data used. In other words, third-party users will charged per terabyte — not smaller capacity gigabyte.

Opponents said the fee hikes would have thwarted smaller ISPs and entertainment services such as Netflix from offering content at lower competitive rates than larger ISPs controlling the bandwidth.

“What we're trying to do is move on and come up with the right pricing model for the user, for small ISPs, for ourselves and our shareholders quite clearly, and for investments,” Mirko Bibic, SVP for regulatory and government affairs with BCE told Reuters.

BCE also said it would lower fees charged to access fiber-optic connections, in addition to raising monthly aggregated data usage limits to consumers to 41GB.

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