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News tagged: Bell Sympatico


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by Karl Bode 11:43AM Friday Jun 06 2014
Network gear manufacturer Sandvine apparently isn't a big fan of both Netflix's and YouTube's new ISP streaming performance rankings, insisting that the data collected by both is unreliable and conflicting. In a blog post, Sandvine points out that ISPs deemed "HD Verified" by Google's new ISP ranking (discussed by us here) are sometimes categorized as under-performers in Netflix's rankings, and vice-versa:
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Google is essentially saying Rogers’ customers who use YouTube are capable of regularly experiencing HD streams, while Netflix is saying Rogers’ subscribers are experiencing the worst quality of Netflix streaming in the country. At the same time Netflix is saying Bell Canada’s DSL subscribers are capable of experiencing HD streams when using Netflix, but Google is saying Bell non-Fibe (DSL) are not YouTube HD-verified and “should be able to watch YouTube videos in Standard Definition (at least 360p) with moderate load times."
I've already pointed out numerous times that Netflix's streaming rankings are made less valuable by the fact that Netflix CDN partners do better in the rankings than those who refuse to participate in the free service. Similarly I've noted Google and YouTube's new ISP rankings need some work as well, as navigation is clunky and some ISPs are listed as HD verified even in markets they don't even provide service.

With that said, it's worth noting that the lion's share of Sandvine's money comes courtesy of the nation's largest ISPs, and as such Sandvine has traditionally been reluctant to admit fault on the ISP end of the equation. The company recently proclaimed that YouTube streaming issues that have plagued most broadband users are entirely YouTube's fault, even if data tends to suggest there's plenty of blame to go around.

It also seems obvious that ranking YouTube and Netflix streaming performance would be "conflicting," given those rankings are testing entirely different content services, taking entirely different routes to the end user. Routes can be even more different now that companies like Netflix are (begrudgingly) striking direct interconnection deals with ISPs like Comcast and Verizon.
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by Karl Bode 10:33AM Wednesday May 14 2014
For most of the last decade nobody has exemplified the clumsy, ham-fisted approach to network management better than Canadian cable company Rogers. From crippling encryption and VPNs to throttling legitimate apps and games like World of Warcraft, Rogers has accounted for nearly half of all network neutrality infractions in Canada.
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by Karl Bode 04:44PM Monday May 12 2014
Comcast continues to climb Netflix's rankings of the fastest streaming ISPs after striking a controversial interconnection deal with the company back in February. According to Netflix's monthly ranking list, Comcast jumped another two spots to take the third place spot in the rankings (or 16 if you include smaller ISPs like Google Fiber and many cable overbuilders).
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by Karl Bode 11:00AM Monday Feb 03 2014
Documents provided by Edward Snowden last week revealed that the Canadian government (CSEC, their NSA equivalent) has been quite illegally spying on and tracking Canadian citizens using public Wi-Fi available at Canadian airports to track movement both before and after citizens visited the airport. The specifics of how the government obtained the location data isn't made clear, but Canada's two largest airports, Toronto and Vancouver, deny providing CSEC with the data.
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by Karl Bode 08:19AM Monday Jan 27 2014
The Globe and Mail highlights how the next generation of downloadable games from Sony (at 30 to 80GB) are going to really start pushing Canadian bandwidth caps, which are considerably more restrictive than those here in the States. That's before Sony even launches Playstation Now, a gaming streaming service not unlike OnLive, or Sony's 4K video streams and downloads -- both of which may very well start eating Canadian bandwidth caps like popcorn shrimp. "The debate over Canada’s usage caps will either spark up again or the company will have to purposely degrade PlayStation Now in Canada, the same way Netflix did to its service, or both," notes the paper.

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by Karl Bode 02:23PM Friday Nov 29 2013
Canadian Heritage Minister Shelley Glover recently made waves by promising that government would be urging Canadian regulators the CRTC to push Canadian Pay TV providers toward offering a la carte TV programming. Like in the States, Canadian consumers desire greater flexibility in the prices and programming lineups they're offered.
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by Karl Bode 12:31PM Friday Oct 25 2013
Canadian Law Professor Michael Geist points out that Bell has updated its privacy policy to support a fairly massive expansion of the kind of data collected from consumers. Previously Bell's privacy policy made no reference to the collection of network data, though in an updated policy the Canadian telco is making it clear that there's really not consumer data that's off limits.
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by Karl Bode 11:00AM Monday Oct 14 2013
Canadian lawmakers say they're working on new rules that would require Canadian cable operators to offer a la carte content to consumers. "We don't think it's right for Canadians to have to pay for bundled television channels that they don't watch," said Canadian Industry Minister James Moore. "We want to unbundle television channels and allow Canadians to pick and pay the specific television channels that they want." There's a majority interest in more flexible channel options here in the States, but usually only fleeting lip service by cable operators when it comes to providing them -- a la carte or otherwise.

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by Karl Bode 04:24PM Thursday Oct 10 2013
Last month independent Canadian ISP TekSavvy all-but accused Rogers Communications of intentionally bumbling customer install and repair orders, creating a massive backlog of issues in order to help drive their competitors out of business. When I spoke to Rogers the company denied blame, instead blaming TekSavvy for missing necessary support forecasts and somehow "overwhelming" Rogers third party support resources.
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by Karl Bode 04:41PM Friday Sep 13 2013
Indie Canadian ISP TekSavvy isn't having a very good summer, and it appears Canadian incumbent Rogers is to thank for much of it. You'll probably recall that over the last few years independent Canadian ISP has built quite a name for itself for being a more consumer-friendly sort of ISP.
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by Karl Bode 02:31PM Thursday Aug 29 2013
If you've watched any of them do business for more than a few minutes, it has been amusing to watch Canadian incumbents Bell, Telus and Rogers kick, scream and cry about Verizon's possible entry into the Canadian market. Their Fair for Canada TV and radio campaign has employees reading scripted statements proclaiming that Verizon will steal Canadian jobs and generally make Canadian wireless service (already some of the most expensive anywhere) worse.
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by Karl Bode 02:35PM Monday Aug 26 2013
Canadian incumbents Telus, Bell and Rogers have recently fired up attack campaigns attempting to keep Verizon Wireless from entering their market. The campaign uses incumbent employees reading from scripts to insist that Canadian telcos simply want a "level playing field" and that Verizon will kill jobs.
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by Karl Bode 02:25PM Wednesday Aug 14 2013
As we've noted repeatedly, ISPs are so hungry to cash in on caps and overages, they're rushing toward implementing meters without making sure they work. Canadian cable operator Cogeco has been the absolute worst on this front, implementing metered usage charges back in 2009 -- and four years later still often struggling to measure usage correctly.
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by Karl Bode 09:02AM Wednesday Aug 14 2013
Back in May our users uncovered a Canadian scam being run by several individuals who were pretending to be entirely fake ISPs in order to collect customer cash and private user information. Using ISP names like "Cable Gator" and "Go Cable Solutions," the scammers promise users broadband service they can't get, demand $100 down payments and personal data including SIN and driver's license numbers, then skirt off with the cash.
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by Karl Bode 12:29PM Friday Aug 09 2013
It has been incredibly amusing to watch Canadian incumbents Bell, Telus and Rogers, no strangers to abusive and predatory anti-competitive behavior at every opportunity, kick, scream and cry about Verizon's possible entry into the Canadian market. Now that the predators are having to fight a real predator and the possibility of real competition, they're doing what any good, anti-competitive incumbent would do: engage in propaganda, disinformation and astroturfing to confuse the public.
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by Karl Bode 02:39PM Friday Jul 26 2013
With the recent news that Verizon might be eyeing an entry into the Canadian wireless market, last week Canadian incumbent Telus began crying like a spoiled child about the remote possibility that the Canadian market could see some additional competition. Telus, a company that like U.S.
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by Karl Bode 12:33PM Friday Jul 19 2013
As we noted yesterday, Verizon Wireless is putting out feelers and exploring the option of an expansion into Canada, specifically in the form of buying up one of the nation's struggling smaller carriers. Not too surprisingly, incumbent operators there don't want this to happen.
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by Karl Bode 12:31PM Thursday Feb 07 2013
It has been about half a decade now that I've been pointing out that most of the meters used by ISPs to track and bill consumers for usage aren't accurate. Customers of Canadian cable operator Cogeco have long complained the company's meter is inaccurate when users can load it at all, and every so often the meter simply goes mad -- like last Spring when the meter was horribly confused by leap year.
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by Karl Bode 06:07PM Monday Jan 28 2013
Bell Canada today announced that the company would give users of its fiber to the node (and in some instances FTTH) "Fibe" service an unlimited connection free of data caps -- if users are willing to pay a price premium. According to the company's press release, users tired of dealing with caps and overages can return to the joys of unlimited data for an additional $10 on top of existing triple play service, or $30 on top of existing double play or standalone Fibe service.
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by Karl Bode 02:02PM Tuesday Dec 11 2012
The law firm Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver (aka the U.S. Copyright Group) has perfected the "copyright-o-matic" approach to P2P lawsuits, sending out letters en masse to users they've identified as having traded copyrighted files, threatening to sue those users unless they settle for the rock-bottom initial price tag of $1,500.
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