News tagged: TekSavvy Cable
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. What they get instead is an endless stream of excuses why none of this can happen
, followed by another rate hike.
Not too surprisingly, Bell isn't a particular fan of the government's latest pet project. Bell Media President Kevin Crull last week threatened
that there would be "unintended consequences" if the Canadian government carries through on the effort:
"As we move forward in responding to consumers, we need to be clear that there is an inherent risk. When buying less, the unit cost is going to be higher and overall savings, if any, may be small. As well, variety and quality could decline – maybe dramatically...we are all working hard to find balanced ways to provide flexible options for consumers. So consumers can make the choice – pay a higher unit costs for fewer channels or pay a little bit more and get way more channels."
Except users aren't paying a "little bit more," they're paying an arm and a leg already, and rates continue to soar with no end in sight.
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.
As I noted last week
, indie Canadian ISP TekSavvy has been struggling with prolonged disconnections for many of their users, something the company says is because of changes at Canadian incumbent Rogers. To hear TekSavvy tell it, the company suddenly and inexplicably found their install and repair trouble tickets being ignored by Rogers; months of this contributing to a backlog of support issues that have caused massive headaches for the company and customers alike.
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.
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.
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.
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. story continues..
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.
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.
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.
Fear that Canadian regulators were going to do their job has resulted in a welcome -- though likely brief -- return to unlimited broadband in Canada. Our friends to the north are well-known for some of the most predatory and punitive broadband caps and overages anywhere, courtesy of uncompetitive broadband markets and regulatory capture. story continues..
As we recently noted
, Voltage Pictures is trying to get TekSavvy to hand over the identities of thousands of BitTorrent users in order to send them "copyright-violation-o-matic" letters scaring those users into settling for copyright infringement. These mass-lawsuit efforts have stood on legally unsound ground here in the States, relying on often unreliable IP address evidence.
Copyright troll Voltage Picture's attempt to extort money out of Canadian Teksavvy customers will have to wait a little longer. As we recently noted
, Voltage Pictures is trying to get TekSavvy to hand over the identities of thousands of BitTorrent users in order to send them "copyright-violation-o-matic" letters scaring those users into settling for copyright infringement of Voltage films.
Last week we noted
how the copyright troll efforts of Voltage Pictures have made their way north of the border, the studio's legal team demanding the names and addresses of more than 2,000 TekSavvy users as part of a mass shakedown effort. As in the States, Voltage is one of several copyright trolls tracking BitTorrent activity then sending legal threats to users and ISPs.
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.
Last month we noted how French ISP Iliad was shaking up the French wireless market
with some creative pricing, which included an introductory basic free tier of service (an idea that's taking root in the States now
). With the offering clearly popular among users tired of paying an arm and a leg to France's uncompetitive incumbents, France Telecom is now claiming the new service is straining their network
, so they'll of course have to renegotiate the deal they made with Free (read: raise rates so Free's business model becomes untenable):
France Telecom said its network was being stressed by a rapid growth in traffic brought on by its hosting of new mobile entrant Iliad and vowed to protect its clients from service interruptions, its CEO told magazine Le Point...Iliad's Free Mobile service upended the French telecom market in January when it launched its main offer at 19.99 euros per month for unlimited calls to France and most of Europe and the United States, unlimited texts, and 3 gigabytes of mobile data.
This is the same France Telecom that absolutely refused to compete on price
when Free entered the market, claiming their competitive pricing would be "bad for network quality and innovation." According to the incumbent CEO, they didn't need to compete on price because "we offer security, reliability and innovation." Just not on pricing. France Telecom negotiated a contract and did their homework, but with Free succeeding more than they expected -- it's time to change the terms and raise rates.
Whether it's AT&T claiming congestion to justify DSL caps and $10 wireless overages
, or Canadian ISPs claiming congestion to justify predatory usage-based pricing
, you do start to notice a trend wherein congestion is used by incumbents as a bogeyman to justify everything from massive overages to anti-competitive behavior. The best part about the congestion bogeyman
is that telcos never have to provide actual data evidence of congestion -- and the press never bothers to ask for any.
Anybody who warns of an unavoidable capacity crisis on wireline or wireless networks is lying in order to sell you something. That may be a blunt assessment to some, but it's the only conclusion you can draw as we see time and time again that claims about a looming network apocalypse (remember the Exaflood
?) violently overestimate future traffic loads and underestimate the ingenuity of modern network engineers.
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