Users Say Bell Still Can't Meter Broadband Accurately
And There's Still No Regulatory Oversight of Accuracy
Despite the unwavering lust among ISPs for metered billing, they're still struggling to offer consumers meters that actually work. Earlier this year we noted AT&T users in our forums say AT&T is struggling to accurately measure U-Verse customer usage
, and for many years we've noted that Canadian cable operator Cogeco has had trouble getting their usage meters to work correctly
. Canadian telco Bell has also had trouble tracking usage on both their wireline and wireless networks
Bell acknowledged earlier this year that they were over-estimating usage by a significant amount. Users in our forums
and over at Stop the Cap
claim Bell is still estimating usage 8-10 times greater than reality. Several users in the thread claim that contacting the carrier about these errors is an uphill climb with no resolution.
"I still don't see how it's legal for them to be able to bill based on a broken tracker anyways," says one user. It's legal because while Canadian law requires that gas or electric utilities be subject to regulatory oversight of meter accuracy, there's no such requirements being made on broadband carriers. As you might expect, efforts to impose new consumer protections on this front will be derided as the worst sort of devilry by carrier lobbyists.
It's ironic that companies spending so much on lobbying for the right to impose costly new pricing structures can't be bothered to invest the same time, effort and cash into meters that actually work.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Re: Customer screwed no matter how accurate meter is. If you have a digital TV box, like UVerse, there is something to keep in mind:
your DVR/Tuner box is controlled via the internet. It has a public IP address.
while you may already understand this now, think about it for a second:
If some script kiddie gets your IP, or just trolls for an IP and happens to get yours, and they decide to do a simple Ping of Death or something similar - like a high enough Ping, but not deadly, you will NEVER see a problem. But, your meter will count all of the traffic against you, for data that you did not solicit. Best part about this - you can't avoid it - except by turning off your router - which disconnects your TV and phone services.
| || Wouldn't this be true for any device that responds to pings? Devices such as a DSL or Cable modem, a router, and ATA, well, whatever's in the "DMZ".|
If only one IP is assigned to the customer, the TV box would usually sit, Natted, behind the router. And if the box needs a "public", I'd say "unique" instead, IP address, there are good chances that pings to this unique IP would be counted as TV traffic, thus not billed. And that IP is probably private to the UVerse network.
I've never seen a UVerse setup so I can't tell for sure.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Re: Customer screwed no matter how accurate meter is. The way UVerse works is that they give you one router with one public IP. The public IP is NAT'd and routed to the TV, phone, and (finally) internet traffic; where it is consumed by laptops, PS3, refrigerators, or any other IP connected device.
your home only has 1 router, 1 IP, and then 1 TV Head End (with up to 3 tv remote ends)
the big deal is that all of your internal devices are NAT'd, running on a 192.168 address, while you are given a public address (router lives by itself in the DMZ). So, if someone doesn't like you today, they can silently PING your router. Your router has some kind of QOS service where TV is highest priority, so it will answer as quickly as it can to the PING's while not taking away from your TV service. you will never see it coming.
And, since it is all controlled by the one router/IP, there is very little you can do to mitigate but bend over and pray.