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Canada Splits Local Phone, DSL Services 445

s20451 writes "Running counter to the recent string of pro-consolidation FCC rulings in the United States, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has ruled that big Telcos like Bell and Telus must offer ADSL service even when local phone service is provided by another company. Effectively this ruling splits local phone and net services, opening both up for competition and lower prices. Press release here."
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Canada Splits Local Phone, DSL Services

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  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:09PM (#6492879)
    ... that someone here would work to implement this in the United States. It would mean that companies like Verizon and Qwest wouldn't have the stranglehold on broadband that they currently do...

    In Phoenix, we have two different Cablemodem providers, with some fairly significant overlapping coverage, but all of the independent DSL line providers for residential closed except for Qwest, and Qwest still uses Pair Gain, which kills DSL.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:10PM (#6492891) pricing it ridiculously high. If they get suckers who sign up, then they profit. If they don't, well they really didn't want the business anyway.
  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <> on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:11PM (#6492896) Journal
    Unfortunately, the decision only applies if you have service from some telco - it doesn't make it possible to have ADSL-only service for those of us who use our cell phones as our only voice line.

    Should happen soon, though - you can already order internet access from cable companies w/o subscribing to their TV services.

  • Ouch. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:12PM (#6492913) Journal
    Bell was losing hundreds of subscribers a day due to their bandwidth capping earlier this year, and now they have to provide ADSL service to really small markets where it will cost them more to upgrade the infrastructure to support ADSL than they could possibly make in revenues from customers?

    Sell your Bell stock! ;)
  • by nsideops ( 579890 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:16PM (#6492962)
    I live in a farily small town. Any area you live in has "one" broadbrand option. There is no (or very little) overlapping. There is no choice here. In town you have a choice of the one cable or one dsl, but this is honestlly a small area. I live outside the city limits so it's either take what they give you or get nothing. I've found it's like this in quite a large section of the US.
  • by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:16PM (#6492968) Journal
    Sure you can... You just pay a $15 premium for the privelage of having service without a voice line. Thus defeating the purpose since basic service is $18...
  • Does this mean...? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:17PM (#6492978)
    They have unbundled local service and dsl so that people don't have to pay for a land line to get high speed internet access? So a person could just subscribe to the high speed service and do his own internet telephony?
  • by BiteMyShinyMetalAss ( 444575 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:18PM (#6492984)
    Sure, opening up things to competition would be nice, but at the moment, there's two big things that hold me back from using Bell's ADSL: the monthly bandwidth cap, and the speed. I'm with Rogers, and they decided to hold back on implementing a similar plan until they were done seeing how Bell fared with it... and they haven't implemented it yet. :) Plus I've found that my cable connection is often faster than friends of mine who went with Bell.

    From where I'm sitting, it costs about the same for Bell or Rogers. The unlimited bandwidth and increased speed that Rogers offers is very nice, considering that I have roommates whose downloading habits I can't control.

    In other words, the telcos can compete with themselves all they like, but (at least in my situation) it's a moot point if they still can't really compete with cable.

  • by volkris ( 694 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:19PM (#6493015)
    Stupid Slashdot...

    The FCC rulings of late are NOT pro-consolidation, but simply anti-regulation.

    The FCC is very simply recognizing that its place in the system is changing with the times.

    This is one of those VERY rare times where a governmental organization has decided to limit its own powers, and Slashdot's complaining! The experts employed at the FCC recognize that its place is changing, and it shows the integrity to reign itself in, and the uninformed morons in Congress object!
  • Way to go! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mr Joe_Somebody ( 691200 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:26PM (#6493090)
    A few months ago I acquired a cell phone from Rogers AT&T. Soon I realized that having a cellphone and a landline phone seem redundant. So I cancelled my landline and have all my voice calls through my mobile phone. But cancelling the landline phone (from Telus) means I cannot get their ADSL service. Have to use the alternate Cable service offered by my Cable company. The decision means ADSL service does not have to be tied to you having a landline phone account Good job CRTC
  • It's really true... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cioxx ( 456323 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:29PM (#6493111) Homepage
    I read an article [] 2 days ago regarding Dismayed Americans who contemplate moving to Canada because the States had become too conservative and there was a quote which stood out from the rest..
    "Canada has an opportunity to define itself as a leader," Hanley said. "In some ways, it's now closer to American ideals than America is."

    And it's more evident with the recent news that we keep hearing how Canada is moving forward while the States are slipping into regress by way of draconian laws and regulations a la DMCA, Super-DMCA, Media Consolidation, etc.
  • I work for a CLEC in the US and I really don't see why thats necessary. I'm sure we would offer a discount to customers who purchased phone service and DSL from us, the ILECs should be allowed to sell whatever packages they want as well. Allowing the little guy access to the lines is one thing, but regulating how they can sell their packages is too much.
  • Telus DSL (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pejorian ( 258646 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:32PM (#6493155) Homepage Journal
    Telus, the big telco out here in the west, offers a good DSL service. They have not begun to enforce any capping, unlike the cable companies, and the speed is much better than many (if not most) of the US residential DSL providers...

    I don't think this announcement will have nearly the impact in the west that it will have in the central and eastern parts of Canada. Out here, there really aren't any viable competing telcos, and Telus allows other companies to resell DSL under other brand names (for the same price, as far as I can tell) so who you get DSL from seems pretty irrelevant at this point.

    Being able to get DSL-only service would be cool, however. I know people who really don't need a land line, but they have it just to get the DSL service.

  • woo (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:45PM (#6493279)
    After some nasty customer service from Bell I switched to Sprint for my local phone service. Was I ever surprised to find out that I was unable to get DSL after the switch. IGS is a great little DSL company but because they lease lines from Bell I was still unable to get service.

    I had to go with Rogers Cable, which isn't a whole lot different then Bell sympatico
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:49PM (#6493326)
    Maybe I is dumb, but I live on the canadian east coast, where there is only one phone company, no dsl, and no cable modem service at all. What good does this actually do? Telus can't even sell cellular phones right, I doubt they can do DSL effectively.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:03PM (#6493489)
    That's just that many fewer people here who will vote socialist Democrats into office.

    But that means more people (relatively) to vote for even more socialist Republicans.

    The rate of incrase in social spending is 50% higher now than when Clinton was in. And that doesn't include the perscription drug program.
  • Pay attention (Score:5, Interesting)

    by raygundan ( 16760 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:03PM (#6493493) Homepage
    I think you missed the gist of the ruling from the FCC in the last big mess over DSL. It is an ugly, ugly mess. They did NOT back away from regulation as you suggest-- the ruling *requires* the telephone companies to share their networks for local phone service. However, they did end the requirement for linesharing of the "last mile" for alternative DSL companies.

    If you had to regulate one or the other, which would you have picked? The one that requires the telcos to allow competitors to use their entire network to sell phone service? Or the one that allows companies with their own nationwide backbone infrastructure (like Covad) to use JUST the last-mile portion of the lines?

    I REALLY don't understand why they picked what they did. It's not pro-consolidation OR anti-regulation. It's the worst possible combination of choices. It's no wonder there is widespread objection. Although most of the "nerd news" reporting painted the decision as one that was bad for nerds (no more DSL competition)-- mainstream press widely reported it as a terrible loss for the telcos (because they have to basically do all the infrastructure for their POTS competitors). Now, if a decision screws everybody (dsl users, dsl competitors, AND the telcos)-- it can't possibly be doing any of us any good. What the hell was the FCC thinking?

  • by MacGod ( 320762 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:12PM (#6493587)

    Bell removed their bandwidth cap a few months ago. See This page [] for details. My guess is that they were getting killed by Rogers.

    Ironically, Rogers was thinking of implementing a bandwidth cap, but In response to Bell eliminating their cap [], they backed down [].

    In some cases, capitalist competition really works!

    As for the speed, I've used both and found the two comparable, with Rogers a little faster. Bell (as all DSLs) varies depending on where you are in relation to the phone switching station. Rogers (as in all Cable internet) varies depending on how many people in your vicinity are actively using a cable internet connection.

  • Socialist State ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cheffo Jeffo ( 556675 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @04:28PM (#6493740)
    I don't know about Canada being a socialist state (have always wondered why people would think that ... ), but I have lived in both countries (and have family living in both countries).

    The truth is that the Canadian government is happy to infringe upon the freedom of corporations in order to enhance the lives of the individual. (e.g. decrimilize pot smoking, legal gay marriage and broadband for the people).

    The US government, on the other hand, is too happy to curtail the freedom of the individual and let big corporations (and their campaign contributions) do whatever they want. (e.g. Patriot 1/2, DMCA, RIAA, MPAA, etc.)


  • Re:so... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jucius Maximus ( 229128 ) <m4encxb2sw@snkma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:48PM (#6495521) Journal
    " Let me clarify: when I tried Rogers a couple of years back (before split from @Home), the actual service was dreadful. The first four days the DHCP servers were down so I couldn't get an IP."

    The stories I have heard from my friends that had it back then concur with that. But basically the one time they did get an IP they just recorded it and told the computer that it was a static address. After entering the DNS of the local university, all was good.

    "I found huge amounts of latency that increased at every hop. It could have been my neighbourhood."

    I hadn't heard any stories like that, but I guess it varied from area to area. It was still fast 4 years ago for my friends when it worked.

    "I wouldn't go back to them now because of their AUP: no servers. I pay $4/mo for a static IP (Rogers doesn't offer that at all), and I have freedom to use my connection as I see fit. I host my own domain on it amongst other things."

    That's your option. I would do the same as what you did if I actually lived in TO on a permanent basis and had a land line and such. But for my current setup, rogers fits the bill more nicely than something connected to a landline.

    The few times that I have run a server, I just kept it on a high port and I never heard anything about it.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas