Warning: bitchy Canadian telecom post

It’s all well and good that our dollar officially hit parity with the U.S. greenback today, but it sure would be nice if we could get something approaching real competition in the mobile telecom market in Canada. Then maybe certain carriers who shall remain nameless — but whose names start with a B and rhyme with “hell” — wouldn’t be able to pull stuff like this.

As Tony notes, and Michael Geist also describes here, Bell is promoting a $75-a-month “unlimited” data plan that uses a wireless PC card — but it has some pretty ridiculous restrictions. Not only does it have an umbrella clause that says you can’t use your connection in a way that “consumes excessive network capacity in Bell’s reasonable opinion,” but it also tells you what you can’t do with your connection, and that includes:

“multi-media streaming, voice over Internet protocol or any other application which uses excessive network capacity that is not made available to you by Bell [or is used to] operate an email, web, news, chat or other service.”

So you can’t use it to stream video, do VOIP or even run a chat server. What the hell else are you supposed to do with it? I’m surprised they didn’t throw file-sharing in there too — but that’s probably included in the definition of a “web service.” Tony says that there are also reports that this so-called “unlimited” data plan is capped at 250 megabytes. Classic.

Alec Saunders has been down the limited/unlimited road before, and it isn’t something that is confined to Canadian carriers either, as Mike Masnick notes over at Techdirt. But still — come on.

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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