TekSavvy customers illegal downloading copyright

TekSavvy illegal downloading: Judge awards more time to warn clients

Hundreds of Ontario Internet subscribers could soon face the choice of bowing to the settlement demands of a California film studio or incurring expensive legal fees for a court battle.

In its lawsuit, Los Angeles-based Voltage Pictures LLC, best known for The Hurt Locker movie, is seeking damages related to alleged copyright infringement by hundreds of Jane and John Does, who it says were involved in unauthorized copying and distributing of its movies.

    The customers are faced with a terrible dilemma of either paying the settlement demand or risking being sued and incurring the legal cost of fighting

The gatekeeper in the case is TekSavvy Solutions Inc., an Internet service provider based in Chatham, Ont., that stands between Voltage and the identity of customers alleged to have downloaded its content illegally using BitTorrent networks.

At a hearing in Toronto Monday, a Federal Court judge gave TekSavvy, which is not a party to the action, more time to advise the subscribers affected that they could be implicated in the case and should seek legal advice.

Voltage’s motion to compel TekSavvy to hand over the identities is set to be heard Jan. 14 and the ISP said as long as it can provide its customers with adequate notice, it will not oppose the motion.

“Voltage will then take that information and contact those customers and say, ‘We’ve sued you. We’re going to demand a certain amount of money to settle this lawsuit, and if you don’t, then we’re going to go to court,’ ” intellectual property lawyer David Fewer said in an interview.

    TekSavvy under pressure to reveal user details as L.A. film studio launches copyright suit
    ‘The door is closing’: Company starts collecting data on illegal downloaders in Canada

Mr. Fewer is the director of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, which filed a letter with the court saying it will seek intervener status in the case.

“The customers are faced with a terrible dilemma of either paying the settlement demand or risking being sued and incurring the legal cost of fighting,” he said. “For people who like certainty and don’t like stress and figure it’s going to cost them one way or the other, Voltage is betting that the easy way out is to pay the settlement fee.”

Through a forensic software investigation conducted by Montreal-based Canipre Inc. over two months from Sept. 1 to Oct. 30, Voltage says it singled out BitTorrent transactions related to its copyrighted works associated with more than 2,000 Internet protocol addresses belonging to TekSavvy customers.

TekSavvy said last week it sent out about 1,100 warning notices as some customers had more than one IP address associated with their account.

In court Monday, Nicholas McHaffie, a lawyer for the ISP, said the company had tried to ensure all customers associated with those IP addresses were alerted to their potential involvement in the court case.

However, through error, about 40 clients who were not customers at the time were contacted and about 90 others who should have been contacted were not.

Mr. Justice John O’Keefe of the Federal Court of Canada agreed that the errors and the fact that the motion deals with new issues in Canada warranted an adjournment.

James Zibarras, a lawyer for Voltage, opposed the delay, arguing that TekSavvy had known about the issues since Nov. 1, although the motion to compel the disclosure of its customers’ details was not filed with the court until Dec. 7 and it was after that time that TekSavvy began notifying customers.

Mr. Zibarras said the independent ISP was concerned about its reputation and the notice to customers was “purely a PR initiative that we consented to,” a point Mr. McHaffie disputed, arguing that the court runs on the notion that people affected by a case receive notice. “[It was] not a PR exercise,” he said.

“Our primary concern is to make sure that nobody gets caught in the crosshairs who may quite literally not be involved at all,” Marc Gaudrault, chief executive of TekSavvy, added outside the court. “If, at the end of the day it turns out that what they’re alleging is actually what happened, the law is the law, we can’t say, ‘Do unlawful things.’ ”

Ottawa recently overhauled the copyright legislation and the Copyright Modernization Act, once known as Bill C-11, received royal assent in June and most of its provisions came into force on Nov. 7.

The new law provides for a penalty from $100 to a maximum of $5,000 for all infringements related to personal use that occurred prior to a legal action. Under the old rules, the maximum fine was $20,000 per infringement, which remains the case for violations for commercial use.

Voltage is likely to send letters to the individuals involved asking they pay an amount akin to what could be awarded by way of statutory damages or face proceeding to court.

Mr. Fewer said the appropriate amount of damages is more like the cost of “an iTunes rental or at most the purchase of a DVD…. But if you even want to argue the damages you still have to hire a lawyer and go to court and deal with all that.”

Voltage has filed similar lawsuits in the past targeting thousands of U.S. Internet users it believed illegally downloaded The Hurt Locker and even a B.C. action in 2011 aimed at extracting the identities of dozens of users.

Last month a Federal Court judge in Montreal ordered Internet providers to turn over the names and addresses associated with about 50 IP addresses in a case brought by NGN Prima Productions Inc., which, like Voltage, also used Canipre as its forensic investigation firm.

But the TekSavvy case appears to set a Canadian precedent in terms of the number of users implicated.

Mr. Fewer said such cases, which rarely if ever end up in court after the identities are disclosed, are a means of generating revenue for films that didn’t earn much at the box office. “It’s not a legitimate business model. It’s a misuse of copyright and a misuse of the courts,” he said.

Fibroptix - Fiber optic internet connection - Montreal , New York, Toronto ; Partners

Fibroptix - Fiber optic internet connection - Montreal , New York, Toronto ; Partners

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TEKSAVVY - Greater Toronto Area was with the Rogers Express and Extreme packages

 $45 per month
 about 5 days
 Bell Canada
 "Truly Unlimited Package, Amazing Customer Service and No Hidden Fees"
 "Package speeds (same with all DSL resellers)"
 "Great ISP, Can't recommend them enough!

After having been with Rogers for 8 years in the Greater Toronto Area (and being used to the Rogers "Express" & "Extreme" packages), I moved to a non-Rogers serviced area west of Ottawa in 2006. For 2 years, I fought with serious line quality issues, amplification via load-coils, a ~24,000-foot copper loop length (copper to this CO and then copper from this CO to the next town CO 6 KM away) and MultiLink PPP via 4x 56K modems.

Over the last 18 months, I've been through the fixed wireless gamut, first with Storm Wireless (which worked well minus the occasional disconnect and an antenna failure), but was subsequently bought out by Barrett Xplornet (who replaced all the customer premise equipment with Motorola 3.5 GHz gear). For the last 9 months, I have been fraught with rage and frustration at the blatant disregard that Xplornet has had for their service quality and provisioning. Four service tech visits (including a level 3 and two independent install vendors), two antenna changes, two botched installs, multiple escalations later and $65 a month down the drain and still I was no closer to achieving any semblance of service.

With seemingly bleak connectivity options, I believed I was relegated to the digital dust bin... disadvantaged in a major way compared to those in urban areas with affordable, reliable connectivity options.

With the financial assistance of the OMAFRA Broadband Fund (»···/faq.htm) and working with the local rural township municipal government, Bell Aliant successfully completed their installation of 6 KM of fiber optic cabling and an Alcatel-Lucent 7330 DSLAM, lighting up DSL services in my small rural Ontario town of 1000 residents two weeks ago.

Upon shopping around Bell Canada's DSL rates and packages, it became blatantly obvious that there was no "niche" package that heavy users with high-demand requirements could subscribe to at a reasonable price without having to worry about hefty overage charges or customer support that lacks any ability to communicate and address issues.

Shopping around, I came across TekSavvy and based upon the customer feedback, pulled the trigger on their Unlimited 5 Mbps DSL package with static IP & public IP block. I placed this order around 10:00 PM on a week night and was hooked up 4 days later. Service has been very solid since first spin up (5055/797 kbps, SNR=28 dBm, ATTN=11.1 dBm... minus some teething problems on Bell Aliant's side) with a Thomson SpeedTouch 516 and 40-year old interior quad telephone cabling.

TekSavvy customer support has been available 24/7 to take my calls and even worked for 45 minutes yesterday evening around 11:00 PM to diagnose an issue with PPPoE handshaking on Bell's side.

How often does an ISP go to these lengths to keep a new customer happy? In twenty years of connectivity across 10 ISP's (CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL, AOL Canada, DocuSystems, Inter-Links, Rogers, Magma/Primus, Storm Wireless & Barrett Xplornet), I've seen NONE in the same class as TekSavvy.

If you're looking for a DSL provider with a truly unlimited package, world-class customer support and no-nonsense billing practices, TekSavvy should be at the very top of your list.

*****UPDATE April 8, 2010******

Just wanted to say that the service has been OUTSTANDING over the last 4 months since installation. Can't stop recommending the service enough.

Why I Cancelled with Rogers and Sympatico

30$ per month
about 5 days
"Friendly, incredibly helpful, and extremely knowledgeable staff."
"By far the best ISP I've ever dealt with for both business and home service."

I've been using a 6 mb line at home for about 3 years now (less than $40 month for Dry DSL) and 2 years at work where we have 4 lines with static IPs in place for $75 per line- less than the cost of a single 3 mb line with our old provider. Unbelievable value. I'm using Speedtouch 516's in on all lines.

They let you use the lines however you see fit with whatever geeky services you want to run, such as running a web server over the line. We've never had unscheduled downtime at my workplace, unlike our previous 'big league' ISP where we were down about 1 day per quarter. Same goes for my home service.

I've personally used Rogers and Sympatico for my home service, and dealt with several other ISPs for business use, and I had issues with all of them involving the quality of their service and tech support. None of them hold a candle to TekSavvy. I can't recommend this company enough!

Best Internet Service Provider I've used so far

$51 per month (month by month)
about 1 days
Bell Canada
"Smooth browsing ;)"
"None so far"
"Best ISP I've used so far"

Currently subscribed to Unlimited Package ($39.95) with static IP ($4) and /30 subnet ($5).

The DSL service is excellent and there is nothing to complain about.
The ordering process was smooth, got my login couple days before the date I asked for.

I require a monthly invoice and it was a bit bumpy to get TSI to send it to me every month without me reminding them. That has been resolved however and invoices are sent on monthly basis automatically now.

The static IP should be free or cheaper for those who order a subnet in my opinion (you can't have subnet without static IP).

Cancel Rogers Internet - Toronto, Canada.

30$ per month
about 6 days
Bell Canada
"Great Value, Friendly Support"

My advice for Internet in Toronto, Canada.

Hi Guys,
This is just a quick word to say I got my TEKSAVVY (Thanks to this amazing website and a friend's recommendation) connection today in Toronto and it works great.

I get 7.25 mbits on speed test for 30$ a month.

Previous situation with BELL:
I was getting slower speed with bell for 40 hidden fees, modem rent and ended up paying hundreds of $ in fees for them not telling me my dl limit had been reduced to something in the 20 gigs. + All the stuff I was downloading so slowly not knowing Bell was cheating me of 95% of my torrent speed.

Now Bell keeps calling me back to offer me different deals not even on their website, bunch of corrupted fraudsters.

I could go on an on, about how the Bell payment service wouldn't wait 3 days until I got my student scholarship money and cut my line even if I have been their client for over 10 years. Then they told me they would not charge me fee for reconnecting if I stayed with Bell. Asking them if they would still charge me the extra 25 days even through I'm already with another company they said: yes. I answered: "well then why are wondering why I changed company if you charge me for service I wont even use and do not want? Thieves"

Anyway, this is my TekSavvy review:
Great service so far. They came to install the modem at my apartment - no BS, a technician just called and said he was in my area and could deliver my modem.
Fast speed.

And like I said (kinda the theme of my review): The exact opposite of Bell in what to expect.


Bell Sympatico and Switched Internet Providers

$60 per month
about 9 days
Bell Canada
"Great Speed so far, Great Value, Friendly Support, Etc"
"A few initial setup delays"
"I just had my line set up not too long ago and its good so far!"

The initial process of Teksavvy seemed pretty easy. We set it up on a certain date and expected it at a certain date. That wasn't the complete case.

Due to no fault to Teksavvy though, I had to get lines installed by Bell and it was delayed a few times as from Bell's end it seemed to work fine. Once the tech came out here and noticed the problem he said he would have the right things installed within 20-60 minutes, and he did.

The tech support at Teksavvy is great. The reviews on this site are proof of that. The support staff are friendly and even crack the occasional joke here and there.

The speed on our line is solid and so far, no hiccups at all. We were starting to get annoyed about the set up time but that couldn't have been helped, no matter who we had to go with.

We used our own Modem (TP-Link TD-W8920G) and it provides a quick setup option which we just went through pretty easily (with our username and password entered) and it just worked.

Happy I Cancelled Rogers Internet and Bell Internet

North York,ON
$29 per month
"Tech Support is great, No Downtime"
"None Yet"
"Great ISP at a Great Price"

Great ISP. Great Price. Great Tech Support (live person from Canada)

Please think or consider your service with; Rogers Internet, Bell Sympatico - live knowaledgeable and friendly support ? NOT .... 1-800, #1 english, #2 support, #8 homeservice, #19 get a live body, #999 not a recording.

With my current service teksavvy I am happy. Direct person, that resolves your issues in minute. !!!! No I do not work for the company. Just a happy MoFo .... I am not dealing with substandard service from Rogers Internet, Bell Sympatico !!! the monopoly .

Best Internet Provider In Ontario Canada

London, ON
$30 per month
"Fast and stable"
"None so far"
"This is one of the best, same as used to be."

Since I don't use that much bandwidth I joined the one with 200GB cap...transfered from Execulink on 31/12/2009 was smooth....I started with Teksavvy in the New Year

Will soon switch my land line to them soon, since I already uses their internet and LongDistance service.

Yari ka I found it, Internet Provider

$29 per month
"Tech Support is great, No Downtime"
"None Yet"
"Great ISP at a Great Price"

I called in a few days before Christmas and got my activation date 2 weeks away because of holidays which is understandable. On activation day, I plugged in my TP-LINK 8616 and WRT54GL and configured my username/password and it just works. My speed profile is set correctly except for upload. Everything is fine except a few hiccups here and there which I will be calling about soon. Although I put initial cost as a bad point, it's still better then bell in terms of overall service/monetary value. Because with bell, you have to rent their modem and they do not allow you to buy it and keep it. Think of teksavvy's modem as an investment.


Best Internet in Canada

St Catharines,ON
Contract price not specified.
"Short hold times, knowledgable staff"
"Line speed, different stories"

"Best ISP I've used so far"

I ordered DSL Service and was to have it installed on December 23rd, 2009. When that day rolled around, and I couldn't get my DSL going, I placed a ticket order for a Bell technician to come out and take a look at my line. While here, we discovered that it wasn't the line to my house, but my modem that was causing the issue. Fixed the modem and presto, internet.

When the tech was here, he did a line test and told me that I had a fantastic quality line. That his tests are showing somewhere in the ball park of 6mbps when he tested with his 3M branded testing machine. He said if I'm paying for the 5mbps service, I should have no problem receiving 5mbps.

After running a speed test after he left, I found my speeds to be a terrible 1mbps. I called in to tech support and requested that looked into. They put in a ticket to Bell to increase my speeds. A few days later, I run a test, and my speed is now 3mbps. Definitely an improvement, but not quite the 5mbps I was looking forward to when the Bell tech told me it shouldn't be a problem.

I called in to tech support only to be told that I can't get more than 3. They told me to take whatever the techs say with a grain of salt (aka. the tech is lying) and that 3 is the best I can do in my area. They told me the only thing I can do is call back every couple of months to create new tickets to Bell to try to improve my line speed, but the tech support rep told me it likely won't do much.

I don't know who to believe? And just now, on another forum I frequent, I read another similar story to mine about somebody who feels they should be getting closer to 5 mbps but are provisioned at 3 mbps. What gives? Does TekSavvy save on their lease payments to Bell if they keep as many of their clients as possible provisioned to a lower speed?

Other than that though, tech support is very knowledgeable when it comes to troubleshooting the internet set up, setting up my MLPPP router, etc. I definitely have to give credit to them on that front.

The service is the best widespread offered internet in Canada. I'm just wishing it was as good as it sounds on paper....

Rep. Mike Rogers and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Discussing Internet Regulation

Rep. Mike Rogers and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Discussing Internet Regulation

Congressman Mike Rogers and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski discussing the regulation of the Internet with Net Neutrality or Title II classification. Congressman Rogers does not believe this is the way to encourage innovation and increase investment in broadband infrastructure

Bell Sympatico Throttles Internet Access

Bell Sympatico Throttles Internet Access

Bell Sympatico, Canada's largest Internet Service Provider (ISP) has admitted in November 2007 that it "purposely" slows down its high-speed DSL, especially for torrents. This is despite them not telling customers. This video is a customers story.
While it's true that Bell throttles and it sucks, The contents of that video are still a bit misleading. (Well let's be fair and assume the creator didn't fully understand the technology...)

First, 16Mbps isn't 16 Megabytes per second, it's 16 megabits per second, that's 8 times slower, or about 2 Megabytes per second.

Second, because of overhead and misconfigurations on the average PC, you could never get the full amount for payload. Yes, Bell isn't clear on that, but neither is any other ISP, and it's largely out of their control.

Third, the downloads that he shows at 14Kbps and 309KBps could be caused by slow/full links at the site, or any other ISP along the way, outside of Bell's network.

In other words, although Bell may be dishonest in its advertising, these anecdotal tests don't prove it...

Cancel Bell Sympatico Internet - Toronto, Canada.

Hi Guys,
Thanks for this blog, this is just a quick word to say I got my TEKSAVVY (Thanks to this amazing website and a friend's recommendation) connection today in Toronto and it works great.

I get 7.25 mbits on speed test for 30$ a month.

Previous situation with BELL:
I was getting slower speed with bell for 40 hidden fees, modem rent and ended up paying hundreds of $ in fees for them not telling me my dl limit had been reduced to something in the 20 gigs. + All the stuff I was downloading so slowly not knowing Bell was cheating me of 95% of my torrent speed.

Now Bell keeps calling me back to offer me different deals not even on their website, bunch of corrupted fraudsters.

I could go on an on, about how the Bell payment service wouldn't wait 3 days until I got my student scholarship money and cut my line even if I have been their client for over 10 years. Then they told me they would not charge me fee for reconnecting if I stayed with Bell. Asking them if they would still charge me the extra 25 days even through I'm already with another company they said: yes. I answered: "well then why are wondering why I changed company if you charge me for service I wont even use and do not want? Thieves"

Anyway, this is my TekSavvy review:
Great service so far. They came to install the modem at my apartment - no BS, a technician just called and said he was in my area and could deliver my modem.
Fast speed.

And like I said (kinda the theme of my review): The exact opposite of Bell in what to expect.

William D.
Toronto, Ontario

My advice for Internet in Toronto, Canada.

Bell Sympatico Black List - Net neutrality

Net neutrality? What’s that?
Throwing up its metaphorical hands in horror, it claims it would never dream of doing such a thing —- it’s just kinda, well, you know, delaying things a teensy bit.
Nothing to get upset about.
Members of the Coalition and top Net scholars don’t agree, however. And to make their position unmistakably clear, they’ve filed a class action demanding the US Federal Communications Commission fine Comcast $195,000 for every affected subscriber
“Nobody gave Comcast the right to be an Internet gatekeeper,” says Marvin Ammori, general counsel of Free Press and co-author of the complaint. “And there is nothing reasonable about telling users which Internet services they can and can’t use.”
But Comcast isn’t the only villain in the piece, and the US isn’t the only country where The Biggies have decided they can do whatever they want and get away with it, a la the movie and music cartels.
In the States, users have people trying to look after their rights and interests, but there’s no one doing that in Canada.
If you’re signed on with Bell-Sympatico and you’ve been unsuccessfully trying to coax a little more speed out of your suddenly sluggish computer; or, if you’ve been calling Bell-Sympatico support only to be told it’s not them, it’s you —- it isn’t you, says Ottawa Gal. Because here, “Bell-Sympatico is now following the Rogers lead,” she states. “It’s traffic shaping and throttling.”
Bell-Sympatico says it’s now taking action against ‘network abusers’ and performing ‘Traffic Management during periods of peak usage’, she says, but since Bell-Sympatico “didn’t or won’t” explained in detail why, how, and exactly who is affected, here it is from Ottawa Gal ......

Following the (Rogers) leader
For the past while Sympatico users have been complaining they were being throttled to 30kB/s on torrents. But, all that’s been said is: it’s the user’s problem or not enough seeders.But a couple of days ago it came to light what’s been happening. Sympatico is now throttling (’traffic management’) and also degrading users’ speed profiles for anyone they deem ‘network abusers’ in undisclosed areas, and any time of the day they deem fit to throttle.
Bell-Sympatico is now doing two things: following the Rogers lead: Traffic shaping/throttling and degrading users speed profiles. A brief description of what’s going on is described below along with the letters being sent to ‘Network Abusers’.
Traffic shaping/throttling (’Traffic Management during periods of peak usage’)
Per the Bell-Sympatico User Forum:
‘Only P2P is being throttled, and only during peak times, so you can continue to download whatever content you want to, so long as it’s not during peak times.’
‘As for when peak times are, Bell is closely monitoring traffic across its entire network and managing that traffic as required. The timeframes involved change due to constantly changing customer behaviour.’
The degrading of users speed profile per the Bell Sympatico User Forum:
‘I never heard of a invisible cap for bandwidth I can assure you that if your service is unlimited it is even if you reach 200gb.’
The Abuse Letter* (going out to ‘Network Abusers’):
*This is from a fellow Bell user on an unlimited contract.
Important notification about your Sympatico Internet service from Bell
Our records indicate that over the past months, there has been sustained excessive bandwidth usage on your Sympatico account. In fact, the monthly usage on your account is 5000% higher than the usage of an average Bell residential customer. Please note that less than 1% of our residential customers fall into this category.
Your level of consumption is in violation of our Service Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy. In particular, it breaches your agreement not to use the service in a manner that restricts or inhibits other Bell customers from using and enjoying the Internet and your agreement not to create an unusually large burden on our network. As a residential Internet service provider. Bell Sympatico has a responsibility to deliver high quality Internet service to all of our customers. In the event that individual customers consume excessive amounts of bandwidth, our ability to deliver on this commitment can be affected.
As a result, and in accordance with your Service Agreement, your Internet service will be restricted during peak hours of network activity for the next 30 days. This means that you may notice a decrease in the speed at which you can upload and download from the Internet during peak hours. It is important for you to reduce your usage level to an acceptable range during this time. If you fail to comply, your service will be terminated in accordance with the time frame set out in a subsequent termination notice to you.
To help you monitor your Internet usage, please log in to My Internet at to access our bandwidth tracker. To learn more about bandwidth intensive applications such as peer-to-peer file sharing or running servers and for tips or information on how you can manage your Internet usage, please visit Should you have any other questions regarding this notice, please call 1-866-424-0182. A copy of the Service Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy can be found at
Your cooperation in this matter is appreciated. Thank you and we look forward to your immediate action.
The Caps on Unlimited accounts (The first of many kickers):
This is a paid for unlimited account to which the invisible cap that got these people an abuse letter and labelled ‘network abusers’ is undisclosed. People have to guess at which point they’ll get this letter. The only thing known to date is the abusers will be throttled during peak time usage and their DSL profile changed to 512-downstream/512-upstream.
If we review Sympatico’s Acceptable Use Policy it only states:
‘You are prohibited from using the Service for activities that include, but are not limited to’:
“Restricting or inhibiting any other user from using or enjoying the Internet, impairing the operations or efficiency of the Service or creating an unusually large burden on our networks, or otherwise generating levels of Internet traffic sufficient to impede other users’ ability to transmit or receive information.’
-Nowhere does it state they throttle or use caps or will impose such on the user if they use P2P.
-Nowhere does it say what the magic number is before the user gets labelled a ‘Network Abuser’
-Nowhere does it state that using the paid for unlimited account service will get you labelled a ‘Network Abuser’. After all that’s why people get the unlimited account, or those on the limited account pay the extra 25$/month to be on unlimited. But now if you pay to be on unlimited, you are a ‘Network Abuser’.
Can the user policy be more vague?
Now let’s examine the Service Agreement.
(6 ii) ‘depending on the particular Service offering available to and selected by you: (A) unlimited bandwidth usage; or (B) bandwidth usage with a limit on the combined download (from the Internet to you) and upload (from you to the Internet) bandwidth activity. In the case of (B), this limit will be identified to you prior to placing an order with Your Service Provider or made available to you by Your Service Provider from time to time. An additional charge will apply for bandwidth activity that exceeds this limit which will be identified to you prior to or upon placing an order with Your Service Provider or will be made available to you by Your Service Provider from time to time. It is your responsibility to monitor and manage your monthly download and upload bandwidth activity.’
This clearly states they have two types of accounts —- Unlimited and Limited. But nowhere does it state that unlimited has an invisible cap.
It also states limits will be identified to you. But sadly, it’s not. Its states it’s your responsibility to monitor and manage your monthly bandwidth activity.
But how does one manage and monitor an invisible magic number? Does the user buy a used magic hat? Crystal ball? Cast level 9 show magic number? The limit is an unknown magic and invisible number. Rumor has it that the unlimited magic number is 200-gigs, But Bell-Sympatico won’t disclose this fictional magic number to anyone. Bell-Sympatico prefers it kept a secret.
Some people who are calling in to cancel their service are now being told there’s a $100 early termination fee. However, if we look at part 10 of the Service Agreement, we find:
(10) ‘Your Service Provider will notify you of any material amendment to this Service Agreement or of any material change to the Service in advance by posting notice of such change at, by sending you notice via email to your Sympatico parent email address or to another email address provided by you to Your Service Provider (in which case it is your responsibility to ensure that such email address remains current at all times) or by using any other notice method that will likely come to your attention.’
But ……….
  • NO ONE has been given ANY notice except to be labelled a ‘Network Abuser’ by letter. Then be dropped in speed to 512/512.
  • NO ONE has been contacted to reflect Bell-Sympatico’s new bandwidth policies and P2P throttling.
This is in effect against Bell-Sympatico’s OWN service agreement.
This new change with invisible caps, traffic shaping and throttling of P2P is a big change, and a material change in service.
If we examine the rest of part 10 we see this:
‘Nothing in this Service Agreement shall be construed as obligating you to accept receipt of the Service after any change is made to the Service or this Service Agreement; however, to the extent permitted by applicable law, your sole remedy in the event that you do not wish to accept such change shall be cancellation of the Service (and termination of this Service Agreement) including the payment of any Termination Charges or other charges that may apply.’
It basically says if you don’t like the changes in policy, you can leave and you’ll have to pay the early termination fee.
Well, I have news for them.
They contacted NO ONE, so NO ONE can say, ‘hey there’s been a change’. It’s a completely hidden amendment to both the service policy and bandwidth policy that directly affects all users, and labels users as ‘Network Abusers’.
Let’s wrap up part 10 of the service agreement.
‘You agree that you cannot change this Service Agreement and that no customer service representative or sales representative of Your Service Provider is authorized to vary the terms of this Service Agreement in any way, verbally or in writing, unless specifically approved in writing by Your Service Provider.’
Since no Bell-Sympatico Agent, Customer Service, or Sales Rep is authorised to vary the terms of this policy in any way, Bell-Sympatico is supposed to provide these big changes to you in writing.
More news for Bell-Sympatico; NO ONE has received anything in writing about all the above changes.
Now, let’s jump back to part 4 of the service agreement, paragraph 3, we see the following:
‘If you cancel the Service prior to the end of the Initial Service Period as a result of a material change in the Service, the Termination Charge will be waived by Your Service Provider. For greater certainty, changes to Service Fees are not a material change to the Service. If you cancel your Service, the termination will be effected thirty (30) days from the date of your notice of cancellation to Your Service Provider’
So in effect, anyone wishing to cancel should do so with the above arguments since this is a very big change and a material change and be charged NO termination fee.
At most, there can be a 30-day notice required at regular cost. This should be argued not with support but with the Bell Executive Office of Customer Relations at: 1-866-317-3382. Be sure to get a confirmation number.
With all the TV commercials of Bell-Sympatico being consistently fast, this can now be argued to the Canadian Marketing Association, and complaint made for false advertising (if you bought it due to this), since it is no longer ‘consistently fast’ with the new changes. Its consistently throttled, or capped and throttled if you are a ‘Network Abuser’.
So you think that’s it right? End of the story? Big deal?
You thought the above were kickers, right? Nope.
The best is yet to come.
With all of the above happening, Bell-Canada approached DSL whole-sellers/re-sellers.
A few Alternate 3rd party ISP’s (ie, the competition) have been selling log-in only accounts for between $10-$20. With this type of DSL account people could purchase The Bell Sympatico service with 60-gig limit for about $50, then buy the login-only account that is either premium limited (100-gig limit) or login only unlimited over non-premium paths.
The competitors (which people usually dumped Bell-Sympatico for) are now told they can no longer sell unlimited login accounts to prevent an exodus of users, or an exodus of users saying no to bells surcharge of $25 for unlimited, for $10 unlimited given by the completion.
Bell put a swift end to the competition who were still making a buck on the login only accounts.
Not only this, but those who’ve made the black list (ie, those labelled ‘Network Abusers’) and who get their service cut off for what they bought and paid for will no longer be able to get DSL through the 3rd party competition.
Per the owner of a small ISP, Teksavvy, Bell-Sympatico will remove the user from their Data base as eligible for DSL service. Thus the competition can’t give them DSL service since they don’t exist.
In addition, Bell won’t activate the card or port required on their equipment to allow the competition to service those labelled as ‘Network Abusers’.
So what we have here is complete control over the competition in whom they can service, as Bell-Sympatico see’s fit.
Seems like this should be against the competition act doesn’t it? However, Bell has three out of the five board members sitting on the Competition Policy Review Panel whose core mandate is, “review two key pieces of Canadian legislation, the Competition Act and the Investment Canada Act, including the treatment of state-owned enterprises and the possibility of a national security review clause.’
This also builds on top of this story: Big Brother Sympatico.
As for the ‘national security’ review, allow me to direct you to Emily of the State.
So where’s the justice for those labelled by Bell-Sympatico as ‘Network Abusers’?
What kind of competitive country removes the competition from services for those labelled ‘Network Abusers’?
Had enough yet? Read on.
If you’re planning to go to Bell-Sympatico, or are already a Bell-Sympatico user, the following applies to you:
1.Bell is throttling: this is admitted in their own forum
2.Bell acknowledges it’s targeting specific programs and it didn’t specify the whole list, but only a partial list which may change as it deems fit, “as required”.
3.Bell stated unlimited accounts will remain so, as long as they’re within the “acceptable range”.
4.No one to date knows what this “acceptable range” is. We have to guess.
5.Bell stated this is in accordance with the “Acceptable Use Policy”.
6.The “Acceptable Use Policy” doesn’t state anything other than being completely open-ended to change at Bell’s discretion as it sees fit to enforce upon you, at any time it wants.
7.None of Bell’s policies tell you’ ‘unlimited’ equals 200-gigs MAX or you’re labelled a ‘Network Abuser’.
8.By Bell’s own statements, it’s suffering from internal network problems and is targeting areas/people where this occurs, within any time frameit deems fit, with no regard to anyone (ie,. ‘creating an unusually large burden on our networks’) .Hence, it’s over-subscribed what it can actually handle.
9.So in other words, you’re at Bell’’s mercy since the areas aren’t defined, time-frame isn’t defined, programs/protocols/ports aren’t defined, B/W limits aren’t defined, what speed you will be dropped to isn’t defined,
10.Bell says only P2P being throttled, however some people are complaining it affects their internet experience as a whole, regardless of P2P.
11.Bell states it’s not limiting the amount a person can download. However, by lowering speed to 512/512 for ‘Network Abusers’, for those on unlimited and throttling the rest of the users during peak times (which aren’t defined), speed is reduced. So how much you can download? Thus, by their own admission, they’re in fact affecting how much you can download, as well as when and how.
12.Bell stated you’re on your own to determine when peak time congestion is, in case you’re wonder why things slow down to 30KB/s.
13.Even if you pay the extra $25/month for unlimited, you will/can get this throttle at any time of the day (to 30-KB/s) they deem fit to impose it and you will be labelled a ‘network Abuser’ if you reach the invisible magic b/w limit.
14.Those who received the VERY vague letters were given no time frame as to when to slow down on the downloads/uploads,
15.Those who received the VERY vague letters were given no b/w limit to stay below,
16.Those who received the VERY vague letters were not told they’d be degraded to a 512/512 profile.
17.All those affected should be allowed to terminate their contracts without penalty fee’s since this is a VERY big change in Bandwidth policy without notice or regard to the customer and with no time-frame and b/w limit given.
18.It has been made public knowledge that Bell is forcing other DSL whole-sellers or re-sellers to get rid of the unlimited login. This is full control over competition.
19.It has been made public knowledge that those cut off from bell DSL for any of the above reasons will be removed from their Dbase and you won’t be able to get service from the other DSL competition going through their network (Bell won’t activate the port/card). This is full control over competition.
20.It hasn’t been confirmed, but the magic invisible limit on unlimited is 200-gigs (explain that one to your kids).
21.If you were sold the promise of unlimited consistently fast internet, you need to call the Bell Executive Office of Customer Relations if you see 30KB/s because Bell reps won’t acknowledge the whole truth to you and will probably tell you the problem is your broken PC or router. You were only sold a broken promise.
22.Be aware of the Black list and what happens if you make this black list.
We all know what’s going to come next, encryption throttling (like Rogers).
Buyer beware.
[Ottawa Gal is a long-time p2pnet reader and comment poster who'd rather remain anonymous. She says she works in the University, likes her cat, reality TV, and Doctor McDreamy. Her favourite web sites are the Michael Geist blog and "Privacy on the net is also important to me," she says. "I need a tinfoil hat ;) " She's also the mother of, "two darling little girls who tore down my ceiling fan three days ago thinking it would be fun to hang from it." So she advises parents to, "never have an armchair around from which little ones can reach fans". (No one was hurt :) ) ]
Stay tuned.