The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has allowed Bell to use different billing methods for dedicated and non-dedicated wholesale high speed internet services.
This decision affects companies like Allstream (now owned by Zayo), which Bell provides with wholesale internet access. Zayo offers fibre and bandwidth connectivity to its own customers, which include data centers, enterprises and government agencies.
Bell has two categories of wholesale broadband services using digital subscriber line (DSL) technology.
First, there’s dedicated services, wherein the service is provided through a dedicated data channel via a permanent virtual circuit between each end-user and an interconnection point at the central office.
Then there’s non-dedicated, which uses shared paths for transporting traffic between an interconnection point and its end-user. In this format, segregation of traffic is done within the network.
In 2013, Zayo requested that the CRTC compel Bell Canada to set access rates for its dedicated legacy internet services at the same price as for non-dedicated legacy internet services.
For the dedicated service, Bell uses a flat-rate model, in which customers pay a fixed per end user monthly rate to provide network access to its retail end users.
For the non-dedicated service, Bell uses a capacity-based billing model (CBB), in which customers pay a monthly capacity rate for the network capacity it expects to need to support traffics from its users, plus a separate per end-user monthly access rate.
Bell noted in response that it could not apply the CBB model on its dedicated high speed access services unless it made expensive modifications.
Ultimately, the Commission has now decided that it is appropriate for Bell to offer different billing models for the different services, given the cost of technical modifications, and has also approved final rates.
Recently, the CRTC gave internet resellers in Ontario and Quebec early access to last-mile Bell fibre service.