ISP Claims Bell Canada Initiative is Misguided

The recent Bell Canada announcement of free Internet connections for its 650,000 business customers seems like a good deal, but Toronto’s ISPs are not so sure.

“Maybe Bell would be better off to focus its efforts on providing better quality customer service to these customers, rather than yet again misusing their monopoly privileges in a fruitless attempt to entrench their position in the Internet industry,” said John Nemanic, president of Internet Direct, Toronto’s largest local ISP, and one of the founding members of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers.

“We don’t believe that Bell is capable of providing the kind of quality,
personalized customer care that dedicated Internet providers can,” added
Colin Campbell, Vice President of Marketing for Internet Direct.

Campbell insists that the offer may not be as attractive as it appears.

“Bell’s customers will have to pay InterNIC charges and extra download fees.
Our business packages have no download limits, so there will be no surprises
in the bill at the end of the month. I’d read the fine print on this offer
very carefully.”

“I’d characterize the offer as desperate,” said Nemanic, referring to Bell
Canada’s shrinking long-distance market-share, down to 63% and falling fast.
“Bell is not terribly experienced at providing personal service, but they
are good at cross-subsidizing one sector of a monopoly business at the
expense of another.”

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