Thursday, December 11, 2008

BCE Deal Dies, And What It Means For The Rest Of Us

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The deal that would have seen Canada's largest telco, Bell Canada brought under private ownership of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has fallen apart. While there may be very little effect on most Canadians at first there will be impact further down the road.

In coming troubled times if Bell's bottom line starts sinking, then look for Telus to come back proposing a merger, if Bell doesn't opt to merge with Telus then a hostile takeover would come next. After Bell and Telus unite then it wouldn't be too long before the last two remaining regional telcos, MTS and Sasktel get gobbled up.

While the idea of having a single national telco may scare many consumers, it should be especally worrysome to those that don't have a competitve alternative such as telephone service from a cable company.

Bell and it's CRTC endorsed traffic shaping is seen as the biggest threat to Net Neutrality in Canada. With Bell as a majority part of a single national telco would practically guarantee Net Neutrality would be a memory without any kind of legislated intervention. That could also mean that in some communities where DSL is the only high speed Internet service is available, moving telephone service to Vonage or some other VoIP service wouldn't be practical or even possible.

With a national monopoly telco becoming a possibility in just a couple of years. It's time to support alternative broadband technologies.

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