Bell and Telus Race to the Bottom
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Bell and Telus Race to the Bottom

A day after Google called out Bell for throttling BitTorrent traffic, and a few days before Rogers releases the iPhone in Canada to significant customer dissatisfaction (the latest news is that Apple won’t even be selling iPhones from their own retail stores because of Apple‘s dissatisfaction with Rogers’ pricing plans), Bell and Telus have decided to up the ante, lower the telecom bar, and infuriate their customers even more.
Canwest is reporting that in August, Bell and Telus will both begin to charge their pay-per-use users 15¢ per received text message—a service that was previously free and that is, notably, still free for Rogers customers. (Among all of the carriers, it typically costs money only to send a text message, not receive it.) Even more ludicrous, though, is that Telus is justifying the move as being motivated by anything but greed. But Telus Mobility spokesperson A.J. Gratton told Canwest that the “volume [of text messages] places tremendous demands on our network and we can’t afford to provide this service for free anymore.” Even at 10¢, a text message already costs the customer sending it almost five times more than it does to send the equivalent amount of data to the Hubble telescope. 15¢ per text message means that any time a customer sends or receives a message (which can’t be bigger than 140 bytes), they are paying the equivalent of at least $1,101 per megabyte—and, if they are, say, Bell customers sending a message to other Bell customers, Bell makes the equivalent of at least $2,202 per megabyte. And we’re, uh, guessing that some of that’s profit.
We’ve said this before, but this is really getting ridiculous.
Photo by .natalie from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.