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Bell Starts Charging per Gigabyte

by Tom Moccia | January 17, 2011January 17, 2011 4:00 am PDT

Data access providers have long offered unlimited data service, but as we all know more carriers are switching to tiered plans. The most recent, and most publicized, change came from AT&T Wireless when they eliminated the unlimited data plan on their smartphones, and changed to 200MB for $15 and 2GB for $25 per month, unless, of course, you are grandfathered with the $30 per month unlimited pan.

Well, I never thought I would see the day when home internet providers started tiering their data usage plans, but it seems users in the Bell Canada user forums are stating that the company has started charging users an array of costly per gigabyte overages.

The example that seems to be going around the Bell Canada community forums states that users on a 7 Mbps DSL tier who achieve the 25GB data cap will now be charged $2 a gigabyte, up to a maximum of $60. Not so bad you say, but it doesn’t stop there, if customers exceed the 300GB point, their bill will start accumulating charges yet again with another $1 per gigabyte charge thereafter. Canadian users paying $44.95 Canadian, for 7 Mbps DSL could be looking at a $154.95 bill if they consume 350GB that particular month. The fine print to the gouging is shown below:

All things considered, DSL is a antiquated technology and these technologies tend to decrease in price as new technologies emerge, not become more expensive. I’m not sure of the motivation for Bell sticking it to their Canadian customers besides pure profit, but it can’t be doing anything positive on the public relations front.

This doesn’t seem like it will be an isolated Bell Canada issue, and you can bet other carriers will soon follow considering the CRTC gave Canadian incumbents the right to implement usage based billing. Bad timing considering more service providers are ditching physical media and offering streaming services.

If this became the norm how would you avoid the overage charges? Would it force you to change your online habits or would you just bite the bullet?

[via DSL Reports]


Tom Moccia

Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...

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