Amid growing public pressure and with a federal election looming, Bell Canada on Monday withdrew its proposal on usage-based billing for Internet customers.
Providing that smaller Internet service providers (ISPs) at the wholesale level pay for any overruns they incur, Bell in a statement said it is willing to offer them more autonomy on billing decisions.
ISPs and online activists have been adamantly opposed to the idea of UBB, insisting it would make it impossible for smaller firms to compete with the likes of Bell and other incumbents.
“(AVP) is only a Band-Aid solution to a much larger problem,” Steve Anderson, executive director of OpenMedia, a group that’s behind the StopTheMeter.ca online campaign, said in a statement on the group’s Web site. “We . . . hope the CRTC takes Bell’s submission as a sign that widespread usage-based billing is not an acceptable model for Internet pricing and that it creates policy to support the affordable Internet.”