Vonage goes after Canadian ISP Shaw Communications

Shaw Communications has been telling it’s customers that if they are using a VOIP service that they should pay an additional $10.00 per month so that they can get optimized VOIP traffic. Vonage has requested technical information from Shaw on exactly what that $10.00 buys the consumer and what the optimization is. Thus far Shaw has not responded. So Vonage has taken their concerns and filed a multi-point complaint with the Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

What this proves is that communication companies are starting to charge consumers for a second tier of service which the provider should be taking care as default service. This charge is like putting in a phone line and when you pick up the phone not hearing a dial tone but instead being connected to a customer service rep who say for $10.00 more I will enable the dial tone. . I am not sure if Shaw has direct competition in their areas of service, but if I were a Canadian consumer I would vote with my wallet.

American communications companies and primarily the network gate keepers like AT&T and the Bells are going to be attempting to do the same thing in the United States, it is not enough that the American Taxpayers have subsidized these companies infrastructure building projects to the tune of Billions of dollars in the taxes you have already and continue to pay on your phone bill. Not to mention the tax breaks they get, these companies have seen record profits yet they want to extort more money from consumers and companies that do business on the Internet.

This is very fast shaping up to be the new battleground were those companies and individuals that have the money to pay their extortion fees to guarantee will get a higher level of anti-competitive traffic flow, this will develop a digital divide that needs to be prevented at all cost.

The words coming out of executives mouths is tantamount to racketeering and they need to know you are not going to allow them to implement a for pay 2nd tier Internet [Yahoo]