Bell appeals 'net neutral' mobile TV ruling

24 Feb 2015

Canadian telecoms and pay-TV group BCE is appealing last month’s regulatory ruling that blocks it from charging customers lower rates for viewing its own content on mobile devices than it charges for third-party content. Reuters reports that a filing from BCE yesterday argued that the group’s Bell Mobile TV service (taken by around 1.5 million Bell Mobility customers) should be treated differently to content from rival media companies such as Netflix and Google’s YouTube. BCE added the mobile TV product, costing CAD5 (USD4) per month for ten hours of content, is an extension of its broadcasting services, and should therefore be exempt from telecoms legislation that prohibits internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating between types of content, broadly under the principle of ‘net neutrality’.

As reported by CommsUpdate, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has ordered Bell Mobility to cease the practice of ‘zero rating’ its own online TV content for mobile customers – i.e. discriminating between its own content and third-party content so as only the latter attracts data charges and not the former. The CRTC directed Bell Mobility to eliminate its unlawful practice with respect to data charges for Bell Mobile TV by 29 April 2015.