company_name = Bell Internet
Subsidiaryof Bell Canada
foundation = November 29, 1995
Internet Service Provider
xDSL, WiMaxand dial-up
homepage = [http://www.bell.ca/servicesympatico bell.ca/servicesympatico]
Bell Internet, originally and frequently called Sympatico, is the
residential internet service providerdivision of Bell Canada. It is affiliated with MSN. As of March 2006, Bell Internet had over 2 million subscribers in Ontarioand Quebecand is the largest ADSL ISP in Canada.Fact|date=July 2007.
Sympatico was launched on
November 29, 1995.Fact|date=July 2007 Originally a national service operated jointly by Canada's ILECs and operational run as a content portal by MediaLinx, the companies other than [http://www.bell.ca Bell] (including Aliant) have since retreated to their own brands.Fact|date=July 2007 Bell subsidiaries NorthernTel, Télébecand Northwestelcontinue to brand their internet services as Sympatico, and users receive an @ntl.sympatico.ca, @tlb.sympatico.ca, or @sympatico.ca email address, respectively.
Starting in Summer 2003, Sympatico tried to differentiate its service from its competitors by adding Radial Point's (formerly Zero Knowledge) suite of
antivirus, firewall and anti-spyware services for extra charge. In 2004, Sympatico added a wirelessmodem-router hardware upgrade and Microsoft's MSNPremium software to its portfolio. In Summer 2007, Sympatico packaged its Security suite and wirelesshome networking modem together with its high speed offering as [http://www.bell.ca/shopping/PrsShpInt_Landing.page Sympatico Total Internet] . In April, 2008 all users and resalers started being throttled, many have questioned the legality of this; this dispute is still being solved.
Bell Sympatico changed its name to Bell Internet on August 8, 2008.
Bell Internet offers many tiers of service based on two different kinds of technology: Dial Up service, based on
telephone modemequipment as well as DSLservices, based on ADSLtechnology. The main differences in both equipments vary from the speed of signal, its length and its ability to overcome the noise of a phone line.
Three other Bell Internet services are also offered:
* [http://www.bell.ca/unplugged Bell WiMAX Unplugged] service is a portable
wirelessservice that is part of the Inukshuk Inc. project. The project aims to provide broadband Internet access to underserved areas across Canada.
* [http://www.bell.ca/shopping/PrsShpInt_Max.page? Total Internet Max] service is a residential Internet service provided through a fiber optic network currently offering download speeds of up to 16 Mbit/s. These services currently have a limited availability however service expansion is ongoing.
* Bell Internet IPTV service is a planned TV over IP service. Scheduled for release somewhere in
Value-Added Services (VAS)
These are services offered by Bell Internet in addition to the above services for additional costs. Some of the packages come by default, billing unaware customers.
Project Cleanfeed Canada
In November 2006, to address the problem of the accidental access to child pornography sites, especially by those under the age of majority, Bell,
Bell Aliant, MTS Allstream, Rogers, Shaw, SaskTel, Telus, and Vidéotron, in conjunction with [http://www.cybertip.ca/ cybertip.ca] (a nationwide tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children), announced the creation of "Project Cleanfeed Canada", an initiative designed to block access to child pornography sites. It is based on a similar program introduced by British Telecom in 2004. [ cite web
title=BT puts block on child porn sites
accessdate=2007-12-28 ] Project Cleanfeed Canada uses an encrypted blacklist of known child-pornography sites operating outside the country and targets only those sites that offer images of prepubescent children. [ cite web
title=Project Cleanfeed Canada
However, some critics denounce the initiative, saying that this amounts to nothing more than internet
censorship. Others argue that it is a risk worth taking. [ cite web
title=Child porn plan a risk worth taking
Users of bandwidth that Bell Internet deem excessive have been sent warning letters that state they are in violation of their Service Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy. As a result their use of peer to peer programs is traffic managed during peak hours. Some have questioned the legality of this(including notable companies such as
title=Bell's internet throttling illegal, Google says
As of April 7 2008, Bell has begun using
deep packet inspectionto identify and throttle all BitTorrenttraffic across its network [ [http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Bell-Canada-Confirms-Throttling-92973 Bell Canada Confirms Throttling - Tells wholesalers: too bad, so sad... - dslreports.com ] ] , regardless of actual bandwidth use. It has been revealed that users get slowed down to almost half the dial up speed when downloading any material of BitTorrent [ cite web
title=New filings reveal extent, damage of Bell Canada throttling
accessdate=2008-07-25 ] . This also affects its DSL resellers(including
Teksavvy, a supporter of net neutrality), who have filed a formal complaint to the CRTC [ [http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=422957 Financial Post Story ] ] . Critics claim Bell's move stifles competition, violates net neutrality, and discriminates against legitimate uses of the BitTorrent protocol [ [http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/03/28/tech-netneutrality.html Union urges CRTC to curb internet interference by Bell, Rogers ] ] .
* [http://www.bell.ca/shopping/PrsShpInt_Landing.page Bell Internet]
* [http://www.dslreports.com/reviews/412 Bell Sympatico review by dslreports.com (cited in many sites)]
* [http://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/programmes/prof_profilnew.asp?comrcid=404 Provincial protection agency report (Section in French)]
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