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Bell Canada crippling BB Maps?

After catching wind of the story in several news outlets, I decided to go after the source of the turmoil: a remarkably long thread at Looks like Bell, the Canadian carrier, has decided to take a page from Verizon’s book. Several sources have been hinting at an evil plan devised by Bell to implement some kind of mechanism or network configuration that would make the native application Blackberry Maps run incredibly slow. So slow it would be insufferable and Bell’s victims customers would be compelled to use Bell’s own map service system for a mere $10 monthly fee. According to one of the Bell customers involved in the incensed discussion, Bell intends to get away with it using the following wording:

“Any client complaining about changes in Google Maps or Blackberry Maps service should be informed that these services do not use the Bell Network to return high quality locates. We have taken a business decision to provide it only for Bell-branded applications going forward. While we understand this may affect the performance of some applications, they were not developed with this enhanced function and their performance as a result is consistent with our competition.”

I admit that maybe I can’t read very well, but what I understand from that statement is that, according to Bell, some (native) applications were not developed with this enhanced function, i.e. USING THE CARRIER’S NETWORK. That is now considered some kind of privilege that is not part of the applications. “They were not developed with it,” says Bell. The statement does not explain why only Google Maps and Blackberry Maps are mentioned as applications that “were not developed” with the immense privilege of accessing the carrier’s network.

Still admitting that maybe I can’t read very well, I think there is some sort of blank to be filled in this story. What are Bell customers supposed to do “going forward”? Expect lousy performance from any application that is not “Bell-branded” or simply understand that only Google Maps and Blackberry Maps will be sabotaged impacted because Bell needs an excuse to impose an additional fee on its customer base and they “have taken a business decision” to try to pass this as an acceptable way to do it?

What is wrong with these companies these days? Why are so many of them infatuated with these preposterous ideas so akin to extortion?

The story isn’t over and now it seems that Bell could be dropping the idea. But no one is too sure of that yet. If you are a Bell customer and notice anything odd in your service, please let us know.

4 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. What I had heard a couple weeks ago was that Bell planned to implement some sort of filter on the location API suvh that only their branded app would get the full GPS accuracy, other apps would get a less accurate (but not as bad as cell tower triangulation) location back from the API calls.

  2. I am a regular user of both GPS Nav and Google Maps and have seen no changes in service levels. Bell has never made any comment on this matter so I am not sure we should necessarily believe 2nd hand information.

  3. Never Bell Telus First & Last.

  4. Telus First & Last.

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