VOIP and Streaming Banned in Telus’ Acceptable Use Policy

High speed wireless data sounds great, doesn’t it. For approximately C$100 per month, you can get unlimited high speed data service from Telus or Bell. But is it really unlimited?

The Section 5 of the Telus Terms and Conditions state, in part: You will not use the service for: multi-media streaming; voice over Internet protocol; or any other application which uses excessive network capacity or may otherwise adversely impact other users, that is not made available to you by TELUS Mobility. So, no VOIP or multi-media streaming, unless you’re buying it from Telus, of course.

I can understand banning users from running web servers. But why advertise high speed wireless networks and then ban users, in the fine print, from using them to access content on a selective basis. VOIP, particularly if low bandwidth codecs are used, doesn’t necessarily put a greater strain on the network then playing online games or rapidly switching between “rich media” websites. And the exclusion for content/services made available by Telus makes it obvious that this is simply a means to adversely affect the competition. This looks like round one of the network neutrality war.

BTW, Rogers does a better job on this one. Their terms and conditions (PDF) focuses on prohibiting the operation of servers and restricting uses that create an unusually large burden on our network.