Thursday, March 23, 2006

Shaw Cable - How Not To Support VoIP

Hat tip to Andy Abramson on this one, especially for picking up on this Canadian item.

Raise your hands, folks. How many of you have ever heard of ZingoTel? Be honest now. Ahhh - none of you. That's what I thought. When an obscure, Las Vegas-based VoBB provider like this makes noise with Shaw - and gets attention, you know we've got an issue on our hands.

Andy cites the story from a posting on Betadot. Pretty bizarre - and it's not about what you'd think - port blocking or net neutrality. Something far more basic and territorial. ZingoTel bought media time to run ads on TV for their VoIP service. Since Shaw is the cable provider for Western Canada, and ZingoTel competes with their VoIP offering, CEO Jim Shaw said no go, and turned away their $36,000 ad buy.

Only in the cable business, which still has vestiges of being family-run - such as Shaw - can this happen. Incredible. As Andy rightly says - "if Shaw has a better product people will buy it". Plus, you've taken their money - what's the problem? VoIP competition cuts both ways, and this is just another fine mess Shaw has gotten itself into. So, now ZingoTel is suing Shaw for $1.2 million, and is rightly filing a complaint with the CRTC.

On top of this, Shaw recently ran into a net neutrality challenge from Vonage Canada, which garnered quite a bit of attention, as one could view this as a precedent-setting challenge given how contentious net neutrality has recently become.

I should also note this is actually an old story with Shaw. Going back to last May, Primus Canada raised this issue with them, but in VoIP-land, that's a very long time ago, and it's easily forgotten. Hat tip to Mark Evans for the paper trail here.

How not to make friends and influence people!

1 comment:

ipcom said...

Posted by: Lily

Good to know what's going on..

I have a question that you may help me find a quick fix-

Shaw is over billing me, I printed out two years bill statements from my online account and provided shaw billing manager the facts, but she keep sending me the same billing statement without correction.

What you would advice me if you were over billed by shaw, yet the manager in charge refuse to correct the clearly mistake.