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Ottawa demands CRTC overturn decision on usage-based billing

Industry minister announces decision on Twitter


 

What better way to challenge a regulator’s decision to end unlimited Internet use than by announcing it via Twitter? That’s exactly what Industry Minister Tony Clement, the most active Twitterer on Parliament Hill, did on Wednesday, when he tweeted “CRTC must go back to drawing board” on usage-based billing. The tweet was followed by a somewhat heated exchange with Maclean’s own Andrew Coyne over the merits of foreign competition and the government’s approach to trade policy. Prime Minister Harper has also personally intervened in the CRTC’s decision to allow telecom companies to charge consumers who exceed their bandwidth caps. The ruling also prevents smaller Internet service providers from providing unlimited access to consumers by leasing network space from larger telecom companies. CRTC chair Konrad von Finckenstein will appear before the House Industry Committee on Thursday to explain the ruling.

The Globe and Mail

@TonyClement_MP


 
Filed under:

Ottawa demands CRTC overturn decision on usage-based billing

  1. Does anyone know what the arguments that support the original ruling are?

  2. Does anyone know what the arguments that support the original ruling are?

    • I expect they run along the lines of how the larger telephone companies have to install and maintain the equipment and infrastructure to support all of their users, including those ISPs which were subletting from them and allowing unlimited bandwidth.

      They weren't allowed to charge them based on usage before, but naturally that wouldn't reduce the costs required to have acceptable throughput (both for them and for the subletters)

      I can see the logic behind where telco's are coming from, to be honest, but I'm not sure about the answer, because I think there probably is a public good to free flow of information. And, to be equally honest, the rates that the large telco's charge in Canada are extreme when compared to elsewhere.

      • What happened to the subscription fees we're currently paying? They probably blew it all on CEO pay.

      • Also, the big guys were forced to resell their access in the first place, so it's not surprising they want to discourage the resellers.

        • Ok, so the problem is the structure of the deal by which the resellers gain access.
          thanks

    • Also to what Thwim said, the CRTC has recently been reminded to step back and let the markets handle things. Until they step back, of course. But that just proves the point that letting markets handle things means that things will be handled to benefit the corporate interests, not society in general!

  3. Good for the government. Bell's rates are so laughably astronomical that they'd set us back ten years in online competitiveness.

    The CRTC – Ensuring that Canada is #1 in high prices!

  4. Please, please, please be carefull on this issue. People who are bandwidth hogs and/or down load net-flix 10 hours per day have protested and the minister sounds like he will challenge/overrule the CRTC. It does cost money and resources to provide band width and if there is no different scale for useage, then the user that gets a dozen e-mails per week at home will pay the same as band width hog.

  5. Good for the government. Bell's rates are so laughably astronomical that they'd set us back ten years in online competitiveness.

    The CRTC – Ensuring that Canada is #1 in high prices!

      • Yes, this issue is huge to me, and nobody seems to care! We see how incredibly bad U.S. news has become, I'm sure I see something about it nearly every day, and then we go ahead and make our rules the same so we can be just as bad.

        It isn't only the CRTC that doesn't make any sense, its the rest of us as well.

  6. Please, please, please be carefull on this issue. People who are bandwidth hogs and/or down load net-flix 10 hours per day have protested and the minister sounds like he will challenge/overrule the CRTC. It does cost money and resources to provide band width and if there is no different scale for useage, then the user that gets a dozen e-mails per week at home will pay the same as band width hog.

    • The problem here is that the ruling treats all of us like movie pirates downloading 10 hours a day. Teksavvy has a 200Gig cap. That is reasonable. Bell imposes a 25Gb cap. That might have worked in 1999, but not today.
      Rogers of course has its own streaming service for their customers, which kind of makes the whole "we don't have enough bandwidth" argument a little ridicuolous.

    • The problem is, most people confuse bandwidth with usage. I can be a 'bandwidth hog' if I download a lot of big files during peak hours, and never go over my usage. I can also easily go over my usage without ever 'hogging bandwidth' if I download files overnight/during slow times. The attitude that heavy users are 'causing congestion' is usually based on misinformation provided by who? Oh, right. Bell.

      For those worried about internet congestion: Should this ruling not be overturned, I will go back to doing everything the old-fashioned way: via telephone, or standing in line. Then I'll have a good giggle when people complain about 'unnecessarily long wait times.'

    • Data does cost money BUT NOT 2.00 PER GIGABYTE! More like 10c.

    • Do you think your cable company will lower your monthly fees if CRTC gets their way? OF course not. Whether you use as much or don't, you're going to pay the same amount. So what is it to you that some ppl. uses more than you? Congestion you say? Slow you down? Well, if you're only doing a bit email or so, it shouldn't really affect you that much, does it? Even, if it does, it's up to the cable companies to upgrade their current dinosaur infrastructure.

    • Funny that I had 60GB /month and now 25GB/Month for the same price. This is a cash grab and that is that. If they want to punish the "hogs" they should keep the reasonable caps and tax the abusers instead of taking the same money from the low use customerl, for less. Or at least offer a very low priced option for this pathetic 25GB.

    • Wasn't it yours and mine tax dollars that paid for most of Bell's and Rogers infrastructure upgrades in the 90's?

      This is like gas where we pay a gas tax then get ding for GST on top it.. double tax..

    • The connection is active all the time regardless of how much data is sent through the pipe. It does not matter until the data demand exceeds the size of the pipe, in which case, any reasonable organization would take a portion of the profits and invest it in a second or a larger pipe such that it could make more profit.

      Perhaps we should consider usage scales for things like gasoline. If you use just 100 litres a month you pay 60 cents a litre. If you use more than 100 litres a month you pay $6 a litre for every litre over 100. I think thats very fair.

      Or how about this. If you buy a house, you pay $100 for every square foot until the home size is 1500 square feet. After that you pay $1000 for each additional square foot. That's very fair too.

      What about this. If you earn $60000 a year or less you pay a flat income tax of $2000, but if you earn more then you pay $500 for every $2000 over the $60,000.

      Now I think we can see who the real hogs in society are.

  7. First of all bell lobbied the Industry Minister after the CRTC denied them UBB in 2010. They hounded and lobbied the various Govt ministers to put pressue on CRTC chairman to overturn the ruling they didnt agree with. They needed the money to make up revenue shortfalls from wholesale client base. In the end they got the ruling they wanted even thou the majority of their customers the smaller ISP and a few big ones like Teksavvy were against the UBB charges. Now the same Liberal, NDP and Conservative MP's all jump on the lets overturn the UBB revolt.

  8. First of all bell lobbied the Industry Minister after the CRTC denied them UBB in 2010. They hounded and lobbied the various Govt ministers to put pressue on CRTC chairman to overturn the ruling they didnt agree with. They needed the money to make up revenue shortfalls from wholesale client base. In the end they got the ruling they wanted even thou the majority of their customers the smaller ISP and a few big ones like Teksavvy were against the UBB charges. Now the same Liberal, NDP and Conservative MP's all jump on the lets overturn the UBB revolt.

  9. hi people of internet geek world

  10. hi people of internet geek world

    • smooth joyo….btw aquatic unicorns rock!!!!
      I stole my unicorn from austrialla and i taught it to fetch me orange juice…Unicorns are from austrailia u do know that right!!!!
      they sock my rocks!!! ;)

  11. I guess the question would be: would we be able to maintain our current Internet downloading lifestyle with these restrictions in place?

  12. I guess the question would be: would we be able to maintain our current Internet downloading lifestyle with these restrictions in place?

  13. The problem here is that the ruling treats all of us like movie pirates downloading 10 hours a day. Teksavvy has a 200Gig cap. That is reasonable. Bell imposes a 25Gb cap. That might have worked in 1999, but not today.
    Rogers of course has its own streaming service for their customers, which kind of makes the whole "we don't have enough bandwidth" argument a little ridicuolous.

  14. smooth joyo….btw aquatic unicorns rock!!!!
    I stole my unicorn from austrialla and i taught it to fetch me orange juice…Unicorns are from austrailia u do know that right!!!!
    they sock my rocks!!! ;)

  15. Canada needs more competetive Internet rates and we need to get rid of the CRTC and chairman Konrad von Finckenstein . CRTC sides with big business and has done little to open up competetion when they pose regulation and set rates for services in Canada. Our rates are much higher than other countries and we don't have access to higher speed services. The cost for moving IP data (gig's) have been coming down for years making higher margins for the big Cable Co's and Telco's with no savings passed along to consumers, only higher cable bills and service fees along with higher Internet rates. Also across canada the rates vary making it difficult for avg canadians and small business from staying ahead of the curve in global markets.

  16. Canada needs more competetive Internet rates and we need to get rid of the CRTC and chairman Konrad von Finckenstein . CRTC sides with big business and has done little to open up competetion when they pose regulation and set rates for services in Canada. Our rates are much higher than other countries and we don't have access to higher speed services. The cost for moving IP data (gig's) have been coming down for years making higher margins for the big Cable Co's and Telco's with no savings passed along to consumers, only higher cable bills and service fees along with higher Internet rates. Also across canada the rates vary making it difficult for avg canadians and small business from staying ahead of the curve in global markets.

    • Citizen panels need to review corporate business practices to ensure that they are both fair and responsible since business is incapable of doing anything except amassing piles of cash.

  17. You know what – I feel sorry for Shaw.

    They had to pay 700 million in cash for Global TV. Now look at their bank account!!

    It is up to you and me to make sure that 700 million is put back into their account as soon as possible. Shame on you for not wanting to help.

    700 million in cash – what company can survive on that??!?

  18. You know what – I feel sorry for Shaw.

    They had to pay 700 million in cash for Global TV. Now look at their bank account!!

    It is up to you and me to make sure that 700 million is put back into their account as soon as possible. Shame on you for not wanting to help.

    700 million in cash – what company can survive on that??!?

    • Global is a tabloid network, it's not worth 7 cents.

  19. The problem is, most people confuse bandwidth with usage. I can be a 'bandwidth hog' if I download a lot of big files during peak hours, and never go over my usage. I can also easily go over my usage without ever 'hogging bandwidth' if I download files overnight/during slow times. The attitude that heavy users are 'causing congestion' is usually based on misinformation provided by who? Oh, right. Bell.

    For those worried about internet congestion: Should this ruling not be overturned, I will go back to doing everything the old-fashioned way: via telephone, or standing in line. Then I'll have a good giggle when people complain about 'unnecessarily long wait times.'

  20. There are at least three issues at hand the are far more important than griping about cable and internet fees :

    1. Should the CRTC uphold or repeal its decision on billing practices for big retail vs. small wholesale data providers (should regulators be able to force big incumbents to support their smaller competitors in the interest of consumer choice)?

    2. Does the CRTC need a clearer mandate for a digital age (should the closed regulatory system for telecom, data and entertainment continue or be opened up to all)?

    3. Should the Government and/or Ministers be able to overrule arms-length regulatory bodies whenever they feel they can score some populist votes (NRC, Competition, CRTC)?

  21. There are at least three issues at hand the are far more important than griping about cable and internet fees :

    1. Should the CRTC uphold or repeal its decision on billing practices for big retail vs. small wholesale data providers (should regulators be able to force big incumbents to support their smaller competitors in the interest of consumer choice)?

    2. Does the CRTC need a clearer mandate for a digital age (should the closed regulatory system for telecom, data and entertainment continue or be opened up to all)?

    3. Should the Government and/or Ministers be able to overrule arms-length regulatory bodies whenever they feel they can score some populist votes (NRC, Competition, CRTC)?

    • I don't know if they bodies should even be arms length if they fail to meet their own mandate of encouraging competition and protecting consumers.

      If even the average citizen can see something is wrong with the internet in this country and the regulatory body refuses to acknowledge it time after time, something must be done.

      • Yes, but the Amateur does have a point. I do think it is ridiculous to have an arms-length body making decisions, and the government overriding them ALL the time. Sort of pointless. I think if you are going to have an arms-length regulator, you have to give him some rules under which to operate. So they have this law, see. They also have expectations brought on down by the government. I don't think the CRTC has been wrong in their decisions, either this one or the Wind Mobile one, based on the law and the expectations. Its just that the law and the expectations are crap!

  22. I have been very actively protesting the CRTC ruling on Facebook for days now. One of the people on my friends list, who I haven't spoken with in years (‘tis the nature of FB, I suppose!) defended the ruling, claiming that people who opposed it were 'whiners with a sense of entitlement' who 'didn't want to pay for what they used'. He completely glazed over the main issues: That customers were being gouged so big-name companies could stomp out the competition. Needless to say, I de-friended him.
    I actually agree with the concept of usage-based billing. I SHOULD pay more than, say, my grandmother- who never streams video online. But being charged an additional $250 per month is outrageous! Charging $2 for something that costs pennies is reprehensible. It's NOT about getting us to ‘pay our way'- it's about getting us to STOP watching streaming video so we will direct our attention towards media that Big Telecom provides and the CRTC regulates. This is all about control, and limiting our options- NOT about ‘making things fair'. If that were the case, people who used less would be charged less.

  23. I have been very actively protesting the CRTC ruling on Facebook for days now. One of the people on my friends list, who I haven't spoken with in years (‘tis the nature of FB, I suppose!) defended the ruling, claiming that people who opposed it were 'whiners with a sense of entitlement' who 'didn't want to pay for what they used'. He completely glazed over the main issues: That customers were being gouged so big-name companies could stomp out the competition. Needless to say, I de-friended him.
    I actually agree with the concept of usage-based billing. I SHOULD pay more than, say, my grandmother- who never streams video online. But being charged an additional $250 per month is outrageous! Charging $2 for something that costs pennies is reprehensible. It's NOT about getting us to ‘pay our way'- it's about getting us to STOP watching streaming video so we will direct our attention towards media that Big Telecom provides and the CRTC regulates. This is all about control, and limiting our options- NOT about ‘making things fair'. If that were the case, people who used less would be charged less.

    • Bingo! It's about being pushed to view/read/listen to the content they want to push on us, and thereby make more money from. It's like they're trying to find a way to force a 1970s TV audience paradigm on us.

    • "But being charged an additional $250 per month is outrageous!"

      Rogers caps its overage fees at $25 per month.

      • Great! Except that I pay Rogers 250/month without going over my usage.

      • $50

    • Yup and de-friending your friend for just having a different point of view was not about control at all was it.

      • Also
        "I have been very actively protesting the CRTC ruling on Facebook for days now"

        is a pretty funny sentence. Actively+Facebook. *snerk*

        • I know they're sooooo precious at that age, aren't they?

          Damn I used to get bored when old RAs used to go on about the demos in the 60s, at least they got off their arse and did something physical. I've noticed a trend.

          WW1: conscription and boots on the ground.
          WW2: Volunteers and conscription with boots on the ground.
          WW3: joy stick, keyboard, RSI and an unhappy :( emoticon.

  24. I would have probably respected the CRTC's decision if they imposed the same 25 GB limit on Roger's On-Demand download service, as it's eating into total line bandwidth and could easily explain a significant portion of line congestion. In terms of DSL, most re-sellers are only renting the last mile between the customer and their own gateway, so I can't see how congestion on those lines (which isn't supposed to happen anyway) has anything to do at all with Bell's crappy internet service.

    Nah, no matter what they had included in this it's still an absurd ruling. Between NetFlix, streaming video from broadcasters, an HDTV antenna, and VoIP, all I need is someone to provide me with the internet tube to my house. I've been done with Bell for three years, and Rogers is on their last couple of bills to me before I drop them completely. These sorts of services and bandwidth requirements are only going to explode in the future, so this sort of capping structure is the height of absurdity.

    Cut the chain, everyone! You don't have to be spending $150 on TV/Internet/Telephone to Rogers or Bell! NetFlix is $8, my telephone is $10/month, and my internet is $35/month, both through Acanac. If you're lucky enough to live in a city that's served by Mobilicity, you can have a fully-serviced blackberry for $45/month. A few hundred bucks spent on hardware and the cord is cut for good. No more touch-tone charges, no more back-room price hikes by Rogers, no more arguments on the phone for why I received yet another $20 one-time charge from Bell. No more ridiculous contracts that cost hundreds of dollars to get out.

    /end rant

  25. I would have probably respected the CRTC's decision if they imposed the same 25 GB limit on Roger's On-Demand download service, as it's eating into total line bandwidth and could easily explain a significant portion of line congestion. In terms of DSL, most re-sellers are only renting the last mile between the customer and their own gateway, so I can't see how congestion on those lines (which isn't supposed to happen anyway) has anything to do at all with Bell's crappy internet service.

    Nah, no matter what they had included in this it's still an absurd ruling. Between NetFlix, streaming video from broadcasters, an HDTV antenna, and VoIP, all I need is someone to provide me with the internet tube to my house. I've been done with Bell for three years, and Rogers is on their last couple of bills to me before I drop them completely. These sorts of services and bandwidth requirements are only going to explode in the future, so this sort of capping structure is the height of absurdity.

    Cut the chain, everyone! You don't have to be spending $150 on TV/Internet/Telephone to Rogers or Bell! NetFlix is $8, my telephone is $10/month, and my internet is $35/month, both through Acanac. If you're lucky enough to live in a city that's served by Mobilicity, you can have a fully-serviced blackberry for $45/month. A few hundred bucks spent on hardware and the cord is cut for good. No more touch-tone charges, no more back-room price hikes by Rogers, no more arguments on the phone for why I received yet another $20 one-time charge from Bell. No more ridiculous contracts that cost hundreds of dollars to get out.

    /end rant

    • Amen. At home we have only rabbit ears, no cable at all. I guess it'd be ok to have the food network but whatevs. Anyhow, we have a VoIP phone line and discount high speed net connection, and WINDmobile phones. For the *two* of us inclusive our total communications cost per month is barely over 100 bucks.

    • …no more arguments on the phone for why I received yet another $20 one-time charge from Bell. No more ridiculous contracts that cost hundreds of dollars to get out…

      I feel your pain………even worse with Telus, btw.

    • The real point of UBB is to kill competition from people like Netflix. The "investment in infrastructure" stuff is a bald faced lie that people in the media who don't know a thing about technology swallow (and the Bell/Rogers cronies at the CRTC).

      The fact of the matter is that UBB is designed to lower usage and thus remove the need to invest in infrastructure. If Canadians are sent back to the 1990s when it comes to broadband, it's more profit for Bell. So what if we're already behind countries like Mozambique?

  26. Data does cost money BUT NOT 2.00 PER GIGABYTE! More like 10c.

  27. Bingo! It's about being pushed to view/read/listen to the content they want to push on us, and thereby make more money from. It's like they're trying to find a way to force a 1970s TV audience paradigm on us.

  28. Amen. At home we have only rabbit ears, no cable at all. I guess it'd be ok to have the food network but whatevs. Anyhow, we have a VoIP phone line and discount high speed net connection, and WINDmobile phones. For the *two* of us inclusive our total communications cost per month is barely over 100 bucks.

  29. Do you think your cable company will lower your monthly fees if CRTC gets their way? OF course not. Whether you use as much or don't, you're going to pay the same amount. So what is it to you that some ppl. uses more than you? Congestion you say? Slow you down? Well, if you're only doing a bit email or so, it shouldn't really affect you that much, does it? Even, if it does, it's up to the cable companies to upgrade their current dinosaur infrastructure.

  30. Funny that I had 60GB /month and now 25GB/Month for the same price. This is a cash grab and that is that. If they want to punish the "hogs" they should keep the reasonable caps and tax the abusers instead of taking the same money from the low use customerl, for less. Or at least offer a very low priced option for this pathetic 25GB.

  31. …also, don;t think for a second that this was because of us. It was Netflix and Teksavvy and Acanac…companies with lawyers who have fought this fight for us as their customers. Thanks to them and everyone who has participated to stop UBB!

  32. …also, don;t think for a second that this was because of us. It was Netflix and Teksavvy and Acanac…companies with lawyers who have fought this fight for us as their customers. Thanks to them and everyone who has participated to stop UBB!

  33. I keep reading that Canada has among the highest broadband rates in the world. It may be true but I have not seen the figures to prove it.
    I think the principle that the more you use the more you pay makes sense. Otherwise low utilizers pay to subsidise higher bandwidth users. The trick is to establish appropriate rates which the CRTC seems incapable of doing.

  34. I keep reading that Canada has among the highest broadband rates in the world. It may be true but I have not seen the figures to prove it.
    I think the principle that the more you use the more you pay makes sense. Otherwise low utilizers pay to subsidise higher bandwidth users. The trick is to establish appropriate rates which the CRTC seems incapable of doing.

    • UBB is fundamentally a fair concept – ONLY if certain provisions are taken into account:

      1. Fair price – 2.00 per gigabyte IS NOT FAIR – it is RAPE. (real costs are closer to 3 – 10c per gigabyte).
      2. Net Neutral – ISPs currently slow down access to certain services to "balance" traffic. This is unfair, especially with UBB, when I need to pay per GB. In addition, slowing traffic down is a way ISPs can manipulate the competition (i.e Rogers could slow down Netflix to the point it is unusable).

      • Moreover, it isn't just the raw amount of bandwidth somebody uses, it is the timing of their use. Somebody downloading bucket-loads of porn at 3 am is going to cause fewer disruptions than say, somebody downloading the same amount of porn at 5:01 pm.

    • People using more are already paying more, because they also have faster plans that cost a lot more money.

  35. I expect they run along the lines of how the larger telephone companies have to install and maintain the equipment and infrastructure to support all of their users, including those ISPs which were subletting from them and allowing unlimited bandwidth.

    They weren't allowed to charge them based on usage before, but naturally that wouldn't reduce the costs required to have acceptable throughput (both for them and for the subletters)

    I can see the logic behind where telco's are coming from, to be honest, but I'm not sure about the answer, because I think there probably is a public good to free flow of information. And, to be equally honest, the rates that the large telco's charge in Canada are extreme when compared to elsewhere.

  36. I don't know if they bodies should even be arms length if they fail to meet their own mandate of encouraging competition and protecting consumers.

    If even the average citizen can see something is wrong with the internet in this country and the regulatory body refuses to acknowledge it time after time, something must be done.

  37. "But being charged an additional $250 per month is outrageous!"

    Rogers caps its overage fees at $25 per month.

  38. I haven't been able to determine this from any article of I've read today, but I think I have it straight. Can someone confirm or correct my assumptions:

    1. The CRTC ruling allowing UBB applies to the major ISPs who 'sublet' their network to smaller ISPs. It has nothing to do with the existing plans of the major ISPs.

    2. If Clement over turns the allowance of UBB, this doesn't mean Bell/Shaw/Telus (the big guys) will have to make my internet package unlimited downloading. It just means they can't force the smaller ISPs that they sublet to to cap their data plans.

    3. Because most of us (or, at least the Canadian public in general) are probably with one of the big providers, we can still be subject to downloading caps, and therefore this pending decision reversal really doesn't affect us at all.

    Did I get any of that right?

  39. I haven't been able to determine this from any article of I've read today, but I think I have it straight. Can someone confirm or correct my assumptions:

    1. The CRTC ruling allowing UBB applies to the major ISPs who 'sublet' their network to smaller ISPs. It has nothing to do with the existing plans of the major ISPs.

    2. If Clement over turns the allowance of UBB, this doesn't mean Bell/Shaw/Telus (the big guys) will have to make my internet package unlimited downloading. It just means they can't force the smaller ISPs that they sublet to to cap their data plans.

    3. Because most of us (or, at least the Canadian public in general) are probably with one of the big providers, we can still be subject to downloading caps, and therefore this pending decision reversal really doesn't affect us at all.

    Did I get any of that right?

    • Yep

    • JP – that is correct.

      BUT – you have a choice now, if you want more bandwidth at an affordable cost you can switch to a smaller ISP. If UBB comes into effect, Small ISPs would effectively have the same offerings as Rogers / Bell / Telus / Shaw meaning you have no choices.

      • Does anyone have a list of smaller ISPs in the Vancouver area? I think my 7 Mbps Shaw plan has a download cap of 60-75GB or something. I have no idea if I approach that limit, but I imagine I would if I subscribed to Netflix, which I think will ultimately be a big part of my movie and TV watching future.

  40. Yep

  41. JP – that is correct.

    BUT – you have a choice now, if you want more bandwidth at an affordable cost you can switch to a smaller ISP. If UBB comes into effect, Small ISPs would effectively have the same offerings as Rogers / Bell / Telus / Shaw meaning you have no choices.

  42. UBB is fundamentally a fair concept – ONLY if certain provisions are taken into account:

    1. Fair price – 2.00 per gigabyte IS NOT FAIR – it is RAPE. (real costs are closer to 3 – 10c per gigabyte).
    2. Net Neutral – ISPs currently slow down access to certain services to "balance" traffic. This is unfair, especially with UBB, when I need to pay per GB. In addition, slowing traffic down is a way ISPs can manipulate the competition (i.e Rogers could slow down Netflix to the point it is unusable).

  43. What happened to the subscription fees we're currently paying? They probably blew it all on CEO pay.

  44. Also to what Thwim said, the CRTC has recently been reminded to step back and let the markets handle things. Until they step back, of course. But that just proves the point that letting markets handle things means that things will be handled to benefit the corporate interests, not society in general!

  45. Yes, this issue is huge to me, and nobody seems to care! We see how incredibly bad U.S. news has become, I'm sure I see something about it nearly every day, and then we go ahead and make our rules the same so we can be just as bad.

    It isn't only the CRTC that doesn't make any sense, its the rest of us as well.

  46. Question where the hell was Harper government on all this? Duh did they think it slip by? Did they just wake up and smell the coffee? What a joke, they think that since Canadians are getting gouged in the wallet by everything that what's a little more gouging?

    As were holding the CRTC accountable for trying to help Bell monopolize the internet in Canada.. we should be holding Mr Harper and his Conservative government accountable on this for even letting it come down to the last month ..

  47. Yes, but the Amateur does have a point. I do think it is ridiculous to have an arms-length body making decisions, and the government overriding them ALL the time. Sort of pointless. I think if you are going to have an arms-length regulator, you have to give him some rules under which to operate. So they have this law, see. They also have expectations brought on down by the government. I don't think the CRTC has been wrong in their decisions, either this one or the Wind Mobile one, based on the law and the expectations. Its just that the law and the expectations are crap!

  48. Question where the hell was Harper government on all this? Duh did they think it slip by? Did they just wake up and smell the coffee? What a joke, they think that since Canadians are getting gouged in the wallet by everything that what's a little more gouging?

    As were holding the CRTC accountable for trying to help Bell monopolize the internet in Canada.. we should be holding Mr Harper and his Conservative government accountable on this for even letting it come down to the last month ..

    • The Tories moved to overturn the CRTC ruling almost immediately after it was made. Are you suggesting that the better option would be to overturn a decision the CRTC had yet to make?

      • Having good policies set beforehand is usually a better idea than one-off reactionary rulings.

  49. Great! Except that I pay Rogers 250/month without going over my usage.

  50. Wasn't it yours and mine tax dollars that paid for most of Bell's and Rogers infrastructure upgrades in the 90's?

    This is like gas where we pay a gas tax then get ding for GST on top it.. double tax..

  51. Ok, so usage based billing would be a pretty good idea… if Rogers and Bell weren't the ones setting the prices! I'm a pretty conservative guy and I believe that if I download movies all month that I should pay more than my neighbor who signs in to check his e-mail before bed.

    The problem with the UBB as it stands is that Bell wants to charge $2/Gb when the real cost to them is approximately 2cents/Gb!!! That's a 10,000% mark-up!! Outrageous gouging! This kind of non-sense is why Canada is in the telecom stone age compared to the rest of the world. Even a 400% mark-up (8cents/Gb) would be pefectly acceptable to me and would be profitable to Bell and Rogers.

    But hey, I guess they have sports arenas and television stations to buy with our money so maybe this is too much to ask for.

  52. Ok, so usage based billing would be a pretty good idea… if Rogers and Bell weren't the ones setting the prices! I'm a pretty conservative guy and I believe that if I download movies all month that I should pay more than my neighbor who signs in to check his e-mail before bed.

    The problem with the UBB as it stands is that Bell wants to charge $2/Gb when the real cost to them is approximately 2cents/Gb!!! That's a 10,000% mark-up!! Outrageous gouging! This kind of non-sense is why Canada is in the telecom stone age compared to the rest of the world. Even a 400% mark-up (8cents/Gb) would be pefectly acceptable to me and would be profitable to Bell and Rogers.

    But hey, I guess they have sports arenas and television stations to buy with our money so maybe this is too much to ask for.

    • So far, I've seen people protesting the UBB say the "real cost" is anywhere from 1 cent to 12 cents a gb. I'd be curious to know how that figure has been determined, and if it takes into account just the immediate cost, or the actual costs of running a large corporation and maintaining infrastructure. Anybody know where the numbers are coming from?

  53. This is a standard problem with certain types of industries. Whoever owns Canada's broadband infrastructure has a natural monopoly, and an undue amount of market power. There are two solutions to this problem. One is direct state ownership, as is the case for a different set of infrastructure – highways (apart from a few privately owned toll roads). A second is to allow the private monopolist to rule the roost (as Bell did once for telephone service, while AT&T did the same in the US) subject to regulations aimed at protecting consumers. I prefer the latter option for the simple reason that governments have a poor record of investing in things with a long-term payoff, given that their primary drivers are short-term electoral concerns.

    Usage-based billing would be tantamount to allowing Bell to use the full weight of its monopoly power. On the other hand, regulating internet service fees too stringently might reduce the incentive for our beloved monopolist to invest in infrastructure. Without a return on investment, Canada's broadband infrastructure will fall behind other countries.

    Railroads, telegraph cables, phone lines, highways, and fibre optic cables were all essential pieces of the infrastructural architecture of different eras. They represent essential pathways that cannot be gotten around by users. Getting the right mix of infrastructure growth and open access is the fundamental issue at stake.

  54. This is a standard problem with certain types of industries. Whoever owns Canada's broadband infrastructure has a natural monopoly, and an undue amount of market power. There are two solutions to this problem. One is direct state ownership, as is the case for a different set of infrastructure – highways (apart from a few privately owned toll roads). A second is to allow the private monopolist to rule the roost (as Bell did once for telephone service, while AT&T did the same in the US) subject to regulations aimed at protecting consumers. I prefer the latter option for the simple reason that governments have a poor record of investing in things with a long-term payoff, given that their primary drivers are short-term electoral concerns.

    Usage-based billing would be tantamount to allowing Bell to use the full weight of its monopoly power. On the other hand, regulating internet service fees too stringently might reduce the incentive for our beloved monopolist to invest in infrastructure. Without a return on investment, Canada's broadband infrastructure will fall behind other countries.

    Railroads, telegraph cables, phone lines, highways, and fibre optic cables were all essential pieces of the infrastructural architecture of different eras. They represent essential pathways that cannot be gotten around by users. Getting the right mix of infrastructure growth and open access is the fundamental issue at stake.

    • Apparently, you were not asleep in either economics or history class. And you can even think and write cogently. Thank you for your comment. I second your comment! Kudos on you!

  55. Moreover, it isn't just the raw amount of bandwidth somebody uses, it is the timing of their use. Somebody downloading bucket-loads of porn at 3 am is going to cause fewer disruptions than say, somebody downloading the same amount of porn at 5:01 pm.

  56. Does anyone have a list of smaller ISPs in the Vancouver area? I think my 7 Mbps Shaw plan has a download cap of 60-75GB or something. I have no idea if I approach that limit, but I imagine I would if I subscribed to Netflix, which I think will ultimately be a big part of my movie and TV watching future.

  57. Yup and de-friending your friend for just having a different point of view was not about control at all was it.

  58. Best comment on this from an American telecom expert being interviewed on BNN: "Konrad von Finckenstein – is that his real name?"

  59. Best comment on this from an American telecom expert being interviewed on BNN: "Konrad von Finckenstein – is that his real name?"

  60. The Tories moved to overturn the CRTC ruling almost immediately after it was made. Are you suggesting that the better option would be to overturn a decision the CRTC had yet to make?

  61. …no more arguments on the phone for why I received yet another $20 one-time charge from Bell. No more ridiculous contracts that cost hundreds of dollars to get out…

    I feel your pain………even worse with Telus, btw.

  62. Also, the big guys were forced to resell their access in the first place, so it's not surprising they want to discourage the resellers.

  63. Also
    "I have been very actively protesting the CRTC ruling on Facebook for days now"

    is a pretty funny sentence. Actively+Facebook. *snerk*

  64. So far, I've seen people protesting the UBB say the "real cost" is anywhere from 1 cent to 12 cents a gb. I'd be curious to know how that figure has been determined, and if it takes into account just the immediate cost, or the actual costs of running a large corporation and maintaining infrastructure. Anybody know where the numbers are coming from?

  65. I know they're sooooo precious at that age, aren't they?

    Damn I used to get bored when old RAs used to go on about the demos in the 60s, at least they got off their arse and did something physical. I've noticed a trend.

    WW1: conscription and boots on the ground.
    WW2: Volunteers and conscription with boots on the ground.
    WW3: joy stick, keyboard, RSI and an unhappy :( emoticon.

  66. Apparently, you were not asleep in either economics or history class. And you can even think and write cogently. Thank you for your comment. I second your comment! Kudos on you!

  67. Either way, no matter what happens, we know we are about to get "bolted", and trust me this "nut" will not have a "washer". Forgive me for using euphemistic words. But acleasmay has an isnay on the lainpay peaksay!
    We can rely on none of these people to have the long term needs and benefits of the common people in mind.

  68. Either way, no matter what happens, we know we are about to get "bolted", and trust me this "nut" will not have a "washer". Forgive me for using euphemistic words. But acleasmay has an isnay on the lainpay peaksay!
    We can rely on none of these people to have the long term needs and benefits of the common people in mind.

  69. The real point of UBB is to kill competition from people like Netflix. The "investment in infrastructure" stuff is a bald faced lie that people in the media who don't know a thing about technology swallow (and the Bell/Rogers cronies at the CRTC).

    The fact of the matter is that UBB is designed to lower usage and thus remove the need to invest in infrastructure. If Canadians are sent back to the 1990s when it comes to broadband, it's more profit for Bell. So what if we're already behind countries like Mozambique?

  70. People using more are already paying more, because they also have faster plans that cost a lot more money.

  71. Ok, so the problem is the structure of the deal by which the resellers gain access.
    thanks

  72. Having good policies set beforehand is usually a better idea than one-off reactionary rulings.

  73. It's about time competition and social responsibility were raised as an issue on this. The economy is gradually moving toward an online presence, so many things are online now: news, enertainment, communications, banking, government, shopping, even mail. Increasing the cost of internet beyond what it actually costs is absurd. If major ISPs cannot do it right then the government will have to nationalize it and let community boards manage it.

  74. It's about time competition and social responsibility were raised as an issue on this. The economy is gradually moving toward an online presence, so many things are online now: news, enertainment, communications, banking, government, shopping, even mail. Increasing the cost of internet beyond what it actually costs is absurd. If major ISPs cannot do it right then the government will have to nationalize it and let community boards manage it.

  75. Global is a tabloid network, it's not worth 7 cents.

  76. Citizen panels need to review corporate business practices to ensure that they are both fair and responsible since business is incapable of doing anything except amassing piles of cash.

  77. The connection is active all the time regardless of how much data is sent through the pipe. It does not matter until the data demand exceeds the size of the pipe, in which case, any reasonable organization would take a portion of the profits and invest it in a second or a larger pipe such that it could make more profit.

    Perhaps we should consider usage scales for things like gasoline. If you use just 100 litres a month you pay 60 cents a litre. If you use more than 100 litres a month you pay $6 a litre for every litre over 100. I think thats very fair.

    Or how about this. If you buy a house, you pay $100 for every square foot until the home size is 1500 square feet. After that you pay $1000 for each additional square foot. That's very fair too.

    What about this. If you earn $60000 a year or less you pay a flat income tax of $2000, but if you earn more then you pay $500 for every $2000 over the $60,000.

    Now I think we can see who the real hogs in society are.

  78. $50

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