The Internet should be fair—not free—to everyone

The heaviest users comprise just two per cent of the total

The Internet should be fair - not free - to everyone

Clement Allard/CP

The Internet is a many-splendoured thing. Among its countless and revolutionary contributions to 21st-century life has been the broad democratization of information and opinion. And this has given rise to the popular conceit that everything about the Internet should be free. Not so.

In spite of its many gifts, the Internet is certainly not costless. Billions of dollars of private capital have been invested in building and maintaining Canada’s high-speed Internet network. And more investment is continually required as demand and new services grow exponentially. Access to the Internet is thus like most other things in life: it has a real cost, and if you want more you should expect to pay more.

Last week we criticized the federal government for using Twitter to reverse a key decision from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, an independent agency, regarding Internet access pricing. This week we examine the practical implications of the move.

At issue is the ability of Internet carriers such as Bell Canada and Rogers Communications (the parent company of Maclean’s) to establish usage-based billing, by which all customers pay incrementally for the service they use. In its recent ruling, the CRTC agreed that usage-based billing offers the fairest and most convenient means of allocating Internet access. Currently, small Internet providers who connect to the carriers’ existing networks are able to offer unlimited access plans, which attract the heaviest bandwidth users and lead to network congestion for everyone.

The average Canadian Internet user consumes approximately 16 gigabytes of data per month. By contrast, the heaviest users, who comprise just two per cent of the total, gobble up hundreds of gigs on a monthly basis. And in the same way that roads become congested during rush hour, Internet networks also become clogged at peak times due to these heavy users. Solving this situation requires a means of reducing congestion.

According to the CRTC, management of Internet traffic congestion is best done through “transparent, economic measures.” And the most practical is the concept that heavy users should pay more. “As a general rule, ordinary customers… should not have to fund the bandwidth used by the heaviest retail Internet customers,” says a CRTC release. Closing a loophole by which average users were forced to subsidize the massive consumption of a few heavy users is in keeping with a commitment to fairness and market-oriented solutions.

It’s also worth noting that the CRTC did not ignore the situation of small independent providers. To maintain a competitive environment and encourage a diversity of services, the regulatory body also mandated that the large Internet carriers provide a 15 per cent “wholesale” discount to these smaller firms. Unfortunately, this significant quid pro quo has been entirely lost in the one-sided discussion over usage-based billing.

As a result of wild online outcries from the heaviest users and their Internet service providers, Prime Minister Stephen Harper quickly sent out a tweet that he was unhappy with the CRTC’s decision. Industry Minister Tony Clement followed up with his own Twitter posting that the agency would be forced to drop its existing policy and “go back to [the] drawing board.”

Such a casual approach to important public policy is an embarrassment to the government. It’s also another example of how the Harper government occasionally allows populism to interfere with sound decision-making. In much the same way the Conservatives seem convinced our country is besieged by criminals, they are now encouraging the popular delusion that usage-based billing will condemn Canada to backwater Internet status. Rather, we have one of the fastest and most modern Internet networks in the world.

There are no detached observers in the debate over Internet access. Everyone has a stake in the system, either as consumer or provider. Customers who’ve been receiving subsidized Internet service can naturally be expected to complain about any new system that forces them to pay for what they use. But on the whole, the CRTC’s original decision struck an appropriate balance. It protected the vast majority of average users while providing heavy users with a competitive marketplace and small Internet firms with a 15 per cent wholesale advantage. That may not be free, but it’s certainly fair.



Last month, Maclean’s editorialized on the lack of attention paid to minimum beer prices in Canada (“Why is your government standing in the way of cheaper beer?” Jan. 24, 2011). We’re pleased to see Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has since taken up the case, so to speak, and is arguing against minimum pricing. It’s a policy worth sharing with the whole country.




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The Internet should be fair—not free—to everyone

  1. Bell and Rogers already have a UBB system in place, for quite a while in fact. This heavy user thing is a non issue. Small independant ISP's buy large "blocks" of bandwidth from Bell or Rogers and then resell said bandwidth to users according to their own pricing schemes. So if "Turbo Net" wants to resell the bandwidth it already owns in large amounts to so called heavy users how does that fact impact "the average net user"?

    This is simply Bell and Rogers wanting to force these small ISP's to stop providing what they will not.

    • Wholesalers don't buy "blocks" of bandwidth. They lease out "access", using the same access links that Bell or Rogers (or Telus, etc) retail to their own customers. And Wholesalers were not necessarily charged for usage (the bandwidth, or GBytes/month). And a 15% discount on usage for wholesalers is still a rate that is cheaper then the incumbents charge their own retail/commercial customers. The wholesalers are still getting a deal compared to customers who get their high speed "access" through the incumbents.

      • Robert, part of what you say is correct, however, the other part isn't. When leasing commercial wholesale access to the Internet, regardless if it is for an office building or an ISP, you are leasing based on the speed of the link, not the volume of data consumed. I've been responsible for leasing many such connections, and there has never been a charge for volume consumed. If you use the maximum speed of the connection 24/7, it costs Bell no more than if you only use 10% of the speed. Maximum usage of a leased line also doesn't cause congestion on Bell's network since they have dedicated that bandwidth for your use already (you are getting a guaranteed connection speed which is why leased lines are so expensive already.) I am currently a Bell commercial customer, and I have never been charged a UBB fee, and I regularly download/upload over 500Gb per month.

        If Bell and Roger's customers are happy to get double billed for their Internet access, that is up to them. However, that deceptive business model can not be forced on all ISPs.

    • FYI. A large number "Small ISP's" do NOT buy blocks of Internet access from Bell or Rogers. They buy from US based Internet providers,. The portion that they want to charge UBB for is the part of your Internet transaction that occurs between your house and where they switch that request to your ISP. It doesn't affect true Internet connectivity, as Bell and Rogers have their own pipelines to the Internet. They currently get about $20 / month per subscriber from the third party ISP's for the portion between your house and them. That is the part they want to add UBB to.

    • What they forgot to mention is that most internet users will become heavy internet users within the next 5-10 years due to internet tv and Netflix. These companies are only trying to charge more for less, even though they know everyone's usage is going to skyrocket in the near future. That "2%" user group, which I highly doubt to be even close to the actual figure of heavy users, is going to be more like 50% or more.

      • Amen to that. Bell / Rogers' move is not merely ludicrous given the upcoming (fundamental) change in the internet usage patterns but it is also hypocritical given that both dragons have been clearly anticipating it for quite some time (Bell has been very busy deploying its fibe network and Rogers – its docsys 3.0 infrastructure).

  2. Written like a Rogers lapdog.

    "At issue is the ability of Internet carriers such as Bell Canada and Rogers Communications (the parent company of Maclean's) to establish usage-based billing, by which all customers pay incrementally for the service they use. In its recent ruling, the CRTC agreed that usage-based billing offers the fairest and most convenient means of allocating Internet access. Currently, small Internet providers who connect to the carriers' existing networks are able to offer unlimited access plans, which attract the heaviest bandwidth users and lead to network congestion for everyone."

    Totally inaccurate. At issue is whether Bell can force *others* to implement internet tolls. Bell can extort money however they wish. I want the choice to go elsewhere. At issue is whether Bell can force other providers to support Bell's profit model.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • You're a troll.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Well, actually they own the pipes and then their central distribution (although with the heavy subsidies that we paid them to build this infrastructure I think the argument could be made that we own it more than they do). The way it works now with DSL is that no matter who your ISP is, your 'data' request goes from your home to a DSLAM, to Bell's head office where they hand it off to your ISP. Now, the smaller ISP's are more than willing to bypass the bell handoff, but bell doesn't want that, because then they couldn't throttle or make as much money. The CRTC, which is more concerned about protecting Bell's and Roger's profits than in building a truly world class infrastructure, is more than happy to regulate protections for the huge profits that these companies make.

      • ???? This change IS forcing the wholesale providers to use bells pricing model. Did you miss that whole part in the crtc ruling about giving the small providers 15% wiggle room? Which is absolutely nothing by the way. On a 25gb plan thats an extra 3.75gb a month.

        The small providers need to be able to distinguish themselves. I should also point out that through tarrifs and purchasing bandwidth are things the wholesale providers are already paying. The large ISP's make back every dime from them already.

        • How is this any different then paying for "delivery" and "usage" on your utilities? Any all third party wholesale companies must follow the overall market cost model (some may sell you packages).

          I would say the buying of a 10Gb pipe is the "delivery" cost and the BW cap/usage charge is the "usage" side.

          • It costs more to deliver more water to you, it costs more to deliver more electricity to you. It costs almost nothing to deliver more data to you. You pay for phone service and you can talk all day on the phone if you want. You pay for cable tv or satellite and you can watch any channel you want all day long without paying extra fees.

            If Bell/Rogers/Shaw/Telus actually charged you what it cost to deliver those extra gigabytes, it’d be around a dime per gigabyte, or even less. Charging ten times that is nothing other than price gouging, and forcing all the smaller ISPs to pay 85% of whatever the incumbent decides to charge is the incumbent profiteering off the small ISPs business and that’s completely unreasonable.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • I agree with you completely. And the big three charge ridiculous rates for terrible speeds. You can get 7.5 mb for half the price from primus then shaw. I also would like to point out that majority of this issue was dissucsed over the Internet so it is just reasonable to answer or reply over it as well. The author points out that it takes a lot of money to set up actual equipment. But it takes penny’s to actual maintain and send a gb of data, unfortunitly I cannot remember were I read this article but it mentioned that Rogers has a 5000% markup on it’s data that exceeds it’s limit. Ya I am pretty sure they are making their share of money. I love how this issue has just arrised since the major Internet providers now own tv networks and would like to stream these shows direct to TVS and smartphones which of course use data. I am very happy the government is listening to the people who elected them and not the oligopoly of Internet providers.

          Just a side note, I am shocked and impressed that crtc actually made a smart decision that Netflix is not broadcaster of local content making it so they don’t have to pay those stupid fees. Sorry about the grammar

    • I agree. It's all about money, greed and power.

    • I would like to add that the CRTC is peopled by ex-roger's-bell-politicians. They are not partial at all. What better proof than the UBB billing. Greedy SOBs, the lot of them. The CRTC should be replace, disband, abolish, nuke, and etc.

  3. Please don't write about things you don't understand, you'r using all the correct words but drawing conclusions that are not parallels to how the internet works.

    • What this guy said. Please don't write about topics you obviously don't get. Go talk to someone with a degree in telecommunications technology and industry experience. Don't write this drivel because your boss told you the party line needs a little touting.

      • +1 If people took the time to understand the network topology (and how data networks work) the UBB argument falls apart. I highly recommend Jean Francois Mezie's petition to the governor in council: http://www.dslreports.com/r0/download/1621527~711

        Its a long article but the media owes it to the public to fully understand these issues before presenting their opinion.

  4. Written at the request of Rogers Communications.

    • Written at the DIRECTION of Rogers Communications.

      ftfy

  5. It is also interesting to note that a couple years ago the solution was packet shaping. They would throttle certain types of traffic to prevent congestion.

    NOW Bell and your parent company see a threat in things such as Netflicks…something that ultimate would cut into your revenue stream because customers can use a third party to access content over your delivery medium….and you don't like that. Do you Bell? Do you Rogers….and Macleans?!

    • Are you the new Macleans blogger, Jesse? Just read it on twitter…

      • Nope, I am just a lowly individual fighting UBB and critical of the minions in the media acting on the bequest of their corporate overlords.

  6. Well at least you guys are " Transparent " It's obvious who signs your paychecks ,-)

    • What happened to your other eye?!?

      • He was gouged like the rest of us ,-)

  7. It is interesting how the companies involved in all this now are also not only delivery providers but content providers. Using the media to push their rhetoric in hopes of the populace of sheep will eat it up and toe the line.

    Guess what….we ain't buying it.

    And you want to talk fair? Sure, 2 percent of the users are heavy users…..I am one of them. But tell you what, my pathetic 1.75Mbps I get on a plan that offers "up to 6"…who is subsidizing who? I went with Primus on the sole fact that if I can't get my moneys worth out of quality, I will get it out of quantity. I feel no remorese over downloading hundreds of gigs a month because at 270kB/s….I am hardly making a dent in the infrastructure in place when there are people out there on plans that can download tens of times faster than me.

    You want to talk about fair? Look at how rural and small cities/towns are subsidizing the urbn sprawls in their insatiable appetite for more speed.

    • This hits the nail on the freaking head. The massive profits Rogers and Bell have seen because we protect the telecom industry from real compeitition has fed their media empires. So now the media content, broadcast and delivery systems are all owned by 2 large companies who will do anything to hold onto their edge in the market and work together to keep prices up. And if that means stepping on the little guy or newcomer in the market then that's just the Canadian way according to them.

    • This whole debate over UBB is now going to start an issue with quality. It's funny how the usage caps dropped and the charges per gigabytye were implemented so quickly, by the big ISPs, after the ruling by the CRTC. This is going to spark a big issue. If I am to be scrutinized on use, my speeds better match the offered downloads and uploads all the time or I will be asking for a refund on every monthly bill!

      • Not true. TELUS increased their caps last November and Videotron just increased theirs 3 weeks ago on February 1. Most ISP's in Canada have had usage caps on their services for 20 years or more . Remember when you used to buy dial up time in blocks of 10 hours at a time and you had to pay extra if you went over your limit?

        If your ISP has reduced their caps and you are concerned about bumping into them you might want to purchase the next biggest service tier they offer or shop around for another ISP. If you live in a larger city you will have lots of choices – if you live on a farm in Northern Saskatchewan you might only have 1 or 2 choices.

        Good luck

        • Apples and oranges. Dialup and broadband "always on" connectivity are completely different beasts. 10 years ago, it cost me a dollar for one minute to call Europe. Now it's approaching a penny.

          No other OECD country forces customers to choose levels like Canada does, apart from speed; pretty much unlimited service can be obtained for $30-$40 anywhere in the US. Just because Canadians have been getting gouged for years with caps does not make it right.

          • Here is a sample of service tiers right in your own UK backyard. These are from BT (British Telecom). Multiple service tiers with different download limits. Just pulled them off their website – don't you just love the internet! Looks to me like Canada is no different than your country.

            BT Total Broadband Option 110GB
            BT Total Broadband Option 240GB
            BT Total Broadband Option 3Unlimited*
            BT Infinity Option 140GB
            BT Infinity Option 2Unlimited*

          • Correction, some of the spaces went missing

            BT Total Broadband Option 1 – 10GB
            BT Total Broadband Option 2 – 40GB
            BT Total Broadband Option 3 – Unlimited*
            BT Infinity Option 1 – 40GB
            BT Infinity Option 2 – Unlimited*

          • Mitch is not telling the whole story…

            Big difference. Up to 40 MB/second download speeds with BT Infinity; the vast majority of Canadians are stuck at 6 or 12 MB/sec over DSL or cable..
            And BT has 2 price points on their fibre-to-the-home service: 40 GB and unlimited; both much cheaper than prices in Canada, even in the UK where prices on almost everything else in life are much higher. $40.81 Canadian buys you unlimited service in the UK: http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumerPro

            And BT's standard pricing for up to 20 MB/sec service starts at $22 and maxes out with unlimited usage service at $45. The duopolies here charge more than double that for even less service.

        • "Most ISP's in Canada have had usage caps on their services for 20 years or more."
          that's crazytalk mitch … 20 years ago? 1991? the world wide web was an infant project at CERN in 1991, and there was no public face to the internet until 1993, and nothing even close to widespread use til 1997-99.

          "Remember when you used to buy dial up time in blocks of 10 hours at a time and you had to pay extra if you went over your limit?"
          nope, i remember dial up, and limited time because it shared my phone line, but nothing like data caps … when i switched to Bell sympatico 'high speed', i do not remember any caps or limits at all, it was limitless then …the caps you talk about are billing concepts that crept in over later years, along with data shaping and throttling, and all of these gouging efforts were approved by the CRTC in the last 5-6 years … thats when i ditched bell and found a company that was really interested in keeping me as a satisfied customer

          we have not had caps for 20 years … these things are fairly recent, although not so recent enough that most people have accepted them as an inevitable part of life now, but that's just because of the way bell has creeped them in … now we have people talking about 'acceptable' UBB while i'm still talking about unacceptable caps

          • I still have unlimited DSL from Sympatico.
            Never bothered to chance service for new ones.
            I do pay about 70$ for it as they up the price every few months.
            Not sure how long ago I signed up for it, maybe 10 years ago, but there definitely was unlimited on broadband.

          • I wasn't referring to caps on the number of bits you download, I was referring to caps on the amount of connect time you bought from your ISP – when you used up your allotment you would pay an overplan rate or buy another block of time. Same concept, just a different way of measuring it. Back then the dialup access technology was pretty crude so nobody was downloading a lot of data anyways. You are correct in that the internet did not look at all like it does today – Netscape didn't put out its first browser till 92 or 93 but you could still FTP if you knew exactly what you were looking for and where to find it. I still have the 2.4 kbps modem in my basement and if I recall correctly it cost around $600 back then. Today you can get a decent PC for that kind of money. We have come a long way since then.

  8. Clearly you know who signs your paycheque (i.e. Rogers)…

    I hardly know where to start!

    First…the 16GB "average" use you cite are numbers provided by (guess who) Bell…and based on data that is almost 2 years old (2009 data). I am sure even the rocket scientists at MacLeans can figure out that internet use is growing exponentially (without having to go to Bell or Rogers for such verification/approval) and an average 16GB "use" 2 years ago is not valid today.

    The 2% "heavy user" is also data provided by (guess who again) Bell and the other large ISP's. Data they won't share with us to support their claims but "trust them" they showed the CRTC …

    You really have the gall to suggest a 15% wholesale discount is "significant"? What colour is the sky in your world?

    Oh right…Rogers red…silly me

    • My biggest issue with this thing is, as you say, the data: Guaranteed, any student in a house with more than 3 roommates is using a couple hundred gigs now… On an individual basis, we may be using 30-40 gigs each, but add that up. And how many student houses do you think are in Canada? I'd say more than 2% of the internet users are living in student houses. Therefore, more than 2% are using that "ridiculous" amount than Rogers/Bell are saying. There is no solution for students! And that's ridiculous.

      • Look, like you and most Canadians I think Bell and Rogers are disingenuous scum, but student houses are more likely on the order of 0.2% of internet users. Switch to Teksavvy.

        • A good idea, but Teksavvy isn't an option for everyone.

        • i don't know if student housing is 2% or 0.2%, but mike made a good point … now, consider in addition to student housing how many homes have teenagers in them, consuming youtube and itunes and online gaming and the like, and you're likely looking at more than 2% … my PC did an automated windows update yesterday that downloaded almost 2 gigs on one PC alone, now think about how many PCs are in most homes … we can come up with dozens and dozens of scenarios where that 2% figure becomes more and more suspect … and even then, data usage is growing by leaps and bounds with all manner of new online services so even if bell could prove their 2% claim, it would be history before the end of the next month … teksavvy is great, but you and i are lucky we have it, not everyone can say the same

          • I have 2 adult children still living at home and in school… both are highly connected and could not live without the internet… university are putting EVERYTHING online now and the internet is also their number one social outlet as well. My daughter has a friend in the States and does video conferencing with her, watches movies over the internet with her, shares photos & video clips etc… my son plays some online games with his school friends in addition to his online research etc… our household pushes the 100 GB month and exceeds it by a bit most months and we are a typical family of 4 and our only options are Shaw, Telus & Bell… I have not found a smaller ISP that services our area… how they can say that 16GB is normal I do not have a clue and how they can justify trying to charge up to like 4$ or 5$ for EVERY GB over the cap… The only thing that would kill our economy and make our lives worse would be a per KM road tax where on top of all the other fees we pay for using the road (environmental charges, licensing fees, registrations, gas taxes) we pay a per KM tax as well at some outrageous level like 2$ or 3$ a KM…

  9. Hey even if it is 16 gigs for the average user, the average household in canada has 2 adults, and 2.3 kids, so thats 75 gigs, in total, they can skew the numbers all they like, but having a 25 gig cap for a family of 4 is assinine.

    • Whitton, you have hit the nail on the head!
      Our house, would be considered a heavy user because of my teenage boys. They have xbox live each, they youtube in HD, skipe, download game demos, download legit movies and documentaries. We are moderate netflix users and my wife and i read and watch the news on the net. No one is mentioning the household usage, as whitton has pointed out.

      The isp's are trying to set themselves to reap the future tech savvy generations typical usage.

    • What is assinine is that the 25Gb cap was 60Gb before Bell got approval from the CRTC to charge wholesalers UBB.

  10. When you don't acknowledge your ownership by Rogers Media in an opinion column, you truly undermine your outlet's journalistic integrity. There are some serious conflicts of interest here, and I would like to see this article retracted.

    • They did acknowledge it…
      Still a ridiculous article, but they did acknowledge it.

    • Bravo! I couldn't have said it better myself Chris. You hit the nail right on the head.

    • I could not agree more, Chris. I have a Maclean's subscription and was absolutely shocked to see this infomercial passed off as impartial journalism. It seems the Harper government's tactics of mislead and misinform (as per the new attempt to sell corporate tax breaks to the public by calling these companies 'job creators' rather than corporations) have become mainstream in the media.

  11. Another misinformed post without any research. Comparing highway traffic to internet data transfer is very misleading and wrong. It is often used by companies to justify the bandwidth cap. The writer of this article probably works for one of the big 3.

    The heavy users that download "hundreds of gigs" (which I do not deny, they do exist) doesn't do so in matter of minutes or even hours. Everyone's internet is capped at their highest speed (i.e. 10 to 25Mbps which is the most commonly used speed). Therefore, where you are downloading a movie file, or pre-loading youtube video or just simply surfing internet, the amount of packets sent/received per second doesn't change. So what does this mean? well if you use the same analogy the authors have used (cars on a highway), a heavy user downloading via torrent at 1MB/s is sending/receiving same number of "cars" as a non-heavy casual user who is loading 360p youtube video at the exact same speed 1MB/s. This is how internet is designed…such that it won't get "clogged" during peak times.

    Please do some research before writing an article…

    Professor of electrical engineering at the University of Toronto (which ironically, is funded by Rogers).

    • I believe you need to revisit your analogy. Congestion on any route (whether that be highway or internet) is based on the volume per second and the length of time each user stays on the route. If people stay on the route for longer periods, they contribute to the congestion to a greater extent than the person who gets on and off for a short period.

      Very glad you were never my professor.

      • His analogy is correct. Each individual pays for his own highway which is the speed limit of 5 Mbps or 1 Mbps. One can never fit more cars (higher speed) on that highway. however one can use it for 5 minutes only for send 5 mln cars to destination because he has a large highway for which he pays more, and someone else will use the day and the night to send the same amount of cars because he signed up for a narrow road (dial up or low speed line). However the cap also says that for the highway that you pay for to use, you can only send a limited number of cars per month.

        The problem is that all these individual highways (bandwidth) at some point meet a larger highway on which all traffic is routed. Normally someone may think that if he pays for a 5 lane (Mbps) highway to send his traffic, it also means that when they join the large highway, he still has 5 lanes. I believe this is not so in real industry. The industry relies on the fact that on your 5 lanes you are only rarely going to send them full for short amount of time. In this case, the industry can resell the large highway to 10-20 40 or even more people with 5 lanes and they would still have enough bandwindth to support them all even if at any point in time all of them wanted to use the highway they paid for, they would not be able.

        • I did not mean the analogy was incorrect – I meant his interpretation of the analogy was incorrect. To suggest that someone who stayed on the highway for 24 hours straight did not contribute any more to traffic congestion than the person who was on and off over two exits – because they both travelled at the same speed and in the same size vehicle – is absolutely wrong.

          • I'm sorry, but your explanation is still wrong – being 5 hours on a free flowing highway is not contributing to the congestion. Being 5 minutes on a congested highway at peak hour is.

            If you are going to make a point and are going to use an analogy, use one that actually works. Your argument, as repeated by the incumbents and the CRTC, serves only to show what we already know: that you understand nothing about how the internet works.

          • the highway analogy as interpreted by the macleans editors (and bell, rogers, crtc) is wrong … the car travelling a long distance (bell's heavy user) contributes no more and no less than the average short distance commuter sharing the same road at the same time … congestion is caused by an increase in vehicles sharing the same limited space road at the same time, like rush hour … that same long distance traveller will still be on the road after all the rush hour commuters have arrived home, and the road will be wide open for his continued journey, not affecting anyone else, but apparently that long distance traveller is still called a hog …. for bell (and the crtc) to demonize the few long distance travellers is ridiculous

            i'm a mid to long distance internet traveller, and i certainly don't mind being slowed down when rush hour hits and all the commuters are sharing the road with me, just as most commuters accept the traffic jams as a fact of life themselves even if they travel a short distance, but in all honesty it is the multitude of short distance commuters on the road at the same peak times that contributes far more to congestion than the few long distance hogs … but please don't take that as a demonization of the commuter, because at that time and space, each car on the road contributes no more and no less than any other … bell would have you believe otherwise and is pitting the short distance commuters against the long distance travellers, the age old divide and conquer strategy is at play

      • According to independent studies the Bell network only experiences congestion at a rate of 3%. This figure has remained unchanged in the past 3 years despite the rise in internet use. The truth is, is that there is no congestion on the internet.

        • Penalt! You are my hero! I've been looking for such independent studies for a while! Can you point me to them?

          Thanks!

        • Yes, please, this would be great to have on-hand when arguing our point. Bell and Rogers have made every effort to hide facts for so-called 'competitive reasons'… In other words, to hide their gouging and make sure no one demands justice.

    • The article smells like insider propaganda, and entirely misses the point, but for you in particular to tell someone to do research is kind of silly. The Internet wasn't designed to not get clogged at peak times. The cap speed your ISP states is not necessarily your maximum speed, or a constant. The number of packets per second does in fact fluctuate. The route your packets are hopping through can change without notice or interuption.

      But yes, two people DL'ing at the same speed are in fact… downloading at the same speed (but if there's a valid point in there, I'm not seeing it).

      Perhaps reading your own 2nd last sentence is in order, and maybe leave that last sentence out. I suspect it's BS anyway, but even if it's legit, it's entirely out of place, and smacks of misplaced conceipt.

    • "This is how internet is designed…such that it won't get "clogged" during peak times. "

      No, simply put the internet was designed so that if any node goes down, dynamic routing paths would ensure continued communication between all other nodes. There is no guarantee of not getting clogged….but needless to say, the congestion the companies are complaining about are not at the last mile…thus the onus is on them to fix THEIR shortcomings to provide the service levels their customers are apparantly beginning to expect (and obviously now demand) as innovation on the internet continues to expand…not for the customer to modify their behaviours.

      Telus says: The future is friendly.

      I say: You guys (the companies) are scared of it!!!!

      • Right On, Jesse! There is a LOT of education that needs to be done to erase the misinformation profferred by the telcos, because people still think of the internet in terms of the phone line (linear).

        It's high time the incumbents and the so-called experts of the CRTC stepped down or wer forced away because they obviously haven't the faintest idea of how the internet works.

    • A highway analogy to UBB would be that since the roads are congested at rush hour, all cars are limited to 100 km of travel per month and if you go over you have pay a toll of $5 per km. Even if you work night shift and only commute at off-peak times, you are still limited to 100 km per month because you are being a road hog.

    • 10-25 Mbps is also not correct. The max in urban Canada on a regular plan is 7 Mbps downstream, upstream (which Canada is probably the worst for) is .5-2 Mbps. You can purchase a package that can go between 10-25 Mbps but these are extremely expensive and meant for small businesses.

      • Actually, even in small urban centers, most residential cable plans are at least 10 Mbps or even more. I live in a city of 80,000 and we have 15 Mbps available to the entire area and even the little towns surrounding us have 5 Mbps or more. I'm not sure where DSL is at as I have not had DSL service in years. They are even trialling 1Gbps service in some places now, and in larger urban areas they have 25 – 100 Mbps plans.

        Unfortunately, these plans are still capped and therefore all that ends up happening is we hit the cap faster than we did a few years ago.

        • good luck ever reaching any of those max speeds they advertise … pie in the sky

  12. You know what I find interesting… Rogers previously had a cap of 95 GB for the "Express Service", with a $25 maximum cap for overage…

    But in the recent year, they have increased the max cap to $50 a month, AND REDUCED the cap to 80 GB per month.

    If your article is to make any sense, UBB would facilitate increased bandwidth for increased costs. But clearly this is not the true intentions of Robbers.. I mean Rogers…

    Great to play devil's advocate – but let's not fool ourselves into thinking that Rogers & Bell really suffer for extreme user usage. Are they really suffering? Or are they just employing good strategic business school tactics / greed to further their profits & maintain competitor domination?? hmmmmm… I wonder…

    • Heeeee hoo!!! I like the "…..Robbers.. I mean Rogers.." line. I give you A+++++ for that. No one seem to be writing or questioning or hitting on much about the CRTC though. Am I right to say that the CRTC is peopled by ex-bell-rogers-politicians? I mean they are suppose to work for the consumers (the people) and businesses such as Robbers (please allow me to use it), Clangers, etc. in a partial fair way, right? Obviously not. So, I keep writing on every opportunity I have to say that the CRTC should be dismantled, disbanded, gone, abolished, nuke, etc. etc. The internet is going to be the TV and Telephone soon. Well, it is already! I've cut my cell phone service already (Rarely used it, too expensive to have and it's dangerous for your health anyway). Any recommendation? I mean which ISP to go to besides Robbers and Clangers? I wanted to write some more but got to go. Just a regular average Inet user.

  13. I keep asking this but haven't got an answer. If UBB goes through, the light users will stop subsidizing heavy use right? So the 98% of users, who are light users, should see their monthly bills go DOWN right? Does no one else see this madness?

    • You would think so but the costs for the plans shown by Roger’s and Bell which were available around the announcement of UBB all showed the same cost with significantly reduced caps (all around 50% less) and significantly increase cost for overage. I can’t seem to find them now.

      This would mean if you had a $30 plan you would still pay that but then $3-4 more of each overage count. I think I saw that it was still per Gb but they could change that to anything they want…imagine if it went to per Mb…ouch.

      This plan will never save you a cent.

    • The intent is not to make less money. The intent is to make more money. The UBB in its current definition does not define a light user and I do not believe the companies intend to risk getting a little more money from "2%" and lose money on 98%. This is just an argument made by the bosses to try to get 98% of people on their boat. It is putting light users against heavy users.

    • Of course we see the madness. Look at how many comments and replies this 'editorial' has generated…

      I now wonder if Bell did not ask for another 60 days extension from the CRTC before applying it PRECISELY because they realized this major PR flop and are afraid people are going to go to court over it.

      Heck, with 6 million users, imagine the class action suit!

  14. Yes, MacLeans may be owned by Rogers but no one owns common sense which in this case is irrefutably on the side of use more pay more. But presumably it should go the other way as well and low consumption should see a lower charge just like my electricity bill. Also, since fairness is suddenly a big concern of Rogers, these "rents" economies should be broken up and competitors allowed access to the cables and phone lines as they are in Europe. When is that going to happen in Canada?

    • You have no idea what the Hell you're even talking about. The Telegopoly is fabricating a problem that doesn't even exist so that they can control how and how much we use the Internet. The reason they do is so that they force customers into their walled-gardens, where they are gouged for limited content over which they have no control. Why is that the rest of the developed either has no bandwidth caps or bandwidth caps that are far higher than the ones offered by the Canadian Telegopoly? Why do citizens in developed nations in Europe get cheaper and faster telecom services without the sorts of limitations that the Telegopoly wants to impose on Canadians? It's about control! They want to control the message and they want to control the flow of money, to the detriment of consumers, small businesses, and the government and institutional sector.

      Small ISPs only use what's know as the "last mile", that is the copper or cable provided by Rogers or Bell. They are paying wholesale prices to the Telegopoly to resell access to the last mile. Outside of the last mile, Bell and Rogers negotiate with Tier 3 providers and other infrastructure owners that are involved in the provision of Internet infrastructure with the aim of purchasing certain a certain amount of data on these backbones. In general, this process costs less than penny per GB. Teksavvy, Acanac, and other smaller ISPs negotiate their own deals and provide customers with their own mark-ups. That's why some companies might give you 200 GB and charge you $0.10 or $0.25 / GB for overages while Bhell and Rogers give you 60, 25, or even 2 GB and charge things like $2 or $7.95 if you go over that, or in other words, mark-ups in the range of 1000 – 10000%. In other words, the Telegopoly wants to force small ISPs to charge customers more to use infrastructure they don't even actually own.

    • Okay if use more pay more makes sense for bandwidth then why is it then 1 gigabyte of routable data costs anywhere between 1-10 cents and Rogers charges me $2.50? Why in all the time I've paid for my Internet access at a flat rate has the amount of data per flat rate gone from 80-60 then to 50 gigabytes if they have invested all their profits into expanding the infrastructure?

      There is no reason for UBB because there is no network congestion. Rogers and Bell own a large stake in the conent industry so the fact that I download or stream television and movies not wired into their failing business model threatens their position. It's meant to scare people back to the TV.

    • Funny you mention the electric bill they are just as corrupt I start to turn the lights out when I leave a room to conserve energy and save money so what does the power company start doing. they start charging fees for this and fees for that rider charges etc so now because I decided to concerve my bills go up and up and up.

    • Joe here is exactly the sort of simpleton that MacLeans was hoping they would reach with this travesty of an article. Ironic how this evil "2 %" are supposed to be the culprits in this scenario…. and yet it seems as though 98 percent of people are dead set against what they know is nothing more than an attempt at a cash grab. But not Joe Nytro, whose "irrefutable common sense" has motivated him to happily bend for this steely-dan of a solution.

    • Use more, pay more. Let's just assume that this adage even applies to bandwidth. Did you know that it costs Bell $0.01 to deliver 1 GB to your home? And with UBB, they want to charge you $1.50 or more for that 1 GB? You do realize that this is a 15,000% markup right?

      Name me one other utility that is allowed to get away with charging 15,000% markup and then I'll take your argument seriously. As a final thought, cost of bandwidth falls at roughly 60% per year, so that $0.01 will cost Bell only $0.004 next year. Do you think your per-GB charge is going to fall by 60% next year? Get real.

    • Common sense (or more correctly, logic) only works if one has a thorough understanding of the basic concepts. Power is a finite resource. Bandwidth is not. The power company must invest to maintain and expand the system of delivery and so does the ISP. The important difference is that your hydro bill pays for maintaining this delivery infrastructure as well as your metered use of electricity, a consumable that is created and expended. Bandwidth is infinite. It is only the delivery system that costs money. "Use more, pay more" is a slogan not based in logic that these corporations are touting in order to appeal to the sense of ownership in the uninformed consumer.

      Inform yourself before you form and provide an opinion. This is not helping.

    • Too bad you presented your argument so badly, because as much ill-informed as it is, you do have a legitimate point.

      Unfortunately, the bottom line is clearly gouging and has nothing to do with charging for your fair share. If it was, as you said, most users should be paying much, much less than what they are paying now.

      But even then, the argument is flawed, because the internet does not work like that. It's not a single highway, it's a NETWORK of highways. When one area is congested, traffic gets routed automatically around it. That's how the internet was built, it's by design.

  15. It is time for the Telcos and Internet providers to release their total domination of data transfer and content ownership. I have noticed that the majority of the Ed-op pieces that support the CRTC and UBB are owned by Bell and Rogers … whatever happened to a FAIR and impartial press, not just a corporate mouth piece spewing the company line. shame on you.

  16. You just may be a little bit biased in this one. To say they want fairness, then I wonder how charging $2.50 for every GB that a customer goes over the cap when the actual cost is mere pennies seems more like robbery than an attempt at fairness. If they are going to charge for going over the cap, then maybe they should reimburse me $2.50 for every GB I am under the cap. I mean if the whole purpose of this is to reduce congestion, then this would work better, wouldn`t it? Unless, of course, this is just a huge money grab to compliment what is already one of the most overpriced internet services in the free world.

  17. You know, I think most people wouldn't have a problem with UBB if the prices were fair. I honestly do believe that as a heavier internet user I should be paying more than my Grandpa who uses the net for reading his e-mail and playing a daily online crossword.

    However, I don't believe that I should be paying anywhere from $2-$4.50 for 1GB of data. Over the past few weeks I've read various reports on how much providing 1GB of data actually costs, and most estimates range from 3 cents to about 10 cents. So I ask how is it fair that they charge so much? That is nothing but gouging.

    If perhaps the CRTC would step in a regulate how much 1GB of data costs and how much Bell and Rogers are allowed to mark up that price, I'd be a little more receptive to UBB.

    Of course though Bell and Rogers wouldn't go for that, because even if they marked up 1GB data to say 25 cents, 100gb of data would cost $25 plus tax, still WAY under what they are charging right now for their pitiful caps of on average 60gb a month.

    So please do not write an article defending UBB and these companies. Because all it is, is a telecommunications cartel artificially determining the price of a GB of data to gouge the customers because we here in Canada unfortunately have no other options.

    • Don't feel bad for downloading "too much" or more than your grandpa. He has the choice to pay for a lower speed. I do agree that if UBB is implemented it should be a fair price and closer to the pennies a gb it actually costs. For now though, we already pay a large amount for just connecting. If you have a 10 megabit connection that means you can download at about 1.2 mb per second. Let's say you download 24/7 at 300kbps in theory this should never cause any congestion.

      In short, it's not the amount you download that causes the congestion and that is one of the many reasons why UBB is bull.

    • "You know, I think most people wouldn't have a problem with UBB if the prices were fair. I honestly do believe that as a heavier internet user I should be paying more than my Grandpa who uses the net for reading his e-mail and playing a daily online crossword. "

      you think most people would just settle for 'acceptable' UBB? personally, i'd like to think most people are smarter than that … the whole concept of UBB is unacceptable … we should pay ISP's for internet service, the on-ramp to the information highway, that's it … the type and amount of data we consume is none of their business … bell and rogers don't manufacture the data, so why should we pay them for it? as another poster said, you're grandpa can get a lighter speed service

      anyone who argues that UBB at 'fairer' prices would be acceptable clearly is not seeing the big picture … UBB is not only a price gouge, but it is a social engineering project designed to discourage internet use by the big telcos and cablecos who want you to continue consuming their satellite and cable services

      would you find it acceptable if rogers started charging by the minute for tv viewing? or bell for by the minute phone calls on a landline phone? same wires carry internet to your home … so why would you be so willing to accept 'fair' UBB for your internet service just cause you use that service more than your grandpa?

  18. Since when the internet was free? lol Major failure by Rogers

  19. Shame Macleans for this whorish article. What a Joke. No wonder the byline is the impersonal "editors". Nobody with serious aspirations to journalism would sign such a thing.

  20. I'm pleased to see that not a single one of the comments here so far buy this garbage.

    Canada enjoys one of the highest broadband penetration rates in the world, but with all the lines held by two players we pay the most exorbitant rates per gigabyte of the developed nations. It's seriously time for some real competition.

    I've heard of an interesting approach where some countries have split their telecom companies into two distinct entities: the network operator, who offers wholesale service to all ISPs at the same rates; and the customer-facing ISP/content provider. I wonder how Bell or Rogers's ISP arms would like competing against the smaller ISPs on equal footing.

    • Should happen but it won't. The CRTC is full of ex-CEOs and other executives of the Bells and Rogers in Canada. They're not about to eliminate the monopoly their buddies have over the entire media and entertainment systems of this country.

  21. What a joke, its amazing how these big telcos and their lapdogs spew garbage and try and convince the masses they are in the right.

    What other industry, company, anywhere in the world signs contracts and changes terms and prices in them whenever they feel?

    • Answer : Banking. And we all know how people feel about Bankers … XD

      • Right! We seem to forget that Bell is NOT a telecommunications company, but a Financial Trust…

  22. This is so poorly-researched. Bell claimed that heavy users were a low percentage, but that is based on BELL'S NUMBERS! Of course their number of heavy users skew low, because they've all gone over to third-party providers who don't treat them like garbage! Ridiculous. Shame on you, Maclean's. My opinion of you just dropped significantly.

    • You had an opinion of Macleans that wasn't piss poor already? What is this organization besides a lap dog of the right-wing corporate interests? I'm glad that no political party appears to be willing to pander to these idiots (though the Conservatives probably would have or at least ignored it if the spring election wasn't so close).

    • Rogers Communications owns Maclean's, it shouldn't be any surprise which side of the UBB argument they'd be on.

  23. I would like to really know how the average users are being forced to subsidize the heavy users. It's like the price of internet will go down because everybody is only using 25 G. in internet. I always bought my internet acording to speed not the cap/ So when did this change. It's always been you pay more for the speed not the quantity. Now they want you to pay for both and that is double dipping(gouging)

    • Based on presented information average user does not subsidize the heavy users. However it looks good to present your opinion by saying that you want to do something to benefit most users. There may be large overselling of the bandwidth done by the providers and when all users actually start using there bandwidth they pay for, then large ISP may not be able to cope with that traffic. This may not sound good to put in the news.

  24. I’m signed up with Rogers at the moment, so the UBB decision has no effect on me. Personally, I use up to ~40 GB a month which remains under my cap of 60. Despite this, I am full-heartedly against implementing UBB onto the small independent vendors.

    There are several things wrong with its implementation. The most glaring one is that internet usage can’t even be monitored accurately. Speed, time of usage, current ‘congestion’, etc. all have a skewing on the bandwidth count which gets magnified as the monitoring period goes on. One with a lower download/upload speed may end up using more bandwidth than the other guy with a higher dl/ul speed while browsing the same site. Given that the lower speed plans normally have a lower cap, this has huge potential for disaster. Not only that, this whole myth of ‘only affecting the heavy users’ is proven to be nothing but a load of hooey.

    The second reason is that the UBB decision is completely anti-competitive and therefore, anti-innovative. If you actually bothered to look at the revised plans of the small vendors when they thought UBB was a certainty, their prices skyrocketed. Previous caps of 250 GB were cut down to 25 GB, with no reduction in price. If you signed up with independent ISPs, you would either need to double your costs to get back your previous usage, or find a way to reduce your internet usage to 10%. Alternatively, you can switch to Bell or the local cable ISP and reduce your usage to a slightly more modest ~25%, and pay $5-10 more every month. There is absolutely no way for anyone to compete with Bell besides the local cable ISPs, even if they were given that pathetic 15% discount.

    In fact, calling the CRTC decision ‘fair’ or ‘balanced’ is nothing short of ludicrous, because it essentially lets Bell decide the cost of the internet. If Bell feels the little guys are getting too much market share, what’s to stop them from jacking up the price on the wholesalers, who in turn, will need to skyrocket the prices on their customers?

    In fact, if Canada does come close to nearing it’s internet capacity (which, by the way, isn’t going to happen for quite some time), what’s to stop Bell from simply saying to the CRTC, “Running out of space, we need to jack up our prices instead of increasing capacity.”? What would you rather do if you were Bell in this scenario, spend the money and time to invest and implement new equipment which would take days/weeks/months, more workers, more competence and thinking as well as a loss in cash reserves, or quietly jump the price of your services another $10 while axing the current caps of each of your plans another 50%, knowing full well you’ll doubly reduce your tiny competitors’ market shares as well? Local cable ISPs will just match Bell’s price, since there’s no one else competing.

    With this move, the CRTC has shown themselves either completely incapable of understanding the internet, or sock puppets of Bell. Probably both.

    If you need to paint direness out of situation where you need to only work a mite harder to solve, that’s laziness.
    If a company says what they’re doing is competition-friendly, you know they’re lying because no business ever wants more competition.

    A fair internet is not Bell’s internet.

    • OK how to reply to this without insulting.
      Some tips for all of you to make sure you are not getting over billed!
      Anyone who can't count the internet traffic of a user shouldn't be allowed to use a computer. Ooops there goes Bell. But for the rest of you here is how you do it. On your Windows computer hover your mouse over your network icon in the tray. wait for it and up pops a thing that shows transmitted and received counts of the data your computer has made over the network. Now most of you that means the internet because you don't have multiple computers or the like. But for the adventurous of you, point you web browser at your router's ip address (most likely 192.168.0.1, you will have to log in, I hope, if not call a friend who knows computers, that Linux geek at work maybe) and there will be a nice screen in there somewhere that tells you what your internet usage is (Check the manual, you still have it somewhere.). Check it against your bell bill every month unless you have grandfathered unlimited internet in which case you can ignore it.
      If you have Linux, you already know how to do this don't you. Mac users, who cares, they can afford it :-) (Just kidding, check your router, set it up for the right days of the month, check your bill every month, it will save you and also if things start to go higher than you think they should you know and can search the logs to see what is happening.. We will make you computer geeks yet!) Thank me later.

      • Wow, I've never read a more condescending, ill-thought and borderline wrong comment from someone who infers intelligence in recent memory. Sir, please post your current ip address so that I can send you your prize. It will take the form of a trillion bits, which your router will helpfully drop, leaving you none of the wiser.

        When you grow up, then you can sit at the big table and chat with the adults. Until then, please refrain from commenting.

        • You re drooling on your bib None Given. State your points against, baiting, name calling and censorship is a poor response and only shows your true colours. You grow up.

      • This only works if you have one computer in your house and no other device using your connection (iphones, playstation, tv…). Oh and if "none given" hasn't given you his prize yet. You're better off checking your usage on your router.
        We're all much better off if the CRTC drops UBB and internet users can go back to using the internet and not worrying about where to measure their usage.

        • Add to that…that "usage"….isn't even YOUR usage.

          It is your usage added in with random things such as trojans/worms on zombies performing ports scan in attempts to find a vulnerable machine, network discovery tools from your ISP etc…

          Oh and the one that gets me: Everytime I go to a website and I get a Telus advertisement…now you gotta PAY Telus (or Rogers or Bell) for downloading THEIR advertisement that you never wanted in the first place?!?! It's bad enough how intrusive the damn things are nowadays anyway so tell you what Bell, Rogers Telus etc…if Canada is sent into the technological dark ages in order to protect you empired, the first thing you could do it withdraw and let us stand up straight for a bit by blocking all advertisement related traffic….we'd be getting screwed hard enough the least you could do is give us a little break.

      • seriously? so, your interest is in seeing that people are not UBB over-billed? so you've accepted UBB as a fact of life and now trying to make the best of it and just looking out for us?

        gimme a break … i have no interest in measuring my usage, or aguing with my kids over their usage, or worrying about my next gen toothbrush downloading a driver update in the future and how it will affect some arbitrary data cap imposed by the teligopoly

        but since you solicited it … thanks, thanks for the completely unhelpful tip

    • "In fact, if Canada does come close to nearing it's internet capacity (which, by the way, isn't going to happen for quite some time)"
      it wont happen, its a resource that can be infinitely increased, impossible to reach capacity

  25. "In much the same way the Conservatives seem convinced our country is besieged by criminals, they are now encouraging the popular delusion that usage-based billing will condemn Canada to backwater Internet status. Rather, we have one of the fastest and most modern Internet networks in the world."

    You gotta be kidding!. Let me know when speeds are anywhere close to the South Korea, Japan, Australia (Proposed end to end fibreoptic) or the scandinavian countries!. I'll be happy when I see speeds of 1Gb/s or 1000Gb/s speeds.

    • Right on, Doorman!

      We appear to have a left-wing weenie arguing for the big-business lobby! Funny what strange bedfellows issues like this seem to make….

  26. Nope. You guys discredit yourselves as journalists schilling for your owners.

    Disgusting.

    Bell and Rogers have sat back and got fat by using their oligopoly to gouge Canadians at every opportunity rather than compete and innovate. In case you don't get it, we're all pretty sick of that.

    UBB is a slippery slope aimed at reinforcing oligopoly strength and limiting competition, and we won't stand for it.

    Disband the CRTC. Talk to all of MACLEANS advertisers and tell them that supporting a publication that fronts for its owners on this issue makes them look bad to average Canadians, and that we'll boycott the magazine's advertisers.

  27. There should be a cap but it should be reasonable especially since movies are being introduced. The big carriers all knew that, and are prepared so what is the problem. Greed, that's where the problem is. I would like to know how much of my bandwidth 20 Gbyte is used by advertising agency. Most of the time they take more bytes than the actual message. Lets put a cap on advertising, lets stop animated advertising.
    Another point, if the speed is 500kbps, ( X60sec X 60 hrs), one can use up 1.8 Gegabyte per hour (download speed). So I could theoretically reach my max in less than half a day. So if I pay $50 for less than 12 hours of download, I think I'm paying enough.

    • why there should be a cap at all? technically the way a network is designed, a cap does not make sense unless it is artificially introduced in order to be able for the provider to be able to resell the same channel to many users and ensure that they do not use it.

    • "There should be a cap but it should be reasonable"

      yet another victim of the teligopolies misinformation, andre here thinks UBB and data caps should be forced on us, as long as it's 'reasonable'

      data caps are arbitrary and there is no real need for them, but please if you have a legitimate argument to make in favour of UBB than let's hear it … who knows, maybe andre will be the first to do so

  28. The telecommunications companies in Canada have created so much bad faith with their customers that they have to keep a strangle hold over competition. I've rarely encountered a more detested brand. Maybe Haliburton or Monsanto.

  29. I’m very appreciative on the view of the writer that tries to make sense of such a complex scenario but “nah’s” comment is dead on accurate. As for Harper & Clement – yes they want to win the popularity contest too but it’s their chance to look good or bad now and you can’t ignore 400,000 + petition signers either. I’m sure ost people are feeling real sorry for Bell these days – I guess they should have invited these politicians to their “War-Room” strategy on how to get even more money out of the consumer. The only other comment I would add to Nahs’ comment is that all smaller ISP are already paying Bell for each DSL client over and $20.00 + per user and these ISP’s already pay for the connections etc…. I think Bell is going to survive this. It’s like paying a water cooler manufacturer per liter of water dispensed through their unit just because they said so.

    • "You can't ignore 400,000 * petition signers either"

      No, you can't. But Mirko Bibic is trying his darndest, saying that the signers don't understand the wording of the petition. And guess what? His CRTC puppet is parroting the same sentiment!

      Sweet mother of Pearl. Everytime these UBB supports open their mouths, they incur more anger from their customer base and yet they STILL cling on to their useless rhetoric of "congestion" and heavy users must pay".

      If this is REALLY the case, where is the proof? Where are the usage logs and network statistics?

      Bibic has already shown that he's been pulling numbers out of his arse (in front of government committee hearing, no less) AND he's admitted that their is NO CONGESTION on the LAST MILE.

      Why is this still being debated, and why are "publications" such as MacLeans still championing the pro-UBB gouge?

      I don't get it.

  30. Kudos to you for actually saying that Rogers is the parent company of MacLeans however that's all the kudos you get. As other posters have already rightly pointed out – you fail to grab how the internet works. And more importantly you fail to justify the hugely inflated costs of bandwidth. No one here or anywhere is demanding free internet, we want fairness.

    Also how do you figure Canada has some of the best internet speeds in the world? I pay $50/mo for an upload speed of 500kb/s that is pitiful, most European countries can easily support 30Mbps Up and 30Mbps Down. Yet for a small monthly fortune I get 10Mpbs Up and .5 Down. Screw you Rogers and MacLeans.

  31. Obviously MacLeans is deep in Rogers pocket. Please do not write things as you would understand the issue – Bell has it's ipTV that is planning to load the pipes with their TV programming.
    Why US subscriptions are 4-5 times cheaper?

  32. Macleans is way off base on this. They have completely missed what the issue is, and that's wholesalers being forced by the oligopolistic (Bell, Rogers, Telus) companies to use the same business model.

    Macleans is only attempting to protect the massive profits big corporations have mad for doing little to no work. I have no sympathy for Bell or Rogers having to sell to wholesaler companies and face some competition. This is how capitalism works. Main stream media has lost control of thoughts, now get over it.

  33. Well, I know which magazine subscription I'm not renewing a few months from now….. Truly pathetic macleans, truly pathetic.

  34. RE: The Internet should be fair—not free—to everyone

    I totally agree. It should be fair and not over priced.

    Presently, with most providers, I am required to select a plan for an amount of Gigabytes of data that I estimate I will be using. This will be for one fixed price. When I go over that amount, I will be charged an outrages penalty for each additional Gigabyte used. On the other hand, when I stay well below my selection , I won't get a lower bill. Additionally, the speed measured in Megabits per second is tied to the amount of data I selected. If I want a higher speed, I am forced to select a plan with more data.

    In a fair system I would pay a base price for each relatively small amount: like a fixed price for each Gigabyte as measured by the provider. This is similar to how I pay for milk, beer, bread, gas and so on. When I use more, I pay more. Additionally, I like to see a separate multiplier for higher speeds. There is no reason to tie the speed to the amount of data used. In other words, a low speed of one Gigabyte of data should costs less than a high speed Gigabyte of data. Very much like selecting low or high grade fuel at the gas pump.

    Another multiplier should be the quality of service. For some suppliers this may very well be a negative number since they often promise and charge for speeds that their network can't support.

    Nand.

    • paying for the data that is coming over the channel makes as much sense as paying for the light that comes through the window. Imagine if the window fitters would start charging for that. scary.

  35. It is easy to see that MacLean’s magazine keeps its journalistic objectivity in this case…NOT. I would expect more from a news magazine than a parroting of the owners views, but maybe I’m being naïve. The truth of the matter is that the incumbents are lowering service. When I started with Bell Internet service I was paying the same amount as today, but in that time, my download limit has been reduced from 100Gb to 60Gb and now to 25Gb with the price not changing a penny, even though the cost of networking equipment has been dropping like a stone (I know as I’m in the IT field).. Why is it that Ontario is stuck at 25GB while Quebec is 60GB and no limits anywhere else? Is there more bandwidth available in those other provinces? Why were the caps lowered just as Netflix and other internet video services are coming into the country. What about telecommuters? We are starting to push family/work balance which has people working from home. With these ridiculous caps we are effectively stopping that cold. I don’t have a problem with caps but they should be realistic, 25GB is not. A cap of 250GB I can live with. That would allow consumers the flexibility of consuming products (ie movies) on the internet, get work and research done and use it without fear of going over. Additional usage would be changed. As it stands, Bell, Rogers and Telus are trying to protect their content business by controlling their delivery system.

  36. Were Bell and Rogers going to lower the cost for those who don't "gobble up hundreds of gigs on a monthly basis"?

    I doubt it…

    • Now there's a scientifically acurate statistic if I've ever seen one. "two percent" of Canadian internet users "gobble up hundreds of gigs on a monthly basis".

      Normally I would ask for sources but who would want credit for providing this "statistic"? This type of fear mongering double speak is exactly the kind of thing that has caused all of the "wild online outcries" that have politicians responding to "populism". (Heaven forbid that our politicians respond to public outcry!)

      These tactics are so very old and we have the collected knowledge of generations at our disposal to help recognize them. So very old, tired and pathetic.

  37. What I would agree to paying is a low set access fee/connection charge, and then an at cost or cost plus 10% per Gigabyte I go beyond some low limit / set monthly use. Something similar to cellular service, (if only each additional cell call was charged at cost plus 10%…!) I'd be curious to know the difference between what a cell call costs and what I am charged actually, as a comparison to proposed internet fees.

    • although your suggestion may be a business model, it does not make sense to ensure that all businesses are the same. would you also agree to have some small fee for your windows and then pay per amount of light that comes through them? data is no different than light as long as it is limited by the window size. The comparison is somehow hypothetical because there are bigger windows somewhere used by the providers themselves to allow light to go through smaller windows.

  38. Internet should be free for all

  39. It really is sad to see an article like this from Macleans since there is no basis for any of the information in the article. The bandwidth is not that limited as to have the need to restrict internet usage to maintain service. And even if it were as you assert, a way to be transparent, the actual cost of delivering a gigabyte is pennies, not the dollars that your parent company and Bell are looking to charge. The cost is all in the connection to the house, not in the bandwidth used.

    What the decision really means, and why the CRTC decided to reverse their decision, and why you should really be ashamed of yourselves is that the people of Canada en mass are against that decision for a good reason. When you say that the average internet usage is 16gb/month today as a justification that a 25gb/month cap be acceptable, what was the bandwidth usage 3 years ago? 5? 10? What will the bandwidth usage be in another 3 years? Especially as Canadians gain more access to online streaming services to replace cable and satellite services. 1mbps video streams would eat up your entire allocation of bandwidth in under a day. Netflix can use 3-5mbps for their HD movie streams, how would you like to watch two movies a month before you have to start paying more. And these services will be getting more and more popular over the years, and guess which two companies don’t want you to replace their Video On Demand services with a cheaper online alternative. Or watch television programing over the internet. I’ll give you a hint, they’re the ones that want to charge you for using those services at a 3,900% markup on the actual cost. That number comes from Financial Post, a newspaper who is actually following journalistic ethics.

    In short, this isn’t about now, it’s about the future. It’s not about transparency or fairness, it’s about increasing profitability. This isn’t about getting something for free, it’s about not being completely ripped off by an effective duopoly.

  40. Are Bell/Rogers going to then lower the cost to the "average" user who has been subsidizing the "heavy" user?
    If there is no reduction to balance out costs, then it is nothing more than a cash grab aimed at taking business away from the competition.

  41. We pay for bandwidth, ie the width of the 'band', users who use 100's of GB must have their machines on constantly to get that much data, thats not a problem, for 20 of those 24 hours the network is uncongested and unused, its the primetime hours that are important, and the general populace, the other 98%, are those who are to blame.

    I will suggest that the 2% are aware of this as a time-based infrastructure and that they avoid high-traffic times, effectively making them less of a problem then the average person going on facebook after work.

  42. I canceled my subscription for lack of UBB coverage, after this article I am absolutely convinced it was right decision. This article might as well be written by Rogers marketing, who are 'editors'? Was this written by some commission?? Paying 2$ for 1GB is not fair, it is robbery. That somehow is not mentioned anywhere here and it is crucial reason for outrage. Shame on Macleans. All political spectrum thinks UBB is wrong, it caused unbelievable outrage having close to half million of Canadians to sign against it. And here is Macleans siding with old duopoly interests. How brave to protect poor Bell and Rogers for not being able to charge 2$ for something that is worth 0.02$. We will never get anything fair from Rogers and Bell, all they want is to drain last cent they can from Canadians and that might be good for their shareholders but it is not good for Canada and if Macleans can not see that I definitely do not need to read it anymore. I am appalled at this article and totally disappointed with Macleans.

  43. If you are going to write an opinion piece, at least have the balls to post who you are.
    The author draws comparisons to traffic congession. How many roads in Canada is pay per use? If you are going to make a point, make a stronger point than that. Unless the author's expectation of Canada is just "to follow in the foot steps of the United States (which currently has a weaker dollar compared to ours)" then please just say so.
    This article is blasphemous, and I'm glad that so many of my fellow Canadians are able to argue a strong point (stronger than mine) against it.
    If anything is worth picking up on here, it is that even the anonymous author him/her self doesn't believe in what was written here.

  44. Well, that's it for me buying this magazine anymore.

  45. Congrats Macleans, you have effectively lost the respect of Canadians everywhere.

    Do not write about things you do not completely understand. Please conduct some thorough research and provide sources to support your claims.

    And what is wrong with Harper and Clement using twitter to express their concerns? I think its excellent. It connects them directly to the younger generation of this country and engages them in politics. Another less obvious benefit is that, with twitter, politicians can say whatever they want to say without the media twisting their words! But I can see why you would hate that :)

  46. This is a short comment as my previous comment was deleted by an admin who didn't have time to read it.

    No-one has suggested the internet should be free. The ISPs should have a single billing system. Either speed or quantity – not that quantity has much meaning when you're discussing electrons in a wire that costs maybe a penny per GB. Also, the delivery pipes are not what's being consumed. We consume the content provided by others. The pipe should be part of the infrastructure and pipe providers should not be permitted to compete over those same pipes with content. Otherwise these problems will always be with us – it's a conflict of interest for ISPs to also be content providers.

  47. This is just another tactic for Bellman and Robbin' to extort even more cash from already overcharged Canadians. Take from the poor and the rich keep it. If more of our money paid to these companies was re-invested into the infrastructure there would be no debate.
    Now they are crying to the CRTC that Netflix is beating them!
    UBB and caps need to be abolished across this country!

  48. I'm gonna just echo what everyone else has been saying. At this point in the debate, it's getting frustrating to have to remind everyone- yet again- that the internet is not a resource. There is not a finite supply, and it is not owned by anyone. What customers are paying for is access to the infrastructure that provides the internet.

    Yes, we need to pay for our internet- in order to insure infrastructure continues to be be upgraded and repaired. Yes, it's fair to charge people based on usage. That said, with the UBB structure that is currently in place, light users are not being charged any less- which makes the charges on additional usages 'overages'. The problem most have with the 'overages' is that they cost between 1-5 bucks per gig, but cost pennies to provide. People are willing to pay for extra usage- but not such unreasonable rates.

    The main issues here stem from a concern over a)profiteering/gouging customers and b)taking away a competitive advantage, which therefore limits customer options. If I choose to use more bandwidth, affordable plans should be available to meet my needs as a customer.

  49. Additionally: while few people exceed usage limits NOW- but with caps being dropped and an increased demand for products such as Netflix and other streaming video, this WILL change. Usage has been growing nationwide by 40-60% every year. This is going to affect us all one day.

    The fact is, Bell and the like don't want to 'charge what's fair'- they want to make watching TV online so expensive that we have no alternative but to subscribe to their media services. VERY manipulative. As a result, I will never – ever- subscribe to a Bell service.

    Lastly, if I hear one more high-and-mighty 'expert' talking about 'bandwidth', I'm going to lose my mind. Bandwidth and usage are very different things.

  50. Have they not even noticed that in the comments on ANY article printed or posted ANYWHERE there is NOT even ONE comment in favor of UBB!
    GET THE MESSAGE! http://stopthemeter.ca

    • Sometimes you see people in favour, but that has been reported to be people employed by Shaw to post nice things about UBB. Slimy.

  51. full of lies and sketchy stats, shame on you macleans

    the internet is not like gas, or electricity, those things are gone when we use them. gigabytes are not a real. this is a gouge on the customer.

    people need to start boycotting these big companies, show them the reality of their greed

  52. Canada has "one of the fastest and most modern Internet networks in the world."??????? Puh-leeeze. Japan and Korea have waaay better speeds and prices than us. We're pretty low on the world scale. revisit that statement when we all have fiber optic cables to the home and getting speeds like 25 Mbps or more down AND up.

  53. This is really bad journalism, if even deserving of the term. To make it very, very simple: Almost nobody, including the 2% heaviest users, has a problem with usage-based billing. The problem is with punitive billing schemes (per Gb overage charges marked up by 1500% to 6000%), which are designed in such a way to force those, like me, who do not bother with Cable TV anymore and instead get all their multimedia content via the Internet, to go back to subscribing to cable).

    That's all this is about. It's a simple scam, masquerading as a legitimate debate about something else entirely.

    • Right on the money!

  54. "Such a casual approach to important public policy is an embarrassment to the government. "

    Your article is the embarrassment. Well, for you and Rogers that is. The CRTC hasn't relaxed the truth standards yet… Jumping the gun a bit aren't we?

  55. …And to criticize the gov’t for listening to the people, mcleans, you should be ashamed. Why would you consider that act an “embarrassment” for our gov’t? You dont think our opinion has merit in a political decision. If im not mistaken, governments are formed to help make the best decisions for the majority, and seeking input from them can only help in those decisions.

  56. Shameful article!!! Rogers and Bell complaining about fairness?! Don't the authors see absurdity in this? Rogers and Bell are monopolizing entire telecommunications industry in Canada, are decades behind in infrastructure compared to other developed nations and still have the nerve to complain about unfairness in internet usage of Canadians.

    How's this for fair? My condo building was "pre-wired" with Bell and Rogers infrastructure. When I moved in and wanted to get HD TV subscription, I had 2 choices, BELL or ROGERS. Actually, my only choice was ROGERS, because BELL could not provide HD content, only standard definition. So, how's that fair dear editors?

    Get a clue! Canadians are sick and tired of giving their precious money to Bell and Rogers for over-priced and sub-standard services!!!

    Ultimately though, the blame has to Government of Canada for allowing these two Corporate Citizens to misbehave so badly without any recourse.

  57. I visit this website daily, I enjoy the articles, I like the writing staff, but most of all I enjoy reading the comments by the readers.

    This is perhaps the worst article I have ever seen this publication produce.

    Listen to your readers Mcleans, 99% of the comments posted here are calling you on this foolish propaganda post, I would take it down before anymore of your readership takes notice to your lack of principles.

    I really do hope it was some corporate shill that forced this down your throat.

    Dissapointed,
    Michael

  58. Boycott Macleans and their advertisers!!! Until they hire some journalists!!!

  59. Why isn't anyone considering what the FUTURE bandwidth requirements will be for "most" Canadians. Many of the heavy bandwidth users are also the earlier adopters of new technologies. I agree with a UBB structure but it needs to be reasonable and regulated at a government level. A system that parallels the electrical/gas utilities system makes sense to me. If I'm going to be billed on a "per use" basis there better be a Measurement Canada certified meter on it too to keep everyone honest.

    • i would belive it to be illegal for them to charge us per gigabyte if there is no government authorized and certified metering device. bell has already pulled their meter as they claim it is not accurate for 0.1% of its customers. why should we belive that as it has not been certified by measurment canada,

      here read this

      Measurement Canada is responsible for ensuring that businesses and consumers receive fair and accurate measure in financial transactions involving goods and services. The agency develops and administers the laws and requirements governing measurement; evaluates, approves and certifies measuring devices; and investigates complaints of suspected inaccurate measurement.

      Mandate
      Our mandate is to ensure the integrity and accuracy of trade measurement in Canada through the administration and enforcement of the Weights and Measures Act and Regulations and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and Regulations.

      Mission
      Our mission is to ensure equity and accuracy where goods and services are bought and sold on the basis of measurement, in order to contribute to a fair and competitive marketplace for Canadians.

  60. Wow, i think i just decided to cancell my Macleans subscription. Shame on you. This has got to be the bigworst and most shamefull piece of garbage ever published in Canada.

  61. Can someone please the financial results for Bell and Rogers, specifically their internet divisions?
    Somehow I doubt they're struggling to meet ends meet or "cover their costs".
    I agree with the concept of fairness, in that heavy users should pay more. At issue is how much more. Do those additional charges really accurately reflect the "cost" incurred?
    Instead of looking at heavy monthly usage, maybe focus on the specific time periods where that usage actually impacts other more "average" users. Perhaps some cap on bandwidth at certain peak hours, which I think is happening anyways.
    The good thing about these smaller companies being able to offer unlimited usage, is that it gives the bigger companies like Bell and Rogers some real competition, and maybe just maybe, force them to lower their rates a little as well.

  62. How on earth can we be *weeks* into this debate, and Macleans has the gall to print an article that fails to comprehend even the more elementary technical details of the issue at hand?

    I won't regurgitate what so many others have said already. Check your facts, but most importantly check your journalistic integrity. This article is such a thinly veiled shill piece for your parent corporation it's no wonder you only signed it anonymously.

    Truly embarassing, Macleans. I expect more from a Canadian news magazine. You can expect me to refrain from purchasing your print magazine for the forseeable future. Your loyalties to your profession are in serious question here.

  63. Shame on Maclean's for publishing this rubbish.

    Funny how nearly EVERY article that is pro-UBB is clearly bought and paid for by one of the incumbent ISPs.

    I just hope visitors to this site skip the Rogers, err, i mean "editors" article, and go straight to the comments, where some truth can be found.

    Keep in mind, your employee discounts won't last forever. And when the "light user" inevitably finds themselves downloading 5 gigs per day doing the same crap they do now (because the internet, you know, evolves) i wonder if you'll still be defending this "ISP ENTITLEMENT TAX".

    Goodbye forever MacRogers.

  64. Disgusting article. Continue spreading your lies, I won’t be reading them.

  65. Macleans has NO journalistic integrity whatsoever. This was written by Rogers, and it is obvious.

    I am canceling my subscription to Macleans after reading this despicable pile of misinformation and nonsense.

  66. Unfortunately, folks, writing here does nothing but inflates Rogers ad-views/revenues for little cost to them.

    If you want to make your views heard, use Canada post to:
    Maclean's Magazine
    One Mount Pleasant Road
    11th floor
    Toronto, ON
    M4Y 2Y5
    Canada

    Or take advantage of their 1-800-268-9119 number to voice your displeasure with the article, as that costs them secretary time as well as the LD fees… (which probably aren't much since they end up paying themselves, I suppose.)

  67. Maclean, get your facts right. Network congestion is caused by EVERYONE accessing the internet at the same time. Not by someone who downloaded 200GB in a month. You're just regurgitating lies by Robellus.

    And it should be 'light users should pay less' not the other way around. Why dont the companies suggest that instead? Cause they cant gouge use and rip us off if they said that.

  68. What a load of garbage, but what can you expect from a Rogers media propaganda machine.

    I think this article fully demonstrates whats wrong when a company owns the network and the media… talk about conflict of interest!

    Whats more amazing is how this is allowed, and no one cries foul.

  69. In the interest of full disclosure, will Macleans reveal on this page the internet providers is it financially tied to?

  70. Nothing in that article about new ways to watch media, such as Netflix. New opportunities are being capped by big business as usual.

  71. There are enough articles and posts published to see that this article is filled with inaccuracies. Treating the flow of information like a non-renewable resource while punitively charging huge margins is ridiculous. Because of the lack of a competitive environment in communications Canada is beginning to seriously lag behind many other countries in innovation. The only ones being innovative are the big companies in getting more money for less service.

  72. McLean’s is OWNED by ROGERS!! That explains why this is a completely biased article. Instead of this being shown as “journalism” it should be marked as propaganda!

    Since McLeans is clearly NOT capable of providing impartial journalism, I have decided to CANCEL my subscription!!

    • Me too. I disagree with this form of censorship! I held journalism in high respects as being truthful even if the truth was nasty. I'm cancelling my subscription and have no faith in this company anymore. Good job Macleans and Rogers. You guys really really bite…sell outs.

  73. "Rogers Communications (the parent company of Maclean's)"
    No need to read any further.

  74. Free is not the same as fair. The actual cost of the service probably rests around $5/month.

    Who's being unfair? And where's the byline? By the editors?????
    By the advertisers.

    I thought Macleans had more integrity than posting ads for the monopolies.

  75. It's seems that Bell and Rogers money has influenced all facets of the media (in this case Maclean's). I can not believe that a so called "credible" journalist wrote this garbage. Either Rogers stooped to the level of dictating this letter to Maclean's or ( Clement Allard/CP) are complete idiots, and think we are as stupid as the CRTC do. I just kept reading the article saying "Wrong", Wrong Wrong". Either get your facts straight before you write about something you know nothing about or quit taking bribes from Rogers to write the most laughable false piece of garbage journalism I've seen in a long time. Your credibility has vanished in the time it took me to read this POS . I will not allow myself to read any more Macleans articles from people who's agendas are verbatum of the corrupt and evil duopoly empires. Perhaps you should have consulted the truth. Shame on you Macleans for selling out Canadians.

    • They are owned by rogers.. Indeed, this more like internal rogers memo than article. Either way, sad to see published.
      btw, they are now deleting comments left, right and center.

  76. Anyone catches the artificiality of dividing users into two binary category: Heavy and Light users. You mean there's no one in between ? You are either in the Light 98% category or the Heavy category ??? In reality users fill a full spectrum from the granma who only uses it for emails to the World of Warcraft addicted teenager. This is simply an attempt to divided the consumers in order to force a oligopol control on the market. Divide and conquer is well known strategy

  77. Rogers owns media and Bell owns media they don't want netflix or others to move in their territory. Capping the internet works great for them not only gets rid of the small guys but who wants to use the internet to stream videos or download movies when your capped. Might as well keep satellite and cable. As far as infrastructure is concerned. it is done through government land. The small guys wont be alllowed to put in their insfratructure because Bell and Rogers were there first. Same thing as CN and CP and Via and Go sharing tracks because you can't put train tracks for every railway.

  78. So eventually, THEY (Bell, Telus, Rogers, and the CRTC) will decide to lower the cap to 250KB/month (e.g. several e-mails) for, say, $40/month – without improving the "infrastructure" of the whole system. How about so many cents per GB (download/upload) and then mandate that BEFORE i go to a website such as SYmpatico's – a VERY bloated site (to increase bandwith usage) they have to let me know how much it will cost. Is this where it is all heading? And how about "updates" – where a customer has no choice basically. And, obviously, the "editors" or employees of Roger's don't see this. Now that is vision.

  79. The good news in regards to this article is that the more people that read it, the more people are canceling their services with Bell & Rogers. I'm personally spreading the word (& sending this link to everyone) to all my clients, friends & neighbors and many are making the switch to Teksavvy (phone + internet) & Wind (cellular). Also, many people I know are canceling their cable/satelite subscriptions, people are beginning to realize that TV is a huge waste of time & money… essentially you're paying a premium for the same shows that repeat & over all day & night!

    Do yourself & your family a favor and FREE YOUR MINDS!

  80. All of those who are currently with Bell, Rogers, Cogeco etc. Shop around, you are getting ripped off. You have a choice. Use it! I have been a customer with a Chatham,Ont reseller Teksavvy Solutions http://teksavvy.com/en/default.asp since their beginning (no I do not work for or know them) and I have always gotten more for my dollar than if I had been with the big boys. The prices are superior, the customer service is superior, the bandwidth is superior. They have DSL and Cable and VOIP and I hear soon, even cell phone service. Canadians must like getting ripped off. Either that or they like paying maximum dollars for minimum results. Wake up Canada, your life is being decided and taken away from you by big corperations. FIGHT!

  81. I pay for 65 Gigs a month and I should be allowed to use that if I need to. Changing the ground rules, mid-game isn’t fair. What next? I don’t use my phone much, am I subsidizing the heavy user? Same thing.

  82. I don't know why this was written…everyone was going to call you out.

    C'mon Rogers…who are you kidding? There is nothing you can say do that will get you support. UBB is not happening. Instead of wasting time and energy on failed attempts at convincing people, how about you put that effort into providing an alternative to Netflix and Hulu? You can't beat em…so you might as well join em before someone like Telus or Shaw smartens up before you.

  83. Let's see now now, I drive a HD full sized 4×4 pick with a Hemi V8 that hold 128 liters of fuel. Based on the convoluted reasoning presented by most of the contributors, I should be able to fill up my truck at the gas pump for the same price as a Honda Civic. The price would probably have to be $75.00/$85.00 per tank full, but hey, I'm loving that as it would save me $40.00/$50.00 per tank full and come out of your pocket, not mine. If we are going to have a single price for one commodity, all you can use for one price, then based on common logic it should apply to all basic commodities.

    • Shall I be the first one to take you to task for your abominable analogy. The gas (data) which you are putting in your truck is free unless you are using some special blend (Netflix for instance). Its the road (infrastructure) on which you drive, the speed at which you drive and the distance that you are allowed to drive that you are paying for. Whether you drive a Honda or a data hogging SUV is immaterial.

    • Your statement may be relevant if prices were coming down for people who use 1 Meg but they are not. No prices are going down just up. So you logic just imploded.

    • Actually Dave this is how it would be. You would be able to fill up at price of 1$ up to 50$ (that is how much average fillup costs for cars mentioned. Nowhere close to 85$) After that for every liter you would pay 200$ per liter overage because you are heavy user and you are gobbling up a lot of gas. Bandwidth is not commodity, and way they measure it is not logical if it is done for reasons they apply. If they said that speeds need to go down to allow more users to have good experience at the peek times that would make sense somewhat. But this system does not care about peek times it is all about total usage, that means if you drive your truck all night long for deliveries you get charged congestion charge for something that happens at noon. We just do not want to pay 200$ for liter of the Internet ;)

    • Either your trolling or stupid. I think the later.

    • David, it is much more akin to being charged for every kilometer you drive on the road than to fuel consumption — which you are already HEAVILY taxed on. In other words, every road becomes a toll road. Now how do you feel about it?

      Remember too that the governments are grabbing hst or PST/GST on every bit of this. They have a vested interest in being complicit.

    • I must assume that you also work for or an investor in one of the big telecoms companies as your statement is just as twisted and inaccurate as the article that spawned it… Congrats on being the first persons comment I have read to side with the lack of journalistic integrity McLean's is touting as news… and just for the record, information on the internet is not a commodity

  84. Yo VIP let's kick it

    DSL baby (x2, whisper)
    All right stop, collaborate and listen!
    CRTC is back with my brand new invention
    …Something grabs a hold of me tightly
    Flow like a web meter daily and nightly
    Will it ever stop, yo I don't know
    Turn off the modem or You'll know
    To the extreme I rock the CRTC like a vandal
    Light up The users and burn the bandwidth like a candle
    Watch, go rush to the Netflix that booms
    I'm killing your web like a poisonous mushroom
    Deadly when I play a UBB melody
    Anything worst than the rest is a felony
    Love it or leave it you better get used to it
    You better hit pop-up's X , before you load it
    If there was a problem yo wont solve it
    Check out the hook while my CRTC Desolve's it
    Ice Ice Baby, I'm cold as Ice Ice baby! (whisper)

  85. Such a biased and self serving article without any objectivity on any reasonable level… CANCELLED MY SUBSCRIPTION TODAY after reading this

  86. Wow. Most unbiased piece of bullcrap i’ve seen yet. Written by a Canadian NDP/liberal idiot who doesn’t understand that the internet DOES NOT COST A THING. Data transfer is data transfer. It might cost to start up the modems and servers, but those startup costs have been paid a thousand-fold over. Sorry idiots, you’ve got it wrong. Consumers are being screwed and we are TIRED of it.

    • I thing you mean most biased. And how is this liberal/NDP thing?? If anything this debate is across political lines. Also liberals and NDP spoke against it before Conservatives did… you are right about consumers being screwed…

      Cheers!

      • Absolutely my bad. Biased media source, BIASED media source

  87. this is the worst piece of journalism i've ever read, in my entire life.
    retract/take this garbage down now.

    also research internet costs in different countries, hell even in the under developed world and then get back to us on "fair internet prices." that being said I will re-post something that I had shared on facebook before the conservative government struck down UBB.
    It goes something like this:

    it is dangerous to let customers think that bandwidth is unlimited (because ultimately there is a limit on everything, nothing is infinite) but at the same time these limits in Canada are set fffaarrr to low…that and our monthly fees are far too high to justify such a cap. so either reduce the price of internet or increase the caps…the telecom companies are using a modified version of the phrase: "you CAN have your cake and eat it too."

    screw you Macleans.ca

    it would really suck if Canada was the driving force for usage based internet access across the world.

  88. This article is a direct copy of a CRTC press release. My god man grow some and stop being a mouthpiece for the Bell captured CRTC

  89. How disappointing Macleans…how desperate must your corporate masters be getting, to pimp out writers who up until now many people considered journalists, knowing full well that this would be the response. I wish I had a subscription to cancel, but print magazines are dying and so, it would seem, is Canadian journalistic integrity.

  90. A lot of comments from people that say that Bell's numbers are wrong. But no one comes up with better numbers.

    I get strongly the feeling that heavy internet users are freeloaders.

    Let's use the internet like a toll road. That is fair for everybody.

    • You mean like letting light users pay less?? Or maybe transfer your unused bandwidth to the allotment for next month?? When that happens we will all be behind you. As for numbers here is some reading material for you, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/ga

    • What numbers would you happen to be talking about. The price of a GB of bandwidth? If thats the case its been pointed out in a copious amount that a GB cost pennies. Explain how a %2000+ markup is fair? I miss that.

      Explain to me how it is fair that light users who use less than their allowed bandwidth do not get a refund. Explain to me how paying a flat rate, then a incremental rate on top of it is fair. Please tell me.

      I hate you break it to you but the internet is a changin. A single 720p movie will eat 4.5-7gb of bandwidth. Watching 4 or 5 such movies through a legal service like netflix could put you over your bandwidth cap without using your internet for a single thing else! Explain how is fair when if i am paying for a digital distribution service to obtain my HD movies that if i want to use such a service i have to limit my use of it so extremely. What is the fairness behind that.

    • Mark, you must be a shareholder of one or more of the Big 3 (Bell/Robbers/Telus). Your asinine posting just stated that very fact! It's Canadians like you who are making Canada ass backwards!!

      You need to get yourself out of the 1990's and into 2011!

    • SUCCESSFUL TROLL IS… SUCCESSFUL !

    • TRROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOLOLOL

    • I must assume that you also work for or an investor in one of the big telecoms companies as your statement is just as inaccurate as the article that spawned it… Congrats on being only the second persons comment I have read to side with the lack of journalistic integrity McLean's is touting as news… you seem to think that these fictitious “heavy users” are akin to the person who lines up at a store before it opens just to rush in and take all of an item on sale thereby leaving everyone else with non… this frankly is bull. There IS NO LACK OF INTENET or content on the internet and if someone is using massive amounts of internet time it has virtually no effect on your ability to use it.

    • AND even if the low end user really exists today with more and more businesses and services being offered online and with more and more high level content it will not be long before everyone is a high user based on the current trends in technology… by trying to ram UBB down everyone's throats now at the same time they decrease how much your internet package allows you to download each month is a blatant move to put themselves in a position to clean up when demand for content skyrockets even though it will cost them almost nothing to provide that content… the fact that it also puts their competition out of business keeping there virtual monopoly intact and keeping there cable businesses viable when they have for some time now been obsolete is just icing on the cake. IF UBB goes through I hope you get what you deserve.

    • Man, some people will believe every single bit of propaganda proferred by the incumbents…

      "Let's use the internet like a toll road. That is fair for everybody."

      Sure… where is my refund for using only 20GB this month? You want to pay per use? Ha! I'd LOVE to see Bell explain how they can charge so much for so little to the MAJORITY of their users!!!

    • Like a Canadian toll road? It costs $15 to drive all the way across OH. Much cheaper than driving only around Toronto. No thanks.

  91. Lets imagine every internet customer of Bell, Rogers or Shaw, decide to opt for the Ultimate or Infinite package – which is like unlimited downloading. Would these fine companies gladly cash in or would such situation be unattainable due to an overloaded system. Take a guess.

  92. I was going to rally my arguments explaining why usage based billing is a deceptive practise until I saw that Maclean’s is owned by Rogers. I guess the writers know where the cheques come from.

  93. Actually, why shouldn't the internet be free? The Internet has become such an indispensable, irreplaceable resource that will contribute to the ultimate good of mankind that it should be preserved and enshrined in law as a human right.

    • Okay, so let us assume the internet becomes free.
      Now, who/how pays the bill for the infrastructure behind it all? Who/How pays the people who maintain it?
      And don't say tax dollars…we already complain about paying too much tax in this country.

      Free: is never going to happen. Neutral: maybe. Fair: subjectively possible.

      • No, it should be tax dollars the same as we pay for other essential services like police, fire, military or garbage pickup.

    • The Internet is no less essential today than are the roads we drive on. It actually would make sense for it to be nationalized from that perspective. What worries me, however, is that it is then too easy for governments, which may or may not be semi-benign, to monitor, control and otherwise mishandle it.

      I am not a fan of big-government. Quite the opposite, in fact. I hate big government.

      I also hate being ripped off by companies that keep posting multi-billion dollar profits each quarter.

    • Remember the $20 million gun registry that ended up costing more than $2 billion? That's what happens when government gets involved in technology projects. I'd rather my taxes go to pay for health care than the internet thank you very much!

  94. This is Rogers propaganda from a Rogers owned publication. This isn't very surprising at all.

  95. said before say it again, you Sr are idiot! As the editor for national magazine, you suck! at least take 10 minutes to research before you write. Same deal with criticizing Tony Clement on twitter over Wind–Good on Him, Told YOU where to go! Honestly, you are a disgrace and sad excuse for a journalist.! SCREW YOU and your ROBBERS paycheck!

  96. Then they praise Hordak at the bottom for being against minimum beer pricing!!! Hypocrites much?

  97. Propaganda at its best, don’t you just love journalism.

    Usage based billing is to suppress competition, nothing more. Bell have invested heavily in satellite TV and the last thing they need is people watching internet TV. How do you stop internet tv? Restrict download capacity, you might just make a few extra bucks in the process.

    How many CRTC board members are major shareholders in Bell?

  98. one more example of how they have us where and when they want

  99. The issue is one of conflict of interest — a conflict of interest shared by MacLeans as well.

  100. "The magazine has been owned by the Rogers Communications conglomerate since Rogers acquired Maclean-Hunter, the former publisher, in 1994."
    from wicky

    Propaganda. Monopoly. Bilk. Bigger profits, Network with sports.Network with all media by ownership. Think about it.

  101. If my maximum upload speed is 512Mps, why don't I ever reach it. On a good day it's 490MHz and in rush hour, 380MHz. Why do they advertise 510MHz if the absolute best is 495MHz. They block it under 500M. Give me a break, don't anyone from the CRTC use the internet? Maybe they are given an ultimate high speed package for free. Hey , most of the people are getting manipulated, the others are getting paid, then we have the middle class, then the low class. Like they say in the bible of "_____"
    the rich gets richer.Check yours out. http://www.bandwidthplace.com/

  102. I officially find the level of controversial stupidity astounding yet another reporter stepping well beyond their means of comprehension to fully asert their "logic" upon a political view outside of their scope of reasonable understanding. I just find it down right repulsive that you fundamentally believe the garbage coming out of ISP mouths in regards to usage based consumption and cost… I thought that Macleans would employ better than joe user to employ their views on controversial standards of deployment and how it effects the everyday citizens of our once fine country.

  103. But apparently the irrelevant rambles of limitations exceeds standards of atypical understanding quantatively so that it elusively excels as being a "propetiary" standard of technology that they can't officially release actual costs of bandwidth transfers… most american ISP's rate transfers of a gigabyte of information around 15-25 cents a gig with reasonable markup that equates to 30-50 cents and you expect fully that paying these jag-offs 2$ per gig acceptable… get your head out of your butt and realize your internet will continue to be clogged, one night of seriuos net flix will put you over your bandwidth limit, and understand there won't be a shoulder to whine to when it is done unless you learn to fully appreciate that it isn't a problem with UBB it is the rate at which the want to charge and refuse to justify.

  104. Can you post a text only version of this? My bandwith is capped.

  105. Has anybody considered how much data is actually being used by digital cable? I see statements approximating 4-7 GB per movie.

    HD video on digital TV recievers is eating all of that bandwidth and now the large media corporations want to charge users for overages because they don’t use THEIR brand of [already advertising sponsored] media and don’t receive the advertising THEY specify in their programming.

    Lobbying the CRTC for this change is an anti-competitive tactic and should be treated as such under Canadian anti-competitive laws.

  106. This article is just shameful, unbelievable bias in nature in favor of the big three ISPs.

  107. Rogers seem to be saying they are trying to only charging "high bandwidth users". But they NEVER talk about the REDUCED BANDWIDTH. What about that rip off? Rogers is also planning on increasing their modem rental rate.

    Lite was 60 GB now 25 GB
    ultra lite was 60 now 2GB

    2GB? Really 2GB for $27? WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

  108. Years ago I was commissioned to write an article in a magazine (owned by Rogers) to talk about how great an online service was (which, hey, was also owned by Rogers). A nearby ad was also placed in the magazine in case you didn't read my article. This article comes as no shock to me. This is what passes as 'journalism' these days.

  109. What a bunch of hogwash this article is. Should anything else be expected from a Roger's owned magazine. I'm cancelling my subscription!

  110. Clearly the authors of this piece are not technically adept;

    I, for one am against the concept of economic blackmail as the means to control the public. I don't believe in charging extra to heavy users, per se for anything – I don't like paying 'market rate' for power or oil when the commodities are generated from natural and/or renewable resources that are supposed to be part of MY heritage as a Canadian.

    Sure, you can point to California and say that they pay 15 cents a kilowatt hour, but power in Ontario & Quebec comes primarily from hydro and now wind generation (moreso in Quebec) . . .

    Now, perhaps the government likes the idea of collecting 13% of an increased price for Internet traffic (PLEASE STOP CALLING IT BANDWIDTH – IT IS NOT BANDWIDTH) but the reality is that paying $2 for a commodity that costs on the order of 2.3 cents is simply highway robbery.

    And the last time a retailer (which is what a second tier ISP would be) got a 15% discount for product they resell, they went bankrupt.

    . . . Continued in part 2

  111. . . . Part 2

    The very fact that the CRTC approved the concept of paying $4 for a block of 40 gigs of traffic implies that they recognise that it has a retail value of 10 cents a Gig.

    And, while second tier ISPs use Bell to deliver traffic to their ports they pay for the pipes over which is is carried IN ADDITION to the usurious monthly rate they pay to use these last mile circuits.

    So if you want to use a model that makes sense, just look at your power bill. It is broken into two sections; One is for the transportation of power and the other is for the product itself . . . an 'electron charge', so to speak.

    If you use no power you only pay the transport fee, because that covers the cost of building the network – people who use more power do not pay more for transportation, by the way. Everyone pays the same. And that would be the part that Bell AND my ISP combined provide.

    As to the power; Well that costs money to generate, even if it does flow through a turbine installed at the base of a dam. And you pay for the product. The electrons.

    . . . continued in part 3

  112. Frankly, it drives me crazy when people try to talk about bandwidth like it's something real and finite. When you say you "Used 40Gb of Bandwidth" last month… you didn't CONSUME that bandwidth and it's no longer in existence, you Transfered that much data.

    Aarabi is correct in his assessment of the situation as well. When you buy service from an ISP (in my case Shaw), They give you a line that can do X amount of data transfer at any given time. When they're selling service, they're OVERSELLING their capacity because most people don't saturate their line constantly. Their networks are congested because they've oversold. If they ensured that every one of their customers could saturate their lines for extended periods, then there wouldn't be a problem.

    SO really, the problem lies in these large telcos selling a service with the hopes that their clients don't use what they've been sold. This allows them to oversell their capacity without having to invest heavily in their infrastructure. Just another scam by the sleezy telecommunications companies.

    Same thing applies to "Air Time" on cell phones. It's not like it's a "real" thing.

  113. . . . part 3

    But neither the ISPs nor the carriers generate these electrons that make up the Internet. The people that own the various web sites do and their business models vary; They sell products, they sell advertising, some of them simply use smoke and mirrors (and a lot of VC money) as a justification; But the reality is that the carriers & the ISPs simply provide the pipes.

    And Bell, Rogers, Videotron, Telus et al are free to set whatever plan they like for their clients. But the fact is that UBB is a rip-off – Bell cranked up its profits by some 58% in what they termed a 'revenue neutral' year – so it isn't as if they are losing money – let's remember that the infrastructure (called outside plant) that those DSL circuits use are paid for by my phone bill – and were paid off decades ago.

    . . . continued in part 4

  114. Whoever published this was and is on crack! Bell is garbage.

  115. . . . part 4

    An ISP is a wholesale purchaser who has all of the traffic they carry delivered to THEIR portal. It isn't as if Bell needs to route each message separately. The data is carried in a dedicated pipe . . . and in my opinion, the concept of a wholesale purchase ought to allow the ISP to aggregate his users. If he has 100 users each with 60 gigs, then he should be able to apportion that traffic among his entire population – in other words, meter the traffic at the ISPs portal if it must be.

    But if you are going to charge for traffic, make it reasonable.

    . . . continued in part 5

  116. . . . part 5

    The general consensus is that traffic costs on the order of 2.4 cents per gig. So stop including traffic in packages (that makes no sense anyway and is a rip off to low volume users). Sell those gigs at a reasonable markup (Bell seems to like having the ISPs making 15% on what it sells them, so why not let Bell make 15% on their traffic? Let them sell it for 2.9 cents per gig to their wholesale users and let them make an additional 15% on their retail ones . . . 3.4 cents per gig – I admit that while Bell would like Teksavvy to live on 15%, they would scream bloody blue murder if they had to do it, so let's just allow them to mark it up 100% to wholesale clients and 200% for their end users – that'd be 4.8 cents and 7.2 cents respectively.. 100 Gigs would cost $7.20 to the end user and Bell make a handsome 66% profit on that amount, tripling their money!!

    . . . continued in part 7

  117. . . . part 7

    Now, reduce the cost of the packages to eliminate the included traffic. Sell service based on the size of the pipe – charge for bandwidth (and this is where the word SHOULD be used) – price dial-up at one price, 1 meg service at another, 4 megs at another and so on, then charge the users for the traffic they send.

    But if you are going to be charging for traffic, you'd also better make sure you count it properly – and you'd better be sure that you don't send me traffic I didn't ask for – no SPAM, no port probes or any of that other crap. Also, don't charge me for YOUR network overhead.

    The reality is that there is no congestion on the DSL distribution network, though many ISPs see congestion on their AGAS circuits because they don't have enough capacity THERE. As well there is meddling, such as throttling. The reality is that the Internet is self regulating. Natural throttling will occur as circuits become overloaded.

    However network deployment costs have been plummeting and the Ontario traffic caps are unrealistic.

    . . . continued in part 8

  118. . . . part 8

    How come you can get unlimited 28 megabit Internet, bundled with telephone and television service that includes free calling to 60 countries in France for all of about $42 Canadian and here it costs $160 for a 5 meg capped Internet service, a basic television package and a phone line with NO included international calling? And why are we still paying a surcharge for touchtone on our telephone bills?

    THAT is the question we should be asking.

    . . . The End

  119. Really captured the Zeitgeist here, eh Macleans?

    Next time I’m waiting for a root canal or a rectal exam, I’ll read one of your Rogers-investor-commissioned editorials to lighten my mood. I might as well read the editorial pages in the Post where the corporate criminal columnist actually gets a byline.

  120. This guy, signing under "The editors", either does not understand a thing, or is instructed to write such a biased article, so far away from the real issues. The conflict of interest is obvious. This article is dishonest at best.

  121. Wow.. my response to MikeN was deleted as soon as I posted it.

    Who woulda thunk it!

  122. Well the CRTC appears to be on Bell and Rogers payroll in their decision. The cost of the "average" users internet usage would not decrease, only the cost to high users would change. How does your statements in this article even remotely make sense? The government should step in more and possibly overrule the CRTC when all decisions are made concerning Bell and Rogers. Perhaps with more control we as Canadians can start to see actual costs to all telecommunications not padding the pockets of a few already very wealthy people.
    What is really funny is the investment of infrastructure is not decreasing the profits that theses two companies are seeing. We should probably be seeing better service at a lower cost from the get go.

  123. The solution is simple:
    Identify the 2% users and charge them extra. The contract should say:
    "ISP reserves the right to charge extra for the 2% of the the heaviest users …….."
    Why put 100% of the users on usage because of the 2%?

    • That would be a solution if the issue really is about 'congestion' which it is not (at least not they way they choose to address it) – it's about squashing competition for content and internet access so they can have free reign to gouge their customers.

      The real solution to their not-enough-profit problem would be that everyone pays for cable, video on demand and $60 a month for internet just to check their email.

    • Because in a few years, theses 2% users will be theses 50% user. Think about it, the concept used by Bell and Rogers is make light user still pay the same, make heavy users pay more and wait medium users to become heavy user on what Rogers and Bell call too much (25GB in Ontario)

    • Because it is like a shell game where the big ISP's have hidden the pea… they are using slight of hand to try and convince others that heavy users are the problem when there really is no problem… please remember, the one and only law a corporation is bound by is to increase its profits and they will lie, cheat, swindle and steal, they will literally do ANYTHING to succeed at that goal… morals and integrity vanished when corporations were created

    • "The solution is simple:
      Identify the 2% users and charge them extra. The contract should say:
      "ISP reserves the right to charge extra for the 2% of the the heaviest users …….."
      Why put 100% of the users on usage because of the 2%?"

      Well then, you should also be saying to the 98% remaining, "As a light user we will be refunding you $20 this month since it cost us only 2.5 cents per gigabyte to deliver the 20 you have used this month, that is only fair."

      Nah, I guess not. Let's carefully hide our costs and pretend we do this for 'competitive reasons'…

      Man, some people are so ill-informed…

  124. How about the fact that Bell's tool for estimating your bandwidth was incorrect sometimes up to 50%. Bell had to go back to vendor who did the software to get that fixed, who knows if it's fixed now.

  125. Keep the posts coming my fellow Canadians! Make sure you let all your friends, neighbors & families know about this atrocity they call modern journalism.

    And while your at it folks you should all sign the 'Stop The Meter petition' – http://openmedia.ca/meter … LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!!!

  126. Another "opinion" article from a magazine owned by Rogers. Pathetic.

  127. It seems to me that Macleans is compromised due to conflict of interest, being owned by the companies it argues in favour of. Who's the author of this article? some anonymous group of Macleans editors?

  128. Be sure of one thing..it's about greed. It's time to open the floodgates and let competition come in from all over the world. The old days are gone and it's time for our own little revolution of sorts. Get out of our wallets bell and rogers! And stay out. We won't be dictated to by a bunch of money hungry investory who want a greater return on investment. The internet is bigger than you so if you want out get out..i bet we find some one to replace you. If implementing this would cost your investors money that it wouldn't get back the public wouldn't hear a peep out of you. So put all the spin on it you want but we all know it's about money, greed and power. It's got nothing whatsoever to do with fairness.

  129. This article smells of crap!

  130. "The average Canadian Internet user consumes approximately 16 gigabytes of data per month. By contrast, the heaviest users, who comprise just two per cent of the total."

    "As a result of wild online outcries from the heaviest users and their Internet service provider"

    So, if half a million people signed an online petition against this, and %2 of the entire population is around half a million people, then according to macleans every single "heavy user" in canada signed the petition.

    I would have to say that that is very impressive.

  131. Please support your many statements here. Where have you gleaned there for "popular conceit that everything about the Internet should be free?" I haven't read of anyone clamoring for a free internet, just fairness in pricing and tiering. *Everyone* today pays for internet access, and there already is tiered pricing as per your bandwidth allocation.

    Also, you state "Billions of dollars of private capital have been invested in building and maintaining Canada's high-speed Internet network" yet do not balance this with the fact that millions/billions in revenues have been collected over the years for use of that infrastruture (nor the fact that a portion of that was initially paid for by taxtpayers). Why did you decided not to mention that none of the primary ISPs are losing money and are in fact deriving growing revenues from their ISP services? Does your portrayal seem fair and balanced?

    One of the main disagreements of the porposed usage-based billing plans is the unfairness of pricing … that the per gigabyte rates skyrocet astronomically from the norm established by the base packages, surprisingly (or not) at the higher usage ranges that would be breach by those who decided to take up competitive services such as Netflix.

    By the same logic, perhaps owners of SUVs should pay more than the average person per litre of gas because they use so much of it.

    Finally, let's not forgot the bottom line on this issue: our country's future wellbeing depends on internet access and the internet economy – the time has come for it must be seen as a utility.

    Ps: Network capacity is mostly a static thing – the ISPs design a certain capacity into their network and their clients either use it or not – thus the costs are fixed so extra usage does not incur extra costs but rather impact on the remaining capacity, something that should have been catered to (i.e. planned for) by the summation of all clients contract amounts (else then the argument is that the ISPs have oversold their services).

    Ps: On the statement of '"It's always been you pay more for the speed not the quantity" that has never been true … if your service is a month of 1MBps then that is a quantity – 1Mb (roughly 100KB) per second every second of the month which is 100KB x 3600 x 24 x ~31 which gives you a quantity.

  132. They should certainly discount people who download less, but not increase the price for people who use more. Rogers&co make MORE THAN ENOUGH MONEY.

  133. Nothing in this world is free.

    Someone who is getting something for free is being subsidized by others. Judging by the abuse from other countries which have contributed absolutely nothing to the information superhighway, it may be time, although I do not like it, to charge a fee for countries to access other countries website, and penalize countries that breach international laws.

    I can't tell you how many people I know that have been scammed in one form or another from nigerians. The nigerian government has done nothing to stop scammers from ruining people's lives overseas because it sees it as a source of foreign income.

  134. let verizon and at&t in. i am tired of canadian content ripping me off. The next step is satelite and there is no way for the government to stop that. Its a joke that we even have a crtc. They actually set the price and business model for canadian internet. I want a real choice. Bring int he Americans.

    • Hate to say it but satelite has already been controled… it was not to many years ago that Bell cried about Canadians using Amarican satelite services and the CRTC put an end to that right smartly… people had there dishes removed and companies who set up the non-canadian dishes were charged.

  135. this is a disgrace. shouldn’t there be a tagline <> above this article??

  136. hogwash hogwash hogwash

  137. Trying to get Canadians' right of Free Speech controlled are you?

    This must be a Pro-Globalist website?

  138. Nice try, Rogers. You're not fooling anyone. Bell has absolutely no proof that GAS customers are the sole reason for network congestion, nor have they proven that they are experiencing any congestion at all! My ISP purchases enough bandwidth from Bell to support their users. If there's no congestion at that link, then I highly doubt there's any at all. You are afraid of Netflix. Just admit it.

  139. Deleted in under a minute. Guess we must be hitting a nerve!

  140. Hey, wanker administrator, getting a little hot under the collar aren't you? Lapdog wanker

  141. Nobody is suggesting that the Internet should be free. What we are saying – VERY LOUDLY – is that we are already paying far more than "enough" for any reasonable amount of bandwidth.

    We already pay more for Internet connectivity than just about anyone else on planet Earth. To have UBB rammed down our throats is totally unacceptable.

  142. I rarely read anything in MacLeans, because I know it will be total nonsense. This article fits right in with that!

  143. I'm so angry right now about just about every thing going on in this country….am I the only one who has stopped laughing, we are losing are rights daily and the media encourages arms reach entities that answer too know one…shameful.

    • What do you expect. Shaw owns Global Television, Bell owns CTV, Rogers own MacLean’s. And for about the past decade CBC has had sponsored news reports (i.e. commercials). The news media is filled with corporate agendas. It’s not surprising that so many people hear are complaining about their comments being deleted. It is just a reflection of the larger picture.

  144. Also don't forget everyone that the signal is repeated and amplified in the modem using the USER power outlet then the power sent back to the Telcos to be redistributed to the other users.

    So the heavy users give the most electric power to the Telcos.

  145. “not free” as in “not free beer”, not as in “not free speech”?

    The editorial staff of Macleans (the propaganda division of Rogers Communications) have hereby resoundingly declared that they are bereft of even one single iota of any kind of journalistic integrity whatsoever. Furthermore they have irrefutably demonstrated themselves to be nothing more than sock puppets of the cartel/oligopoly, (I will let the choice be yours).

    This botch-up is a perfect illustration of the nature of the garbage polluting the internet that makes high bandwidth necessary, and not coincidentally this pollution is brought to you free of charge by Rogers Communications.

  146. As Editors of a Magazine, I feel embarrassed for you.

    Your article flounders in attempting to convey a point, as it is apparent you completely misunderstand the discussion.

    I suggest you write less and research more.

  147. "NO" to limited Internet!!!
    Just another impingement of human freedom…

  148. What a pathetic article which total misses the point regarding UBB!

    The simple point is that both Bell/Rogers wants to control the pipe (or the funnel) to stream their media content to you and thus keeping competitors like NetFlix out which flies against the competition policies in place! Control the pipe or control the toll therefore you control your territory for revenue – and the CRTC agrees with this??? How anti-competitive is this; how backward minded is this article and what an abuse of media manipulation to get their point across! More so what a sham – conflict of interest may I add!!

  149. amazing that I find this on the internet maybe MacLeans should remember that they are required to have both sides of the story not just what their parent company wants them to write about.I mean really it is Ok for them to own FIDO but not Ok to have another cell company operate in Canada that is open about their major stockholders being foreign but not them talk about hypocrisy at it's best

  150. We are ranked in a very low rated line of slow speeds and rankedas one of the highest paying customers for next to no usage limit….. In the world. You have no say in this matter. Your owned by Rogers.

  151. The real motive behind this change is Rogers, Shaw and Bell trying to protect there Cable and Sattelite corprate intrests, this kind of change would shutdown Netflixs and other streaming video providers as the cost of downloading videos would be cost prohibitive.

    They are try to mantain there Oligarchy nothing more. Harper is on the right track, stifling

  152. Stifling competition is what coperations alway try to do, it is good for buisness but bad for Canadians, good for Harper for sticking up for the people he serves instead of Corprate interests.

  153. If I can report Abuse, I would report that this article is an Abuse!

  154. This article is just wrong!
    I will never again purchase your magazine!

  155. You guys getting all that data usage….kiss my #%%, perhaps you should be like most and not be so damn greedy. Living outside the network, urban area, we get what we can get. As usual, the guys using as much as they can to get "their monies worth" are the biggest whiners. I do hope, if it happens, that the ones using the most…pay through the nose. Now that is fair! Like hydro, we pay at peak times, long distance or local calls are also dominated by times….so what could the difference be. Step back and let us all enjoy the net and the little bandwith we do get. As far as being free, I wonder where my monthly payment is going then.

    • Brilliant I wish, lets create another comodity that they can charge us out the nose for, next they will meter our TV instead of a monthly fee cause some ppl watch more. Canada already pays far higher internet fees then almost all of the G8 countries, the providers in Canada have formed a Cartel to keep prices high and stiffle competition. If you dont like the service you recieve in the middle of nowhere then move stop whining.

    • No one told you to build your home in the middle of nowhere.

      The reality is that rural Internet users have been benefiting from capital investments funded by surcharges on city user's telephone bills for years now, and that was a DIRECT subsidy, ordered by the CRTC – so don't get all whiny because of a lifestyle choice you made. If you want to live in the country, then get used to the fact that YOU have chosen what services you have access to as a function of that decision. Want big city services? Then live in the city and commute to your farm.

      In fact, considering the argument being made by MacLean's rather biased (to put it mildly) editors , how can you be in support of UBB when the reality is that we should be making you pay $2 per kilowatt hour for your power to cover the true cost of delivering power to YOU!! The rallying call should be 'make the remote users pay – it costs a lot more to service them!!' – and THAT is a quantifiable number you could take to the bank.

    • This isn't about charging that 2% of users that are file sharing and running servers off their home internet connection. This is all about is protectionism – stifling the growth in Internet TV services like Netflix, AppleTV, GoogleTV etc, which threaten to take revenue away from Bell, Rogers, Telus et al.

      And what's wrong with using 100% of what you pay for anyway? What you're suggesting is like renting a house and living in the garage.

    • Wow, what an uneducated comment… I would have to guess that that 2% you are thrashing about live in areas where they can get connection speeds which enable them to use what they do… you, back in the sticks are not affected by this 2% even if (which is a lie by the way) what they use had any negative impact on the network… your education seems to be on par with your zip code

    • In the US, rural providers offer pretty fast service in much of the reasonably populated non-metro countryside for competitive prices. And the US government is now vastly expanding that with cash infusions to serve areas for-profit companies ignore. I don't see Ottawa doing that. Don't get mad at city dwellers.

      As a former cable / telecom marketer, I can assure you that it gets unprofitable to serve areas once a certain low population density is reached. Perhaps Barrett Xplore will offer WiMax wireless service in your area in the future: http://www.telegeography.com/cu/article.php?artic

      That said, Canadian rural dwellers are in the same boat as many Americans:
      Digital Age Is Slow to Arrive in Rural America http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/us/18broadband….

  156. The Conservative government knows exactly what you corporate pigs are up to…and what it means for consumer/Canadian satisfaction and how that translates into votes.

    As for Mr Von Fyourself stein…I think we know who is going to be paying for his children's education now (or that fattys retirement)… ..for giving the pigs the go ahead…

  157. Whats not fair is the thousands of users in rural canada who only get 28.8k dialup and are forced to pay the same price as those in town who get 56k dialup. Either give rural areas 56k or drop the price by half. Thats what fair is.

    • Well, you can get a 3G connection most places with a cell connection but oh well, cell is not regulated by the CRTC except that they have the right it would seem to kill a provider who does not have enough Canadian ownership SO even when you can get the service you will pay through the nose for it… same companies, same networks, difftent rules… gota love how the CRTC is acting in the best interest of average Canadians… NOT

    • Sorry you are limited this way. I was too, until two years ago and I got UNLIMITED BROWSER on my cell phone. Would not 'upgrade' at any cost, because such plans don't exist anymore. With proper software you could use it as a modem without being robbed blind with the $50 PER MEGABYTE that surely appears "fair" to Bell… Robberry and Racketeering are mild words to characterize this company's business model !

  158. The internet shouldn't be free? Well, how about the massive tax holidays given corporations like Shaw & Rogers & such like in order to make them competitive? How about the massive capital subsidies given them from the public purse in order to finance their expansion. The internet isn't free. We've paid for it & now we want a return on our investment.

    Ian

  159. Note it says, "By the editors" because no self respecting reporter would put their name on this crap. Rogers wrote this and said, your publishing this or else. Only proving why we need to break up these companies. Oligopoly Canadian crap yet again. These companies should not be allowed to own so much of the media we consume. The news we consume. You can try to bury this news story but the people are already educated and we use twitter to contact our politicians we don't need you. Welcome to losing all your power. Welcome to the new world. Thank god netflix came in, so they can't spout that we are all criminals downloading.

  160. Time to nationalize the internet as a "right" and an Essential Service. Vote for me. Rogers already has me in their back pocket (damn dark & stinks). Will change my tune once elected & give them DOUBLE what they wanted.

    Populace? WTF? WGAS, I live in a Crystal Palace!
    sick of it. not buying another f'n thing from these (&other) shysters
    BOYCOTT NOW!

  161. This statement about how only a small percent, and I will quote here, “the heaviest users, who comprise just two per cent of the total, gobble up hundreds of gigs on a monthly basis.” Shows then that it only takes 2 % of the entire internet using population to slow our,”Canada’s” internet down. It also then means, if we take it further, that our infrastructure has limited to no growth potential unless internet use is curbed and the only way they can do that is charge more and allow less usage, IE UBB. To use this ploy that the rest of Canadians are helping the heavy users is just spin. came within 90% of my cap 2 months ago when I had 3 hard drives go bad on me, never buy Seagate! Just the reinstalling of Windows 7 and its updates plus the 5 games I have from Steam put me close to 80 gigs. Thats when i realized how bad having a cap was.
    The max speed in Canada for download from any of the big 3 is 25Mbs and I highly doubt anyone is hitting that speed. That is a speed limit, you can not go past that even if you wanted to, but with this speed you just get to your cap faster. Why not lower the max speed and offer unlimited? It is simple math, so much down per second times 30 days and bam thats your cap. Charge a rate that is exceptable and you are done. None of this silly UBB. I don’t understand why unlimited is such a bad term in this Country. I would pay $99/month for the speed I have now and unlimited downloads. I am sure many more would too. It’s a good idea that I just don’t understand why Rogers, Bell, and Telus can’t get their heads around.

    • The problem is, the speeds your internet is sold at are never achievable due to the contention ratio of the number of other people in your neighbourhood using the same infrastructure. There was a big row in the UK over this a few years ago, so much so that they can no longer advertise "unlimited" broadband as it is always limited in some way. Hence you wont get Roger, Telus or Bell offering $99 for unlimited downloads as they just can't provide that service, even though they advertise as such. This would also be their argument for introducing UBB.

      However the UK has realised that paying for internet usage would kill the internet economy over there, so their solution is to allow ISP's to throttle content from specific providers e.g. Sky could pay a a big ISP, say Virgin, millions to deliver their content faster than their competitors, say the BBC. This would then mean certain ISPs would have a content bias, being able to control content by throttling other sites.

      This, in theory will allow more ISPs to appear in the market place and more money being exchanged between content provider and network provider – a new market. It should allow consumers to then chose the ISP with the content bia they prefer. In practice, it seems likely that Sky (owned by Murdoch) could eventually buy out smaller ISP companies and control media delivery.

      The UK solution is not a nice proposition, as it has all sorts of implications for media freedom. However, it still means UK consumers should get to download as much as they like without an increase in price. It may even reduce prices offered to consumers.

      If only Canada had the ability to explore options like that, which could benefit consumers, without being stifled by legislation that favours an oligopoly. Yet is seems Canada has already passed over the threshold of media freedom and most of what we get to watch is already controlled in subtle ways (disguised as market forces) by Bell, Rogers, Telus and the CTRC.

      • if 2% of the internet users can clog the pipe….I'm sorry, your pipe is too damn small to begin with.

        This is absolutely 100% without a shadow of a doubt a self-protectionist issue.

        • So Jesse, what is your proposal for funding the construction of a bigger pipe? Should everyone pay more for their service or should the folks driving the highest demand pay for it?

          When you look at the ADSL technology used by the phone companies to provide broadband it has been upgraded 5 times in the last 10 years. So roughly every two years, the access network needs to be upgraded with new technology – who should pay for that?

          • Robert, WHAT Canadian telco corporate-generated crapola are you reading? I just responded to more of your misinformation in another thread. I laughed at the "5 times over 10 years drivel.

            DSL is held to maximums due to the technology; the farther away from the phone company's central office, the lower the speed. Cable broadband is not held to that law of physics. There has been next to nil "upgrading" of the last-mile twisted wire pair in Canada, unlike the US, where there has been much investment in fibre to the home (Verizon, for instance). Canadians paid for much of this last-mile over decades, supplemented by government investment, suburb property developers and high long distance rates.

  162. Interesting that Maclean’s happens to be owned by Rogers Communications, a company that is strongly in favour of UBB (because it increases their profit margin immensely). With yellow journalism like that offered by Rogers Communications, we don’t need the Conservative Party to change the laws to allow fraudulent news reporting. With Canada’s current laws there is already enough leeway to allow bogus information to be presented as fact.

  163. What a joke. Now I recall why I never bother with this rag of a magazine. Listen to your corporate overlords Macleans tells us, its for your own good really.

  164. Consumer internet access has been "unlimited" in the US for both mobile (read AT&T) and home internet (numerous providers like RoadRunner etc.) for years. Also, many cities have FREE city wide (municipal sponsored) wifi.

    We should learn from our cousins from the south.

  165. Thanks for the interesting read. I hope it will be the last time I have propoganda force fed to me. Next time I am in a Doctors office I am going for the Vogue instead of the Maclean's.

    Hmm, I dont even know who I am mad at the most after reading this. A few points I can make I suppose.

    I see these companies, who are solely in it to fatten there wallets, who have no respect for there customers. Where are the customer service, the bond, the loyalty to the cosumer, the customers.. (crickets)

    Bell has to be one of the most disliked companies ever to date. There the worst of all I have had to deal with for gouging the wallet, socking it to the man (or woman) Its kind of hard to imagine that they are oblivious to the fact that most people do not want to deal with them because of there greed, there lack of loyalty, there corporate ways. Cogeco, Bell, Rogers, and others are no better or worse from one another. What choice do we have though? Its not like we Canadians have a way to embargo them. They are for the most part, all intertwined with one another. I totally subscribe to Netflix because of my utter total disgust of Bell and Cogeco. I go with Xplornet for my internet out of spite, but my money still finds a way into people pockets that I dont want it going to. It is not a surprise they tried to lobby this premeditated rape of consumers wallets. I didnt even flinch… so knew it was coming. They'll rework it, and find a sneaky way to impose there fee's, there profits. After all, its not like we Canadians have a real competitor we can go to.

    The CRTC is no better, whos in bed with who? Time to disband the CRTC people.

  166. You just made me waste me waste my bandwidth reading this junk. I want a refund!!

  167. Rogers has "ACCIDENTALLY" over billed me several times. They are crooks. One day I am under my limit, the next I go online and check my usage and somehow I am 10GB over, even though I didn't download anything. Bell does this also, and even admitted it in an article I read last week.

    • I couldn't tell how many times Rogers "ACCIDENTALLY" over billed me, the average was at least 4 times per year! Could you imagine if you as their customer "ACCIDENTALLY" forgot to pay them… there would be hell to pay by their collections dept.!

      The sad thing is many people let them (Bell/Rogers) get away with over billing because many don't question their bill, they just pay it. I believe they (Bell/Rogers) play the averages to see what percentage of customers they can scam!

      If I as a small business owner try that, I'd be heavily fined and jailed almost immediately, they can get away with it without even a slap on the wrist, they get reported because they have deep pockets to persuade outcomes to their advantage!

      It makes me sick to my stomach!

  168. hmm, Rogers owns Macleans, Macleans writes an article supporting somthing that would boost their profit.

    i personally think that there shiuld be laws against this sort of thing. I’m writing this to say good bye to your magazine forever.

    how about for fair chsnges we charge people on how fast they want their data?

    big users wiill clump their data usage together and charging per GB will not solve this, introduce speed limits if an ISP cant afford to let users download at x mB per sec then dont offer it. They are getting into a numbers war, claiming x mB per second when they cant sustain it should be against the law as well, dont sell me 10 mB a sec if i can never achieve that speed. this way people who want to use netflix etc can buy the speed they need and forget about bandwidth – and cancel their TV.

  169. For those who would open the door to foreign investment;

    Remember that the Conservative & Liberal governments have shipped almost all of our factory jobs overseas and most of the lower end call centre and other positions are history as well. Free trade has not been the panacea the government has promoted it to be and it has had a huge negativce impact on our social welfare system.

    Opening the door to foreign investment will accelerate the pace of job attrition;

    Perhaps better control over pricing (in other words limit the margins that a Telco can make to something reasonable AND force them to make the investments necessary, while limiting their access to international labour pools) may be a better solution – but we need to get this big-corporation bias out of the regulators and make the players honest.

    Alternatively, maybe we should just nationalise the network and make Bell & Telus compete solely on the basis of providing services like the small independents do? It doesn't work well in many countries, but maybe we could make it work here. I also think we might want to nationalise 'big oil' while we're at it, but that's a topic for another day. Think of the $billions in profits that could either be saved by us – or applied to reducing our national debt?

    If the Telcos MUST be allowed to charge their usurious rates, then let the government tax all the profits away and eliminate all of those fat corporate tax benefits so we can see our personal taxes reduced and our national debt reduced at the same time.

    • Simple solution… force any company who provides a service in Canada to provide support for that service in Canada… another words, give something back to the people who are purchasing your service in the way of jobs so you can actually afford to by their service… allow all the jobs to go overseas and no one will be able to afford anything because the only jobs left will be low paying service industry jobs which are by in large also going to immigrants because they are the only ones willing (ignorant / scared enough) to be abused by unscrupulous employers… what a fine kettle of fish we have ourselves

  170. I applaud the government for forcing the CRTC to review its decision concerning internet usage based billing rates. The review shouldn't stop there, but go back to the basic model of the entire rate structure.

    The American model of billing for speed rather than volume is closer to reality than the 'utility meter' based model the providers would rather charge by. Bell's recent take down of its own 'internet meter' system would indicate bandwidth measurement may not be as reliably measured as say other utility products such as natural gas, propane gas, fuel oil, water and electricity.

    Never have I been charged by Bell for making too many local phone calls. Say I make 1 single phone call in a one month billing period. I pay $ 25.00. If I make hundreds or thousands of calls in the one month billing period, I pay $ 25.00 dollars. I've never heard of UBB for heavy local phone call usage or for that fact ever heard complaints from any telco regarding this issue.

    To me' the only fair billing methodology for consumers would be fixed rate billing packages based on speed not volume as in the USA. Lowest priced package is the slowest speed while the highest price package is the fastest speed. The American telcos have experimented with UBB trials but the American consumer is just not amenible to that.

    Hopefully a really fair system of internet delivery and billing comes out of this review.

    • George;

      Some of your assertions require research – most people in the US do have caps – but what Americans have is the ability to make a choice – and true competition keeps many of the prices reasonable. And flat rate local calling is an area where there has been significant debate . . . the underlying concepts between UBB and flat rate telephony, and such are not the same; For example, you pay for your phone service based on how much calling you make 'out of area'. Heck, that inter-city network is there whether you use it or not, so you might ask why should we be paying for long distance . . . The analogy is interesting, but doesn't quite fit.

      Consider that the ONLY reason the government is forcing the review is that more than 400,000 of us have been screaming at the top of their lungs and there is likely an election coming.

      The Conservatives would likely lose their minority position if they didn't 'do' something, especially after the NDP and then the Liberals picked up the gauntlet and challenged the decision. Keep in mind that Clement is the poser who is pushing the new Canadian DMCA and was the very last to step up in support of the UBB cause.

      The Conservatives are not the Canadian taxpayer's friends and in fact are the puppets of big business . . . . why else would corporate taxes be going down as our deficit has been climbing?.

  171. This reads more like a press release for your "parent company" than a serious piece on the subject.

    Before we concern ourselves with the need for extra costs, we should first establish if there is an actual issue, or if this is simply a money grab to plug a hole created by NetFlix.

  172. Essentially with this UBB plan, they (Bell/Rogers) are charging consumers for internet content they do not own, nor have the sole copyrights too!

    The internet is basically like a pipe, we SHOULD be charged for how fast the content get to us, NOT for how much content we receive. If the pipe is NOT large enough for everyone to get their content at the same time, then lower the speed per individual or charge a premium for higher speeds.

    • . . . . if the pipe isn't big enough, then build a bigger pipe, rather than pocketing those extreme profits.

      • True enough, it's not like they're short of funds!

    • And how much content is forced on us… just watched a video on MSN related to "Rogers Communications Q4 Earnings" and was forced to watch an advertisment before the video I wanted started… and how many times I have mistakenly mouse over an advertisement and had the thing jump out and take over my entire screen with no way I can find to shut it off and when almost every page is 2/3 advertisments you really have a hard time avoiding them and every one eats into your usage limit… it is like having only one company providing you with water and you having to pay by the cup but the only way to get that single cup of water is to stand under a waterfall being billed for every cup that falls wheather you get to drink any of it or not.

  173. A shameless Op-Ed article attributed to "the editors". How pathetic.

  174. The issue for me is we are viewing this item from within our borders and we need to look at this issue more globally.

    If we take this appproch we will make ourselves MUCH LESS COMPETITIVE globally. The internet and internet access is not something we should restrict as we will find ourselves doing without many many services and offerings that become available to those countries that don't do these types of restrictions.

    The world is going to cloud computing that is a fact. Netflix is an example of a cloub computing offering. Services such as this will eventually totally eliminate movie rental stores.

    UTube, facebook, google, ebooks are other technology examples of changes as a result of the internet. Who can guess what the next one can be. The point is there will be many many others in the next few years. Can we allow these not to be offered or created in Canada as a result of short sited profit greed issues by Roger and Bell ??

    Have a look at this http://tinyurl.com/4cqn3e6
    and get an idea where the world is going and then tell me how restricting internet make s sense in Canada ??

  175. Hi , this article is writen by Rogers ! , UBB will never get put into place, write that down on your fridge !

    Rogers Publishing Limited, which has more than 70 consumer and business publications. Rogers Media Inc. also owns 54 radio stations, and several television properties including terrestrial television stations and cable television channels.

    • It is regrettably in place. Look at your ISP's detailed coverage plan. It will show that if you use over a certain limit you will have to pay more for your use. This is a disgusting fact.

    • Hate to say it BUT one way or the other these corporate crooks will get what they want unless people do a lot more than vent their frustration in blogs like this… we need to take to the streets if need be, force the gov to end the CRTC, make it against the law for service providers to have any financial interest in content of any kind AND regulate how much can be charged for access to the network such that the company or gov agency that controls it has enough to keep the network growing and improving but this agency should have a ZERO profit mandate, let the content providers duke it out for what they can make… if they are competitive they will make it, if not… their problem

  176. I used to work for Macleans, as did my father and sister. I used to work on and read the magazine each month. It is a sad day when Macleans has to bow to ROGERS by putting out this terrible article. In that I mean that why do you have to attack a person instead of the issue?

    Using ad hominem procedures to bend an audience towards your viewpoint, or shall we say, Rogers corporate stance, is a old trick but unfortunately still works and you know it does.

    These types of attacks demonstrate poor journalism at the very least. You announced "As a result of wild online outcries from the heaviest users" which made Harper "quickly" make a "hastY" decision is what you lead one to believe.

    The fact is that I complained about Rogers and Bell wanting to control the Internet (and we know the real reason TV broadcasting is fading and so are TV commercial revenue), I twitted about it, I FBed about it, and I signed petitions, and I AM NOT A HEAVY USER.

    Please try and stick to facts and not present us with an attack ad of sorts.

    thanks,

    Gregory West
    gregory@lambtonshield.com

  177. I encountered download limits and throttling when I lived in Australia and it sucks, especially when you receive an email 2 weeks in to the month that you have reached 90% of your download limit. Some users were being charged outrageous amounts for exceeding their monthly limit.
    I'd like to see the 2% heavy users be throttled from 6 AM to 10 PM but be allowed full throttle during the overnight period.

  178. I encountered download limits and throttling when I lived in Australia and it sucks, especially when you receive an email 2 weeks in to the month that you have reached 90% of your download limit. Some users were being charged outrageous amounts for exceeding their monthly limit.

  179. Telecoms shouldn't be allowed to own media outlets, it makes for too many propaganda pieces like this. First the fluff journalism that quotes the former head of the CRTC as being on the telecom's side without mentioning she now manages a telecom portfolio and now a pro-Rogers piece by a rag that Rogers owns

  180. I feel your pain Ma Bell and Mr. Rogers! No matter that you have astronomical mobile phone rates and that you're already making a killing; to have your ability to milk Canadians for ever more money on ever thinner pretenses thwarted is an intolerable insult. The sky ought to be the limit, nay deep space!

  181. the only answer as i see it . open the doors and let in the boys from the us and europe.. maybe they can offer us here in canada something we've been promised but still haven gotten… competiton. let the customers drive the pricing..NOT an OLIGOPOLY.

    and i totally agree if Mc cleans is going to do an op/ed…start by stating you're owned by the subject of your piece.

  182. Hey the only thing they will understand is being fired.. If enough people step away from their criminal business plan they will get the message..

    Let see the average user at 16 gigs a month at 10 cents a gig.. Thats $1.60 sold for 50 bucks..
    or
    200 gigs a month at 10 cents a gig.. Thats 20 bucks sold for 50..

    Its the so called average user thats being ripped off..

    Protecting the average user are they..

    I just fired them and will be supporting the small ISPs from now on…

  183. The one sided slant of this article tells the tale of political based journalism. If UBB were about fairness rather rather than corporate gouging, there wouldn’t have been a2000% markup involved. We also wouldn’t Jane the highest cellular rates or criminal cable packages. Who exactly was paid off within thre CRTC anyhow?

  184. This is such a false argument, written by Bell. Nobody is asking for the internet to be free.

  185. This is not reporting. It is spin doctoring. How an editor would let such a one sided diatribe full of opinions and metaphors instead of facts says much about Macleans's biases. You are an ad man not a reporter.

    Independents pay for last mile access. Not interenet access. They pay for internet thorughput themselves on their own fiber from the demark point. To charge independents for bandwidth over the last mile is simply wrong. There is no congestion there.

    Please also note that the price for sending a GB over the internet is now down to 3c including all overhead and maintenance. It was only 12c in 2003. Oddly actual facts are missing from this press release. Your overlords will be pleased.

  186. Note to self: Never read Maclean's again. Love how no author is attributed. This is obviously a puff pieces ordered by Rogers, the owners of Macleans. Heck, scroll down to the bottom of this page and see the big fat rogers logo.

    No journalistic integrity at all. Not even researched, just taking whatever Rogers and Bell says as face value without even verifying it. Disgusting.

  187. i remember them jacking up the price for so called future improvements.. Fiber optics and our grand future of 16 gigs a month with caps.. I cant really say the improvements had anything to do with the consumer..

    Think tanks and business plans.. The corner office in the billion dollar company.. Divide and conquer politics business plans..

    The light users paying a 3 to 5000% mark up are fooled into thinking the people paying a 300% markup are the bad guys.. When in fact they are the example..

    The power of advertising and vested opinions has the sheep fighting for their 3000% mark up.. Because other people use more and think a 300% mark up is fair..

    its insane and clear indication what happens when billion dollar companies unleash a political campaign in defense of their monopoly.. SHEEP and that special feeling of using less and paying more..

  188. Is anyone surprised that a rogers owned magazine is releasing such GARBAGE editorials????

    yeah, maybe I'll cancel my subscription to macleans if this is the crap getting produced.

  189. This article ignores two key points: 1. industry experts have estimated that the cost of downloading 1GB of data is between 1 and 3 cents, far less than the 1 to 5 dollars being charged by the telcos; 2. the telcos own TV services that are in direct competition with online streaming video. It is painfully obvious that Bell, Rogers, Shaw, etc, are using low download caps and punitively high usage fees to prevent people from adopting new streaming video technologies that compete with their traditional services, a clear violation of the Competition Act.

    It is inaccurate to claim that the online outcry has only come from the heaviest users. I’ve been living under a 25GB cap for several years now without ever going over, but I signed the petition against UBB and I will continue to speak out against it because I don’t want the anti-competitive behaviour of the telcos to prevent innovation in Canada.

  190. Its not worth another keystroke.. i went up a notch in performance to extreme and have a 300 gig a month cap for 42 dollars a month..

    I had the 60 gig cap before that cost me 90 bucks a month.. Yes the family has pushed me into the power user zone.. That is if you can call 100 or so gigs a month (power user)..

    One ring to rule them all calibrated to the single user..

    The deal is at 10 cents a gig ( fair guess) my new plan offers a hefty 25%+ profit margin for my new ISP.. We are both happy.. Can you say the same?

    • what plan? what company?

  191. The central fallacy of this article– and, in fact, usage-based billing is that heavy usage is a matter of amount of data transferred– as if it were a finite resource, some worker at the end of the line shoveling gigabytes out of a minecart into the great fire, where their essence is vaporized and transferred into the great ether, and from there to customers. It is highly disappointing, albeit unsurprising, to see people with no knowledge of the subject writing on it.

    The internet does not work this way. Traffic congesition is caused by *transfer speed*, which *is* finite, as opposed to total data transferred, which is infinite.

  192. Impartial News? Hardly. Macleans has been owned by Rogers since 1994. You cannot trust people to write an impartial article anymore – you have to read between the lines all the time. What a joke of a country we live in.

  193. With this article you have proven why Maclean`s will never be relevant to younger consumers.

  194. Wow.

    I've bought a lot of issues of MacLean's over the years and for the most part considered it a good source of Canadian information. Not only will I not be purchasing another issue of MacLean's, now I have to question what other lies or misinformation has the magazine passed along to me in the past, and to who's benefit?

    Very disappointing.

  195. This article is utter tripe. No surprise that Macleans is owned by Rogers.
    Looks like the Rogers propaganda machine is in full swing.

    The editors should be ashamed of themselves for publishing this, but they won't be. Although they should realize that they're nothing but tools for Rogers shareholders.

    All credibility that Macleans had has now completely evaporated. Consider my subscription CANCELLED.

    • I have worked for companies that provided stock options as part of pay… I have to wonder if the Rogers group does this as it would explain the article as well as anything else… Rogers does good, they get paid more.

  196. LOL.. The average user at 16 gigs is using $1.60 worth of delivery a month.. Sold for 50 bucks..
    What a special bunch of twits following around those annoying Rogers teenagers..

    The average user should be paying $9.99 a month.. and the power users 50 dollars..

    The debate (if there is even one) is turned on its ear by a billion dollar company..
    The bad guy is the average user willing to pay a 3000% mark up.. Everything after that is tainted RED..

    Advertising, vested interest and the eco herd thinking has a obscene mark up sold as the only fair choice..

    Let in the American ISPs and lets get a taste of their free market politics.. or let the Canadian Government take over our ISP business at a 200% profit mark up..

    We deserve far better goods and service from our ISPs..

  197. The CRTC is putting a service fee on top of access. If the CRTC was to make it truly "fair" then everyone should get a basic speed, 15Mbps or so, and that should be free. Then there should be a rate per 10Gib, not one. This would provide fair and complete coverage for everyone. The charge should not be basic coverage plus overhead. Look at electricity for a good example.

    Usage based internet is wrong. Even my above example is not good.

    MaCleanes, you should be ashamed of your self for writing this article.

  198. Come on Bell & Rogers, how much money is enough for you guys? You already dominate the market. Your competition is minuscule and your returns are through the roof. This is just a bunch of corporate a**holes trying to justify their multi-million dollar pay-checks by coming up with new ways to squeeze every dollar out of the consumer as possible just so they can go to their board meetings and say they ACTUALLY did something for the past year… it's absurdity.

  199. I'm pleased to see that no one is buying the untruth this article is trying to suggest (written by a Roger's subsidiary).

    It proves the lengths that the big corporations will take to wrong consumers. Fortunately, 20years ago it would have been alot easier for them to succeed with their manipulation of the policy makers. Now, thanks to the Internet, the publics voice (truth) can be heard loud and clear… and it can't be ignored. Thank you Google…. Thank you Twitter…. Thank you Internet.

  200. WORTHLESS, WORTHLESS article by the lapdog pawn "editors" of scumbag parent company Rogers. This hogwash is another good reason why I don't waste my hard earned money on a macleans magazine or on ANY services that funnel money back to Rogers.

  201. Hoopla!!!

    45 a month is plenty to profit from and build an infrastructure. This article is pure BS.

  202. Is this a news article, or a Roger's press release?

  203. Even if UBB was fair, this article doesn’t even touch on the 3000% markup charged when a person goes over their gigabyte allowance. So the companies getting 15% off are still facing almost that same markup.

    Nice try, Rogers.

  204. UBB is bad for consumers and small businesses alike. It preys on people making mistakes, going over their cap and paying significantly for it. Heavy users DO pay more, they buy significantly faster packages so they can upload and download faster. How much more? On Shaw, the top end package Internet package is 6X more expensive than their basic package.

    If anything, the heavy users are subsidizing the light users, the profit margins on their high end packages is not only greater, the average heavy user is less likely to need technical support which reduces the ISP’s expenses even further.

    By the way, for writing such an obvious PR bit for the big telcos (have you seen how many people are against UBB, check out stopthemeyer.ca) this is the LAST time I will ever visit your site or read your magazine. Macleans has lost ALL journalistic & writers integrity.

  205. NEWS FLASH: Macleans is owned by Rogers Communications. FROM WIKIPEDIA: "The magazine has been owned by the Rogers Communications conglomerate since Rogers acquired Maclean-Hunter, the former publisher, in 1994."

  206. This is the article that finally convinced my 72-year old mother to drop her subscription – even she sees the sham.

  207. Subsidizing.. Interesting word.. How can a client paying a 3000% mark up be subsidizing a client paying a 300% mark up..

    Better yet whats being subsidized? A profit margin it seems..

    There is no discount when one is paying a 300% mark up.. This person is carrying their weight times three..
    In what world is that any sort of discount?

    How about I resell you a case of beer for 100 dollars.. Then tell you that your the problem because the average person is willing to pay 20 bucks a beer because they only drink one a month.. Yet a 24 is still 40 bucks..

    The standard 3000% mark up is the problem.. Our industry is in a severe state of decline..

    Tho top end is not the problem.. The bottom end is.. Its not the power user its the average user and the unfair criminal prices they have grown accustomed to paying..

    Now they want to hammer their gold plated template on the entire country..

  208. Do you really think that average users would be protected if CRTC policy was implemented? I think it is naive to think that Telus, Bell, Shaw, wouldn't be incrementally increasing your monthly internet bill and justifying it as usage dependent. It would only be a matter of time before ALL customers would be paying more.

  209. Seriously..? Only the heaviest users will be affected? And it was only those people spoke up about the decision???

    As someone else already said – If you don't know what you're talking about, please stay out of it. Otherwise, you'll end up making yourself look like a complete neophyte (read: moron) – case in point.

  210. Well there goes your credibility MacLeans. This article might be more detrimental to your company than anything else in the past 20 years

  211. Maclean's, you're owned by Rogers. Zero credibility for you on this issue.

  212. As an IT professional I find your article uneducated, suspicious, and downright embarrassing. You are in-correct on a number of issues including the factually incorrect statement that light users subsidize heavy-users. The cost to transfer a gigabyte of data is less then a penny. It's actually nothing, but when you consider the cost of electricity the servers are using, you can, if you want, create some far-reaching argument that it costs something. Mr Burger from TekSavvy stated on CBC it was 3 cents. Even though it was for arguments sake, and it's actually much less, lets look at the data.

    The Average heavy Canadian users pays for a $60 package, with a speed of 10mbps down and 1 up. This comes with normally an 80gb cap and a $2 fee for each gigabyte you go over. At 3 cents a gigabyte, even if you include a 10 percent markup per gigabyte for profit, $60 grants you 1818 gigabytes worth of bandwidth a month. Or, 1.8 terabytes. Under Rogers and Bell's current plans, that would cost a household $3476 a month, including over-fee's. Yet, even with a markup for profit, only cost Rogers and Bell $60 to deliver.

    Why am I using a 10 percent markup? It's simple, because they like to compare bandwidth to limited commodity utilities. Which, again, is another awful argument. Utility companies are heavily regulated, and so are the markups they charge their customers. An 80gb cap, should cost customers around $3. Thats for arguments sake, as $3 actually nets you around 90gb of data, with a 10 percent markup for profit by Rogers and Bell.

    I doubt you will read this, but if you do feel free to check the math done, and contact various ISP's, including Teksavvy for all the information you need. Next time I also suggest you link you sources, as Bell are constantly lying about their numbers, and were recently caught lying about the amount their users go over in bandwidth, costing their customers lots of money. Something, that if done in any other country, would land them in court.

    You also have to ask yourself, if the telecoms in Canada are hurting, then why are they posting some of the largest profits, while offering some of the worst service in the Western world? Maybe I should move to the United Sates to do business where I can get a 25mps down, unlimited cap for $59 a month.

  213. And another thing (coss-posted) —

    If Canada has one of the fastest and most modern networks, doesn't that make it easier to deliver large quantities of data? And doesn't that *deligitimise* usage-based billing? If not, technological advancement is worthless, and if so, you're spinning, spinning, spinning, you lying liars who lie.

  214. Wow this is likely the sleaziest article I've ever read considering the owner of Macleans. This doesn't belong as an "opinion" this doesn't even belong on this site period.

    If they want to talk about the internet, hey why don't we talk about getting it available at the same speed to EVERYONE, they tried to implement that in Nova Scotia and these big companies who "care" so much about "Fairness" were more than a year overdue on their contract and ended up just throwing up mediocre jury rigged internet for rural communities, then took off with our tax-cash with no penalties.

    I trust the weekly world news much more than ill ever trust this site now. Good job editor. Try writing about bat-boy instead.

  215. So where does this op-ed writer live?

    • The writer is little mouse and lives in a side pocket of a giant and is fed little crumbs of bread from his table. Jeez, I would have thought that was obvious…

  216. If any of this was true, why do users have to pay for traffic that they don't use? Why is traffic at 3am priced the same as at primetime? Why is traffic priced differently in different plans?

    More importantly, why are Canada's speeds and rates so bad compared to the rest of the world? We're considered a backwater by everybody else.

    This is a shameless biased editorial in favor of the corporate overlords at Rogers. Shame on you for ever printing it.

  217. Nice job licking the taint of your corporate masters. You also regurgitate their talking points really well.

  218. You should be ashamed of yourselves for putting out such an obvious shill piece for your parent company. The telecommunications companies rake Canadian consumer's over the coals and there is no need for it. Your parent company is part of this wonderful group of companies. There is no need for a cap and there is no justification for it.

  219. So Canadian telcos and cable companies where is your version of Netflix?

    Maybe this has already been pointed out,but one of the problems here is that our telcos and cable companies are also content producers these days and are heavily invested in traditional media. New services like Netflix compete directly with them. Instead of innovating they are trying to protect older models of media consumption, which they own, by playing the metered internet card. What they need to do is be brave enough to create their own competitive services rather than restrict access to new services through price increases and lower caps.

    Look at this article it appears in a magazine that (last time I looked) is owned by one of the major telcos :) so it should be no surprise that it is supportive the telco point of view. Too bad though, editorials like this diminishes my respect for this well once venerable Canadian brand. The editors should have opened by acknowledging who owns their magazine so the reader would understand the bias.

  220. I will never buy a copy of Macleans ever again. Also I saw Andrew Coyne on the At Issue panel on CBC spout the same misinformation.

    Andrew, I was extremely disappointed. I normally see you as very well informed. In this case, you fundamentally failed to understand what UBB is really about, and sounded as if you were repeating someone elses words.

    This is not about bandwidth, this is about Video and other streaming services that compete with the big 3. This is a preemptive move to protect their cartel for TV services.

    Andrew, do yourself a favour and do a little more homework next time. Also, when you look at the drop in your sales figure sin the coming months, remember why that happened.

  221. Haha. So not only has Canada stifled its whole cell/mobile industry by having you pay for substandard phones on 3 year contracts. (these are monthly 1 year contract phones in the UK: http://shop.orange.co.uk/mobile-phones/pay-monthl

    Now the money grabbing oligopoly, that controls its own watchdog (the CTRC) is going to completely stifle new innovations in internet TV by making you pay as you go!

    Fairly soon we will all become heavy users when more internet TV services are available. This proposal will be like Rogers charging for their entire TV service by PPV.

    In short, if you're in the mobile / internet industry: forget Canada as a market, it was small to begin with, but now people will be watching their wallets every time they try to use the latest internet streaming services, it's a wonder that any new aspiring InternetTV company would make any money in Canada. Outside of the controlling influence of Big Four of course.

    And that's where this article comes in. Isn't Macleans owned by Rogers? And isn't this going to be one of many articles attempting to push the idea of pay as you go internet as a good thing, into the national consciousness?

    Until Canada has a completely open market on Telecoms, with a truly independent watchdog, then the biggest loser will always be the Canadian consumer.

    There… rant over.

  222. You're an idiot!

    But I'm not surprised since you're owned by Rogers!

    Look at other countries compared to Canada for God's sake! This is just bringing Canadian's back by years, might as well have dial up internet!

  223. The lies spewed by Bell and Rogers are designed to do one thing first: STOP YOU FROM USING THE INTERNET! So that you are moved toward the least path of resistance toward their own TELEVISION products! Everyone in Canada can see this and knows it in their guts! Even this latest abortion from the Rogers pet publication where they issue the mantra that the 'average user only uses 16GBs' is already over the Rogers 'average' user plan (LITE) of 15GB and already subjected to gross overage charges of $4.50 per GB! So while this apologist propaganda is being propagated Rogers is already rolling in punishment fees! LIES! UNFAIR!

  224. As someone who has spent more time than most tracking this issue from the beginning, I've taken part in my fair share of online discussions in the part few months — be it via email with family, Facebook posts with friends, or forum posts with complete strangers. Having said that, this article is not worth my time in responding to it.

    One word: GARBAGE. Information-seekers, seek elsewhere.

    For the record, I work in information tech, and I understand this domain. It's not a simple aversion to payment. It might sound like a contentless buzzword, but "innovation" is honestly the key (with "competition" as a close second). Do an hour or two of real research and you'll see why.

  225. Perhaps historical analogy with Telephone services can inform the debate as both share the common public policy issue of ensuring universal access at a reasonable price.The historical solution was the creation of a tiered service model in which "basic service" was assured via regulation at reasonable cost.

    Tiered service is really UBB by another name. However, what's missing is a clear definition of "basic internet" service expressed appropiate technical specifications such as bandwidth , usage caps , latency & jitter (by protocol) , and regulatory formula by which Basic service bandwidth and usage caps would be automatically raised over time.

    The fault lies with the CRTC for an uncharacteristically sloppy ruling on UBB. I can't fault the government for intervening- even if for the wrong reason – as the proposed solution is a public policy failure.

    UBB is the right solution, but the proposed answer merits a C- grade.

    • UBB will NEVER be the right solution… splitting the service providers from the content providers and regulating the service such that you pay a flat rate per month, unlimited usage based on connection speeds makes a whole lot more sense.

    • UBB is the right policy… Sure.. When Bell will be charging a REASONABLE markup on its 2.5 cent per GB cost! Where is my check, Bell? Using 25GB this month, I should be paying $50cents or a dollar, NOT the $30 you've been stealing from me every month!

      The whole issue is NOT about UBB, it's about the usual GOUGING by Bell and the industry in general. People like yourself are so used to it you consider that normal!!!

      Wake Up, Man!

  226. Really, the only way Canadians can stop this, is to forget ranting on a blog, save that energy and write a letter to your MLA / MP demanding a deregulated telecoms industry. That may sound scary, but it's one of the few deregulation's in the UK that actually worked well for consumers. Deregulation can't be any worse than the controlling force the media providers have over their consumer's here in Canada.

  227. So their idea of fair is the people paying a 300% mark up should be paying a 3000% mark up..
    Logic seems to have left the room..
    Fair to me would be the people paying a 3000% mark up paying a 300% mark up..

    The average user (16 gigs) should be paying $9.99 a month (a 500% markup) seems dare I say 'Fair"

    This debate is upside down and pointed at the wrong people..

    Which is exactly the way a billion dollar company would spin it..

    its beyond a simple debate.. its POLITICAL now.. The whole ball of ugly wax stinking the room out with its PR political overtones.. Bell and Rogers have no business serving the public trust.. Private MONOPOLIES serving their profit margins at the Canadian peoples expense..

    We need CHOICE not overlords.. We need innovation not overlords.. Locking up and clamping down on the threat to the 3000% profit margin should be illegal..

  228. Ahem, if you notice, Bell is headquartered in Quebec. This might be an attempt to make sure that the English speaking Canada is forever in the Third World by making sure only the rich can afford the internet and even then the money is moved to Quebec, perhaps to pay for that arena and hockey team. That is why it is 60 Gb cap in Quebec and 25 Gb cap everywhere else. Of course, the profit loving portion of Rogers, Shaw and Telus would justs blindly follow Bell until Bell cut them off. Can't blame the editors here, they are just trying to preserve their jobs. But they should just say nothing and inform the owners that this is one argument they are not going to profit from in terms of job security.

  229. Written by the Editors at Rogers? Put a name to this McClaims. We want to know who wrote it.

  230. This is not about some heavy user in his basement downloading movies by the truck load. This is about stopping IP based TV solutions completing with monopoly cable TV options in Canada all owen by the same companies who provide ISP service (Bell, Rogers, Shaw etc). We pay the most for cell service and internet already not to mention monopolized TV offerings with no choice at a premium price. This demand for more bloated revenue to stop the "2%" is a smoke screen for what's really going on, the threat of fair competition for TV revenue from companies like Net-Flix. The fact that Maclean's sides with Rogers on this is no surprise, how else would the editor keep his job.

  231. What's a shame is that the integrity of a fine Canadian news magazine is sacrificed in this way.

  232. Whatever happened to journalistic integrity eh ?

  233. This fallacy laden article is great example of how we need to go farther in our governance of Telcomm and Internet access companies.

    Not only should UBB be squashed for the betterment of the Canadian economy but Telcomms should be forbidden from owning content companies. Bell’s move defining their IPTV service exempt from customer cap usage because it wasn’t “an Internet service” (what does IP stand for?) and this biased article from a subsidiary of Rogers are demonstrations of that.

    Competition and not customer usage should be the sole focus of the CRTC and only a company with it’s head the trough will tell you otherwise.

  234. Well McLeans just lost all credibility.

  235. There are many things that people Bell and Rogers, that really have the major canadian monopoly on internet. They see things coming like Netflix which will have a severe impact on their PPV movie that they make a large profit off of, like older movies they still charge 5 for on Demand or Roger Video, and probably pay $0.05 for each one
    Now with Google TV etc and other competition that can plate a better product eventually for next to nothing.. The cable industry is at the same risk of CD sales.
    2 of Rogers/Bells staples as HUGE profits in their business.

    Rogers/Bell better take a very close look at blockbuster as an example of a business that would not adapt with the times.

    I download movie legally of netflix, watch legal youtube videos, why should I be nailed Netflix uses a lot of data 1.5GB per hour in High Def. I should not be penalized

  236. They set the bar.. at 16 gigs a month sold for 50 bucks.. When its costs them 10 cents a gig.. Thats $1.60 to deliver this service..

    This is the problem..

    The base bench mark is so out of touch with market forces that the whole system is prisoner to their business model..

    We need a political solution.. Break them up.. Open it up.. or take it over to be government run..

    WHEN A 3000% PROFIT MARGIN BECOMES THE BENCH MARK TO MEASURE ALL..

  237. For most of us in this country, the telcos and cable companies have been given rate increases by the CRTC, over the years (subsidized by us) to upgrade they infrastructure including the poles and wires. Now to come back at us for more money is infuriating. (I am in the west) Shaw for example, up until their purchase of Global TV, had one of the highest usage limits for everyday customers & extra charges for going over were unusual. Perhaps this is how Shaw customers are now funding the takeover of Global?

  238. Well, I was going to comment here to tell the editor to do some research before writing an article, but it seems everyone already did that.

  239. Rogers/Bell could charge a user fee, and I think some people may agree.
    Package should be
    Price $29 per month, 75 GB Free, 10c per GB overage use.
    That would not be bad and a 333% profit on overage rates based on cost rates of 3c per GB.

  240. McLean's. Take this message to your boss and his peers: you can screw with us Canadians sometimes, but cross a line and it won't be pretty on your bottom-line. You've been warned.

  241. Average users paying 50 dollars for 2 dollars worth of data (16 gigs) is the problem..
    The bench mark is a 3000% abomination of profit ..

    Attempting to debate "Fair use" under these conditions is impossible..

    The whole market is a monopoly racket..

  242. You are either completely ignorant of the facts here or were asked by you were bribed by your parent company. Which is it? Also take a look at these comments. The much-maligned "heavy users" are not some insignificant minority as your parent company and Bell would like to think. We will ALL be "heavy users" in the near future.

  243. Why not mention that your 15GB tier is a brutal 375 kilobytes per second (max). Your “average Canadian Internet user” really isn’t going to be affected by the heavy users, because they’re getting slow speeds to begin with!

    It wasn’t just the outcries of a couple heavy users, unless Macleans defines a heavy user as “someone who wants to get Netflix”. I don’t imagine that 2% of the Canadian Internet population managed to get this change. It was thousands of voices that prompted this move, because we think you’re greedy as hell.

    You’re not trying to save the average internet user from slow speeds. It’s a cash grab, pure and simple. If you’re so concerned about keeping the internet running smoothly, how come we’re all still using IPv4?

  244. What a truly disappointing editorial. Ignorant of the facts. The state of internet service is Canada is an embarrassment. We pay more fore less than people in other countries (http://www.speedtest.net/global.php#0, http://www.thestar.com/article/643388).

    Shame on Macleans for not doing a better job. A quick search on Google provided these informative links:
    "Saving the Best for Last: Bell's Network Congestion Admission" http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/5631/125/
    "FAQ | Stop The Meter" http://openmedia.ca/faq-stop-meter

    Surely Macleans can do better. Their subscribers, staff, and readers deserve better!

    • Just proves it, the big players tell the CRTC that they don't want competition so the CRTC says that's just fine… continue your monopoly with out blessings….

  245. I guess if you're one of the "Editors" you can stand behind this kind of anonymity with respect to the indefensible position take by MacLean's. Seems like a good reason to not buy the magazine or pay for any advertising in it. The reaction to this kind of corporate "journalism" is pretty unanimous. Canadians don't like having large corporate business models forced on us, and we don't like being exploited by brittle exploitive business models like Bell and Rogers, and keep their margins healthy while they figure out what the rest of the world is already ahead on. Sometimes it really embarrassing to be Canadian and observe this kind of corporate stupidity.

  246. well i just cancelled my subscription……so take that….i am voting with my money

  247. Once again, Maclean's proves it's a bias rag

  248. MacLeans is a total joke, what a shameful article.

  249. I think we have to judge the source here, a Rogers publication supporting a Rogers position. Rogers and Bell have to accept that the move away from the broadcast entertainment business model has started and they can choose to block or choose to play. Pricing the delivery of bits at 100s of times its real cost does not serve the Canadian public, it just serves to protect Bell and Rogers current highly profitable business model.

    Canada had a early leadership in high speed internet, this has been lost and we now lag behind most of the developed world.

  250. Macleans owned by Rogers Communication?

    Need i say more

  251. The hubris that is required to label your best customers as 'bandwidth hogs' is breathtaking. In most cases, those who consume the most of a product get the best price. With UBB it's totally upside down. The only hogs in the room are the overpaid telcos.

  252. Did anyone else realise that Macleans parent company (its major shareholder) is Rogers communication? One of the companys that would make a killing if this would go through! Talk about a biased post! And to Macleans, how blind are you exactely! Im a computer tech and been following this since the start, there is nothing possi about this! If this would go through we would all be paying more for nothing! As a big corporation like you are including the online traffic that you get, your telling me that people should basicly pay more (refering to your montly fees) to view posts you put on your website? Now of course we came to the conclusion that you didnt consider online gaming that is going to die overnight! Im refering to xbox live and PS3 online. One you get the bias opinion out from under your tongue try a repost that looks on both sides of the scale and not the side your making your parent company is making off of!

  253. Seriously, Macleans? You're just embarrassing yourself. Votre jupon dépasse.

  254. Spoken like a true a**h*le.

    Regardless of how it was built, the “internet” is now essential infrastructure, which requires a different approach than regular products on the market..

    The author of this article is simple.

  255. Bell does *NOT* offer UBB. My gas station offers UBB: They charge for exactly the amount of gas I use. My power bill is UBB. My water bill is UBB. My internet bill is mostly certainly not UBB: With Bell, I'd pay the same if I used 1 GB as if I used 25 GB. How is that usage based? When they start charging straight by the gigabyte, I'll believe they want UBB, but what they actually want is to charge light users for bandwidth they didn't use and rape the heavy users.

  256. Slick move EXlax! As near as I know there is still a ban on false or misleading news!!!!! Get your facts straight before you take the money!
    I thought better of MACLEAN'S
    How can you hold your head up and say that you are Journalists! Certainly not with pride!!!!
    Another customer gone!

  257. "As a result of wild online outcries from the heaviest users and their Internet service providers"….

    This article is such a travesty that Andrew Coyne and the other editors at Maclean's should be ashamed. Clearly written to please their Rogers overlords, it ignores common sense and the lack of fairness that Canadians have been demanding. Last I had checked over 463,000 people had signed an online petition against UBB. Are the hacks at Maclean's really suggesting that every one of these people are the much demonized HEAVY USERS? To simply trust Bell and Rogers along with the patsy's at the CRTC that the data being provided is accurate is absurd. I would also like an explanation on how Rogers and Bell can allow you to stream an HD movie over their on demand services, and not have it count against your bandwidth yet the same HD movie via Apple, Xbox live or netflix will?? This is all about protecting a dying business model that the recording industry has struggled with for years. Oh last note to the "journalists" at Maclean's, please don't cry the infrastructure blues to me, last I checked that what business does, and Bell and Rogers seem to be doing just fine on the TSX.

  258. How much were you paid to defend this garbage? For shame, Macleans.

  259. ‘Editors’, reveal your name… don’t hide behind a title. Tell us who wrote this article.

    I am disgusted to think anyone can sit and write an article stating that it’s only the “heaviest” users upset by this deplorable CRTC decision. It’s not about heavy users versus industry- this goes deeper than that. We live in a country where telecommunications are run by monopolies, we all pay these companies a great deal of money in order to gain the advantages of modern technology, and these monopolies walk all over us constantly.

    The Internet belongs to the people of Canada, we give these companies their corporate charter, we allow them to build infrastructure on our land, and use our common resources to build a business… and they think this entitles them to take advantage of us…. it’s time we push back, and remind them that they are beholden to the people of Canada, not the other way around.

  260. Oh look! They belong to Rogers!

  261. Macleans’ reporting was mediocre at best, but I know they’ve just lost a bunch or readers due to this article. Myself included. Goodbye, hacks.

  262. … The petition to reverse the CRTC’s decision was signed by half a million Canadians. I somehow doubt each and every one of them was one of those mean “heavy users” (a.k.a. your most loyal customers, Rogers) that you accuse of wanting the internet for “free” or something (“free”? Really?). I also somehow doubt that using anti-competitive practices to get away with charging users hundreds of times more than what it costs to transmit their data is somehow essential to a “fair” internet.

    • P.S. Just to clarify, when you say “these users want the internet for free,” you really mean “these users want the option to use their money to purchase an internet plan that allows them access without a maximum cap, fully accepting that such a plan will likely cost more than a limited access plan”, yes? Because… I’m just saying, that’s not what most people mean when they use the word “free.”

  263. I recently sent a letter to Macleans about this article. In it I said quote

    "Dear Sir,

    I am writing you today, to let you know of my extreme displeasure with your publication. The article entitled "The Internet should be fair—not free—to everyone" is massively flawed, deceitful, and would seem written by someone who copies from the bible of Bell and Rogers. I had thought until this point that Macleans was a reputable publication that researched their articles before publishing them. It would seem obvious even to the person with the most basic concept of the internet, that your publication has fallen to pressure from it's owners (Rogers). I have also heard that you have been deleting the comments from this article "right, left and centered" as one person wrote. A number of individuals also stated they were cancelling their subscriptions with Macleans because of this erroneous article. So much for" journalistic integrity". As you can plainly read in the comments section of your article, no person is buying the lies you are selling. Keep going down this slippery road and you will experience the Canadian people's backlash Bell and your owners (Rogers) are going to receive. At a painfully shameful time in Canada when big telecoms deflect from what is moral, decent and proper and become evil and corrupt monopoly mongers bent on total supremacy, It's comforting to know that the Canadian people will always stand for truth and justice despite the morally bankrupt CRTC trying to assist them in their conquest. You have forgotten a valuable lesson as have Bell and Rogers, No matter what, the Canadian people will always have the power. To date, you have only seen a small taste of the power our voices command thus far."

  264. Pretty poor journalism. You didn't even have the guts to put your name on it, pretty telling, we're you made to print it by Roger's, the owner?
    Too bad that your journalistic standards have dropped so low! Perhaps you should get a job at the enquirer, at least i'd expect this BULL from them! Fair, impartial journalism my ASS!
    I'm sure that you fit in this list somewhere:
    Publisher/Editor-in-chief, Kenneth Whyte; Editor, Mark Stevenson; Senior Executive Editor, Peeter Kopvillem; Managing Editors Dianne de Fenoyl, Dianna Symonds, Sarmishta Subramanian; Executive Editor, Steve Maich; Editor-in-chief and General Manager of Maclean's Intelligence Unit Cathrin Bradbury; National Editor, Andrew Coyne; and, Senior Editors Mary Dwyer (University Rankings) and John Intini (Features)

  265. Cancelling my membership as I write this.

  266. If the light users are currently subsidizing the heavy users, why aren't the prices going to go down for this supposed vast majority of users? Because bandwidth only costs $0.01-$0.02 / GB, not the $2 they want to charge you for it.

  267. Light users paying 50 dollars for 16 GB a month have set the bar at 3 to 5000% profit margin..
    its all down hill from there..

    Fair use from this OBSCENE benchmark is impossible..

    Its not the heavy user that has ruined our IP business its the light users..

    This fact must be dealt with..

  268. It’s said that a publication with the reputation for integrity and objectivity of MacLean’s would so foolishly toss it all aside for the sake of trumpeting her owner’s mantra. You’d have been better off saying nothing than lowering yourselves to this.

  269. Maclean’s is about a month late to the debate. Kind of tells you how out of touch it is.

  270. Let the advertisers pay for the internet. It should be free for everyone else.

  271. McLeans has lost all credibility and journalistic integrity. Have canelled our corporate subscription. What a dumb and misleading thing to publish.

  272. Ah… The Great Oz has spoken! Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

  273. This article does not tell the whole truth. Yes the CRTC did initially give the independent ISPs a 15% discount, but Bell complained of “unfair” advantage, and forced the CRTC to make the 15% apply to ALL ISPs including Bell and Rogers!!

  274. A Rogers Communications owned Maclean's should recuse itself from this debate if it wishes to retain any sense of journalistic integrity and unbiased reporting.

  275. I am stunned, literally STUNNED that MacLean’s could even publish this OBVIOUS corporate hack journalism. I just happened to be over at my chiropractorfriend’s house last night for dinner and we were talking about corporate ownership of media. He said it was not a problem, THEN I show him this article. “I’ve had it with this,” I told him, and he had to agree. He is not technical, but I explained not only what UBB is, but the REAL reasons why it’s being put forward. Our friend Kim was there, and he is from S. Korea, and he told me about the Internet there and how fast it is and how much THEY pay for it. My chiropractor friend was incensed. His eyes were really opened. He is CANCELLING his waiting room MacLean’s subscription on Monday. He’s had it for 20 years. My friend Kim and I put our money together and we are buying him a subscription to Canadian Geographic instead. SCREW YOU, ROGERS.

  276. Wow, how insightful Macleans. My favorite part is when you did all that research on average Internet use. I’m glad you took into consideration paid downloadable content (Netflix, Apple TV, PS3, Xbox, etc.) and how average use will be increasing as we naturally proceed into the future.

    I also really enjoyed how your statement “The Internet should be fair-not free…”. Last time I checked my Telus bill, I noticed a line item that said “Internet Charges”. I’ve also noticed how some providers offer different levels of service; you know like high-speed lite and high-speed turbo. While I don’t agree with the Internet being tiered in anyway, I can live with the current system.

    What I can’t live with? Articles that read like a pathetic plea from Rogers that dont even have a author willing to expose his name.

    What a joke…

  277. I'll put it this way. I have Rogers Express (whatever the plans called, I just pay the bill) in NB. I'm a bit of a Technocrat but in a Casual way, I'm not downloading huge amounts of movies/TV shows/music on Torrents, but I do watch streaming media, TV, plenty of youtube, downloads for my Tech job, Online Gaming such as downloading purchase games online or downloading demos, etc. I used to have no Bandwidth Cap. Then it was 90gb a month. Then it was 60GB with 20$ maximum overage, now it's 60GB a month with 50$ maximum overage. My bill just keeps going up. I want to use the internet more but my hands are tied by a bill that could easily pass 100$. And they want to force all ISPs to do the same? In an era of increasing streaming HD content, online gaming and the dawn of Cloud based applications, they want to restrict the Internet more? UBB needs to be not only dropped by the CRTC, but if they were truly working in Canadian's interests, the practice currently in use by the major ISPs should be banned!

    Way to spread misinformation around in this article, which is basically just a Rogers Press release!

  278. Derp much, Macleans? This article is utter nonsensical Rogers propaganda. How stupid do you think we are?