Canadians! Help Stop Usage-Based Internet Billing (via @openmedia_ca #cdnpoli #UBB #CRTC)

#Internet

Mon, Jan 31st, 2011 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

Kiss your affordable Internet access goodbye! As of March 1st, the Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), a supposedly impartial governing body that regulates and supervises telecommunications in Canada, have actually agreed in a decision forcing all independent DSL and Cable Internet providers to substantially match incumbent (like Bell) usage rate caps.

Ontario residents can expect a usage cap of 25GB (60GB in Quebec) from 200 GB. Content and data from Netflix, YouTube, IPTV, large file downloads or other streaming services can consume large amounts of bandwidth and place your cap limits in jeopardy very quickly. And if you go over, the CRTC has imposed a very high overage rate, above your new monthly limit, of $1.90 per gigabyte ($2.35 per gigabyte in Quebec).

Why are they doing this? Companies like Bell claim that it's because of the costs associated with running their network. But charging only after you go over some amount is not usage-based billing but a direct and exclusive way to target smaller ISPs who provide better, cheaper, more flexible service than the big Telcos.

As an added bonus, this corporate-friendly decision will allow big telecoms to gouge consumers by charging per byte much like they already do with smartphones, control the Internet market, and ensure that consumers continue to subscribe to their television services (rather than use services like Netflix). It really is all about maximising profits and killing the competition.

Not impressed? Neither are we. Visit Stop The Meter, get involved and let your member of Parliament know how you feel. And get informed: see what smaller, independent ISPs are doing about it.

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