Unpacking The Policy Issues Behind Bandwidth Caps & Usage Based Billing (via @MGeist #UBB #CRTC)

#Internet

Tue, Feb 1st, 2011 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With over 200,000 signatories on the Stop the Meter Internet petition, Usage Based Billing (UBB) has become a hot topic of conversation in Parliament. Concerns raised by Jack Layton, leader of the NDP, were followed by a response from Industry Minister Tony Clement, who promised the issue would be studied carefully in order "to ensure that competition, innovation, and consumers were all fairly considered". Now the Liberals got involved, who are calling on the government to reverse the CRTC decision.

But Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa and editor of of several monthly technology law publications, explains that while UBB is important, the real issue government should be pushing the CRTC to pursue is to allow more competition and to prevent abusive practices by dominant Internet Service Providers:

[...] despite the obvious anger over the issue, there remains a considerable amount of misinformation about what has happened and uncertainty about just what to do about it. This post attempts to unpack the issue, by discussing two related but not identical concerns - the recent CRTC UBB decision and the broader use of bandwidth caps by virtually all large Canadian ISPs.

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