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CRTC To Allow Usage-Based Billing

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the silly-canuckleheads dept.

Canada 282

Idiomatick writes "The CRTC ruled in favor this week for usage-based billing. Bell Canada was given a monopoly on lines in Canada, and in exchange they were made to resell to competitors at cost in order to have a functional market. The new CRTC ruling will allow Bell to charge their competitors more money based on individual customer usage. They are now able to implement a 60GB cap on a competitor's highest speed lines (charging $1.12/GB for overages). The effect on the market seems clear."

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60GB is nothing (2, Interesting)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#34075960)

Why not make the cap reasonable, 60 GB is literally nothing for an average consumer. I often use up to an exceeding 100GB / month. 60GB is fine if your a light user and thats all you are if your using 60GB, but start some servers, host some web pages and even a little downloading and you'll quickly get up and see 100GB/month.

So what I'm really say is why not make the cap reasonable and move it to 100GB, that will fit all users, past 100GB and your not being to legit on what your downloading.

that makes comcasts 250gb cap and higher business (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076024)

that makes comcasts 250gb cap and I think it's higher on business planes look real good.

But not as good as fios and att no caps.

Re:60GB is nothing (2, Interesting)

matazar (1104563) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076046)

Hell, even for light users it's already a problem.

We have a family of 6, every one of us has our own computers. Factor in Steam games from me, netflix from everyone else plus every day usage and 60GB is nothing. We already have 2 connections for this exact reason.

Why they seem to think a 14mbps connection should have a 60GB limit is beyond me. That's Cogeco though, not Bell, but it's the same shit.

Re:60GB is nothing (3, Informative)

danny_lehman (1691870) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076200)

For any Canadians reading today:

There are two petitions you should sign if you don't feel like this is right.

http://stopubb.ca/ [stopubb.ca] - A petition to stop forced usage based billing.

and if you dont like the fact that the CRTC appears to bend to the will of the telcos without regard for the consumer, there is a petition to dissolve the CRTC here - http://dissolvethecrtc.ca/ [dissolvethecrtc.ca]

Re:60GB is nothing (4, Informative)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076246)

I'd say there should be a law that in all advertising they need to include the long-term connection rate as well. Toss in the up rate if it's different (and with those lying shits, it always is).

That 14mbps connection would have to be labelled: 14/0.5mbps, 22kbps sustained -- since 60GB monthly is just that.

Re:60GB is nothing (1)

hipp5 (1635263) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076056)

Why not make the cap reasonable, 60 GB is literally nothing for an average consumer... but start some servers... and you'll quickly get up and see 100GB/month.

Ahh yes, server hosting, well-known pastime for many the average consumer.

Re:60GB is nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076076)

I have yet to see any analysis of actual usage by internet users, let alone one that breaks an aggergate down to service types like VOIP, video, gaming, etc.

Do you all pick figures from the air or just your noses?

Re:60GB is nothing (1, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076102)

My cap is 20G per month and I never go near that amount. There are three of us using the connection including my wife's architectural practice and I regularly torrent and seed Linux and BSD ISO files.

Maybe if you do a lot of commercial video streaming you would transfer a lot of data but I don't see why people who do that should not pay for the resources they use.

I buy my fuel by the litre, do you pay a fixed monthly charge for unlimited supply?

Re:60GB is nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076130)

1 HD netlfix movie = 5GB.

When I seed, I upload at about 80% of my cap nonstop. That'd be something like another 5GB a day on my comparatively slow 60KBps upload speed. Are you sure you have your firewall set correctly, etc.. for seeding? Or do you actually not do it that much?

Re:60GB is nothing (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076214)

30gig wasn't enough and all I do is watch youtube videos. I was using about a gig per day on average just watching youtube videos, occasionally downloading a patch or a demo game and 30gigs wasn't enough. 20gig is pitiful for the 50$ or so they charge you a month.

Re:60GB is nothing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076242)

Because it takes a large amount of money to extract the fuel, process it, transport it, etc while the internet doesn't work like that. The internet is bits travelling over wires. Upgrading hardware doesn't cost anywhere near with the transportation of fuel. Saying you torrent and download ISOs and use less then 20gb a month means nothing. Your usage will increase in the future like it or not. HD video and HD photos with very high resolution will be a new standard. Loading up a page could be a few mb by itself.

When that time comes you are going to be one of the people screaming at your provider for having such a low cap. People use the internet every day for many different tasks many stream video like my grandparents who like seeing live TV from back home. You have no idea how easily it would be for my grandparents to go through 20gb a month. The thing is people adapt online technologies at different rates maybe right now you don't stream video or use the internet to upload 10mb HD pictures to show friends and families but others do maybe one day you will too. The fact remains it doesn't cost service providers anything like $1 a gb or more to provide unlimited service to me. When I was with Teksavvy I was downloading 100s of gb a month and believe me neither Teksavvy or Bell were loosing money because of me and I was paying $40 a month so even if I had only used 200gb in a month the cost per gb for me would be $0.20 and two individual companies would still be making a profit off that. So don't tell me that because I use more data then you that I should pay more because in the end even if I use more data then you we cost our service providers pretty much the same thing.

Re:60GB is nothing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076738)

Have some knowledge before you make these assertions. Do you have any idea about how much it costs your ISP for bandwidth? Par, since around 2007, has been about 0.1/gb for planned bandwidth and 0.15/gb for unplanned bandwidth right at the tier 1 providers, the costs would realistically be higher depending on how many networks your packets need to cross to get to their destination. Now, your ISP is also responsible for running support, sales, and maintenance. Do you honestly believe that 0.2/gb covers that? You were a liability to your isp.

Nonetheless, a 60GB cap is draconian when most packages are $50/month. At almost a dollar per gigabyte? WHAT A FUCKING RIP OFF.

I can understand a 150GB cap at 50/month, but more than that is a rip off. Currently, an abhorrant rip off.

Re:60GB is nothing (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076418)

I hit 60gb in 15 days this last month because of WoW and all the "patches", a normal month in my household is nearly 60 as it is with 3 people. Really this whole change to UBB is arbitrary bullshit, especially since the CRTC just said you have to allow competition on the networks built by tax dollars(aka last mile). Then they pulled this. I'm seriously suspecting that the CRTC wants to find the best way to screw everyone over, then again for an entity which is supposed to exist for the consumer, it sure does a lot to screw them over.

Re:60GB is nothing (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076508)

My router says we average about 80 GB per month. Most of that is Netflix streaming and keeping large school files in sync. A single game full-game download hits about 10GB, and demos are about 4GB each.

Re:60GB is nothing (1)

Pingmaster (1049548) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076812)

Do you also pay the gas station a monthly rate for the privilege of using the pumps?

Re:60GB is nothing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076104)

Normally I wouldn't say anything, but Jesus Christ man, learn the word "you're."

Re:60GB is nothing (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076266)

> Christ man, learn the word "you're."

I thought that "you're." was actually two words resulting from the contraction of "you" and "are".

Re:60GB is nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076336)

The meaning has been lost to time but we do know that you're is a contraction of a contraction of a contraction of a contraction of a contraction of a word. The original word was over 40 letters long!

Re:60GB is nothing (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076670)

It makes sense (for the government) to keep the cap low. After all they WANT you to spend money because it's just another tax. Plus you'll get sales tax on top of that.

the begining of the dark age (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34075978)

Us Canadians have 90 days to appeal the dissiion. lets hope something gets done. our MP want nothing to do with it http://twitter.com/TonyClement_MP "Thx for the input, but as there is a 90 day appeal period it would be inappropriate for me to comment further. Be well.Thx for the input, but as there is a 90 day appeal period it would be inappropriate for me to comment further. Be well."

Quick Canada Lesson (5, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 4 years ago | (#34075982)

In Canada we have no competition for apparently 6 reasons:
- Previous governments gave a monopoly to friends who supported them. Where these monopolies have collided they don't compete.
- We have no working anti-monopoly laws in Canada preventing collusion and other anti-competitive behavior. Technically we do but please tell me the last time a company was fined and how little they might have been fined.
- The CRTC (our FCC) is the tool that previous governments used to give their friends these monopolies and thus the CRTC will enforce the monopolies behavior not prevent it.
- Any competition that poses an actual threat will be bought out.
- The present government is a minority government and thus is focused on other fish that need frying such as keeping power and maybe finagling a majority. How many bytes people can download is not on their radar for now.
- Many of the telco monopolies also are media giants thus they control what the pubic thinks about this stuff.

Re:Quick Canada Lesson (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076026)

also, running copper to every house is hugely expensive and it doesn't make sense to do it more than once.

Re:Quick Canada Lesson (4, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076118)

With this, bot Bell and Rogers (the cable internet provider) have now both put steps in place to discourage people using Netflix, etc. NetFlix of course announced around September that they would be providing service in Canada. It's much reduced service from what's available in the US, but the available content will increase as time goes on. Rogers cut their bandwidth limits in half, and now Bell has gotten usage based billing, specifically to discourage people using TekSavvy et al, which used to have un-shaped, unlimited downloads.

You can run through the current bandwidth limits pretty quickly watching HD content.

Re:Quick Canada Lesson (1)

Pokey.Clyde (1322667) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076660)

While I don't have the numbers, Netflix streaming really doesn't kill much of your cap. You'd have to be using Netflix as a replacement for CATV to have to worry about going over your cap.

Re:Quick Canada Lesson (2, Insightful)

shovas (1605685) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076814)

You'd have to be using Netflix as a replacement for CATV to have to worry about going over your cap.

Something I and many others would like to do but *shock* all avenues of attempting to access competition to the majors results in finding out no one is particularly better than another, no matter what metric you use.

Cable TV is getting very hard to justify these days when, day after day, you keep noticing "500 channels and nothing's on." I would love to have an alternative but there's no competition.

Re:Quick Canada Lesson (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076292)

Also, we have amongst the lowest population densitites in the world, so the barrier to entry in the market is huge, due to the large capital costs.

Re:Quick Canada Lesson (4, Informative)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076470)

Most of that population lives in three cities, and 90% of it within a few kilometers of the American border. The capital costs are really not that high.

Re:Quick Canada Lesson (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076478)

Not true, but anyway, the problem is that all the cables are OUR PROPERTY. Build and paid with our taxes, and after that they were lend to all the sharks.....who later very conveniently forgot that simple fact, and started to act as they are, and always were their sole property..... And also, a friend of mine once told me that an ISP with only 1000 customer is fully capable of building optic lines, and have them paid in one year........

Re:Quick Canada Lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076572)

Australia has a far lower population density than Canada (6.4 people/ square mile compared to Canda's 9.3) and we are rolling out a FTTH network at this very minute......

This is going to be hellish in 5 years (3, Insightful)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 4 years ago | (#34075998)

This is like charging $1 per 1.44mb , very soon this arbitrary measurement will hamper innovation and Canada as a whole will suffer.

Re:This is going to be hellish in 5 years (2, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076032)

Yup. The fact that they didn't implement some kind of scale based on percentage use of the total capacity or the like strongly suggests they're either incompetent or there's a conflict of interests. In either case, the wrong people are doing the job.

Re:This is going to be hellish in 5 years (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076192)

I calculated what a Canadian friend's new bill is going to be. Currently he pays the base rate of $40, P2P is throttled, both upload and download count towards the new cap, and three people in the house do routine netflix streaming. They use about 350 GB a month. Under the new billing it's going to be $100 (per GB charges start up again at the 300 GB mark). Likely anyone that does any streaming at all will hit the intermediate price cap and thus their bills will go directly from $40 to $62.50. (We looked up streaming stats and apparently an hour of streaming is about 1.6-1.7 GB. Doing the math, even if we round the numbers down to 1.5 GB/hour, any household that averages over an hour and 47 minutes a day is going to hit the middle price cap. Not hard at all for just two people who follow a few different shows each and watch a few movies together on the weekends. Googling up some stats, apparently the average american spends 2.8 hours per day watching TV...)

So a company that's already making a profit now just got permission to jack the rates up 50% for a whole lot of normal people.

Re:This is going to be hellish in 5 years (1, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076438)

Conflict of interest. The CRTC has been hand picked for the last 15 years by the liberal party as a place to reward their friends. Not to forget that the liberal party and Chretien were involved in a massive scandal where the primeminister's 'agency' was handing out money, and covering up for people when they got caught. Only cost us several billion dollars.

Frustrated (1)

mrops (927562) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076488)

To be honest, I am so frustrated. What can we do. What can I do.

I have tried writing to my MP to no avail.

How can we tackle this absurd rulings coming out of CRTC. To be honest I am tired of the whole conservative bunch.

I almost long for the corrupt liberals. Not sure whats better, conservatives stealing money by making it look legit in forms of these rulings or liberals who are just good old thieves.

I signed up for netflix, content is limited, but I am already at at 60+GB mark, but then I am with teksavvy and so far didn't need to care.

arghhhhh.... who do I go to......

Re:Frustrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076768)

To BCE headquarters, bend over and drop trow. /s

Re:This is going to be hellish in 5 years (0)

Daltorak (122403) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076450)

This is like charging $1 per 1.44mb , very soon this arbitrary measurement will hamper innovation and Canada as a whole will suffer.

So if I understand your exaggeration correctly, you think Canada, as a country, will suffer "as a whole" because customers who download between 81 and 300 GB a month will be billed $22.50 extra a month?

(That's what TFA says, but the Slashdot summary didn't)

$22.50 is lunch money at Harvey's for a couple of days, or one hour of pay for a halfway-decent engineer. It also buys you 300GB of consumer-grade DSL bandwidth, which is a sustained 21 megabytes of transfer per minute for the whole month. That's 340 kilobytes per second -- two-thirds of what is physically possible on Bell Canada's 5 megabit maximum DSL connections.

How many people do you really think are out there pushing their consumer-grade DSL connections around that hard, and are in the business of R&D and innovation (as opposed to, say, downloading movie torrents), but can't afford to pay for it? And how will their being forced to pay a tiiiiny bit more every month make the country "suffer"? Do you really, honestly believe that people are going to give up pursuing interesting projects in Canada just because their heavily-utilised 5 megabit consumer-grade DSL service got more expensive?

Dude, seriously, get a grip.

Re:This is going to be hellish in 5 years (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076542)

I can think of about 300,000 with Teksavvy that will be affected not including the multitude of other GAS companies.

"$22.50 is lunch money at Harvey's for a couple of days, or one hour of pay for a halfway-decent engineer"

And for those making minimum wage, barely able to pay for the necessities let alone take-out? $22.50 represents a 50% increase in my bill - it puts it at the same level as a week of food for 2 people. Total for a cell plan + internet it will be over $150. At minimum wage that's 25% of their yearly income on being able to stay in touch with the world? It's ridiculous.

Re:This is going to be hellish in 5 years (1)

edjs (1043612) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076794)

$150 of cel+internet is not a necessity and more than what's needed just to stay in touch. Plans for $50 or less are available if one can barely pay for the necessities.

Id - 10 - T error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076002)

WOW this is a horrible idea. I hit 60Gb a week easy. This is really going to crush the tech/internet market.

Morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076006)

Why is the worst company in Canada given a monopoly on lines? This is ridiculous... and a 60GB cap? You can probably exceed that just checking email nowadays

87 days left (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076048)

of unlimited im a grab all i want and drop the net for good

Next Election (2, Informative)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076064)

Do Not vote for the Conservative Reform Alliance Party!

Re:Next Election (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076114)

Of course we won't vote for those bastards, everyone knows the Alliance for Conservative Reform Party is the best!

Re:Next Election (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076148)

Pardon me for intruding, but um,

Whoosh!

Re:Next Election (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076170)

Why not? Two of those groups sound like they'd support more of an open market, rather than a government sanctioned monopoly.

Re:Next Election (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076392)

Why? ~15 years of the liberal party raping you in the face at every turn wasn't enough?

Re:Next Election (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076560)

Why? ~15 years of the liberal party raping you in the face at every turn wasn't enough?

If you'd ever really been raped, you wouldn't throw that term around so casually, you insensitive clod!

You WANT usage based billing (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076074)

As long as you are allowed to purchase some higher level of service in addition to base, usage based billing is better because if you are a higher paying customer you can get better support. Annoyed that you have to pay a little more for huge bandwidth use every month? Well cry me a river freeloader, you were benefitting from all the people that paid a lot for bandwidth when they were using an order of magnitude less bandwidth than you were and that time is over (for Canada anyway).

Usage based billing means more people can afford internet service, it means more choice for what kinds of packages make sense for you. It also brings to light the simple fact that you cannot give away unlimited amounts of something for a fixed price forever, eventually any system that tries will come crashing down.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076098)

it means they can rape us up the ass even more as they have eliminated competition UBB is the worst idea I pay 40$ a month and get 2mb/down 800k up and am limited to 42gb a month

Re:You WANT usage based billing (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076124)

Reasonable points, but you overlook the fact that at wholesale, $1.12/GB is overpriced by about an order of magnitude.

Re:You WANT usage based billing(MARKUP SUCKS!) (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076274)

A markup of 6500% exists on texting in the USA. http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/news/1001/gallery.americas_biggest_ripoffs/index.html [cnn.com]

But on a pay-per-text plan, the 160-character messages typically cost 20 cents outgoing and 10 cents incoming. That's a markup of as much as 6,500%. OMG!

...

Even if customers sign up for an unlimited texting plan for, say, $10 a month, carriers are still cashing in considering that their overhead is basically $0. That's a lot to pay for a few LOLs.

Re:You WANT usage based billing(MARKUP SUCKS!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076402)

we have the same shit here in canada

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076276)

And yet $1.12/GB is still almost half of what Rogers overage charges are right now ($2/GB with caps of 60GB, 80GB, 125G and 175GB though the higher plans get ridiculously expensive at $100/month). Rogers and Bell are for all intents and purposes the same monopoly, they don't compete they just do what the other one does. Add into that the fact that both of them are media corporations means that Canada will never get competitive broadband till the government (Yea right) or a big company like Google steps in to fill the void.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076322)

Not quite so reasonable points. There is nothing in Canada to make the internet cheaper in Canada to the citizens. In fact there's no real talk about lowering the cost at all - just capping what's there and charging more. As such, there's not going to be more people who can afford to jump online when this finally comes in. If they couldn't afford it before, they won't be able to afford it now and in fact if they accidently go over then it's actually less affordable than before.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (4, Informative)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076140)

You might have a point if telecoms were competitive markets, usage was the biggest cost factor, and prices were in any way representative of costs. These are monopolies, peak capacity and running the lines are the real cost last time I checked and it'll probably result in virtually everyone paying more.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (1)

destroyer661 (847607) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076194)

Peak capacity? There's more people in California than ALL of Canada, and no one is complaining there. How the hell are we anywhere NEAR peak capacity? Our urban centres in all of our provinces are a joke compared to the urban sprawl of most US cities.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076258)

I mean peak bandwidth capacity for the network. If the peak traffic time is 5:30 PM, then the thing that costs them money is ensuring that the needs for 5:30 are met. Let's say for the sake of example that the total traffic going over their network is 1 tbps. If doesn't matter much if the rest of the day is 0.99 tbps or 1gbps, because the actual costs go into assuring that the network can handle 5:30's traffic.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076152)

It also brings to light the simple fact that you cannot give away unlimited amounts of something for a fixed price forever, eventually any system that tries will come crashing down.

This would be true if they were selling infinite Internet usage, but even "unlimited" is very finite: (connection speed)*(time).

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076198)

I WANT to continue using my unlimited 10/10mbit DSL that I have for ten eurobucks a month, thank you very much.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076680)

I WANT to continue using my unlimited 10/10mbit DSL that I have for ten eurobucks a month, thank you very much.

10/10 = 1. 1 millibit isn't very much data, especially for a whole month.

Oh, and you're an idiot.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076726)

Says the anon who doesn't understand internet speeds.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076830)

No, 10/10mbit is 1 mbit^-1.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076226)

I'd agree if there were reasonable competition.

As it is now, there are two gas stations to choose from and the price of gas is $100 per liter. I don't care that the guy pumping gas cleans my windshield and smiles at me. I know there's people that only buy 1-2 liters a month and enjoy having their ego stroked. Great! Give me a competing no-frills gas station down the road charging a reasonable price for gas.

Let me pay $15 a month for internet access and $0.15 per gig of usage and I'm there.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076314)

The thing with usage-based billing is that we pay X amount for up Y gigs a month and if we only use a tiny bit of that bandwidth then we don't get a discount. The price for that base bandwidth, along with the ridiculous price they want for overages makes this a raw deal for all Canadians.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076320)

If you thing usage based billing will bring down prices you are simply an idiot. Bell will not decrease there prices unless they have a need to compete and as things stand now they have no reason to compete customers simply have nowhere to go. All usage based billing is going to do is make people download less and every time they go over charge them like there is no tomorrow.

In the future you will be downloading more and more too. Online tv, very high resolution photos, and even just web pages could by themselves be a few mb and you are going to be the one complaining that you are going over your cap. The internet isn't like electricity. It doesn't cost anything to make bits and bits what costs are the wires on which they travel. The cost of this is equal to all customers. If you think about it we cost cost our service providers the same even if I use more data then you. Stop listening to all the crap Bell tells you travel a little go to Europe try out and see what's available there. Don't have the mentality that Bell and Businesses want you to have because Bell doesn't want to give you a deal they just want to rip off the customer (thats what happens when they have a monopoly) and they have now found a way to rip people off who use a larger amount of data. The service providers are smart they have put a cap on you internet usage because they know in the future you will use more data and they will be able to charge you overage fees.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076454)

If you thing usage based billing will bring down prices you are simply an idiot

It already has for mobile, my iPhone bill is $5/month cheaper than it was and potentially could be $15/month cheaper if I went with the lower plan (my usage is right at the cusp).

It might (MIGHT) not bring down prices right away in Canada's case, but more than likely it will eventually.

The internet isn't like electricity. It doesn't cost anything to make bits and bits what costs are the wires on which they travel.

I'd be careful about using that idiot tag when you write stuff like that. Bandwidth has a very real cost - it cost nothing to make bits, there is in fact a cost to maintain equipment that sends said bits and in the end SOMEONE gets charged per bit.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076558)

No you are an idiot and this has absolutely nothing to do with costs associated with bandwidth.

This ruling means now that companies like Teksavvy, that have purchased a specific amount of bandwidth, can no longer divide it among their customers as they see fit.
This ruling means that if any individual uses more bandwidth than what Bell's package provides, they have to be charged extra fees. It doesn't matter that 6 other Teksavvy customers use very little and their aggregate bandwidth is lower than the amount Teksavvy purchased from Bell.

There is ZERO chance this will bring prices down as wholesalers like Teksavvy have no areas to differentiate their services as now prices are effectively set by Bell. (No companies is going to survive selling at a loss)

The problem is we have service providers that are also content providers. The internet is obviously becoming a real threat to traditional content providers and companies like Bell can now manipulate the market how they see fit. How's gonna use Bell VoD or Cogeco VoD at $x.xx a movie when Netflix offers a compelling choice at $7.99/month, not many. So service providers like Rogers, Bell move to be competitive is to slash bandwidth limits and charge more overages. So basically eliminate or restrict competition. The CRTC was set up to prevent this but again they are the ones enabling it.

Not Unlimited (& Cake) (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076536)

It also brings to light the simple fact that you cannot give away unlimited amounts of something for a fixed price forever, eventually any system that tries will come crashing down.

Unlimited plans are not giving unlimited amounts of data. The data limit is fixed by the bandwidth speed. Additionally, you can give away "unlimited" amounts of something for a fixed price forever. Have you never been to an all you can eat buffet?

All you do is make a statistical analysis of the cost you have to charge for all typical users, both light users and heavy users together, to make a profit. It works the same way as an all you can eat buffet, well except of course if they tried to charge fat people extra at a buffet people might actually care.

Should I be worrying about the oncoming collapse of the Chinese buffet market? No. I'd say that would make the best policy for the Internet is "Let them eat cake," but we all know the cake is a like.

Re:Not Unlimited (& Cake) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076614)

Additionally, you can give away "unlimited" amounts of something for a fixed price forever. Have you never been to an all you can eat buffet?

Oddly enough, they seem to mind when I sign up for their unlimited buffet and then dump plate after plate into the garbage. Hey, it's unlimited right? Fuck all those restrictions that I need to actually consume the food or they'll charge me a waste fee. Show me a person who can eat an unlimited amount of food in the (usually) 2 hour window they give you and you might have a point. Compare this to my computer, which CAN consume an unlimited amount of bandwidth without getting "full".

Re:You WANT usage based billing (4, Insightful)

Chryana (708485) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076552)

Are you a shill, or some sort of moron? I live in Canada. I am directly affected by this. In France [arstechnica.com] for the price I pay monthly, I could get a line which is 10 times faster than mine is along with unlimited phone calls to a bunch of places and HDTV. The speed of my internet line, 3 Mbps, has not increased in the past 7 years I have lived in downtown Montreal, which is about as urban as it gets in Canada. The price I pay for that same service, though, has increased quite significantly (at least 20%). Why was Bell able to offer unlimited access plans 5 years ago, and now they can't? Should they not have upgraded their lines since then? Everyone I know that uses the services of Bell hates their guts because they are complete scumbags.

Usage based billing means more people can afford internet service,

Have you bothered checking the pricing schemes Bell offers? Check their lowest offering. It says it's 20$/month in Quebec, but it's 25 if you don't have a phone or satellite service deal with them already. Oh, and the speed is 500 kbps with a 1G data cap. They were able to offer unlimited at 3 Mbps 6 or 7 years ago for 30$ a month. I guess poor people don't do much but change their status on Facebook.

Please go back under the rock you came from. For same money that I pay, people in Europe and Asia are getting unlimited data plans with speeds that approach the speed of my LAN.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076578)

I used to work tech support for an ISP. We serviced business only. Less ignorant support calls. We charged 1/4 the price for our lines than the major telco we bought the lines from. Our lines ran full speed as compared to the telco. The telco's ALL oversell their bandwidth and make you compete with your neighbor. And we made a profit. And you actually believe the telco's when they tell you that we are downloading too much???? You DO not get what they advertise they sell you. They screw you over and lie to you to get more $$.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (4, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076760)

Bell already HAD usage base fees. This isn't about what Bell is allowed to do to their own customers. This is about what Bell is allowed to do to people who are NOT their customers. Bell is now allowed to demand bandwidth usage from third parties that use their lines, and tax those third parties. That is, TekSavvy connects their modem to a Bell copper line, and then wires that modem to their backbone. And Bell gets to hold a gun to your head and say you cannot download more GB than WE allow our customers or else it's not fair to us! Please at least read the summary.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (1)

Pokey.Clyde (1322667) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076782)

Well, you started out fairly well reasoned, but once you called high bandwidth users "freeloaders", you lost any credibility you had. They are not "freeloading", they are using what they paid for. Just because they use more than most does not make them "freeloaders".

Re:You WANT usage based billing (3, Insightful)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076786)

The problem IS NOT usage-based billing per se. The problem is that Bell can now apply usage-based billing to third-party ISP's such as TekSavvy, WITHOUT APPLYING IT TO THEIR OWN DIRECT CUSTOMERS! It's no longer even close to a level playing field; the CRTC has effectively destroyed competition in this market, with one stroke of a poisoned pen. So now I have a choice between staying with TekSavvy, enjoying their superior service and tech expertise but having to pay UBB, or going back to Bell Sympatico and putting up with arrogant jerks in customer service, and know-nothing f**ktards in 'tech support' who couldn't tell the difference between Linux the OS and Linus the Charlie Brown comic strip character. The CRTC has sold Canadians down the river with this move, and I'd like to know how much Bell paid some snivel serpents for this favourable legislation. Arrogant, whining, incompetent Bell fancies that it owns the infrastructure on which land line calls and DSL service take place. I'm sure that as far as the law is concerned they do, however in reality Canadians own the infrastructure. We've paid for it several times over with decades of tax breaks, government-enforced monopoly, public rights-of-way, putting up with crap service, etcetera. The CRTC ought to be dismantled and its functionaries jailed, and Bell ought to be nationalized. Free enterprise is one thing; government-sanctioned raping and pillaging of the population by actively suppressing competition is quite another.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (4, Insightful)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076806)

That's absolutely right, if the market determines the going rate for bandwidth. Bandwidth is, after all, a finite resource; however, there is no competition and hence there are no market forces at play in this situation. That's where this whole can of worms came from in the first place. The whole industry is regulated because of the excessively high barriers to entry for new competitors. It's not going to be an ideal situation but it would be less bad if it was regulated well instead of being regulated by the CRTC.

Re:You WANT usage based billing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076820)

It also brings to light the simple fact that you cannot give away unlimited amounts of something for a fixed price forever, eventually any system that tries will come crashing down.

Bandwith IS unlimited. The flow of information should not be measured the same way you measure water, electricity or petrol.

You know, if the companies were in really big financial trouble, or had they paid for the infrastructure themselves (they didn't, we the people did) or would they fix prices to a new, low price, it might make sense that they charge in this draconian way.
They are just money mongrels. And you are either ignorant of how things work, a sellout, or both.

Attn : Canadian Politicians (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076090)

I could care less about most of the other issues and debate topics.

State publicly that your party is against usage based billing and you've got my vote.

It's that simple.

(For the record, I'm in the 30-35 year old male demograph, with above-median income.)

Such Bullshit! (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076178)

these caps are such arbitrary bullshit.

It's worse in Australia, where a cap is often effectively 10gb down(20gb combined).

The limits ISP's have are nowhere near the limits they artificially impose on customers.

It's crappy collaboration between big parties and should be stopped by regulatory government agencies.

Re:Such Bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076468)

I'm not sure who your ISP is...!?
I'm Australian, and have a 120GB cap (which I use most of, every month), and most ISPs (Telstra, Optus, Internode, TPG, etc) now offer a 200GB cap, or larger (I've seen 350GB caps here).

I often complain about Australia's internet too, but compared to Canada's "fastest" 5Mbps (from the article linked) and per GB charges after just 60 GB, Australia is already an Internet paradise! - without even considering the 100GB FTTH network that's currently being built here.

I've actually recently been considering emigrating to Canada, but am having second thoughts now - curse you, /.! ;-)

Re:Such Bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076518)

Sorry, fix my own typo, should be : "... 100Gbps FTTH ..."

Re:Such Bullshit! (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076590)

I've been away for a few years, but I thought things are nto so much better.

iinet has a 1tb quota plan, but that is broken down into 500gb peak and 500gb offpeak, and the 500gb limit is up and down....so its more like 250 peak and 250 offpeak.

And, that plan is rare. Why do we need such a limit imposed on us, at all when most countries don't?

Most central American countries despite being developing have better internet than Australia.

Re:Such Bullshit! (1)

p3anut (1131451) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076696)

I just churned to TPG. $79 a month, unlimited ADSL2, even on Telstra DSLAMs! So far so good :)

CTRC=??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076188)

CRTC: Continually reducing telecom competition

Countries favourable to Canadians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076224)

Looks like I'll be in the market for a new country - any recommendations?

Re:Countries favourable to Canadians? (1)

eplawless (1003102) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076374)

Well, the US is out; living in Canada gets you used to decent health care, and they're not much better off than we are in terms of ISPs. Someplace in Europe like Norway might be nice, if a tad quiet.

Wholesale vs Bell (1)

munky99999 (781012) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076280)

Wholesale: $1.12 per GB and then $0.75 per GB with no max overage. BUT Wholesales already pay for usage at the isp level. So 2x that. Bell: Max overage of $30 aka unlimited for $30. While if not hitting max it's $0.69/gig. Wholesales absolutely cant compete. GG Internet in Canada.

Re:Wholesale vs Bell (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076764)

It should be noted that Bell only charges $1.00 per GB to their own customers. So, somehow Bell is being given government force to be allowed to charge the customers of a third party MORE for using only their copper lines, than they charge their own customers for using their copper lines, their modems, and their internet backbone.

Slight correction of the summary (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076410)

Bell Canada was given a monopoly on lines in Canada,

Bell Canada does not have a monopoly on lines in all of Canada.
They do not even operate a wireline business in the west. Here they are a reseller only.
However, this ruling probably does cause the same benefit to the ILECs in all provinces.

They have more control because of us (1)

bellsucks (1268960) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076460)

Maybe I am missing something but if you want the control back to the people don't support them.. Teksavvy is growing fast because of this. They are taking on cable also If everyone joined them (last time I called sounds like that is what is happening) then the balance of control would change. Bell/rogers has more suscribers cancel and suscribe to a provider that has there own backbone like teksavvy. (not just anouther bell reseller) Power to the people, don't buy it.. don't give me this excuse that its not available if bell sells dsl internet in your area you can get anouther dsl provider because its setup!

Re:They have more control because of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076626)

i use velcom, competition is good...

An inquisitive Canadian wants to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076512)

Just how much of Canada does this actually affect? I've spent the last twenty years slowly moving to the west, so I've lost touch with the east.

-Manitoba has MTS (previously government) who own the lines.

-Saskatchewan has SaskTel (government), so they likely own the lines.

-Alberta and BC I'm not sure who owns them, but I can tell you it's not Bell. Telus and Shaw are the major ISPs, and they do a 'decent' job of competing with each other. The way Telus is going I wouldn't be surprised if they rolled out fibre in major centers before too long.

-Quebec I'm not sure about. I know they have providers that other parts of Canada don't, but I don't know who owns the lines. It's possible that it's Bell though, as apparently they are headquartered in Montreal.

-Ontario is obviously where this is the biggest problem, but for all I know it's the only place where it's definitely an issue.

-Provinces east of Quebec. I have no idea. As far as I know they could be using paper cups. Is Bell also an issue here?

-Northern province/territories are satellite, they have larger problems than Bell putting in data based plans.

Years ago when I lived in Ontario everyone used to think they solely represented all of Canada, but I thought that had changed over the years. You would think that would be increasingly true after a lot of their economy crashed, but articles like this confuse me to this point. If it's another one of 'those' articles, it's like saying the biggest ISP in Pennsylvania has started making people pay by the KB, and now the whole US is screwed.

Re:An inquisitive Canadian wants to know (2, Informative)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076780)

Depends on where you live. If you live in Toronto, then it affects all of Canada because as far as you're concerned, Toronto = Canada.

Joking aside, Bell dominates the market in most of Ontario and Quebec. Most of the other providers in Quebec and Ontario are reselling Bell's bandwidth which means that this impacts a large portion of the internet business in Canada. Moreover, I'm sure it sets a precedent that would be relevant to resellers of Shaw or Tellus bandwidth in the West.

Shaw tends to be quite good compared to Bell but that could change. They have absurdly low data caps but they never enforce them; unlike Bell, which demands a pound of flesh for every GB over your 60 GB limit.

How? (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076514)

Maybe I'm being obtuse, but how does Bell get to do this? They already sell and make money off the last mile, and it's the wholesale buyer's backbone that's being tapped out, not Bell's. Why should it matter how much traffic is going over these lines when it's not Bell's traffic to route?

Between being able to throttle down wholesale DSL rates below what Sympatico can sell and this it really doesn't make a lot of sense.

Re:How? (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076742)

Well, a) Bell still has to backhaul to the demarc with any given ISP, and b) DSLAMs are fininte resources. If they have to upgrade because ISP Alpha is offering super duper highspeed unlimited, it's only fair the ISPs pay their fair share. Besides, ISTR the ISPs begging for metered billing, rather than Bell doing wholesale (pardon the pun) traffic throttling and deep packet inspection.

Re:How? (1)

ph (1938) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076772)

I don't know what would make you think Bell would stop packet shaping their DSL network. They already won that decision from the CRTC, why would they stop?

Re:How? (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076776)

Because Bell charges usage fees of $1/GB to their own customers, so if they can't charge at LEAST $1.12/GB to third parties then how can they possibly compete with third parties? I mean, besides slashing their lines like they do now.

Given a monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#34076522)

Can someone provide a link showing how Bell Canada were given a monopoly on lines in Canada?

Googling does no reveal much and it seems like Videotron and Rogers are offering fiber-to-the-home in certain areas not to mention their "home phone" and internet service offerings.

The part I have difficulty understanding is the "given" part: since telecom and dragging copper or fibre to connect sites to one's network is very expensive, could it be nobody wanted to invest that much money to compete with a 100+ year old company?

Ameteur radio bandwidth. (1)

steeleyeball (1890884) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076702)

There are some pretty high bandwidth Ham radio frequencies. Is there a way around the CRTC by having an amateur radio license?

Re:Ameteur radio bandwidth. (2, Informative)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076818)

Amateur radio cannot replace the Internet--at least in the U.S. regulations both encryption and 1st- or 2nd-party commercial traffic are banned. So you can check your home email via unencrypted POP or browse the web casually (even with 3rd party ads), but you can't check your work email, buy anything, or technically use SSL or SSH at all. The only time "message obfuscation" of any kind permitted is when sending control signals to satellites. Amateur radios frequencies are specifically intended for experimental applications, and using it as a dedicated internet connection would constitute a fixed service. The laws could be different in Canada, of course, but I would be surprised if they were vastly different.

Bell will destroy small business competitors (5, Interesting)

ph (1938) | more than 4 years ago | (#34076762)

Bell is doing this purely to maximize their profit and put the wholesalers who are trying to compete with them out of business.

The rates Bell has given to wholesalers of their GAS network are the exact same as their RETAIL rates for bandwidth. That means wholesalers have ZERO margins, and would have to actually incur costs to collect this usage charge on behalf of Bell. If there’s any errors, I'm sure it comes out of the wholesaler's pocket as well.

Wholesalers used to be able to compete against the big guys by having better bandwidth caps, better technical support, more flexable plans -- Bell has used UBB to level the playing field to where only they can win.

Why are the first 20 gigabytes after 60 so valuable ($1.12 per gig), then from 81 to 300 gigs are zero-cost? Because Bell has structured the system to screw over as many people as possible. They did an analysis of where the sweet spot is to collect as much money as possible from wholesale subscribers, then structured their rates to match.

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