Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Canada The Internet News

Canada CRTC Rules Against Usage Based Billing 117

Posted by samzenpus
from the internet-buffet dept.
iONiUM writes "In a somewhat surprising end to the ongoing fight between large ISPs (a duopoly in Canada), and independent ISPs, the CRTC has ruled in favor of the small ISPs. This means that independent ISPs can continue to have unlimited plans offered to customers. From the article: 'Under the CRTC’s new capacity-based approach, large telephone and cable companies will sell wholesale bandwidth to independent ISPs on a monthly basis. Independent ISPs will have to determine in advance the amount they need to serve their retail customers and then manage network capacity until they are able to purchase more. Alternatively, large companies can continue to charge independent ISPs a flat monthly fee for wholesale access, regardless of how much bandwidth their customers use. Both billing options give independent ISPs the ability to design service plans and charge their own customers as they see fit.' Score one for the citizens."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Canada CRTC Rules Against Usage Based Billing

Comments Filter:
  • Duopoly? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    No, there are certainly more than two major Internet providers in Canada.

    Shaw, Telus, Rogers, Bell, Cogeco, MTS, etc.

    That said, good decision.

    • Re:Duopoly? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mad Merlin (837387) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @06:55PM (#38067856) Homepage

      In any given area, there's one company that owns the phone lines (say, Bell) and one other company that owns the cable lines (say, Rogers). That's it. Any Internet access you can get runs over their last mile lines or is horribly expensive and/or slow (satellite, wireless).

      • I hate bell. I hate rogers. This is good news for everybody but the people at Bell and Rogers who enjoy screwing over their customers. W
        • Re:Duopoly? (Score:5, Informative)

          by penguinstorm (575341) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:27PM (#38068178) Homepage

          It's not going to change the fact that in virtually every market *except Toronto* you're buying your connection from your phone company or your cable company directly. Toronto seems to be the only city with the critical mass and regulatory structure to allow third party providers to survive and flourish. It hasn't happened here in Vancouver.

          • by mirix (1649853)

            This. I really wish they would split it up... one company is responsible for the last mile, and that's all they do. Just the physical medium. It can be municipally owned, whatever.

            Then let whoever wants in hook up at the central office. That way we'd get some real competition, which just isn't happening here. Too much conflict of interest when the line owners are also the service providers.

            • This. I really wish they would split it up... one company is responsible for the last mile, and that's all they do. Just the physical medium. It can be municipally owned, whatever.

              Then let whoever wants in hook up at the central office. That way we'd get some real competition, which just isn't happening here. Too much conflict of interest when the line owners are also the service providers.

              Seconded. It's the only sane decision. C'mon CRTC, make 2011 the year you do 2 Right Things(tm).

          • by icebike (68054)

            It's not going to change the fact that in virtually every market *except Toronto* you're buying your connection from your phone company or your cable company directly. Toronto seems to be the only city with the critical mass and regulatory structure to allow third party providers to survive and flourish. It hasn't happened here in Vancouver.

            But that's not unusual anywhere in north america.
            You have the phone company or the cable company.
            Every other option pretty much disappeared when Dial Up vanished.

          • Re:Duopoly? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Maow (620678) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:26PM (#38068714) Journal

            allow third party providers to survive and flourish. It hasn't happened here in Vancouver.

            I'm in Vancouver, and *enjoying* my first Shaw-free month with TekSavvy as ISP over Shaw's cable lines (I own my cable modem).

            They're certainly worth checking out, if for no other reason than $30 / month is what a 7.5 Mbps connection is actually worth.

            Note, at 17:25 on a tuesday afternoon I'm getting SpeedTest.net score of 30ms ping, 19.24 Mbps download, and, 0.48 Mbps upload speeds.

            Shaw is, of course, still making money on the last mile, but a lot less than when I used them directly.

            TL;DR: it's up to *us* to make the 3rd parties flourish: change ISPs today.

            • You get 2.5 times your advertised down speed at night or am I reading that wrong?
              • by haruchai (17472)
                He probably is - Teksavvy has an Extreme Cable plan ( for Toronto, at least) that advertises up to 15 Mbps but at off-peak hours, you can hit over 30 Mbps. Might get even more if you have a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem.
              • by Maow (620678)

                You get 2.5 times your advertised down speed at night or am I reading that wrong?

                Correct, though possibly temporary.

                It seems that my "Up to 7.5 Mbps" is more of an "at least 7.5 Mbps".

                I was surprised by the numbers posted, retested and got very similar numbers.

                This neighbourhood appears to be a couple blocks from Shaw Cable's trunk lines for Vancouver, where there are multiple 1-2 inch diameter "pipes" strung to the telephone poles, and 100 Mbps is available, so that might be one reason.

                Just testing again,

                • by anethema (99553)
                  That isn't how Shaw operates.

                  Shaw's trunk likes are little fiber wires,not 2 inch pipes.

                  Fiber runs into shaws head office (Bigpipe owns this fiber, which is shaw). Then shaw has fiber out to all the areas. In those areas are what shaw calls "Nodes" which are basically fiber to RF converters. Each node services an (ideally small) area of people.

                  100mbps is available basically everywhere. It is a standard DOCSIS 3 speed. I'm in Kelowna and have no problem getting 50 or 100mbps. It is the same modem, same backb
                  • by Maow (620678)

                    Shaw's trunk likes are little fiber wires,not 2 inch pipes.

                    That's what I expected them to use. But I've never seen cables any where in Vancouver like here in south-east Van.

                    Fiber runs into shaws head office (Bigpipe owns this fiber, which is shaw). Then shaw has fiber out to all the areas. In those areas are what shaw calls "Nodes" which are basically fiber to RF converters. Each node services an (ideally small) area of people.

                    Interesting. If it weren't barely above 0C and raining, I'd go snap a photo and

                  • by Maow (620678)

                    Hi again,

                    Shaw's trunk likes are little fiber wires,not 2 inch pipes.

                    I'm curious what you make of these cables:

                    http://www.maow.net/images/2011-11-16%2015.24.40.jpg [maow.net]

                    Thanks for any input...

                    • by anethema (99553)
                      I'm guessing you are right in that it is a trunk but it probably is not coax. It is probably a huge bundle of fibers coming in from all over.

                      You can see the amplifier on the smaller line there (0.625 line).

                      It has a bunch of directional couplers etc, and a drop for customers. But it is all on the normal line.

                      I just can't see it being coax because amplifiers can be put anywhere. And the only reason for thick line would be to span a huge distance without an amplifier.

                      Of course I'm not positive, I just do a sma
            • by AmbushBug (71207)

              How are you getting TekSavvy over cable in Vancouver? Their website only shows it available in Ontario. Is this new? I'd love to switch to TekSavvy...

              • by Maow (620678)

                How are you getting TekSavvy over cable in Vancouver? Their website only shows it available in Ontario. Is this new? I'd love to switch to TekSavvy...

                I think it's new. Check their website again, select province of BC, and there's this: "Greater Vancouver Area Cable Internet"

                You can order online, where the first step is to enter your postal code. Mine was rejected, but I called them, got mixed messages, turns out I'm eligible but their postal code DB is hard to keep up-to-date.

                I'm quite happy with them onc

          • I live north of Kingston, and a CLEC just buried conduit from the pole in my front yard to the back of my house.... to go with the fiber that they strung on that pole last summer. I should have fiber internet Real Soon Now.

            Thank God not all the small telcos were bought by Bell. These guys bought a mom-n-pop ISP and expanded instead.

            • I live north of Kingston, and a CLEC just buried conduit from the pole in my front yard to the back of my house.... to go with the fiber that they strung on that pole last summer. I should have fiber internet Real Soon Now.

              Thank God not all the small telcos were bought by Bell. These guys bought a mom-n-pop ISP and expanded instead.

              Please post the name of the CLEC so others may also benefit.

      • In any given area, there's one company that owns the phone lines (say, Bell) and one other company that owns the cable lines (say, Rogers). That's it. Any Internet access you can get runs over their last mile lines or is horribly expensive and/or slow (satellite, wireless).

        Generally true, but there are (rare) exceptions:

        • Atria [atrianetworks.com] is mostly business but will service some multi-unit residential.
        • Wightman [wightman.ca] has been doing FTTH for a few years, but you have to live in small-town ON.
    • by p0p0 (1841106)
      As far as I know (which ain't far) Bell and Rogers own the lines, while everyone else leases them. I also believe the majority is Bell lines anyway.

      This is great. I pay ~$40/month for TechSavy, 25mbps down, 5mbps up, and unlimited bandwidth. Bell and Rogers offr nothing close to that.

      Screw you Major ISP's! We paid for you to put in the lines, you should be able to pay for the upgrades yourself!
      • Re:Duopoly? (Score:5, Informative)

        by BobNET (119675) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:08PM (#38067986)

        Spell TekSavvy [teksavvy.com] right and link to it so others can bask in its awesomeness!

        • teksavvy going under (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:16PM (#38068072)

          see this :
          http://teksavvynews.ca/index.php [teksavvynews.ca]
          Chatham, Ontario, November 15, 2011 â" TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (âoeTekSavvyâ), one of Canadaâ(TM)s leading independent internet service providers, is disappointed with the rates for the wholesale high-speed services that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (âoeCRTCâ) approved today. The rates are for services that Internet service providers need to purchase from the large telephone and cable companies, such as Bell and Rogers, in order to provide Internet access services to their own retail customers.

          In Telecom Regulatory Policies CRTC 2011-703 and 2011-704 issued today the CRTC implemented new rate structures and rates for wholesale services.

          TekSavvy is pleased with the rate structure adopted, but the actual rates will increase the cost of Internet for Canadian consumers.

          âoeThe CRTC decision is a step back for consumers. The rates approved by the Commission today will make it much harder for independent ISPs to competeâ, said Marc Gaudrault, TekSavvyâ(TM)s CEO. âoeThis is an unfortunate development for telecommunications competition in Canadaâ, he added.

          -30-

          • by msobkow (48369)

            Where does it say they're going under?

            I'd mod you troll if I had the points.

            • by tom17 (659054)

              Dunno if they are going under, but Mark at TSI has already stated that the rates Bell charge for a 1Gbps link will go up from ~$1,700 which it is now, to $22,000 under the new plans on offer. Yes, you read that right, an increase of 13x the cost.

              However, individual line rates have gone down, so the actual end result may not be as alarming, still waiting on word from him about the result of this...

      • Well, that's a little bit childish when expressed that way, even if the sentiment is true.

        They need revenue to pay for the upgrades. The problem is there's no direct correlation between the bandwidth used by a single customer (or even an average aggregate group of customers) and those upgrades.

        No one's disputing the fact that these guys need money, it's their desire to bill you for usage which creates a situation that effectively stifles innovation and adoption of new services that's in dispute here.

        To your

    • Re:Duopoly? (Score:5, Informative)

      by realityimpaired (1668397) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:04PM (#38067942)

      How many of those ISPs have overlapping service areas?

      Shaw, Rogers, Cogeco, and Videotron have divvied up the territories for cable service, and don't overlap service areas.
      Similarly, Telus, Bell, MTS, and Aliant have divvied up the territories for landline service, and also don't overlap service areas.

      It's only in the mobile telephone area that there's overlap between companies like Bell/Telus, and even that isn't *real* overlap, as they're sharing each others' towers.

      So yeah. For Internet service, there is a duopoly. You're either buying cable service from one of the cable companies, or you're buying landline phone service from one of the phone companies, and the only way to choose which cable/phone company it is is to move to a different part of the country.

    • Yep. I'm with cogeco and my basic service for $45/mnth includes a cap at 60 gigaBytes. Each gig over costs me $1.50 until I pay $30 (IIRC) Its a way to induce BW hogs to upgrade to "pro service" or whatever its called for $35 or $40 more. I can't really argue with that business plan except that I know it only costs them roughly 20 pennies to move all of that data. Sure... make your profit, thats fair... but where is the Fios we've been promised for the last 10 years? Not happening.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You can't really say that Telus is an Internet service provider because that would imply...er...that they actually provide service.

      I had an account with them and I repeatedly tried to get some help from them. Finally, I sent them a nasty email and quit the account. They charged me a termination fee! I had to go to court to get it back. I got to see some of their internal emails as part of the process. They really fumbled the ball. Things like "It appears his first request didn't get logged into the system."

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @06:50PM (#38067810) Journal
    ... there's absolutely nothing in this ruling that actually prohibits UBB... it only prohibits charging more than the amount that was agreed to. Simply put, once a customer has used up the bandwidth that they've paid for in a money, they will have to go and buy more.

    It cuts out the suprise bills at the end when you find out just how much bandwidth you really used last month, but it doesn't really stop ISP's from charging consumers based on how much bandwidth they actually use, or, more specifically, they intend to use.

    • I saw the typo literally just as I pressed submit...

      s/paid for in a money/paid for in a month/

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I believe this ruling means that large telecoms can lease their bandwidth to smaller ISPs who will resell it to consumers, but the large telecom will have no control over how the reseller does this. The ISP could put caps on the reseller as a whole, but not on an individual user.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      ... there's absolutely nothing in this ruling that actually prohibits UBB... it only prohibits charging more than the amount that was agreed to. Simply put, once a customer has used up the bandwidth that they've paid for in a month, they will have to go and buy more.

      It cuts out the suprise bills at the end when you find out just how much bandwidth you really used last month, but it doesn't really stop ISP's from charging consumers based on how much bandwidth they actually use, or, more specifically, they intend to use.

      So how does that work for them having any ability to throttle your usage?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This ruling has no direct impact on consumer billing. It only governs wholesale internet access sold from ISPs who own the physical infrastructure (ie. TELUS, BELL, etc) to smaller ISPs who then re-sell to consumers.

      I saw the announcement on TV and from what I heard the CRTC doesn't actually consider consumer billing as part of its jurisdiction. Although I could have mis-interpreted that.

    • I think there are two different meanings of bandwidth colliding. From the CBC article they are purchasing pipe size not data amount. I have seen both used for bandwidth. It would be nice to know which the CRTC actually means. as they are completely different. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/11/15/pol-crtc-ubb-decision.html [www.cbc.ca]
    • by penguinstorm (575341) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:26PM (#38068162) Homepage

      You're not expecting the CRTC to have a thorough, comprehensive technical understanding of the industry they're regulating, are you? Seriously: let me know how that works out for you.

      Frankly, Usage Based Billing is a secondary concern to Net Neutrality. Every internet service provider in Canada was built on a monopoly granted to them by the Government of the day (literally or in essence) to provide services that can *now* be replaced by online IP based services. They all have a vested interest in retaining those monopolies and the additional bills you incur as a result.

      I get my connection from the *only* cable provider in the mega-city I live in. They could easily start throttling streaming video and impede the technical growth of 1.7 million people.

      The CRTC seems like not much more than a cabal run by the large telecoms these days. They're supposed to be an advocate FOR CANADIANS not for the businesses. When they start doing that, I'll have hope.

      • Every major internet service provider in Canada was built on a monopoly granted to them by the Government of the day

        FTFY

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is not about whether a Canadian ISP can bill you, as a consumer, according to how much you use. They can and they do.

      This ruling is about whether a large ISP (such as Bell), that controls the network itself, can force its own pricing plans onto smaller ISPs that have to lease bandwidth on lines controlled by the big guys. The answer is now no, they cannot do so; the small ISPs are free to create their own plans for their own customers.

      • by madhi19 (1972884)
        Yeah but now that they can't squeeze smaller players out of the market we may finally get them to compete on price that will bring down price for all customers include those who are stuck with Bell!
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Simply put, once a customer has used up the bandwidth that they've paid for in a money, they will have to go and buy more.

      Care to explain what you understand by "used up the bandwidth"?
      Doesn't it sound like the non-nonsensical "used up all the speed of your car"?

      (Bandwidth is measured in "bits per second". "Usage Based Billing" should be in something sort of "distance traveled" or "fuel purchased" in the car analogy).

    • by rikkards (98006)

      Teksavvy has usage based billing but the difference between them and Rogers/Bell is that their cap is reasonable (300G vs 95G), they don't throttle, and their cost is $10 cheaper. If you go for the same price, you get unlimited.

    • I believe you are wrong there. It says for their wholesale customers, they are allowed to bill based on connection speed, but not total monthly bandwidth usage. This means a small ISP would pay for a 100Mbit link, or 2 Gbit link, etc... It is billed in 100Mbit increments. ISP can use as much as they want, but they will only get that amount per second they paid for. This makes sense to me, you pay for the size of the pipe you need, doesn't matter how much data you put through the pipe.
      • by Maow (620678)

        This makes sense to me, you pay for the size of the pipe you need, doesn't matter how much data you put through the pipe.

        My initial reading of the decision on CBC's site made me think it would be *harder* for small ISPs to start up, as they'd under-utilise their connection until their customer base grew enough.

        It is billed in 100Mbit increments.

        This is good, as small, new ISPs can ramp up the size of their connection as their customer base grows.

        I want to read more about TekSavvy's response to the decision,

    • by tixxit (1107127)

      UBB wasn't about charging users for a fixed amount of downloads, it was about the big telcos charging wholesalers prices per individual, instead of, you know, wholesaling bandwidth in bulk to the independents. Basically, they wanted to impose their consumer-level pricing schemes on wholesalers, rather than sell in bulk. A big part of UBB was a change in the laws that would let the big telcos charge the independents rates based on "market value" (ie. what they charge their customers), rather than actual cost

  • by koan (80826)

    Lets hope some of that sensibility flows down south.

    • Good luck with that.

      • by koan (80826)

        I've found when I take that attitude it leads to in-action on my part, then eventually I get whittled down to caring for nothing.
        It's a frustrating when the people making the rules either know nothing about the Internet (most judges) or that they are motivated by little more than greed RIAA, MPAA, could it really hurt to voice approval of sensible behavior?

        I know it hurts our position to give up by assuming we are done for.

  • by Ichijo (607641) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:21PM (#38068110) Homepage Journal

    Usage-based billing with variable pricing is actually the most efficient way to charge for a limited resource. Under the "all you can eat" flat rate model, the most economical amount of capacity is not where there is no network saturation ever, but where the cost to your users of the inconvenience of network saturation equals the cost of adding capacity. That means a little network congestion is actually a good thing in this pricing model.

    Under the "usage-based billing with variable pricing" model, there are neither heavy periods nor light periods, but expensive periods and inexpensive periods. It gives people the freedom and ability to economize by scheduling their heavy downloads for the cheap periods to save money.

    If something is in less demand during certain times of the day, why shouldn't the seller charge less during those times? This is why restaurants offer lunch and happy hour specials.

    Aren't freedom and the ability to economize good things?

    • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@NOspAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:36PM (#38068258) Homepage

      Except bandwidth isn't a limited resource, which is what they're charging for. UBB is the easy and cheap way to stall back network upgrades and ding consumers hard in the pocketbook at the same time. In Ontario, independents with their own DSLAMS and cable plants can offer 200-300gb caps and competitive, or better service than the big incumbents can. This tells me that either these organizations have serious fiscal problems in operations, they're so inept that they can't figure out what needs to be upgraded, or there is no problem with bandwidth, and they're just out to screw everyone they can, because they're in a duopoloy, monopoly or super-monopoly position.

      • by Ichijo (607641) on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:46PM (#38068332) Homepage Journal

        bandwidth isn't a limited resource

        If bandwidth were a free good [wikipedia.org], then it would be in such abundance that everybody would have all they could ever want and nobody would ever have to pay anybody for it. Clearly, that isn't the case.

        • by Mashiki (184564)

          You're not paying for the bandwidth. You never have, you're paying for the hardware. Remember your highschool physics?

        • bandwidth isn't a limited resource

          If bandwidth were a free good [wikipedia.org], then it would be in such abundance that everybody would have all they could ever want and nobody would ever have to pay anybody for it. Clearly, that isn't the case.

          There are two units of measure that are often conflated. One is the number of packets (P), the other is the transmission rate, packets per second (P/s). Packets (P) are a free good (sort-of they do cost electricity) my computer can generate as many packets as I please at no cost. The bandwidth (P/s) however is a limit resource, to get more you have to pay more. So it makes sense to charge for bandwidth (P/s), but charging for packets (P) doesn't make sense. It's not like your router can only handle so man

      • I believe that the UBB plan had little or nothing to do with limited bandwidth. Bell and Rogers own TV channels and networks. They own both content and the means to distribute it. Enter new enterprises that offer content over the Internet, Netflix. I believe UBB is really about keeping control of content and eliminating any content competitors.

    • by wwbbs (60205)
      UBB is great when you do not have artificial limits imposed by the people that control the internet backbone and the last mile; that only have that monopoly as it was subsidized by the tax payers in return for ongoing service. While I agree that companies should be able to make a profit but what appears to have happened is some bean counter got a bright idea that people should pay more now per byte than they did even five years ago. I blame the mobile market for jacking up the rates bell figured we can ch
      • by Ichijo (607641)

        If your bill for 20 Gigabytes of data transfer was $200 instead of $20 Would you care?

        If that charge applies only to the peak usage periods from 6-9am and 6-9pm, and it's free at all other times, plus a flat $10 per month line charge, I could get pretty close to paying only $10 per month for broadband internet. That wouldn't be so bad.

      • by JMJimmy (2036122)

        UBB is great when it's charged at cost + reasonable markup. Exact figures vary but it's somewhere between $0.005 and $0.07 per gb depending on the area. Bhell would have you believe that it's more like $1.50 per gb. They of course won't release how they come up with that number. If I was asked to pay $0.10/gb I might have been inclined but only if there was 0 monthly fee (that fee is designed to cover their costs which they double charge for in UBB). That would put the maximum bill of a 5mb connectio

    • Just one small difference between theory and practice - UBB as envisioned by the Canadian telcos was never intended to be efficient, it was intended to make them more money without any further investment in the infrastructure. Do you really think they're going to concede anything on the low end of the bandwidth usage spectrum, for example by offering old-granny-1GB-per-month a $10 plan? Not a chance in hell. It's a means to punish people for actually using their connections for all those great things the
      • by Ichijo (607641)

        Do you really think they're going to concede anything on the low end of the bandwidth usage spectrum, for example by offering old-granny-1GB-per-month a $10 plan?

        Yes, because that's $10 more per month they would be getting from her than if they charged a flat rate of $50 per month.

    • by aclarke (307017)
      I don't have a philosophical argument with UBB as a concept. However, its implementation by Bell/Rogers/etc. was a cash grab and a way to stifle market innovation by choking out resellers. I wrote a bit about it [clarke.ca] a few months ago, if you or anyone actually cares.

      IIRC, Bell's per GB overage charges were over a thousand times their actual costs. No matter how you slice that, it's anti-consumer and anti-competitive. Additionally, in a fair system I'd expect to see the base cost of an internet connection
      • by Ichijo (607641)

        IIRC, Bell's per GB overage charges were over a thousand times their actual costs... I think the excess charges should be in line with costs plus reasonable profit.

        In the real world, product prices aren't set directly by "costs plus reasonable profit," but by whatever the market will bear. If you charge above the market, nobody will buy your widget, and if you charge below the market, you'll run out of widgets and lose money not just on the widgets you sold but also the widgets you couldn't sell because you

        • That only works in an open market telecom last mile is not open. A sane market would decouple the last mile lines and services.

    • Most sensible people acknowledge. There is no 'free lunch'. There are real costs to providing internet connections (infrastructure, support, transit charges...) The only question is how do you break down the usage.

      Most physical models we could come up with are problematic. Many might try a metaphor like our roads. We have similar issues of infrastructure costs, too much traffic, congestion, peak periods... So road tolls seem sensible to some people. This is some form of usage based billing.

      Yet let's r

    • by billtom (126004)

      This hearing wasn't really about Usage Based Billing as a concept.

      As is pretty common in these sorts of things, the terms of debate g0t all twisted around by the participants as they try to put forward their various agendas.

      The real question being addressed was: in what ways can the big telco companies force their wholesale customers (the independent ISPs) to adopt certain billing practices on their retail customers?

      The fact that the question, this time, was about UBB was incidental to the basic point.

      Basic

  • by Grieviant (1598761) * on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @07:29PM (#38068192)

    Sure, score a small point for not letting Bell and Rogers increase the abuse, but our wired broadband status quo is still terrible. High prices, low monthly caps (60GB typical) with massive overage fees, absurd asymmetry between D/L and U/L rates (10 Mbps down / 0.5 Mbps up typical), unmitigated throttling any time the provider feels like it (apparently 65-85% of the time [nytimes.com]), 'unintentional' throttling of gaming, etc. Aside from the low caps, you can't even get around any of this by going with one of the smaller ISPs since AFAIK the leased lines are subject to the same 'traffic management' policies.

    The service is pretty shitty also - video buffering on a 25Mbps D/L connection, ping to the west coast randomly spiking up to 400ms, problems that 5 calls to tech support over the period of a month and one modem replacement failed to resolve. The tech support guys and technicians all but admit that it's a policy issue rather than anything they can fix.

    • Currently posting from Edmonton using 250 down / 15 up / unlimited data. Sucks to be you bro, but you shouldn't say all of Canada has crap broadband just because you do.
      • Currently posting from Edmonton using 250 down / 15 up / unlimited data.

        How much is that costing you? That could be had here if you don't mind paying 5 figures a month for it.

        • $140 standalone. It's cheaper if you bundle it but I don't need TV.
          • by Mashiki (184564)

            So you have shaw would be my guess. Which puts you into the 'small' minority of Canadians who can get it. Drive 2hrs north of where you live, and zip. You'll be lucky if you can get a 1.3meg/256k connection that's stable.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Where is the utopian society he dreamed of in 1984? Put control back in the hands of big business for heavens sake. They know what is best for us.

  • Michael Geist (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:32PM (#38068800)
  • 14.6GiB per $ (Score:4, Informative)

    by harryjohnston (1118069) <harry.maurice.johnston@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 15, 2011 @08:36PM (#38068842) Homepage

    If I've done my math right, then for Bell-based customers this works out as roughly 14.6GiB per dollar, or seven cents per gigabyte, assuming the network is always congested. The actual cost depends on the peak to off-peak traffic ratio and on how much congestion is considered acceptable, but this provides a minimum.

    Folks who want, say, 5Mbs free-and-clear (no congestion and no data cap) would be paying Bell $110.65 per month plus a $14.11 access fee. That's more than I'd prefer to pay myself, but it isn't out of reach.

    However, it isn't clear to me exactly what this is buying. I suspect it doesn't include actual internet connectivity, but is just what the retail ISP is paying for Bell to get the traffic from the customer to the ISP. So you need to add the ISPs internal costs, profit margin, any applicable taxes, and whatever wholesale internet rates the ISP pays. I strongly suspect that by the time you've added all this up, 5Mbs free-and-clear is still going to be too expensive for most people.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not really since even the ISPs with unlimited plans still oversell their back-haul capacity. Very very few people run their connection at 100% 24/7.

      • But many people think they should be able to. :-)

  • I'm on my first month using TekSavvy (a 3rd party reseller) here in Vancouver, over Shaw Cable's "last mile".

    Can't say how happy I am to have cut Shaw, Rogers, and Telus from my life (thanks to Wind Mobile too).

    Just putting this out there for anyone else who might be interested.

    To top it all off, "Humongous Bank" is history too, thanks to VanCity.

  • I live in Canada, and some time ago wanted to switch from one of the 'Big Two' to one of the small ones (in fact the very first local ISP i ever signed up with).. Turns out that they have to 1) apply for permission *from* the big two, before they can provide you service..if there's any unresolved issues between you and the big boys, including , but not limited to) unpaid bills, arbitration, complaints due TOS violations of any kind, etc etc, they can refuse permission to allow subcontracting access of any k
  • To cut my bills I did the following:
    * Internet: Teksavvy over Cable. Long ago I had Rogers Cable ($70/month, 5 Mbps Up / 256 Kbps Down), then Teksavvy DSL and now Teksavvy Cable (Extreme: up to 24/1 Mpbs, 300 Gb cap, $43/month)
    * Telephone: Unlimitel (VoIP) with my dedicated Asterisk computer at home. $3.50/DID (I have 3), plus usage, which comes to about $7, so around $10/month for 3 lines
    * Television: cut Rogers Cable in Feb 2011. Now I have Netflix (US & Canada), and antenna. I don't watch sports on t

  • Here are the facts:

    - Of the developed world, Canada has among the worst Internet speeds for the worst prices.
    - Our Internet providers are all posting record profits year after year.
    - Our Internet providers are all buying up big media companies so they can control the gateways and the content itself for their own benefit.
    - Alternative forms of content distribution are between throttled and bandwidth-capped.
    - I can get better service for significantly less money through a competitor who is a fraction of the b

  • Good if you live where they offer coverage. I have looked into getting Teksavvy myself after getting abused by Cogeco and Bell for years. However according to their website there is no service to Peterborough, Ontario.

    It a good win, and a surprising one for consumers however, a small step to a better future in broadband.

    However one spinoff I see of this, is the purposeful degradation of lines, and further inhibiting of growth. Both Bell and Rogers won the right previously in an earlier CRTC ruling to be abl

You're already carrying the sphere!

Working...