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Canada Networking

CRTC To Allow Usage-Based Billing 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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CRTC To Allow Usage-Based Billing

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  • 60GB is nothing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Murdoch5 ( 1563847 )
    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 I think it's higher on business planes look real good.

      But not as good as fios and att no caps.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by matazar ( 1104563 )

      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: (Score:3, Informative)

        For any Canadians reading today:

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Online petitions do nothing. Send letters to the CRTC, your local MPs and the Prime Ministers office.

          Another idea would be for a lot of people to protest this by requesting your payroll people to stop deducting your income tax, setup an interest bearing account to deposit what you would normally have deducted for tax, sending a letter to the tax people indicating your reason for doing this (as a protest) and paying your taxes at the end of the year instead of every pay period.

          It is legal to not pay your inc

          • by TeraCo ( 410407 )

            The 'tax people' don't care about when they get their money or what it is spent on as long as you are in full compliance with the laws regarding tax. Paying tax at the end of the financial year is completely legal and the 'tax people' prefer it because it reduces the amount of administrivia they have to deal with.

            I can assure you, the 'tax people' won't lose any sleep over the money they 'lost'.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Rasperin ( 1034758 )
              WRONG.ABSOLUTELY WRONG! Ok caps off, what do you think they do when they get the biweekly amount of cash? Throw it in a bank for next year, that's a joke! They invest it in attempts to raise their profits, typically in the US dollar or as loans to the US. Either way if a lot of people did it, it would make a (very) substantial impact on the government. On a plus note, you could put that tax money into an interest bearing CD and come out ahead.
        • Dissolving the CRTC is a really bad idea, and if you think just because they appear to bend to the telcos all the time that they're useless, you're a moron.

          But you're advocating online petitions, so I'm being Captain Obvious.

      • Re:60GB is nothing (Score:5, Informative)

        by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @08:03PM (#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.

        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

          Or 22kbps, burstable to 14mbit...
          Most of these isps consider traffic in both directions to count towards your cap too.

      • I just bought a couple of days ago Frontlines Fuel of War from Steam.... paid about 2-3$ for it and the download size is 12 GB.

        If you want to, I guess you can really reach the limit of those accounts, spending 10-15$ a month. And I'm paying 20$ a month for 25/4 unrestricted connection.

    • by hipp5 ( 1635263 )

      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.

      • Play WoW? Congratulations, you're next-best-thing to running a server. And yes, playing WoW *is* a well-known pastime for the average consumer.

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

        Your comment makes sense until you think about why server hosting is not a standard pastime.

        There are now lots of little router appliances that could easily be little servers for individual consumers. It makes complete sense since communication media is more or less symmetric and even if you use the cheapest possible components on the uplink you normally end up with plenty of spare capacity. File sharing software has shown that the consumers are able and willing to use this.

        The thing which blocks thes

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      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?

      • by js3 ( 319268 )

        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.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        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

      • by cgenman ( 325138 )

        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.

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

      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.

    • Bell's own numbers show that 99% of their userbase uses 2GB or less every month.

      60GB is plenty for the average user. It's not a lot for a power user who does a lot of downloading, but it's more than enough for most of us.

      • Bell's cellular division is full of lying sacks of shit who will say anything to sell a phone and a contract. Why the fuck should I believe any part of the company about anything else they ever say?

    • Canadian ISPs are not about facilitating access for consumers. They are all about how much money they can bleed out of their customers with data usage caps. And I know Rogers (maybe Bell too) does not allow home users to run servers across their internet connection.

      Don't get me started on their iron fist strangle hold on our cellular networks.

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "past 100GB and your not being to legit on what your downloading."

      I can dump 1TB halfway through a month with a Camfrog server. That's just live streaming video chat ALONE, let me not get into my seeding linux distros, uploading tons of research data and photographs, plus receiving similar amounts that I sent out back from two other sources (about 250GB monthly,) Not including Skype calls, skype video chats, various free wallpaper sites, GrooveShark, etc.

      Still using content-limited AOL, are we?

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @07:15PM (#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.
    • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @07:38PM (#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.
    • 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.
      • by sarhjinian ( 94086 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @08:43PM (#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.
  • by assemblerex ( 1275164 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @07:17PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MoonBuggy ( 611105 )

      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        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.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Useful tip to liberals in Canada. Just because someone points out that your party is mired in corruption so deep that they gave away a diplomat posting in order to try and hide it, doesn't mean it's not true.

      • 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

  • Next Election (Score:3, Informative)

    by the_other_one ( 178565 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @07:27PM (#34076064) Homepage
    Do Not vote for the Conservative Reform Alliance Party!
    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

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

      • Yeah, because Harper's doing so much better. Oh wait, he's not. And yeah, I voted Conservative. Unfortunately, there's a couple issues I chose to hold in slightly higher priority that lined up more with them than with the Liberal party. Too bad they haven't done shit about those issues, either. Maybe I'll just vote Labour.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          You might have noticed that minorities generally get nothing done. As it stands, this could become the new 'norm' in Canadian politics. Minority, followed by minority, and nothing getting done, while we get screwed over.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.)

  • 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.

  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • by ph ( 1938 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @09:41PM (#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.

  • Stop giving the government an interest free loan and instead pay only what you owe in taxes at tax time instead of giving them free money and then collecting a refund. Not only will you earn money in interest but you can send a message to the government by hitting them where it hurts.

  • The effect is clear. If you want to distribute or watch movies online, use a torrent or a low rate codec.
  • by twidarkling ( 1537077 ) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @01:35AM (#34077704)

    We're a left-leaning country. I have a great fucking idea. Nationalize bell. I was never a fan of this privatization shit. Let's get this socialist bit working again, and have the government own the lines, and then companies like Teksaavy (or however it's spelled) just pay the government maintenance rates for access, then anyone can compete, since it's a government entity without an interest in the market AND NOT DIRECTLY OFFERING SERVICES that everyone's going to. Bell charging companies for access while still selling access to individuals is pretty fucking anti-competitive. That way, if an area wants better internet, you just talk to your MP and they put it on the list of infrastructure to be improved in the area.

    I mean, fuck, taxpayers already paid for all the lines, so fuck Bell. Yes, I'm just a wee bit angry at this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mdielmann ( 514750 )

      I have a great fucking idea. Nationalize bell.

      We don't need to nationalize Bell. We just need to nationalize Bell's lines. We can even contract out servicing, and perhaps even upgrading those lines, but then lease usage to whoever needs it (i.e., the ISP you contract with). This gets rid of the natural monopoly being used against competitors, and puts everyone on a level playing field.
      To be properly done, the cable companies and cell towers should be nationalized, as well, with the same rules.

  • For all Americans (Score:4, Informative)

    by No. 24601 ( 657888 ) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @03:22AM (#34077974)

    For all Americans who think this will never happen to them, you should read this article from Reuters [] just this past Wednesday. Looks like the Canadian telecom industry is the role model our boys are looking to follow. But unlike what the article says, Canadians are not accepting this situation lying down. They are actively seeking out and subscribing to the new disruptive competition like Wind Mobile and Mobilicity.

    • Doesn't fuck all matter when Bell owns the lines and can charge other providers the extortion rates.

  • by pablo_max ( 626328 ) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @04:47AM (#34078128)

    Seriously, Americans and Canadians are the biggest bunch of pussies in the world. Everyday we get to read stories like this and listen to everyone complain how unfair it is and how the government is doing whatever big business wants, yet YOU DO NOTHING!
    Oh, sign this online petition. Are you kidding me? Get a fucking backbone and do something about it!
    Do you watch the news?

    France is the perfect example. The government does something the people don't want and they take to the streets in mass to force change. Meanwhile, your media skews the stories to ensure you side with the French government so as you don't get the same idea. Like always, you lap it up like good little lemmings.

    Seriously, what must happen before you stand up for yourselves?

    **disclaimer, I was arrested twice during peaceful protests, but at least I didn't sit on my ass while my government took my rights like you lazy fucks.

  • Pass the Buck (Score:2, Interesting)

    So now Canadians can sue online advertisers for damages done by usage of bandwidth?

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham