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1 Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:44 am

grumpyrom


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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/tech-news/usage-based-internet-ruling-draws-fire/article1882339/

It's time for the CRTC to get their collective heads out of their butt's and stop working for the big 3 telecommunications giants in this country. How on earth is it even legal in this country to charge an overage fee of $1.50 per/GB when it costs them less than 1 to 3 CENTS per/GB to provide the service?

We are continually getting less for mor from our ISP providers and yet the government is doing nothing to stop the gouge. Despite what the big 3 say, the only reason for these charges are to protect their TV and cable services.

2 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:04 am

St Norberter


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But doesn't this only apply to independents that buy access from the big three?

The way I read the article, there really won't be any issues if you have rogers, shaw or MTS as an ISP?

If you have smiling bob's lakside country ISP, you may have some issues.


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3 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:14 am

Deank


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It will mostly only impact "independents" who resell service but will impact high end users as well.


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4 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:22 am

JT Estoban


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Once the larger telco's see the smaller telco's passing on the "savings" to the customers, make no mistake, the larger telco's will change their policies to match.

"This is not the first pay-per-use model for Internet service in Canada. Bell, for example, put so-called “data caps” in place in 2007, and almost every major provider has caps in place today."



_________________
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5 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:23 am

grumpyrom


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Wrong, the big 3 (Rogers, Bell, Telus) all charge those overages already. They want the ability to force resellers to collect the same overage charges on their behalf and forward the charges to them, effectively killing off any competition in the process. For example Primus has already dropped their unlimited plans and is being forced to put caps in place as well.

As well, Rogers and Shaw (and MTS in theory) already have caps in place. Shaw charges $1-2 per/GB if you exceed your caps. While the minimum bandwidth caps for a provider like Comcast in the US (which is universally hated) is 250GB/month the cap on Shaw's regular highspeed service is only 60GB with a $2/GB overage charge. WE pay more but get less. Considering that the ifrastructure was bought and payed for originally by the Canadian taxpayer this makes these new charges even more outrageous.
These new UBB charges are nothing more than an attempt to protect the cable TV side of the business for these ISP's. Just look at the market in Winnipeg, your options for high-speed internet are Shaw and MTS. Both also provide TV service. This is nothing but a move to thwart consumers from getting their programming more cost effectively via their internet connection which they also happen to control. It's not just a coincidence that these changes were lobbied for shortly after the addition of services like Netflix in Canada.

Again, how is it legal in a duopoly (in this market) to charge an overage charge that is ~200x the cost of providing the service? This ruling is another GIANT leap backwards by the CRTC. I'd love for this to become an election issue.

6 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:28 am

grumpyrom


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JT Estoban wrote:Once the larger telco's see the smaller telco's passing on the "savings" to the customers, make no mistake, the larger telco's will change their policies to match.

"This is not the first pay-per-use model for Internet service in Canada. Bell, for example, put so-called “data caps” in place in 2007, and almost every major provider has caps in place today."



What smaller telco's? That's the problem, all the smaller telco's buy their bandwidth from one of the big providers. This ruling FORCES them to match the overage charges of the big telco's or else lose money and go out of business. It completely eliminates competion.

For example, Teksavy a small ISP and Bell reseller in Ontarion can't offer you unlimited service for $35/month if they MUST pass on the overage charges to Bell at the rate Bell sets. If you were to use say 100GB/monthly, this ruling allows Bell to charge them $60 for the 40GB you used over their 60GB/month cap.

This ruling does 3 things, puts the small ISP's out of business, protects the cable TV interests of the big ISP's and guarantees increased profits for the incumbents as streaming video becomes the norm rather than the exception.

7 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:35 am

JT Estoban


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MTS already has caps in place. There's no theory...they just do a really good job hiding that info.

Go here for residential pricing and caps: http://www.mts.ca/hsiwsc/Consumer_HSI.html

Go here for business: http://www.mts.ca/hsiwsc/Business_HSI.html


_________________
Praise Science!
~
So saith the spider!

8 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:37 am

grumpyrom


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Deank wrote:It will mostly only impact "independents" who resell service but will impact high end users as well.

What is a "high" user anyways? 10 years ago it may have been someone who used 10GB/month. Now it may be someone who uses over 60 GB/month, what will it be in another 10 years?

Streaming HD video uses roughly 2GB/hour...if you watch 15 movies a month using a service like Netflix you've used you entire bandwidth for the month. Are you a "high" user for watching 30 hours of movies in a month? What about multiple PC households? It's not uncommon for people to have kids playing games online, while someone listens to streaming radio in another room, while mom watches a flick on Netflix for example. Are these people "high" users?

Also what most people are forgeting is depsite what the ISP's would like you to think bandwidth is cheap. Like 1 to 3 pennies per GB cheap. You already pay $40/month for something that costs $0.60 to $1.80/month to deliver. They have now been given the go ahead to charge you much more for anything you use over that.

Considering we have zero effective competion for ISP's, how can this monopolistic practise be allowed? Do we really want to go back to the days of metered billing for our internet?

9 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:39 am

grumpyrom


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JT Estoban wrote:MTS already has caps in place. There's no theory...they just do a really good job hiding that info.

Go here for residential pricing and caps: http://www.mts.ca/hsiwsc/Consumer_HSI.html

Go here for business: [url=http://www.mts.ca/hsiwsc/Business_HSI.html
http://www.mts.ca/hsiwsc/Business_HSI.html[/quote[/url]]

I know the caps are there, but from personal experience they are not enforcing overage charges yet. I know because I often go over and have never recieved a word from them. That's why I said in theory. Of course this will likely change very soon. With Shaw enforcing charges now, it would make little sense for MTS not to make the cash grab as well.

10 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:04 am

eViL tRoLl


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grumpyrom wrote:... the cap on Shaw's regular highspeed service is only 60GB with a $2/GB overage charge.

ONLY 60Gb! With Bell in Ontario the cap is 2Gb, and that gets gobbled up with Win7 upgrades alone - they would be very happy with a 10Gb cap there.

11 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:08 am

JT Estoban


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We're currently considering eliminating our teevee package altogether and putting some of those savings towards an upgraded internet package.

That's not as simple as you'd think, especially if your having issues with one of the only two telco's in the province.

Currently investigating and evaluating my options for a business internet package from MTS instead. As you stated, MTS is currently not enforcing caps, that's appealing.

MTS won't allow you to purchase a faster than "high speed" residential internet package without buying the television component. Thus the need to look into the business side....bastards.


_________________
Praise Science!
~
So saith the spider!

12 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:27 am

grumpyrom


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eViL tRoLl wrote:
grumpyrom wrote:... the cap on Shaw's regular highspeed service is only 60GB with a $2/GB overage charge.

ONLY 60Gb! With Bell in Ontario the cap is 2Gb, and that gets gobbled up with Win7 upgrades alone - they would be very happy with a 10Gb cap there.

For residential highspeed customers? Are you sure? I thought they were at 25GB which is still a ridiculously low amount. If the cap is at 2GB why not just get the Rogers 6GB $30/month data addon for your phone and tether at that rate?

These caps and charges are insane and with no competition and no government agencies looking out for the consumer, we're all going to get reamed.

13 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:43 am

sputnik


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grumpyrom wrote:These caps and charges are insane and with no competition and no government agencies looking out for the consumer, we're all going to get reamed.

I think they are personally quite reasonable.

If you want to download HD movies and other high bandwidth stuff you SHOULD pay more. I would rather higher users pay more than have them increase their prices across the board.

The Netflix (or torrent) users need to realize that bandwidth isn't free and paying Netflix $8/month is only a small portion of the cost required to pay for the service.

60GB is more than enough for someone using the Internet for normal use.

14 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:03 am

JT Estoban


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sputnik wrote:60GB is more than enough for someone using the Internet for normal use.

Sure, maybe that's great for one person. But not for a family of four for example. Especially with kids/teens who use the internet or internet connected devices more so than many "average" customers.

I'm talking multiple PC's, consoles, online gaming, streaming content, downloading content, general web surfing, skype, etc. etc. etc.

The demands on broadband are only going up.

Don't get me wrong, I'm more than willing to pay for a faster service, with a larger monthly limit.

I'm currently looking to do that as I find for my needs, the current residential offerings are over priced and under serviced. Or you are forced into "bundling" other unneeded services in order to gain the extra speed/download limit.


_________________
Praise Science!
~
So saith the spider!

15 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:17 am

Triniman


general-contributor
general-contributor
I agree with JT Estoban and with a bit of what Sputnik said.

60 GB may not be enough for a family.

Rather than have the ISPs charge at a high rate for going beyond one's limit, they should just charge more to increase the limit. That should be less expensive than a per GB overcharge.


_________________
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through
our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that
democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”



― Isaac Asimov

16 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:26 am

sputnik


contributor plus
contributor plus
Triniman wrote:I agree with JT Estoban and with a bit of what Sputnik said.

60 GB may not be enough for a family.

Rather than have the ISPs charge at a high rate for going beyond one's limit, they should just charge more to increase the limit. That should be less expensive than a per GB overcharge.

A family could upgrade to Extreme (100 GB limit) for an additional $10.

They can also buy bandwidth packages that add additional bandwidth to their service each month.

http://www.shaw.ca/en-ca/ProductsServices/Internet/newdatausage?utm_source=shawca&utm_medium=textlink&utm_content=extremelanding&utm_campaign=datausage

10 GB for $5/month
60 GB for $20/month
250 GB for $50/month

17 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:38 am

Triniman


general-contributor
general-contributor
Is there a way that Shaw customers can review their bandwidth usage?


_________________
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through
our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that
democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”



― Isaac Asimov

18 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:33 pm

eViL tRoLl


contributor plus
contributor plus
Triniman wrote:Is there a way that Shaw customers can review their bandwidth usage?

Yes, and the data it shows for me makes absolutely no sense. It shows weeks without activity, and months with only 0.5Gb use etc ... but I guess I won't tell them.

https://secure.shaw.ca/

19 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:48 pm

AGEsAces


moderator
moderator
actually shaw just introduced a new "tool" that they put in your account.

You can see your bandwidth usage, upload use, download use etc.

http://www.photage.ca

20 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:27 pm

grumpyrom


major-contributor
major-contributor
sputnik wrote:
grumpyrom wrote:These caps and charges are insane and with no competition and no government agencies looking out for the consumer, we're all going to get reamed.

I think they are personally quite reasonable.

If you want to download HD movies and other high bandwidth stuff you SHOULD pay more. I would rather higher users pay more than have them increase their prices across the board.

The Netflix (or torrent) users need to realize that bandwidth isn't free and paying Netflix $8/month is only a small portion of the cost required to pay for the service.

60GB is more than enough for someone using the Internet for normal use.

But it is it fair that:
A) The CRTC is basically taking the providers word that they don't have enough bandwidth and that "high" users are causing them to incur extra costs
B) That in most markets there are only 2-3 choices, all provided by companies that also own cable tv services which causes an instant conflict of interest.
C) That the overage charges amount to roughly 200x what it costs to provide the service

Who is looking out for the consumer in all of this? It may be reasonable that some users should pay more than others, but when you only have 2 players in a market and this ruling makes competition virtually impossible then who ensures that the consumer is not getting gouged when there is such an obvious conflict of interest?

IMHO, the only reason we are seeing this become an issue is to protect the other side of the ISP's business which happens to be cable TV. If bandwidth was anywhere near as expensive as they claim then there would be no way MTS could offer TV service at current rates which is IPTV and which based on the bandiwdth it consumes swallows up far more than 60GB month.

Considering the lack of competion and all the conflict's of interest someone needs to look out for the interest of consumers as well. The CRTC obviously isn't.

21 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:44 pm

JT Estoban


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This is just from MTS. I'm using them as an example because so far, they are the only player in Manitoba that is using the "no TV bundle, then lousy service offerings" model.

For MTS (residential customers internet plans, you cannot get anything faster than a 7.5 Mbs connection without buying in to the TV component. They choke the pipe down to 7.5 mbs for regular internet traffic, and the internet pipe for television is bumped up to 15 mbs shared...(not that you'll ever see 15 mbs if you had bundled television as the teevee component is using half or more of your expanded connection speed anyway!)


From Shaw you can purchase faster speeds and larger download limits without the requirement of television bundling. If you have more than one Shaw service, you get a discount off your bill.

(But Shaw is dead to me, for many reasons unrelated to internet, so MTS is currently my only high-speed alternative)


_________________
Praise Science!
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So saith the spider!

22 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:26 pm

Deank


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is explornet in winnipeg?


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23 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:13 pm

grumpyrom


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JT Estoban wrote:This is just from MTS. I'm using them as an example because so far, they are the only player in Manitoba that is using the "no TV bundle, then lousy service offerings" model.

For MTS (residential customers internet plans, you cannot get anything faster than a 7.5 Mbs connection without buying in to the TV component. They choke the pipe down to 7.5 mbs for regular internet traffic, and the internet pipe for television is bumped up to 15 mbs shared...(not that you'll ever see 15 mbs if you had bundled television as the teevee component is using half or more of your expanded connection speed anyway!)


From Shaw you can purchase faster speeds and larger download limits without the requirement of television bundling. If you have more than one Shaw service, you get a discount off your bill.

(But Shaw is dead to me, for many reasons unrelated to internet, so MTS is currently my only high-speed alternative)

You actually prove my point really well. By forcing "bundling" on customers who want a faster connection and a bigger cap, MTS is shoring up it's TV business. Shaw is taking a different way, they allow you to buy the faster connection and bigger cap but for a greatly increased monthly charge, 60GB to 100GB/month is $10 more, to get 150GB/month you have to move up to Warp which is faster but also $50/month more than regular highspeed. $50 for 90GB works out to $0.55/GB so basically half of their outrageously overpriced overage charges. Still not a great deal and roughly 20-50x more than what it costs to deliver the extra bandwidth. Either way Shaw wins if you end up using your internet more than your cable TV with the increased charges.

MTS tries to coerce you into buying TV by limiting it's internet choices unless you're a TV customer, and Shaw just bills you through the nose in advance. This is he problem with having only 2-3 companies that both have it in their self interest to limit internet bandwidth to protect their other products. There is no choice for the consumer but to pay and no real competition.

How are more people not outraged by this?

24 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:17 am

grumpyrom


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Looks like Ottawa has at least acknowledged how pissed off many Canadians are over this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/tech-news/ottawa-enters-dispute-over-higher-internet-fees/article1889321/

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2011/01/31/technology-internet-usage-based-billing-clement-garneau.html

"He said the bandwidth caps will discourage people from exploring new alternatives to Bell, Rogers and Shaw's television services.
As an example, he pointed to Netflix, which allows people to stream high-definition movies through the internet to their TVs via devices like the Sony Playstation 3.
"Now they're saying it's not going to be financially worth their while to explore these new media offerings, so they'll end up back in the hands of the ISPs who are also the content providers."
He added that the large ISPs are "wearing way too many hats on this file."


"Netflix, the online movie service which launched its Canadian operations last year, has said that charging as much as $2.50 for each extra gigabyte of data makes no sense when the cost to transport that gigabyte, for telecom companies, is often less than a penny. “Consumers shouldn’t be paying extra for it,” Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said. A high-definition movie consumes about 1.5 gigabytes, according to Rogers Communications Inc. "


I'm glad to see that at least some MP's in Ottawa are taking this seriously and can see it for what it is, price gouging on the part of media conglomerates looking to protect their own cable TV interests.

25 Re: Internet Usage Based Billing Coming on Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:54 am

Guest


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Shouldn't you pay more if you use more?

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