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Stop the Meter

OpenMedia.ca has launched a Stop The Meter campaign focusing on usage based billing concerns.

16 Comments

  1. What’s Wrong With Usage Bassed Billing?
    If all kinds of bandwidth were charged at the same rate (so that the carriers couldn’t favour one type of content, such as cable tv over another, such as internet) then usage based billing would be perfectly fair and would undermine the arguments usually given for “throttling”. So why is this considered a problem (except for heavy users who want me to subsidize their bandwidth)?

  2. Internet is about to Kill TV
    ‎77% of today’s online youth would sooner live without television than live without the Internet. In the US, 77% for the Internet and 23% for TV. The major Telecom companies (Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Cogeco…) know this and rather than evolve with this change they’d rather use the CTRC’s Usage-Based Billing (UBB) to make replacing the TV with the internet too expensive.
    Stop the Meter

  3. this is stupid and wont fly,
    so i guess there well be no such thing as an hot spot anymore? this wont fly and i cant wait 2 start working cracking this, all its gonna take is a good strong hack team to get togeather and stell internet for free. remenber when the dish was way to much then we came out with the Black Card???? it gave you every channel even ppv for freee, well lmao thats gonna happen again but with the net , there stupid. its all gonna come down to them loseing even more money.

    the ctrc usage based billing system can go FFUUCCKK ITS SELF

  4. Stop the Meter
    The Meter wouldn’t personally effect me today. I have never gone over my bandwidth limit. You might say all it hurts are the illegal dowloaders! But I have 2 concerns. What about all the great free programs out there. Sure it’s only a few MB’s for us to download, but the people that are uploading these programs, they go over there limit on a daily basis. Why would I share a great program I made if it would cost me money? It would be the end of free software online. Second, sure I never go over my 100GB limit, but what about tomorrow. 10 years ago you would have called me crazy for having a 1TB hard drive in my PC. Today most top of the line PC come with 1TB or 2TB hard drives, in 10 years, 1TB will be laughed at. The same will happen with bandwith. As the internet gets faster we download bigger and more. Today they charge us $1/GB, but tomorrow $2? $5? $10? This would be Death to the internet as we know it. People would be forced to find illegal options.

  5. Juan Rempel says:

    Example
    Just thought of an example. You rent a movie from Netflix, its a low charge for the rental, and you used just a little bandwidth. But Netflix used huge bandwith becasue they rented that same movie to thousands of people. Start charging them bandwidth, and they are forced to drive up there price to the point where we will all go out and rent the movie at a video store or download it illegally. Sites like Netflix and Itunes make a real dent in illegal downloading because the majority of people want to pay a fare charge. People start braking the law when they cant afford the legal options anymore.

  6. VOIP and video conferance
    I communicate with a few children who have autism. because of the 25GB cap I will not be able to communicate with them with with image and sound. For these children to be able to see and hear me at the same time makes a difference.
    Also what happens to your viop once you go over your limit?

  7. My opinion on why it’s wrong
    @Alan
    Billing based on usage, in itself, isn’t wrong.
    My problem is that’s it’s being regulated, and the regulation is being controlled by Bell, solely with the intention of preventing their competitors from having better plans than them. It’s extremely anticompetitive and without competition, there’ll be no motive to provide better plans in the future.
    @ Juan, yes, if Canada stagnates (due to aforementioned artificial lack of competition) with slow, capped Internet, we’ll get passed by. We won’t be innovating and doing the cool things other countries are doing on the Internet.
    Final problem: major ISPs are also content providers, so they have motive to NOT improve their Internet offerings, so you’ll also subscribe to their expensive TV and phone plans instead of having the Internet available to choose alternative offerings from competitors. (ie. try using Netflix on 25GB per month, or VOIP on crappy throttled DSL)

  8. Alan,
    You ask “What’s Wrong With Usage Bassed Billing?”
    There’s nothing wrong with usage based billing if the price is set fairly and the same price is charged to all users. (Remember too that Rogers and Bell have a regulated duopoly so the the market isn’t going to sort this out). Their prices are thousands of times more than their cost to provide. They use their monopolistic powers to undermine competitors in the content provider space. They give themselves cheap bandwidth to deliver their own video, but put huge markups on the bandwidth used by competitors like Netflix or AppleTV. Small downloaders aren’t subsidizing anybody but Bell and Rogers.

  9. Mr.
    What’s next – capped TV usage? Why is the TV signal is not capped?
    Can anybody explain to me what’s the difference in TV signal & Internet signal? Both are delivered by cable, but Internet HAS to be capped?
    Are we being screwed?

  10. STOP the Usage BILLING
    As the Minister of Industry, Mr Clement has done a great job by allowing competition on wireless communication. We have saw the price of wireless phone and data plans dropped significantly in areas the new entrants are now operating. Thank you for your vision, Mr Clement.

    Now, we face another problem. The people at CRTC are puppets of the big three. They have lined the pockets of the big three over the years and have favored them on every issues to allow them to increase their profits and stop the progress in so many areas.

    The big three has lied to consumers on the system access fees and illegally collected billions. Instead of punishing them, CRTC allowed them to keep the money and continue charging. The media even has published that the fees ended a long time ago while the big three continued to tell the public that it is not their fees, but the government.

    I can go on and on about the CRTC, but that is not the reason for this message. Now that CRTC has again make another stupid decision on usage billings, it is time to close down CRTC. They are no longer relevant to protecting the public! They are not capable of protecting the public nor are they visionary that can bring Canada to the next level in the eyes of the world.

    It is time that you look at that decision and throw it out. It stop progress. It is the laughing stock of the world. Everywhere in the world, unlimited usage is the norm, but in Canada, we are turning the clocks backwards!

    Thank you!

  11. Mr.
    I think EVERYONE should sign this petition ON PRINCIPLE!

    There are ramifications to implementing highly restrictive usage limits on Internet usage in Canada. Basically this is the same crap they already force down our throats here in South Africa due to their monopoly mindset.

    THIS CANNOT HAPPEN ELSEWHERE!!

    This is the “Slippery Slope” that could plunge the Internet into it’s equivalent of the DARK AGES and the knock on effect on internet transactions will be MASSIVE!

    To those who say: What’s the big deal?
    Well imagine if internet transactions where metered and things like emails were not so cheap that they’re essentially free. Instead they would be a defined and calculated portion of a monthly maximum amount of data one can send.
    With a cap in place, one then an calculate EXACTLY how much each byte of data costs you to transfer.
    …where the lower the your monthly cap, the MORE each byte actually used costs you. …Pro-rata…

    And then when businesses and banks and corporates figure that trick out… Guess what???
    They’ll start charging you for their data costs. For sending SMSes, sending update emails and transactions and sending data on the internet. Receiving also.
    They’ll pass on the data carriage COSTS to you as these costs are now economically SIGNIFICANT!

    That’s RIGHT back to the “pre-modem” era of the Internet. Being Billed per BYTE!

    If proven successful here, this could very well be extended to other parts of the globe. North America. Europe. Asia. Even more restrictions on Africa.

    Sign the petition people Please!
    Get active! Write Letters to your politicians.
    Tell them you will vote elsewhere with feet and ballots if they seriously entertain this.

    There is no need for this contagion to spread to the rest of the developed world from the Third world.

  12. The Financial Post columnist Terence Corcoran claims that UBB is good based on data from Wall Communications. Does he know that both the president and VP of Wall Communications have strong ties to Bell Canada? How the hell could CRTC commission a consultant company with strong ties to Bell to do research on Internet that leads to the UBB decision when Bell is involved?

  13. Andrew Bugg says:

    Engineer
    I want to comment on a commonly misused electricity, gas, cable TV compared to internet usage Analogy. You understand that gas and electricity are consumables, therefore it is necessary to charge based on usage. On the internet, data (0’s and 1’s) are available in unlimited quantities. They are not consumed. If one user accesses that data (e.g. HD movie), another user will still have access to it. If you want to compare CableTV to Internet, you have to understand what “bandwidth” really is. Bandwidth is a spectrum of frequencies. In terms of Cable TV, each channel occupies a frequency or range of frequencies. In internet terms, the bandwidth provided to the consumer is the rate at which they are able to download data (5, 10, 25 Megabits). Essentially the size of the “pipe”. As with cable TV you pay for a wider “pipe” to have access to more channels. With internet, you pay more for wider pipe. How much data that flows within the pipe does not add more cost to operating it. Small ISP’s are only able to provide access to relatively small “pipe” (5 Megabits) compared to Bell offering (25 Megabits). Yet Bell will charge varying amounts per data through the pipes ($2/GB for a 5meg pipe vs $1/GB for a 25 meg pipe) at their discretion with no logical reason behind their pricing. That is the business model that smaller ISPs do not agree with and do not want forced upon them.

  14. Jane Smith says:

    University Grad Student
    @Andrew Bugg – This is absolutely correct and people really need to understand how the internet works in order to understand why usage based billing is in no way “fair”. First of all, when an argument is based on “fairness” (i.e. those who use more should pay more) alarm bells should start going off in consumers heads. None of these ISPs have explained exactly why it is fair for those who use more to pay more (e.g. it costs them money to make data) because they have no argument to support this supposed “fairness”. As Andrew pointed out, data is not a utility. It is not created and consumed, it is essentially limitless. So why should those who use more of a limitless and essentially free product be charged more than those who use less? The internet is an infrastructure based product, not a utility based product. The best analogy is that the internet is a road (hence, the “information superhighway”) and not the gas in your tank. To implement usage based billing would be similar to charging those who use a road more often more money that those who don’t. Not to mention that that road was heavily subsidized with your tax money. Would you call this fair? In addition, I would be less of a bandwidth hog using 500 MB of bandwidth at 9 am, then someone who uses 20 MB during peak hours (e.g. “rush hour”). Please understand how the internet works before you start making calls on how “fair” usage based billing is.

  15. I’m all for UBB
    But as compromise, I want to pay the same rate the ISPs are paying. I want to pay 1c/GB of bandwidth with no additional service charges.

  16. consider_this says:

    UBB not just a problem for heavy downloaders
    You do not have to be a heavy downloader. All it takes is for a company (say one that sells games) to have you download one of their games. When the download runs into trouble because, for example, the signal is not strong enough, it will keep trying to download the game. I saw my usage go from the allotted 100 GB for a month up to 600 GB the next month due to this type of problem. The game could not download so it kept trying until it finally finished. No one is considering the types of problems users can run into when downloading or requesting a download. One solution would be for the consumer to start billing any company who requests the user to download something or fill out a form online? If we do that, then we may be able to balance this out. There is also the problem of people who work remotely. I do this and I have to transfer large amounts of information back and forth. So this means the big internet companies get money from my uploads and downloads but then also from the company I work for. This is double billing and no one seems to be considering these problems.