Rogers CFO Speculates on Tiered Access

Rogers CFO Doug Linton has told an investors’ conference that ISPs must move toward increased tiered pricing for customers. 


  1. I see where this is going
    Hopefully the CRTC, the government, the average internet user will clue in to how fundamental a change this “metred billing” would be, and not for the better.

    Removing the flat fee business model from internet service provision is not about being fair to the consumer, or paying for new infrastructure (they’ve managed to build lots of new infrascture under teh existing model) its all about protecting the far more profitable “per minute, based on distance, and time of day” model telephone providers have been using for years.

    I don’t want to be getting phone calls in a couple years from marketers asking “are you happy with your internet provider? you know WE offer 10 cents off per megabyte than the competitor on evenings and weekends, and unlimited bandwith if the orginating server is within Canada”

  2. Walter Dnes says:

    Does your gas station charge the same to
    If you come in with a gas-sipping Prius and and your neighbour with a honking big SUV, and fuel tank to match, gets charged the same to fill up his monster, would you consider that to be fair?

    I follow the can.internet.highspeed newsgroup, and I see people whining about being “restricted” to 200 gigabytes per month. I usually come in under 5 gigabytes/month. It is a major injustice for me to subsidize the high-bandwidth users.

    The whole point behind “network neutrality” is that people get to spend their bandwidth as they see fit. Another good point about metered service, is that it will do more to stop music piracy than all the lawsuits by RIAA/CRIA. When uploading songs via P2P like there’s no tomorrow becomes expensive, P2P piracy will dry up.

    5 megabits/second is a joke. How many servers are there on the net that can pump out 5 megabits to you? Instead of paying $29.95/month for 5 megabits, I’d gladly take 1 megabit at $15 or $20/month and 5 gigabytes built-in allocation.

  3. Alan Sawyer says:

    RE: I see where this is going
    Spencer wrote: Hopefully the CRTC, the government, the average internet user will clue in to how fundamental a change this “metred billing” would be, and not for the better. I wonder, Spencer, whether you really want “the CRTC, the government” having a role in determining internet pricing? Reduced regulation and deregulation have consistently led to lower telecom pricing. Today, high-speed internet pricing is unregulated by the government, and I think that’s a very good thing.

    For more of my thinking about this subject please read my blog ppsting at

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s about time ISPs started to implement this model. As a big user of bandwidth, I’m constantly frustrated by ISPs that threaten to disconnect service for exceeding their caps, while refusing to take my money for a higher cap; or their measures to control costs by throttling certain protocols to uselessness (e.g. BitTorrent).

    Internet bits should be as neutral as the electrons from the power company — I should be able to do whatever I want with them, but I have to pay for what I use. That seems fair to me.

  5. Ian D. Allen says:

    it’s about *who* pays for the extra pri
    People already pay for different tiers of bandwidth at home (dial-up,
    broadband, “ultra”, etc.); I don’t think that is the issue here. One can
    personally pay more to get more.

    The issue is that, for the bandwidth you have, do some connections work
    “better” than others because your ISP (or the Internet backbone to which
    it connects) is/are giving priority to traffic from companies that kick
    back additional revenue to them? Is MSN faster than Yahoo because
    MSN pays your ISP to give it priority? When the backbone is full of
    high-priority MSN traffic, does no Yahoo traffic get through?

    In this case, no reasonable amount of money you spend will fix the
    problem – the big spenders buying priority have fixed the game beyond
    your control. Your only remedy is to give up what you were doing and
    start using the services of the big spenders.

    An analogy would be that when it came time to go through the toll booth
    on the highway, some brands of car would have more or faster booths
    than the rest of us, because the company that makes those cars would
    kick back money to make it so.

    Or, highways would have special lanes financed by corporations just
    for people who are their employees or customers.

    Or, when it came time to board the ferry, train, plane, or subway,
    there would be special sections for employees and customers of some
    corporations, financed by the corporations.

    Or, the post office gives priority to mail sent to certain corporations
    that kick back money to the post office.

    It isn’t a question of whether what *I* pay will get me more service.
    The question is, once I’ve paid, do I have equal access to everything
    on the Internet, or can big spenders influence the Internet traffic to
    the extent that other traffic becomes unusable?

  6. Attempting to charge content providers with priority bandwidth only works within a specific Isps domain. Why would a content provider pay an Isp for priorty bandwidth only to have another Isp block it because they have been paid to provide premium service to a rival content provider? It would be like paying to drive down a toll road which leads to a single lane dirt road to nowhere. Content providers already pay a premium when they setup multiple servers with multiple connections at multiple access points to the internet. The internet is only popular because people can control thier access costs. Imagine being charged by which sites you browse and not by how much speed you want to have to browse. The Isp’s would have to set up whole departments or call centers just to argue with the irate customers complaints as to where they surfed and why they justify the new billing scheme.