No Cap on UBB Reading: Lots of Coverage of Caps and Competition

The current controversy over usage based billing, the CRTC, and Internet data caps has generated a wide range of commentary and articles over the past few days.  These include:

In addition, I conducted an interview on UBB with CBC’s On the Coast.


  1. The real problem is that we have a maze of metrics for “usage” with the carriers selecting whichever fits them better for a particular service.

    If Bell declares that the proper measure is expressed in GB/month, then let’s have this metric consistently applied to all Bell services.

    Like in defining a price per GB for wireless and one for copper.

    And apply this prices consistently to all communications, from SMS to voice to internet data.

    I bet they wouldn’t like it at all.


  2. don’t pay for what you don’t use also?
    In all of this rhetoric from the wholesalers about the “bandwidth hogs” needing to be held accountable for their excessive use and pay for it, not a single one has talked about giving my mother a rebate for the paltry few GB/mo. that she uses.

    They always want their cake and to eat it too.

  3. Don’t understand
    What I don’t get is the relevence of UBB.

    Internet is about throughput, concurrency. That is to say, the amount of the pipe being used at any one time.

    NOT over a specific amount of time.

    25 GB being downloaded over 30 minutes is a bandwidth hog, the usage of the pipe is through the ROOF.

    25 GB being downloaded over a month is nothing. Spread out like that the speed is significantly lower so the bandwidth is not hogged in the least.

    Why is a monthly cap or counting the GB per month even being considered? It makes no sense to the technical model in the least.

    Throttling, as much as I loathe it, makes sense. UBB simply does not. One can only draw the conclusion that UBB is about gouging the customers, not about bandwidth hogging.

  4. ubb
    i can bet on bell employees hog big tyme for free

  5. ….. Said: 25 GB being downloaded over 30 minutes is a bandwidth hog, the usage of the pipe is through the ROOF.

    If I’m sold on a line where the bandwidth allows me to download 25bg in 30 min while using protocols/software not banned in the TOS, where’s the problem? I’m not a hog I’m a customer using what I paid for.

    NOW if my paid for usage is slowing down the neighbour hood then all that means is my ISP oversold the lines. Simple as that, if that business model doesn’t work that’s not my or anyone else problem.

  6. Utterly disturbing
    I’m from South Korea and I remember when I used to live in Korea that there was no such thing as download cap (that was 9 years ago). Their internet speed (among many other countries like Japan) leads in the world with the fastest internet speed that goes up to 21mbps (approximately, could be lower or faster).

    In canada, we’re placing a data cap that is completely unnecessary and yet still look forward to limiting the consumers from enjoying internet.

    I find it funny that Rogers and Bell both offer faster speed at almost 2 or 3 times the price found in Korea or Japan (still slower), and yet the data cap only allows for small amount of freedom that the speed rate is completely useless.

    I enjoyed reading your article Michael, and I hope to see more from you.

  7. We need to disband the CRTC. This action has shown to Canadians that this organization has beep co-opted by the corporate agenda. The CRTC has done nothing to protect Canada’s consumers. They are a massive failure in the 21st century.

  8. @end ujser
    I fully agree here, if an ISP can’t meet the speeds it sells you, it has no business selling them to you. Doesn’t this kind of crap fall under false advertisement or something? I thought consumers were protected, but I guess I was wrong !

    Livin’ in the digital backwater – the Canadian way.

  9. So if in the end we get to pay per GB, what justification would there be for filters and throttling?

    And shouldn’t all customers have the maximum speed that their modem is capable of? How would you justify those “Lite” plans with reduced speeds? Especially since in the wireless world you get only one data plan, whether your phone is EDGE or HSPA or whatever?


  10. Napalm said:
    >>>>So if in the end we get to pay per GB, what justification would there be for filters and throttling?
    And shouldn’t all customers have the maximum speed that their modem is capable of?

    But that’s the thing they want it all but give you what you paid for. With UBB ALL ports and services should be unblocked and not traffic shaped but somehow that’s missed when they explain it to you.

  11. Paul Arbour says:

    I agree with the points raised in the comments here. If I am charged per byte then why am I also being throttled based on the application I’m using.

    The ISPs really need to come up with a scheme that makes sense, I would almost be inclined to see a model similar to the electricity smart meter. Not that I think the time of day biling for hydro makes any sense, but it would work well for internet usage.

    You can slow down my internet connection for frivulous usage during peak times, you know, to speed up access to YouTube and Netflix for the bulk of people, but at 23h00 open up the flood gatesso that I can get the bandwidth I’m paying for.

    Or give me a tiered plan that makes sense, either charge me per byte or charge me for speed. There are many people who don’t want 10Mb/s, they would be happy with 1Mb/s or 2Mb/s, but I’m subscribed to 10Mb/s. If I am going to be charged per GB then let me buy a service at half the speed but with unlimited usage.

    I guess that is the part that confuses me the most, we aren’t going to run out of bits, they aren’t endangered, if everyone was given unlimited internet usage, and downloaded 1TB per week, and did it over a 2Mb/s connection what is the business justification for a cap? Parallel to this, if I am using a 10Mb/s connection and only using 1GB per week, what is the justification for throttling?

    Either open up my connection to the SPEED I’m paying for, or regulate the speed and give me a reasonable amount of DATA…

  12. Raymond Chua says:

    Average per-bit delivery cost
    I found out on Wikipedia that there’s a common method for calculating the cost of goods sold for an ISP: Average per-bit delivery cost or APBDC. Shouldn’t a review require comparison against UBB rates with APBDC?

    Most ISPs including Bell and Rogers peer on an IXP at an annual or monthly fee for connectivity to the backbone. Usually there is no charge for traffic volume. Could that be why bandwidth is approaching “free” or zero? Thousands of kilometers for pennies or, all you can eat, it seems.

    It appears also the most expensive part to internet access is DSL, cable or wireless which the incumbent ISPs own and control. The last mile for billions of dollars? Or $2 per GB? Really, what is it?

    I think any review must examine the APBDC before UBB rates are even considered.

  13. Good points paul. I’m satisfied even thinking I understood merely half of it =)

  14. Honest Candian
    Why don’t we boycott the internet and phone for one month,and push for more foreign compitetions into Canada.