Netflix on the use of data caps by Canadian ISPs: data caps are actually a very poor way to manage demand and limit Internet congestion. All of the costs of supplying residential broadband are for supporting the peak loads, typically Sunday nights for residential customers. Bandwidth consumed off-peak is completely […]
Post Tagged with: "ubb"
Shaw executives told an analyst call last week that the company plans to move forward with usage based billing plans as early as this summer.
The NDP was the only party to address retail UBB directly within its platform. The party has promised to ban the practice at the both the wholesale and retail level – “We will prohibit all forms of usage-based billing (UBB) by Internet Service Providers (ISPs)“.
The Liberals revealed their support for “functional separation” in an online chat on Canada’s digital future yesterday (I participated as a commentator). Open Media’s Steve Anderson had the following exchange with Liberal Marc Garneau:
The specific digital economy positions include:
- We will apply the proceeds from the advanced wireless spectrum auction to ensure all Canadians, no matter where they live, will have quality high-speed broadband internet access;
- We will expect the major internet carriers to contribute financially to this goal;
- We will rescind the 2006 Conservative industry-oriented directive to the CRTC and direct the regulator to stand up for the public interest, not just the major telecommunications companies;
- We will enshrine â€œnet neutralityâ€ in law, end price gouging and â€œnet throttling,â€ with clear rules for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), enforced by the CRTC;
- We will prohibit all forms of usage-based billing (UBB) by Internet Service Providers (ISPs);
- We will introduce a bill on copyright reform to ensure that Canada complies with its international treaty obligations, while balancing consumers’ and creators’ rights.
I’ve argued that UBB is fundamentally a competition problem and that addressing the competition concerns (which OpenMedia also supports) will address many of the concerns. Increased competition takes time, however, and in the meantime there are legitimate concerns about the use of UBB in Canada at the retail level given the approaches in other countries and the pricing far above costs. In addition to discussing those issues, my UBB paper makes a modest proposal for addressing retail UBB that includes greater transparency and a reasonableness standard. The proposal – which I’ve called the creation of Internet Billing Usage Management Practices or IBUMPs – is explained below.