Wednesday, February 2, 2011

User Based Billing for the internet in Canada PODCAST included


It's called UBB or metered billing and it has become a hot topic around the web and political circles in Canada. The issue revolves around a recent decision made by the CRTC that essentially removes the "unlimited" option for subscribers who use internet resellers as their ISP. The resellers are using infrastructure that was built by the capital investments of Bell, Rogers, Telus and Shaw cable (the big 4). The resellers are using those "pipes" to deliver service and undercutting the big 4, so they complained. The CRTC design essentially forces the resellers to have tiered limited options just like the big 4 have had for several years now. If you want more internet usage you can buy more, but if you exceed the limit you will pay a heavy toll. Thats the problem, and of course it has been made worse by the increased downloading of movies, games and so on, by subscribers who are dumping their cable TV contracts.
Because this might be an election year, subscriber rumblings have reached the office of Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement, and he has promised he will review the CRTC decision, which is interesting because he can overrule it.

I discuss this issue with my friend Rod Rojas in a short podcast available on the Ontario Libertarian (OLP) website. Below is a description of the podcast and the link. I'll make excuses now. This is our first attempt at doing something like this (so not that polished really) but Rod and I are planning to make this a regular feature of the OLP site, and we have bigger plans.    

This Free-to-Choose podcast is about User-Based-Billing UBB. A recent decision by the CRTC forces small internet providers (often called resellers) to charge their subscribers based on their internet use. Previously the resellers were offering unlimited use for a set fee. Monthly fees for heavy internet users could rise dramatically. The essence of the problem seems to be related to competition (or the lack of it) and regulation by the CRTC. We encourage people to visit this website: http://dissolvethecrtc.ca/

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