Canada’s government to overturn Internet usage caps

Thursday, February 3, 2011 9:44 EDT
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The Canadian government will seek to overturn an independent agency’s decision to allow Internet providers the ability to cap usage, effectively turning bandwidth into a commodity.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), an agency that regulates telecommunication carriers in Canada, issued a decision in May 2010 that allowed Bell Canada to charge its customers based on the amount of bandwidth they use.

“CRTC must go back to drawing board,” Canadian Industry Ministery Tony Clement recently wrote, after being asked if he would work to overturn the ruling.

“This is about forcing a single business model on all competitors.”

Many small Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as RipNet, Xplornet and Storm, purchased bandwidth from Bell Canada and then resold it to their customers.

The decision allowed Bell Canada, the largest telecommunication company in the nation, to charge smaller ISPs a flat fee for network connection with a 60 gigabytes (GB) monthly usage cap. ISPs that exceeded the cap would be forced to pay additional fees of more than $1 per GB.

Because of the CRTC’s ruling, smaller ISPs would not be able to offer “unlimited access” plans to their customers and would be forced to switch to usage-based billing.

“It means you could get charged in the hundreds of dollars for what you currently pay $35 or $40 dollars for,” Rocky Gaudrault, the CEO of TekSavvy Solutions Inc, told The Globe and Mail. “You could have multiples of your current monthly fee when this all comes through.”

CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein is scheduled to explain the decision Thursday before the House of Commons industry committee.

“The CRTC should be under no illusion,” a senior government source told The Gazette. “The prime minister and the minister of industry will reverse this decision unless the CRTC does it itself.”

CORRECTION: Previous version of article incorrectly stated Rogers Communication purchased bandwidth from Bell Canada.

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  • Anonymous

    Yea, people watch their porn or play their world of warcraft or whatever they are doing. But they also are watching streaming video (porn or not), they are uploading and downloading files (big and small), they have online businesses they may be running that use bandwidth, when you surf the net or go to pages that are static or java intense your downloading that page or any page everytime you go there, or streaming data that you need, etc. etc. etc.. 2 GB is nothing to someone who is online all the time. You say it’s getting cheaper and faster and that is true OUTSIDE THE US not in the US. It’s coming but it’s like pulling teeth. These companies want to make money off of the internet via your usage and they shouldn’t. If I was a private company that was starting a business I would have someone inbetween my customers and my company that would help decide if it’s worth their bandwidth allotment to come to my online business.

    Internet will be getting faster and cheaper in the future, and thats because it will be needed. Ask yourself Hu why the Screen Actors Guild called a strike back in 2009? It was about royalties from the sale of films and television through NEW MEDIA (internet, Itunes, DVD’s). They also know along with the studios where the future will be, and it will be with the internet. People are spending more time online than they are doing with television. Soon very soon regular television and cable channels will only be offered online. The only reason it’s not right now is because it would canabalize their network channels and they aren’t ready yet to give those up. So if your a network like NBC, instead of having to pick which shows to have on your lineup, you can get them all online and have the viewers online decide which is a hit and which one isn’t. So instead of having a monday thru friday lineup of 8-11pm, you can have more shows and more possibilities because you won’t be holden to the timeslots anymore.

    Also the internet is one of the most powerful things to have been designed and made mainstream since the invention of platics. Our technology base has increased exponentially since people and businesses saw what could be done with it. People have become less isolated with the advent of the internet. The one thing where your judged by your ideas you express and comments on a blog or forum rather than your looks. Then look at what types of commerce happens on the internet, everything from porn to buying products. I’m able to get what I want and at lesser price by searching online and comparing, compared to the old days of getting a catalog from JCpenney’s and having to accept this (unless you check the Montgomery ward catalog). I’ve bought stuff from oversees and products that weren’t being offered in the US. The internet has made a large and disparate world more close.

    And the newer technologies (future OS systems, nanotechnology, Claytronics, cloud computing, data storage, etc. etc) will require higher bandwidth to move large amounts of data. So for you to say that who even cares if it gets faster (essentially saying that everything we have is enough), is tantamount of of you being the one chinese emperor who commented that we knew all that we needed to know and closed off the empire to foreigners, to their peril.

  • Anonymous

    What an idiot

    Current streaming movie quality sucks big time due to bandwidth limitations.

    Netflix has an interesting article describing how ISP quality has a direct effect on the quality of your viewing experience.

    NOT A SINGLE ISP can currenlly stream video as fast as Netflix can dish it out.

    So YES we CAN use a faster Internet NOW and you don’t have to be a nerd to appreciate it.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Important lesson Canada: whenever you let the fox decide how the henhouse is managed…you wind up asking why the barnyard is soaked in blood and there are no chickens left alive.

    Take it from an American…because we already fucked up on this score in almost every respect possible. I’m not tearing down the Big Snowy for having problems…I’m telling you flat out “We been there…and done that…it was a disaster…don’t follow our capitalist footsteps.”

    Okay, eh?

  • Anonymous

    i smell ignorance

  • Anonymous

    Funny our, health care system is rated higher than yours, shocking actually, oh I forgot, so is Cuba’s and 39 other countries,how do we get to work? Funny again, unemployment of 20% in the US, ours is barely half that. Lemming troll. Wait you say your literacy rates are lower than Cuba and Canada as well, not surprised listening to this garble. Bah, I’d love to see what you pay for health insurance, hopefully you’ll be denied coverage like most people living under the Corporate monarchy.