interweb freedom

(formerly Stop Usage Based Billing)

CRTC Approved UBB

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on May 6, 2010

No Usage Based BillingAccording to the CBC Story, CRTC approves usage-based internet billing this will probably come to pass in September.

Canadian Flag Submerged in American FLAG

More than 8,000 citizens told the Stephen Harper Conservatives that they did not want copyright law that is a Canadian DMCA. But it looks like Prime Minister Harper is going ahead with it anyway.

Around 4,000 citizens protested against Bell Canada’s imposition of Usage Based Billing on the customers of the Independent Service Providers. The CRTC ignored the protests from the consumers and the Independent Service Providers and gave it provisional approval.

Another 10,000 Canadians signed the Dissolve The CRTC petition. Yet the CRTC is still there. Making bad rulings that demonstrate they don’t understand.

This Canadian Government just doesn’t even listen to citizens.

Conservative Party logo

It seems that citizens aren’t listened to even when we have a minority government.

Even with a minority government we’ve been screwed with UBB. CRTC has approved Bell Canada’s request to implement Usage Based Billing on the Independent Service Providers customers. On average, Canadian internet costs will at least double come September. They were already among the highest in the world. (For mediocre service too.) It was too bad, I was really attached to my Internet Service Provider, but it will be a miracle if they can stay in business.(I will never grasp the rationale of why Bell can collect money from people who are not their customers.)

Usage based billing will put Canada at a huge disadvantage internationally. We just lost a huge bit of Internet access…

Konrad von Finckenstein

To get an idea of where the CRTC is coming from in approving Bell Canada’s imposition of Usage Based Billing I offer this exerpt from Jesse Brown’s October 2009 Interview with CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein.



12:30 KvF: Well, well just a second. You know, you have, uh, If somebody comes forward and says this, uh, Internet Service Provider is it in, applying Internet Traffic Management, and he is, uh, this, that, unfairly, uh, discriminating against me or, uh, it may impairs my use, and the first, then the onus, as we set out in our, uh, the, our decision, is on the ISP to come forward and say either “No I’m doing it” or “Yes I’m doing it and I’m driven to it by this and this” and you go though the analytical framework. So you’re positing right away that actually that, that is happening. I don’t, you have to, that’s exactly what you are trying to do, trying to be preventive and, uh, prompt. If and when congestion arises, if it doesn’t arise then of course there’s no issue. If it does arise, then, as I said before, that’s, they may build extra infrastructure, if not they put in economic measures to, to have people pay for the use and thereby modu, modulate the use. If that doesn’t work then only you go to technical ones. Then, uh, uh, you want me to prove a disaster before it has happened. How can I do that?

—CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein
Search Engine with Jesse Brown: The Neutral Throttle? An interview with CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein
Transcript on This Blog Is Not For Reading

In listening to Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein’s answers all through the interview, he clearly indicated that he accepts everything Bell Canada told the CRTC as truth. It sounds like there was never any evidence. But if Bell Canada says they have to throttle people of course they do. Nad things might happen if not.

But the very saddest thing is the CRTC Chairman’s idea that the way to address an inadequate Internet infrastructure is to curb customer use by imposing caps and high prices.

The Canadian Internet is too successful seems to be the problem the CRTC is addressing. Too many people use it for too many things.

Instead of asking Bell Canada why they have not been upgrading infrastructure (beyond maintenance) over the last 15 years, the CRTC solution is to curb Canadian Internet use so that we will use it less. This does not bode well for our children’s future. Much less an economy that runs more and more online.

That’s the CRTC strategy. Now, I’m not an economist, but somehow that doesn’t really sound like a recipe for fostering online economic growth to me.

Canadians need to pay more and use the Internet less.

Since this will make the Internet so much more expensive for Canadians, probably a lot of the copyright stuff will be moot. Independent musicians and other artists will have a much harder time finding an audience when the audience can’t afford to wander freely online.

I’m open for suggestions.

Here’s an oldie but goodie:

If you haven’t already, sign the petition. There are only 10603 signatures

If you have, who can you get to sign it?

That’s easy: anyone who uses the Internet.

Because Usage Based Billing will harm us all.

Usage Based Billing is a Disservice to Canada.

STOP Usage Based Billing

STOP Usage Based Billing

27 Responses to “CRTC Approved UBB”

  1. […] 2010 #57 DAY against DRM: Video #58 If you’re following Canadian Copyright… #59 CRTC Approved UBB #60 It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over #61 Why Do Bell and Rogers Have Customers? #62 Sign the […]

  2. […] aside for the moment the UBB fiasco from earlier this year, the numbers given in the report have some further interesting omissions, […]

  3. […] cell phone networks, as well as a huge chunk of the Internet backbone. The supposedly arms length CRTC has failed Canadians by granting the gigantic Bell more and more control over the Canadian media when in fact a good […]

  4. Ted said


  5. Geoffrey Warne said

    The imposition of usage-based billing on independent ISPs is a scam. Independent ISPs already pay for a certain fixed amounts of bandwidth, which are impossible to exceed. They buy bandwidth from Bell at wholesale rates and resell it to their users retail. This wholeselling of telecommunications infrastructure is mandated by federal regulations. For Bell to charge the independent ISPs on a per-user basis would invalidate the wholesale nature of the transaction and effectively double-bill the independent ISP. This is crooked and is in breach of the original federal regulations. If the CRTC has any comprehension of how the ISP industry works and its own regulations regarding it, it cannot allow let user-based billing.

  6. Taylor said

    Canadian prices are already amongst the highest in the world for internet services, and the quality far lacks that of other major countries such as Australia. The CRTC appears clueless in this matter. UBB will set Canada back 10 years. Education, news, and basic freedoms will all take a hit from this! Make your position clear to your local MP! This is awful news!

  7. Werner T said

    Do they charge people who watch TV longer than other people more? No, and digital TV is all 0s and 1s just like internet data is, so why this BS?

  8. paul k said

    Enough is enough haven’t we been taxed,feed,charged up to the top of the CN tower to death. Shouldn’t we have and get something for a small minimal charge, so we can enjoy life. After all we are probably one of the most taxed nations in the world and what do we get for it. Fat office bureaucrats saying they can make more this year by charging the little people more for doing nothing for it. It’s time to say to big brother to butt out and let us enjoy a few things in life without taking it up the ass!!!!!!!!

  9. […] Hence the outrage. It may qualify as a small instance of a black swan event: rare, extreme impact, and retrospective predictability. Or it may well be the demonstation to even the dullest minds that people are attached to the Internet like gun-owner to his guns. (Aside: and now the quiche-eaters know what it feels like when the state comes a-calling to restrict your freedoms). […]

  10. […] 2010 #57 DAY against DRM: Video #58 If you’re following Canadian Copyright… #59 CRTC Approved UBB #60 It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over #61 Why Do Bell and Rogers Have Customers? #62 Sign the […]

  11. bostanarchist said

    that interview with finklestein is unreal,it reminded me of the excited southerner charecter adam sandler does on “there all gonna laugh at you”(u know back b4 he was annoying& when he was funny), is that even english,he was stammoring and stuttering so much i couldnt understand a damn word ,they purposed this crap here in the U.S. too im sure they will try it again too,like coica here, it didnt pass a couple months ago but i dont think we have heard the end of it,what i dont understand is how you only have 10000 signatures,you need to take this more seriously,get out and protest,egyptian stye !!!!! we in the us are with you

    • The problem is that here we have even less choice than you do. Most of Canada has only 1 way to access the internet, and a great deal has only dial-up still. Some have a choice of phone or cable, but the Independents are only starting to spread out of the major urban centers… oh look. UBB is just in time to save Bell.

      The dissolve the crtc petition was started around the time I began this blog. You need to understand also that mainstream media did not cover this at all with CBC online articles as the only exception until now. That’s pretty amazing for a truly grassroots petition launched by a concerned citizen.

      The number quoted in the blog post above is from the day it was written. I tried to include a plug for their blog on most of the UBB posts, because I think that if the CRTC was doing a proper job, this wouldn’t be an issue. Right now the signatures are up to 13128… because the mainstream media HAS to cover UBB now that customers are getting notified about the extraordinary price increase.

  12. Justin said

    This is what happens when big business pays off the right people in our CRTC.

  13. […] you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this and […]

  14. Andrew said

    I made a complaint to the CRTC about this and am in the process of contacting my local MP. Stumping growth is not how you plan for the future. I can’t afford cable or satellite because of the absurd prices. I like many others use my internet connection for streaming to save money. Netflix has been a blessing. Now I read about this and I can’t stop my blood from boiling. I hope this isn’t what to expect as the future of Canadian internet service policy. U.B.B. is an insult to consumers.

  15. PumaYaYa said

    Netflix comes to Canada. Bell (and Rogers) take notice. Bell realizes that their DSL is resold by other smaller companies. Bell realizes that they are losing customers to Netflix. Bell realizes that they can’t make Netflix outright go away, so they force these smaller ISPs to put these caps in order to stop Netflix, since it runs off an internet connection.

    I see what you’re doing Bell. You along with Rogers probably know that your customers and other people hate you. But you don’t care, as long as the money keeps coming in.

  16. IRC said

    more than 10,000 complaints from consumers about Bell Canada

  17. No Link sharing means it was more important to go out 4 drinks that night then we can bill the taxpayer via out office in Ottawa 😦
    Net Neutrality Live Webcast with MP Charlie Angus & Marc Laferriere

  18. […] 2010 #57 DAY against DRM: Video #58 If you’re following Canadian Copyright… #59 CRTC Approved UBB #60 It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over #61 Why Do Bell and Rogers Have Customers? #62 Sign the […]

  19. […] 2010 #57 DAY against DRM: Video #58 If you’re following Canadian Copyright… #59 CRTC Approved UBB #60 It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over #61 Why Do Bell and Rogers Have Customers? #62 Sign the […]

  20. […] 2010 #57 DAY against DRM: Video #58 If you’re following Canadian Copyright… #59 CRTC Approved UBB #60 It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over #61 Why Do Bell and Rogers Have Customers? #62 Sign the […]

  21. mitch said

    Thanks to Rogers UBB policy and ridiculous surcharges of 2.50$ per gig after cap. I am now limiting my entire family from logging into Youtube and other streaming sources at my wireless router level.
    Charge me 50¢ per gig and I would contemplate bringing it back online. $2.50 is over-kill and a money-grab.

    • That’s exactly the point. And don’t think you’re the only Canadian limiting your family Internet use because of price gouging. The frustrating thing is that there is NO justification for it.

      And it’s certainly not a good thing for our digital economy.

  22. […] 2010 #57 DAY against DRM: Video #58 If you’re following Canadian Copyright… #59 CRTC Approved UBB #60 It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over #61 Why Do Bell and Rogers Have Customers? #62 Sign the […]

  23. RobertX said

    Truth be told, the UBB issue has gotten me down. Now when downloading Linux ISOs, I have to worry about my life savings being on the line.

    However, you give me strength.

  24. RobertX said

    Will the site still run or is it as they say in the Book of Revelations, “it’s over!”?

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