interweb freedom

(formerly Stop Usage Based Billing)

UBB Q&A: the Facts #1

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on November 13, 2010

No Usage Based Billing

I’m currently in the process of writing my second novel for NaNoWriMo and getting ready to self publish my first novel, so this is a very busy month for me. So to start with, during November when I have any time at all, I thought I’d start answering some of the questions Canadians have asked about Usage based Billing (UBB) BB in the CBC comments section of a couple of the online articles they have published since the CRTC approval this terrible policy.

Correcting UBB Misinformation #1

Starting with the CRTC approves usage-based internet billing

Q:

One of the first comments was a question posed by Tech_2007 (2010/05/06) at 11:48 AM who wants to know:

Does Usage Based Billing mean that if s/he doesn’t use the Internet during any given month
s/he will not have to pay anything that month?

A:

The answer to that is you will pay whether you actually use any Internet bandwidth or not. 

There is zero benefit for Canadian Internet users under this UBB policy.

Although it’s called “Usage Based Billing” here (or “Metered Broadband” in the United States), it starts with the base rate you are charged. The starting point is the amount of money you are required to pay your ISP monthly. That doesn’t change. (Unless you’re on an unlimited plan… then it will.)

Usage Based Billing is NOT INSTEAD of that, it is in addition to that amount you are already paying for access to the Internet.

And of course, you don’t get any added value at all for this increase that will in fact make your Internet fees go up dramatically, particularly if you exceed the cap.

Stop Usage Based Billing

 



 

If you haven’t already, sign the petition. There are only 11308 signatures.

If you have already signed, who else should you be asking to sign?

That’s easy: anyone who uses the Internet.
Because Usage Based Billing will harm not only Canadians, but our Economy.

http://dissolvethecrtc.ca/

You can also call or write your MP, MP postal code look-up

Heritage Minister James Moore – email: Moore.J@parl.gc.ca

Industry Minister Tony Clement – email: Clement1@parl.gc.ca

Prime Minister Stephen Harper – email: Harper.S@parl.gc.ca

After all, they work for us, don’t they?

STOP Usage Based Billing

STOP Usage Based Billing

 



 

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6 Responses to “UBB Q&A: the Facts #1”

  1. […] UBB Q&A: the Facts #1 I’m currently in the process of writing my second novel for NaNoWriMo and getting ready to self publish my first novel, so this is a very busy month for me. So to start with, during November when I have any time at all, I thought I’d start answering some of the questions Canadians have asked about Usage based Billing (UBB) BB in the CBC comments section of a couple of the online articles they have published since the CRTC approval this terrible policy. […]

  2. Enquirin' Mind said

    “The starting point is the amount of money you are required to pay your ISP monthly. That doesn’t change. (Unless you’re on an unlimited plan… then it will.)”

    What kind of differences might we predict with those “unlimited” accounts?

    • Apparently if you’ve had your unlimited account long enough, it can be “grandfathered”. In other words, some lucky folks will get to keep their unlimited accounts if signed up for it early enough. Any way you slice it, the designated arbitrary cutoff date is discriminatory. Particularly when you factor in the fact that broadband was not even available in many parts of Canada as long ago as 2007.

      If Unlimited Accounts can be grandfathered, the only reasonable way to do it would be to start the clock on UBB implementation day. Anyone with an unlimited account on that day ought to be allowed to keep them.

      Backdating the arbitrary date to 2007 date smacks of priviledge. If there are any investigative reporters left in Canada I’d be very curious to know how many:

      (a) members of government
      (b) their family and friends
      (c) members of the CRTC
      (d) their family and friends
      (e) past and present board members of Bell Canada
      (f) their family and friends
      (g) past and present employees of Bell Canada and all their holdings, with particular attention to decision makers at the Globe and Mail or CTV
      (h) their family and friends

      will be left with “unlimited” plans.

      My expectation is that no one falling within the named categories listed above will be troubled by the implementation of Usage Based Billing.

      • Enquirin' Mind said

        I still hold one of the original Sympatico accounts. They’ve tried to “encourage” me to “upgrade” to a different plan more than once along the way. They even tried changing the very TOS that define it, and tried telling me I was bound (by the very legalise they were in the process of writing) to accept the changes or forfeit the account. Yet, I still have it, and under its original conditions, because the law was on my side, and they knew that enough not to push the matter any further.

        This is the part where I think it could get “interesting”. When you sell someone a service where the contract has no mutually agreed termination scheduled, you’re kind of stuck honouring that contract until the day the customer cancels or discontinues payment.

        I honestly can’t see how they can (legally) change the nature of the payment agreement itself, in order to install UBB, on these legacy accounts. And, there are more than just a few of those still out there.

      • The problem is of course that they have:

        • a big legal department,
        • deep pockets,
        • political connections,
        • and are highly motivated.

        And then there is Bell’s super power: immortality. If bell is allowed to continue the way they are going, they will win eventually.

      • Enquirin' Mind said

        No doubts about that, Laurel.

        But, I still can’t help thinking that it’s public complacency that ultimately grants them the power to break the law.

        More people need to wake up to these things, and be outraged by it.

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