interweb freedom

(formerly Stop Usage Based Billing)

UBB is a Non Partisan “Ripoff”

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on January 20, 2011

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No Usage Based Billing

Today CBC online had a tiny article Extra billing for internet use a ‘ripoff’: NDP

I posted a comment, of course:

The CRTC’s Usage Based Billing ruling allows Bell to artificially inflate the costs of the Internet of Bell’s own competition: The Independent Internet Serivice Providers.

The Indie ISPs provide the ONLY meaningful Internet competition. This ruling, intended to reduce Canadian Internet use via economic traffic management will seriously jeopardize their very existence.

Interestingly, the article says:

“Primus and Shaw have said they will begin passing on higher fees to their customers.”

Thing is, Primus will be hit with the UBB increase because they connect through Bell GAS.

Shaw on the other hand, is a cable ISP and as such is unaffected,
It sounds like they are simply taking advantage of the public confusion, since most Canadians don’t realize that this UBB increase doesn’t impact on cable, unless triggering cable ISP greed counts.

Somehow I’m not surprised to see a Cable ISP like Shaw trying to fool their customers into thinking this forces them to raise the prices.

The biggest problem with UBB is still that most Canadians consumers don’t understand it. And won’t even know about it until we get the bills.

How can you reduce bandwidth when you don’t know what bandwidth is?

That is, of course why the CRTC is supposed to exist: to ensure Canadians are protected and not gouged by rich and powerful corporations like Bell. Except the CRTC isn’t doing their job.

Shaw will be charging UBB, but this has nothing to do with the CRTC UBB ruling, except as misdirection. As a cable ISP Shaw is totally unaffected by the UBB ruling.

[Thanks to @yurechko for the link!]

Charlie Angus, NDP MP

Charlie Angus, NDP MP

Some of the comments are knocking the NDP because Charlie Angus was the impetus of this CBC coverage. Charlie Angus is one of the few politicians who understands this. The Internet and the technology is so new that most of our elected representatives don’t get it either. That isn’t uncommon, it seems to be equally true around the world. Governments tend to depend on what Industry tells them. After all– they’re the experts. Thing is: they are also a very special interest group.

“When I buy a new television or washing machine, the hydro company doesn’t charge me more. I still pay the same rates. All the money Canadians have been paying for infrastructure that was obsolete more than a decade ago doesn’t seem to be going into upgrading, (else we would have state of the art internet capability) but into providing Bell with the capital to buy CTV.

Paying UBB to Bell is like paying a premium to the seed company for a loaf of bread.

It’s already been paid paid for. This is an extra level of pricing designed to penalize Canadians for using the Internet.

This is NOT a partisan issue. The biggest problem is that most of our elected representatives in all of the parties are just as unaware as most Internet users about what this means.

UBB will hurt the whole Canadian economy, no matter what party you support. We need to Stop UBB before it starts.”

—my second comment on Extra billing for internet use a ‘ripoff’: NDP

Canada does need a regulator, but not one that behaves as a sock puppet for the industry it is supposed to regulate, as the CRTC does. That’s why the CRTC needs to be dissolved or at minimum reformed.

Regulating Canada into the last century will not help our digital economy survive in this one.
We need to Stop Usage Based Billing before it starts.

If you haven’t already, sign the petition. There are only 11729 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.

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

Heritage Minister James Moore – email:

Industry Minister Tony Clement – email:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper – email:

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

STOP Usage Based Billing

STOP Usage Based Billing

4 Responses to “UBB is a Non Partisan “Ripoff””

  1. I think Shaw is raising their rates because they have to pay for Canwest Global.

  2. […] UBB is a Non Partisan “Ripoff” Somehow I’m not surprised to see a Cable ISP like Shaw trying to fool their customers into thinking this forces them to raise the prices. […]

  3. RobertX said

    Good post!

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Laurel L. Russwurm, Laurel L. Russwurm. Laurel L. Russwurm said: New #StopUBB post: UBB is a Non Partisan “Ripoff” #cdnpoli #Canada #digitaleconomy […]

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