interweb freedom

(formerly Stop Usage Based Billing)

An Open Letter against UBB

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on January 28, 2011

No Usage Based Billing

As Canada gets closer to having the Internet squeezed out of us, more people are finding out about it.
I’ve just received a letter from Lynda Fraser, another Canadian concerned about Usage Based Billing, who is active on the FaceBook Stop UBB in Canada page

Hello fellow Canadians,

Was wondering if you would be interested in looking at the recent CRTC decision to allow Bell Canada to basically kill all of us for wanting to use the internet. Sorry but that’s the way I feel about this whole decision.

Basically most Canadians will see
their internet bill double effective March 1/11
especially if they have signed up to watch television over the internet.

I am not a super user by any means, I do the normal banking, occasional shopping, email and Face Book. I will be affected by this as will the majority of internet users in Canada.

CRTC logo
One of the articles that I read said a spokesperson from CRTC said the decision was made so you pay for what you use to void throttling and caps on internet usage.

The throttling will continue and the caps are ridiculous. Most people I know will end up with an internet bill around $100.00 per month.

I thought Canada was a country that promotes healthy competition with it’s suppliers, the CRTC has ensured that Bell will end up being our only provider of internet services. Bell has even admitted in a recent statement to the public that their system for determining usage may not calculate properly and customers usage could be double counted.

And, on top of it all the announcement of large tax cuts for large corporations just tops it all off.

Not only will Bell raise prices, they will save on their corporate taxes.

The following information about costs and caps are directly from Bell Canada/Bell Aliant for Ontario and Quebec and this was all approved by the CRTC.

Old logo with text: The Bell Telephone Company of Canada - in a circle around a Bell which has the text: Local and Long Distance Telephone

Lite Residence – cap of 2GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 2GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/month
Lite Plus Residence is the same as above
Basic Residence – cap of 25GB, $1.70 charge per GB if you go over 25GB to a maximum of $51.00/month

Lite Residence – cap of 1GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 1GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/month
Lite Plus Residence – cap of 5GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 5GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/month
Basic Residence – cap of 60GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over 25GB to a maximum of $51.00/month

Each of the above plans have a excessive usage charge as well. If you go over 300GB it is an additional $0.85/GB with no maximum.
They are offering for you to purchase an additional block of 40 GB for a monthly cost of $5.00 each and you can get a maximum of 3 of these per residence.

I could go on forever about this, actually feel like Rick Mercer doing one of his rants Smile emoticon

Please check into the media coverage on this for more information.

Here are a few of the links to the current articles:

Vancouver Sun: Consumer backlash over usage-based Internet billing goes viral

Globe and Mail: How much is that data plan going to cost you?

David Beers: A metered Internet is a regulatory failure

CBC: Extra billing for internet use a ‘ripoff’: NDP

YouTube: Do You Know
“…the Top 10 in demand jobs in 2010…did not exist in 2004 …
We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist …
using technologies that haven’t been invented …
in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet …”

For those with accessibility issues, I am also hosting the OGG version here.

Georgia Straight: CRTC ruling on usage-based billing threatens affordable Internet access, critics say

and the Face Book group that is organizing a rally of protest

You can also check out the stat on internet usage that has been collected by Stats Can which shows that 74% of Canadians are internet users and the study was from September of 2009.

more details of how we use the internet

Regards from a very unhappy Canadian internet user,

Lynda Fraser

There are still so many things to be said about Usage Based Billing.

NOTE: When UBB is implemented, Canadians will be charged for all the bandwidth they consume. That means that watching videos like the excellent “Did You Know” video from YouTube I’ve embedded above will cost much more. Don’t ask me how much, because I have no idea. From the sound of it, Bell gets to make up the figures as they go along.

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 11946 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

OGG conversion via Tiny Ogg Thanks!

3 Responses to “An Open Letter against UBB”

  1. Devil's Advocate said

    One of the biggest obstacles in trying to successfully repel proposals like UBB is the brainwashed mindset of the masses. Though we “here” fully understand what we’re talking about, the General Mentality still hasn’t got a clue, it seems.

    One prime example that was incorporated into last year’s “Did You Know?” has been repeated in this year’s version. While it may not *directly* relate to UBB, it illustrates how deepset the problems are in reaching the Public. When I saw it, I contacted Karl Fisch about this myself, which I’ll explain here…

    One of the “facts” presented in both last year’s and this year’s DYK videos states “During the course of this presentation, 694,000 songs were downloaded ILLEGALLY”, with the red emphasis on the quantity and the word “illegally”.

    Anyone who has to ask what’s wrong with this statement, and doesn’t recognize it as a product of propaganda that keeps getting parroted all over the place, needs to ask themselves why they think downloading ANYTHING would be against any laws.

    As I said, the statement may not have much to do with UBB. It is a major point of contention in the battle against throttling and the criminalization of filesharing. But, it helps show how the public mindset is being relentlessly trained by the Corporate Machine to accept totally false and harmful notions, such as “downloading is illegal”, (it is NOT, in any way, shape or form!), and that internet connections are being used “abused”.

    The curious mass acceptance of those 2 ideas alone has paved the way for things like UBB in the first place! This was BY DESIGN, and UBB is not the only motivation for generating the spin, but UBB is definitely a major component in a bigger plan:

    1) Put the little guys out of business;

    2) Price the general population out of their ability to consume bandwidth, thereby leaving more for the usage of the rich, without the need for infrastructure investment;

    3) Make it cost the Public to express dissent and participate in the very activities that are threatening the Corporate Way;

    4) Create a second tier of internet access in which the public will not be welcome;

    5) Gain complete corporate control over the global internet scene.

    Once achieved, the Corporate Machine would have monopoly over things like content distribution and delivery service options, and governments (who continue to kiss corporate butt) would have more ability to silence dissent and control the masses. (Hell, the whole “Police State” thing is becoming a reality everywhere you care to look!)

    Don’t think it can happen?
    Don’t forget, the DPI story is still unfolding while UBB is being pushed. I wouldn’t doubt that is by design as well, as this is how they always play it – put out multiple threats so none of them get the proper, maximum focus, and the General Public gets desensitized and “bored” with them all.

    And it’s the desensitized, bored, uninvolved masses that continue to accept, without question, that “downloading is evil”, and that bandwidth is somehow *scarce*, and enable the demise of their once-promising cyberworld.

  2. […] An Open Letter against UBB NOTE: When UBB is implemented, Canadians will be charged for all the bandwidth they consume. That means that watching videos like the excellent “Did You Know” video from YouTube I’ve embedded above will cost much more. Don’t ask me how much, because I have no idea. From the sound of it, Bell gets to make up the figures as they go along. […]

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by dissolvethecrtc, Laurel L. Russwurm. Laurel L. Russwurm said: #StopUBB: An Open Letter against UBB > Canadian Internet is about to double in $ […]

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