Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on February 2, 2011
I’ve been a Teksavvy customer long enough to “grandfather” my existing plan for a mere $5.00 extra a month.
That’s not so bad. So why do I care?
Because UBB is bad for Canada.
Usage Based Billing will seriously damage Canada’s digital economy.
DO THE MATH:
$36.95 a month for 200GB of bandwidth.
What would a new customer have to pay?
$31.95/Month for capped 25 G/month
1/8th the bandwidth for the cost of 200GB before UBB implementation.OUCH!
TekSavvy allows new customers to increase their bandwidth “alllowance” by paying for “insurance” of an additional 120 GB for an extra $14.25
which would bring it up to:
3/4 of the bandwidth I get for almost TWICE AS MUCH:
145 gigabytes for $56.20
If you think that’s not enough, you can pay more for more: the option exists to sign up for a total bandwidth of
300GB per month for a cost of $86.95
How can that possibly be fair?
If there is a legitimate reason to increase the cost, we should all have to pay it.
But there isn’t.
Since I’ve been writing the Stop Usage Based Billing blog I have yet to hear a single reasonable justification for imposition of UBB.
In fact, I have learned that usage costs almost nothing. Less than a penny a GIGABYTE. The same gigabyte of bandwidth that will now cost some Canadians DOLLARS.
The real cost of the Internet is in the Infrastructure. Canadians have been paying very high rates for mediocre service. For a long time. We have already more than paid for state of the art infrastructure with plenty of profit left over, but it has not been implemented by Canada’s Internet Carriers. Bell doesn *have* to improve the Internet infrastructure.
I guess the idea is that I’m supposed to be happy that I don’t get hurt too badly, the problem of course is that this is going to be like throwing ice-water on Canadian Internet use.
Oh yes: this increase in price does not even go to my ISP TekSavvy, this goes straight to Bell.
Thing is, Bell was allowed to set the generous rates they charge the Independent ISPs in the beginning.
UBB allows Bell to rewrite the contracts. Because the Independent ISPs are already paying more than their fair share for connectivity.
“No other country in the world has a telecom charging its customers (AND the customers of third-party providers) that much money for such low bitrates and monthly caps, and DPI-inspected throttled applications. On the latest (October 2010) OECD survey of broadband affordability, Canada ranks 6 from the bottom of a list of 29 countries, averaging $11.85(USD) per Mbps for a monthly subscription. Best was Korea, at $1.76(USD) / Mbps. That’s advertised bandwidth, which is vastly inflated over actual rates experienced by customers.
Yes, population density is a factor, but Southern Ontario is not that sparsely populated. I’d be more willing to believe that we’ve subsidized the cost of bandwidth for Canada’s sparsely populated areas, if those areas actually had any broadband connectivity at all.
My objection to UBB isn’t that we’re being charged for the bandwidth we consume. My objection is that Bell can collect money from people who are not their customers, forcing third-party ISPs to do their dirty work. My objection is that Bell can collect these surcharges AND continue to apply caps and throttling. My objection is that there is no evidence of Bell’s true bandwidth costs, or their costs in implementing new infrastructure. Such information may have been submitted to the CRTC in their tariff application/filing, but those pages were withheld from public scrutiny, ostensibly because Bell claimed this was proprietary information and that its publication would compromise Bell’s ability to compete.
Bell doesn’t only provide the infrastructure for its third-party ISPs, it is also an ISP itself, competing directly with those third-party ISPs. Since it owns the infrastructure, it can undercut those third-party ISPs. Bell doesn’t just provide infrastructure, it is also a content provider. Since it owns the infrastructure it can price the cost of bandwidth to make the offerings of other content providers (Netflix, YouTube, CanWest/PostMedia) unaffordable. But you can always subscribe to Bell TV (formerly ExpressVu) if you’re unhappy with Internet video, right? We’ve been paying for bandwidth all along. Bell is business savvy – you won’t convince me they’ve been operating at a loss all this time, so there’s never been a free ride here. What is is, is some major anti-competitive action on Bell’s part. ”
— Bob Jonkman, KWLUG forum
A few more UBB Links:
Various members of the government have Tweeted the intention to look at Usage Based Billing and the CRTC.
Canadians must continue to challenge UBB. Tell the government that UBB must be overturned.
Visit the facebook group Stop UBB in Canada to see if there is a rally started in your city:
Stop UBB in Canada: STOP UBB RALLY CENTRAL
It’s not over yet.
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.