Canadian Law

Maclean Magazine Scorns Canadians

Appearently Maclean believes that Canadian consumers are being unfair about usage based billing, and that we all want free access to the internet.

This Rogers Communications owned publication thinks that because they believe average users aledgely only use 16 gigabites per month that anyone going over this amount should be subjected to higher fees, just because some 2% of users download “hundreds of gigs worth” per month.

Is this what they call “Fair” ? And where did they get that 16 gigabite per month figure ?

My average use is at about 40 gigs per month at the moment because of Youtube and i’m sure Netflix users have a similar rate. I am not an “average user” ?

It’s obvious that legitimate online television and film content streaming have resulted in a hike in average use and that 16 gig figure will not cut it.

There are already hundreds of internet ready devices, including televisions and blu-ray players, that enable families to view film and television from the internet. And these devices are getting more and more affordable each day so the “average” use will likely surpass 50 or 60 gigs per month soon, if it hasn’t already.

Cloud computing will also drive some of these transfers up, as more and more people use this new technology from their home, so usage based billing is no response.

Bell Internet Usage Error

Bell has found a fault in their online internet usage meter that caused 0.1% of their customers to get overcharged.

I had suspected there was a problem because my router’s usage data never matched the usage data provided by Bell.

In a statement to the CBC, Bell stated that they will fix the problem “certainly before the end of the week” and credit the accounts of those who were affected.

Such errrors of course place usage based billing in doubt as errors can occur resulting in unsubstantiated overcharges.

The CRTC has decided to review their usage based billing decision and this incident will probably be mentioned as a reason why usage based billing is questionable.

Public Consultations on UBB

Both the CRTC and Shaw are holding public consultations on Usage Based Billing :

The Other Major Political Parties on UBB

Here are the links to their press releases :

Usage Based Billing Delayed

The CRTC has decided to delay the implementation of usage based billing for 60 days, as requested by Bell and Vaxination Informatique.

In response to more complaints from consumers, CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein was asked to appear before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology on January 3rd, 2010, where appearently he claimed to support the decision as a means to control downloads by “greedy or excessive” users.

The problem here is that the term “excessive” is subjective. What could be deemed acceptable by some could be deemed “excessive” by others.

For example, I had been asked by Bell to join a cheaper service that would have resulted in a reduction of my allowable monthly usage from 60 gigs to 25 gigs. Was I being “excessive” at the average use of 40 gigs ?

I don’t download films or television programs illegally. I mostly watch videos on Youtube and on the television network sites, and rarely in HD. Is this “greedy” ?

The CRTC failed to define what is normal when it comes to usage so the internet providers would impose their beliefs as to what is and isn’t excessive, to the detriment of consumers.

What is average today would have been “excessive” years back.