Consumer Information

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.

Response From Liberal Party on UBB

The Liberal Party want the usage based billing decision reversed, according to the Liberal technology critic.

Marc Garneau, the Member of Parliament for Westmount-Ville Marie, stated “We consider this decision to be anti-competitive, because it does penalize the small internet service providers.”

In a statement found on their web site, the Liberal Party complains that the proposed caps are too low in comparison to the states, at 25GB instead of 250GB. And that the CRTC failed to respond to the consumers concerns on this issue ; “This shows yet again that under a Conservative government, CRTC has come to mean ‘Consumers Rarely Taken into Consideration

The Liberal Party proposal in regards to the internet can be found here.

Response From Government on UBB

In response to the political and consumer backlash, the Minister of Industry has promised to investigate usage based billing.

In a statement issued on Monday, Tony Clement said “The Harper Government is committed to encouraging choice and competition in the wireless and Internet markets. Increased competition can lead to more choice, lower prices and better quality services for Canadians.”

The online petition had grown to over 160,000 signatures, doubling in less than 72 hours and I suspect his office has been flooded with letters, emails and faxes on the subject.

It is vital for taxpayers to voice their opinions on the matter because it is the taxpayer that paid for most of the infrastructure on which the internet operates in Canada.

Please discuss this issue with your local Member of Parliament.

Free Tunes From iCoke

Specially marked 591 mL Coke products in Canada include a code redeemable for free music downloads from iTunes.

These codes expire on March 31st, 2011 and are limited to 10 per week. Click here for additional details.

Consumers Revolt Against UBB

An online petition against usage based billing has surpassed 80,000 signatures and Youtube, one of the services that will likely suffer the most because of UBB, has been flooded with videos on the subject.

Regular people, those that want to watch HD videos from legitimate sources, are furious. And as HD becomes more and more prevalent on the internet people will be forced to make more choices in regards to what they view.

Music downloads are usually fine as is music streaming and photography when it comes to bandwidth consumption. But videos gobble up bandwidth, as shown on a comparison chart published by the Vancouver Sun.

To remain under my limit i’ve decided to refrain from watching videos in HD online and will probably purchase the music videos I watch frequently on DVD or via iTunesicon. But of course many people will not want to limit their viewing to 480p, so I expect the internet providers to get quite a few complaints on this issue.