internet usage

Lawful Access = Higher Internet Fees

There’s no way around it. Lawful access will be costly to consumers in Canada.

The internet providers do not have the necessary technology and manpower to give law enforcement in Canada real time access to internet communications, especially the smaller internet providers. And these extra expenditures will be passed on to Canadians.

We are talking about technology used to distinguish criminal activity from normal internet traffic and according to Statistic Canada‘s Canadian Internet Use Survey, 79% of Canadian households accessed the internet in 2010.

The task is not only overwhelming but could possibly be open to abuse and security breaches.

After all, we are talking about individual internet providers here, some of which use different technologies to secure their networks. And I’m sure there are plenty of identity thieves that would love to access the weaker of these networks, some of which are probably tied to the criminal organizations our law enforcement is trying to expose with this legislation.

The 2011 Canadians and Privacy Survey conducted by Harris/Decima for The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada found that 8 out of 10 Canadians opposed this legislation because of numerous concerns about privacy and security. And in 2009, Statistics Canada found that 48% of Canadian consumers were concerned about credit card purchases online.

Is this really the time to make consumers nervous about security and privacy online ?

New Parliamentary Session Starts Today

Parliament will be in session today and many bills are scheduled to be introduced by the last scheduled sitting day in December, including two re-introduced bills that consumers should be made aware of.

Both should be of concern to Canadian consumers as they are scheduled to be re-introduced with little to no changes, possibly resulting in a loss in the ability to make private copies from copy protected recordings, loss of privacy when it comes to the internet and higher subscription fees for internet access.

Is Your Internet Provider Net Neutral ?

Does your internet provider throttle traffic to and from legitimate sites because of favoritism ? Are they trying to steer you to specific sites by slowing down connections to and from those other sites ?

Internet providers are supposed to be neutral. But of course how does someone find out when they aren’t ? They certainly wont admit to doing it and no technology exists to analyze their transfers. Right ?

Well, researcher Dan Kaminsky has been working on a program called N00ter to do this.

Basically it times transfers to and from sites using different methods and compares the resulting information to find throttling.

Additional information on this new program can be found on Forbes.

CRTC Refuses To Expand Internet Review

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has denied a request from The Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Consumers’ Association of Canada to expand their review of internet billing in Canada.

On February 12th, 2011, these associations had requested that the CRTC investigate the pricing of internet access and accept comments on this subject during their public consultation on usage based billing. But the CRTC denied this request, claiming that “There is no evidence that market forces are not working properly in this unregulated market” in an email published today.

Minister of Industry Tony Clements had stated in a tweet that a “door must still be open to Canadians’ broader concerns re pricing & competition” and in another tweet hinted that he would expand debate on the issue.

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.

Teksavvy Suspends Usage Based Billing

Teksavvy has decided to suspend their plans to implement usage based billing in response to the customer revolt that resulted in nearly half a million signatures on the online petition.

Usage based billing was to be implemented at Teksavvy on March 1st, 2011. But the consumer complaints had flooded in so quickly that even Bell has decided to look for alternatives to usage based billing, according to The Wire Report.