Usage Based Billing in Canada

Canada has narrowly missed an almost silent transition to Usage-Based Billing for it's internet. I was amazed how almost nobody seemed to be aware of this impending disaster that would have us paying $50 for 25GB of bandwidth and $2 for each additional GB overage. In comparison, it's 200GB today and I have blown over than on more than one occasion.

Bandwidth hog is a common term thrown out to it's touted 14% of users that are responsible for 83% of the internet usage here, but no mention of who those people are. Are these businesses making a living via the internet and paying them for the privilege? What about those paying full price and using less than a GB a month? How many mom and pops are using it for eBay, e-mail and the occasional video chat with family and yet are paying for a premium account. There are tiers of usage for a reason; if I am paying for the fastest internet it's so I can use it, not because I have an excess of cash and need to give it away.

I use Steam for most of my gaming purchases and I would have to stop using it almost altogether. The game F.E.A.R for instance is a 17GB download and it took less than 24hrs to get, what about the rest of my month? Youtube video's come in 1080p today, how many of those could I view before I'm paying 25 cents a minute to watch? Apple iTunes updates are 250MB, Linux distro's sail over a gig, Windows patches and service packs add up and Cloud apps and storage will also cost you dearly for usage. This is the future of the internet, they see it and are setting the gouge tax in motion before it hits mainstream.

It's no surprise that this comes on the heels of the introduction of Netflix to North America. Bell, Shaw and Rogers are all in bed with Television conglomerates and the $8 a month all-you-can-eat plan of Netflix sure looks a hell of a lot like doom to them. HD movies will eat bandwidth very quickly and since the CRTC can't just throw Netflix out of the Country, it penalizes the users instead. Antiquated business models run by greedy curmudgeons are in control of your network and taking lessons from Ingsoc. This conflict of interest company model needs to be separated or perhaps trumped by businesses like Google Fiber.

The decision to go to UBB was set to begin March 1st but has since been delayed thanks to the Federal Government's decision to step in and review the CRTC's policy. Konrad von Vader, err Finckenstein and the boys still have the option to nice-it-up a bit and spin it to look good for businesses, so we are not out of the forest yet.
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