Usage Based Billing of Internet Services in Canada By Hassan Howidi and MiladJadidi April 6, 2011
Table of Contents Explanation of Usage Based Billing CRTC’s involvement Consequences of UBB’s implementation Actions we can take to stop it
Explanation of Usage Based Billing Brief description Video 7 1
What is Usage Based Billing? Usage Based Billing (UBB) is a system in which your internet services are billed according to your bandwidth. The amount you download and upload is metered like electric and phone bills. 2
What is Usage Based Billing? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rUsRCyS6PU
The CRTC’s Involvement What is the CRTC? What role has it played regarding UBB?
What is the CRTC? The CRTC is the federal regulatory agency for broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada. It regulates television/radio broadcasting, internet, and telephone service. 6
What Role Has It Played? The CRTC approved an application from Bell to impose UBB on retail and wholesale customers on May 6, 2010. That means all companies that rented internet access from Bell like TekSavvy would be forced to adopt it too. 8
What Role Has It Played? The decision to implement this decision was supposed to happen March 1, 2011. Thanks to protests and a petition with over half a million signatures, the CRTC was forced to review it’s decision. It has delayed it by 60 days.
What Role Has It Played? Recently however, Bell has withdrawn it’s application of the UBB of individual customers, and now instead is proposing to charge third party ISP’s on the amount of data used, over there original renting fee. They have called this “aggregated volume pricing”. This is the same problem however, as it will force these companies to charge more for bandwidth.
Consequences of UBB How will it affect us individually? How will it affect the economy? 10
How Will It Affect Us? Putting a cap on our internet usage will severely limit our freedom on the internet You will have to limit watching movies and music on the internet to avoid paying the extra charges of going over your limit. 3 4
How Will It Affect Us? It’s a rip off. UBB suggests the internet be metered like a commodity. Metering the internet is not the same as hydro and electricity. Major ISP’s charge $1.00-$4.50 per GB over your monthly allowance. That’s a markup of 100-500%! 5
How Will It Affect the Economy? The move to meter internet usage is a move to curb Canadian internet use so that we use it less. Our world is quickly becoming increasingly involved andrelying more on the internet. It is important that instead of discouraging its use, we promote and develop new was to advance it. 9
How Will It Affect the Economy? The proposal of UBB to be imposed on all ISP’s clearly almost eliminates productive competition between Bell and Rogers and other ISP’s. Bell’s proposal for UBB came soon after Netflix came to Canada. Major ISP’s like Bell and Rogers have an interest in cable television, and limiting people’s downloads would help discourage people to use the internet as an alternative to TV.
Actions We Can Take to Stop It Spreading awareness and educating people on what UBB is and how it can affect us. Signing the petition at stopthemeter.ca Writing emails to: Heritage Minister James Moore – Moore.J@parl.gc.ca Industry Minister Tony Clement – Clemet1@parl.gc.ca Prime Minister Stephen Harper – Harper.S@parl.gc.ca
Conclusion The current developments on UBB are very threatening to the internet in Canada. If we do not make sure we protect the internet from this, we will very likely deal with the same problem we now face with cell phone plans. It’s imperative that we closely follow this issue and raise awareness to as much people as possible, and take action to stop this. 12