Canada will overturn 'unlimited' Internet decision, if CRTC doesn't

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications commissions (CRTC) recently passed a bill that would allow for Bell and Rogers to charge companies who lease from them on a per-byte basis. The bill forced the smaller companies to revise their service plans, effectively ending 'unlimited' bandwidth plans in Canada.

In recent developments, the Canadian government has stepped-in to protect consumers and small businesses. According to The Globe and Mail, the CRTC must overturn their decision, or the Harper government will do it for them. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, posted a comment on Twitter yesterday to have the decision reviewed:

twitterharper

During the short few days after the original announcement to end 'unlimited use' Internet plans, a massive backlash from consumers everywhere across Canada, and even around the world, forced the government to step-in and request the CRTC overturn the decision.

One website titled "Stop the Meter" asked for users to sign a petition, which gathered over 357,000 signatures to stop the bill. The CRTC said that it has received thousands of complaints about the decision, a strong sign of displeasure among Canadians.

This news will be well received by Canadians, where many started to worry about the Internet cap usage shrinking from as much as 200GB down to a mere 25GB per month.

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Glad to hear all of Canada's major political parties are united on an issue for a change!

Those data caps have to go, but after this, attention desperately needs to be focused on wireless! Not only are Canada's wireless bills the highest in the world, but they also suffer from stupidities such as the following:

- Three year contracts (no other country does this)
- Charges for incoming texts (without a texting plan)
- System access fees (Rogers still charges a government regulatory recovery fee)
- Charging for both incoming and outgoing calls (this doesn't occur with land lines)
- Laws forbidding foreign competitors from entering the market

Sure, there's Wind, but they are only present in certain cities and they're completely shut out in Québec. Guesss it's time to scrap the CRTC!

They need to get rid of transfer caps altogether... but this decision is a step in the right direction. I live in the province of Quebec, and I'm not even sure there's one company that offers an unlimited plan here... at least none of the 2 big corp (Bell, Videotron). Sucks

The problem with this is that it's only the smaller ISP that lease the lines that offer unlimited internet at a set rate. In order to compensate for the upgrade cost due to saturated lines, the ISP's will increase the costs to the lessees. In turn jacking up the cost to the end users. IUBB while putting a soft cap on bandwidth usage would create extra revenues so that lines could be upgraded without increasing the cost to lease the lines.
Also just because the CRTC regulation will (most likely) be overruled does not mean that you won't end up paying more. All the ISP's have to do is raise costs, and lease fees to re-coup the lost projected revenues.

...and then there's propaganda such as this: http://www.ctv.ca/generic/gene...usiness/article1890730.html, which warns that "second-guessing the CRTC comes at a price". Essentially, the article's author is whining that the government is undermining the CRTC's decisions (it's not the first time something such as this has occured).

For those who aren't familiar with Canadian lobby groups and politics, let me connect a few dots:
- The article's author is the former vice-chairman of the CRTC
- CTV was more than happy to run this article
- CTV is owned by Bell Canada
- Bell also happens to be Canada's largest ISP
- Bell being granted their request to the CRTC to be allowed to change their billing (for the independent ISPs) is what started this whole fiasco
- The CRTC, despite the article's author claiming to be an "independent regulator" body, is run by former telecommunication industry execs.

So...yes, the government is undermining the CRTC, but...that's a *good* thing. There's been many calls in the past to disband the CRTC--there's too much influence, and they can't do the job they've been appointed to do. I wish the current government had the balls to go ahead with it.

I remembered Harper tried to get rid of the chair of the CRTC after Sun TV News getting a category 2 license and some people were against that! The same people who are complaining about UBB!

supersaiyanjericho said,
I remembered Harper tried to get rid of the chair of the CRTC after Sun TV News getting a category 2 license and some people were against that! The same people who are complaining about UBB!

The CRTC is a joke, we should get rid of it and replace it with something that works better.

A couple of years ago when Tony Clement overturned the CRTC's decision to allow Wind Mobile to setup shop, some useful idiots screamed that the decision would open the doors to foreign competition *que the scary music*. Of course, the result was we got increased competition and the incumbents had to adjust their prices. Still, that didn't stop the same useful idiots to continue to slam foreign competition in the name of protecting Canadian content and Canadian businesses. The CEO of Rogers Wireless (one of the incumbent telcos) joined in on the bashing. Certainly, there is no conflict of interest there! I am sure he's all for Canadians right?

Fast forward to this UBB issue, the same useful idiots want the government to intervene?

Anyways, my point is this. I hope these people would stop supporting the CRTC and stop thinking that it made a fumble here and there. The powers granted to them has helped perpetuate this cronyism in Canada for many years, blocking any foreign investment all in the name of protecting Canadian businesses. This needs to stop or we'll never get affordable internet and cell phone services.

considering Bell accomplished this in 2009 "In 2009, BCE reported net earnings of $1.738 billion, up 84 per cent from $943 million in 2008." (http://www.itworldcanada.com/b...ofits-up-84-per-cent/52826/)
Rogers did this "overall revenue increased slightly by 3% to $3.1 billion." (http://www.thetelecomblog.com/...rogers-q3-profit-slumps-24/) I really think its time someone stepped in and said the Canadian public does not need to be gouged anymore. Its no secret we have the highest wireless rates and one of the worst Internet speeds already to be hit in the pocket even further by these 2 companies PLUS the CRTC.
The CRTC needs to be abolished.

While this won't completely abolish usage-based billing, it's definitely a step in the right direction. It'll bring us back to where we were, before the CRTC's decision to allow Bell to incur overage fees on third-party Internet service providers.

I just hope it doesn't end in a half-measure where usage-based billing is still in place, but with a higher discount.

only took 3/4's of the internet-using population to complain for it to be reviewed (300k people)... I have heard chats of people making it the ONLY issue to sway and change their vote on their next election..

The caps will dissolve, at least at their current price point and limits- but the pricing schemes will not change, if anything this will give them a reason to up it a few more $$$ a month for everyone. Internet is the most expensive in Canada, well aside from maybe Cuba.

Andrew, thank you. I think this is the first article I've seen on the internet that hasn't reinforced the propaganda that all companies HAVE to have usage fee's..

While it's true, in most of Canada they will have to do it, or the company will have to absorb the overages themselves, which is cost prohibitive. There are other areas in Canada, namely Atlantic Canada, where the largest ISP doesn't buy it's bandwidth from Bell/Shaw/Rogers, but rather has their own direct access to the backbone. It doesn't, and has no plans to introduce usage based billing any time soon to their main plans ( Wireless, 5/10/15mbit. 30mbit and 100mbit technically have 250gb caps, but this is not enforced at this time, and again, there are no plans to enforce it in the near future ).

I do hope however this leads to a total ban on UBB in Canada. Usage based is just a way for Bell ( which owns some networks, and dish services ), and Rogers/Shaw ( cable co's ) to stop people from using the internet as an alternative way to legally get movies and shows over things like netflix, and iTunes. It's a dirty move and they have been seen for what they are in trying to do it.

Ryoken said,
There are other areas in Canada, namely Atlantic Canada, where the largest ISP doesn't buy it's bandwidth from Bell/Shaw/Rogers, but rather has their own direct access to the backbone.

I assume you mean Eastlink? I thought they went through Rogers. Maybe that's only their phone service, however..

losershawn said,

I assume you mean Eastlink? I thought they went through Rogers. Maybe that's only their phone service, however..
They have a deal with Rogers for Cellphone, but I don't think they use them for landlines.. Cable wise, they were here before Rogers, they have their own direct access to the backbone

I think 200gb down to 25gb is a not at all good idea. As even if some watch streaming video at youtube that may be 480p and 720p , Audio video chat on skype regularly once a day the user will easily cross 25Gb limit in a month. And because of high broadband the company start streaming even the high definition. And more of there a tension in the user mind to check the internet download limit usage. User will not download regular update for there system to protect them again infection.

Silly part is that bandwidth costs are at all time lows yet prices and limitations keep increasing.

We should have reasonable speeds for dial-up cost by now if capitalism wasn't such a shell game.

Why is this front page news? They are taking Konrad W. von Finckenstein, Chairman of the CRTC and Len Katz, Vice-Chairman Telecommunications in front of Paliament to answer questions about their decision to enact UBB. This is a big step to overruling this, but it's not the end of the game.

I'm sure we will still make out worse than we went into this with. Caps will still be lowered, there will still be no competition in most parts of the country, and this does not stop companies charging overage fees. What this will do is allow the distributors (small ISPs) to get a better cut, so they can be competitive in their small markets if they so choose.

It's news because it's a step in the right direction but I agree with you. My impression is that they are reviewing the shafting of small reseller ISPs but not the actual metering of Internet usage by the Big 3 ISPs.

MR_Candyman said,
Why is this front page news? They are taking Konrad W. von Finckenstein, Chairman of the CRTC and Len Katz, Vice-Chairman Telecommunications in front of Paliament to answer questions about their decision to enact UBB. This is a big step to overruling this, but it's not the end of the game.

Everything I've heard this morning is reporting that Harper told the CRTC that they need to overrule UBB or he'll do it himself.

geoken said,

Everything I've heard this morning is reporting that Harper told the CRTC that they need to overrule UBB or he'll do it himself.


That quote was not said by Harper. It was said by "an anonymous government official". All anybody in the tory governemnet has said is: 1: They are very concerned and are looking into the matter. 2: they are bringing the head honchos of the CRTC to parliament today to answer questions regarding their decision on UBB.

MR_Candyman said,

That quote was not said by Harper. It was said by "an anonymous government official". All anybody in the tory governemnet has said is: 1: They are very concerned and are looking into the matter. 2: they are bringing the head honchos of the CRTC to parliament today to answer questions regarding their decision on UBB.
Not true, Tony Clement said he'd make sure it was overruled if they didn't do it themselves. Not in those exact words, but when asked if they would he said yes.

And it's news because there are canadian viewers on this site too and we care about our internet. Not everyone keeps up with the news so its nice to come here and read about it.

Xero said,
Not true, Tony Clement said he'd make sure it was overruled if they didn't do it themselves. Not in those exact words, but when asked if they would he said yes.

And it's news because there are canadian viewers on this site too and we care about our internet. Not everyone keeps up with the news so its nice to come here and read about it.


For some reason twitter has the wrong times now, but I was following him last night and there wasn't even 1 minute between these 2 posts of his (second one comes first):
True. CRTC must go back to drawing board RT @RosieBarton is it true you will overturn internet decision if crtc does not back down?
about 1 hour ago via Twitterrific

I remain very concerned by the #UBB decision of the CRTC & look forward to my review being completed ASAP.
about 5 hours ago via Twitterrific

So which is it (keeping in mind how soon they REALLY were)? He's looking forward to completing his review (which by his 4 day schedule for doing so is friday), or will he overturn it? I think he was getting confused because @acoyne and him were having an argument (which BTW Clement flip-flopped on and got called out on it by @acoyne)

For the record: So far, I'm right. It looks like they are giving the CRTC/Bell 60 days to come up with a new proposal. This does NOT mean it has to be a better one, just new. If you actually watch/listen/read what Finkentein and the other members of the CRTC on hand had to say you would realize just how bad these people are at their jobs. They have 0 understanding of what it is they are overseeing.

To his credit, Clement was attacking pretty hard all day. Where was Harper? Nowhere. Most of parliament are unfortunately not in the slightest tech savvy, so no REAL questions were asked.

MR_Candyman said,
For the record: So far, I'm right. It looks like they are giving the CRTC/Bell 60 days to come up with a new proposal. This does NOT mean it has to be a better one, just new. If you actually watch/listen/read what Finkentein and the other members of the CRTC on hand had to say you would realize just how bad these people are at their jobs. They have 0 understanding of what it is they are overseeing.

To his credit, Clement was attacking pretty hard all day. Where was Harper? Nowhere. Most of parliament are unfortunately not in the slightest tech savvy, so no REAL questions were asked.

Yea, the CRTC are morons. While more should have been there, Tony Clement can reverse it on is own. CRTC seem to be leaning towards cutting indie isp's some slack but still punishing consumers for "excessive usage." Who decides what is excessive and how much it should cost? I've said it before, I'm not against usage based billing. Just the rate they think they deserve per gigabyte. Be reasonable, charge 1-5 cents per gig. However they don't want complete usage based billing because users who use less, may end up paying less than they do now. They only want usage based billing for users who use a lot. It's not about creating a fair business model for internet usage. It's about them wanting to increase their profits.

Ah well, it's not over yet. I'll bet they think delaying it will make us all forget. Think again.

good for them

some of us living with 30GB cap over here , which is crippling
can't imagine that out their

but that is friggin middle-eastern country

Raa said,
Welcome to Australia.

Someone needs to send Telstra that message!

It falls on deaf ears down here or we get told bandwidth costs more then petrol so yeah ain't going to change soon. lol.

The_Decryptor said,
I'm on 200GB a month for $49. Just don't use Telstra

In some areas, you don't have an option. Telstra, or ISPs which resell Telstra, are the only ADSL2 options for a good part of outer-metropolitan Melbourne.

DChiuch said,

In some areas, you don't have an option. Telstra, or ISPs which resell Telstra, are the only ADSL2 options for a good part of outer-metropolitan Melbourne.

iiNet has their own network, but also resells. I have 400GB per month and could have had 1TB per month. I knew I was never going to use that much so I downgraded!

Skyhawker said,
iiNet has their own network, but also resells. I have 400GB per month and could have had 1TB per month. I knew I was never going to use that much so I downgraded!

What province is that?
And I naively thought Vidéotron had one of the better Internets in Canada lol
I have 100GB but they will upgrade their users to 120GB next month.

PyX said,

What province is that?
And I naively thought Vidéotron had one of the better Internets in Canada lol
I have 100GB but they will upgrade their users to 120GB next month.

iinet is in australia, not canada

PyX said,

What province is that?
And I naively thought Vidéotron had one of the better Internets in Canada lol

Canada has so many Internets!

Digitalx said,

hey hey I cope on 25-30GB a month

It's not particularly good for an internet that's evolving towards a pure media content delivery platform as well. Renting, buying and downloading movies, TV catchup services, music downloading. It all adds up over time, especially if you add high definition streaming to the mix. A metered internet is extremely backward.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,

What? Not everyone downloads/torrents boatloads on the internet you know. It's not that surprising.

Seems to me to be a failed attempt at excluding online streaming companies like netflix to ensure the survival of the existing content oligopoly.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,

What? Not everyone downloads/torrents boatloads on the internet you know. It's not that surprising.

What about Netflix, Hulu, and everything else? It's not just downloaders/torrenters that use it all. You could easily go through 25GB in a month if you watch many shows at all online or through a streaming box.

^ When you use Netflix, you're doing what? Oh yeah! That's the word, downloading! Thanks for proving my point. I'm not sure what kind of world you live in where downloading from Netflix doesn't count towards your bandwidth limit, but it does.
Let me rephrase my original statement:
"Not everyone uses a boatload of bandwidth on the internet you know."

Tha Bloo Monkee said,

What? Not everyone downloads/torrents boatloads on the internet you know. It's not that surprising.

I would like to but can't and unfortunately mines the highest amount at reasonable price in New Zealand you can get 200GB but costs about $300/month with only adsl2+ connection, just ain't worth it.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
^ When you use Netflix, you're doing what? Oh yeah! That's the word, downloading! Thanks for proving my point. I'm not sure what kind of world you live in where downloading from Netflix doesn't count towards your bandwidth limit, but it does.
Let me rephrase my original statement:
"Not everyone uses a boatload of bandwidth on the internet you know."

Well yeah but 25 GB? I would probably run out just watching youtube videos...

Good news for everyone. After all, if such a plan starts in one country, it won't be long before other countries would try to adopt the same plan.

Intrinsica said,
Good news for everyone. After all, if such a plan starts in one country, it won't be long before other countries would try to adopt the same plan.

We have had usage based internet charges here for more the a decade. altho the data limit's are a lot more now, then they used to be.