A Chance to Lobby Against Usage Based Internet Billing

Internet Service Providers  are about to impose usage-based billing on Canadians.
This means ISPs will charge per byte, the way they do with smart phones. If we allow this to happen, Canadians will have no choice but to pay much more, for less Internet. Big Canadian Telecom companies already gouge consumers for cell phone service, now they want to rip us off for our internet use and to to control the Internet market. 
These Big Telecom companies are forcing small competing ISPs to adopt the same pricing scheme, so that we have no choice but to pay these punitive fees.
This will crush innovative services, Canada's digital competitiveness, and your wallet.
We urgently need to send a clear message to Ottawa, saying that we won't stand by while some of the most profitable companies in the country indiscriminately add new fees to our Internet bills. Enough is enough.
 The Liberals and the NDP have now come out AGAINST Internet metering. We're winning, Canada - now onto the government in power!
Open Media has a petition I urge you to sign it.


  1. Apart from the fact that none of us wants to pay more for Internet access, what's wrong in principle with "user pay"? For example, we all would agree (I think) that people who use more gasoline should pay more, rather than having their costs of consumption capped at say $50 per month. People who use more electricity or natural gas or municipal water (or beer!) pay as they continue to consume, and it's viewed as a good thing, not only for the environment but in terms of fundamental fairness: "use more, pay more." Why is it any different for the Internet?

    PS: I also suspect the bandwidth hogs who will be primarily affected by any switch to user pay are those who illegally download hundreds of movies and music DVDs and video games per month etc.

    PPS: I'm on a "pay as you consume" cell phone plan, and actually find it quite reasonable.

  2. The problem with this ruling isn’t the “user pay” concept, but rather the motives of the internet service providers for wanting a cap in place. Yes, illegal downloading of movies and music is the main culprit today for exceeding the proposed caps. But that isn’t the issue. In the near future, exceeding the cap will be caused by watching movies or TV shows from legal video streaming providers such as Netflix. Based on the proposed caps, approximately 8 hours of HD movies viewed through Netflix will result in overage charges. This, in my opinion, is the big issue – overage charges for exceeding the cap will far exceed the cost of renting or buying a movie today from a store……or directly from your cable provider through your TV.
    The reason internet service providers want this cap is to provide time to protect other parts of their business model (i.e., TV subscriptions). Rogers, Bell, and Telus have not adapted their service offering to reflect what the market is looking for. They are at risk of losing a revenue stream and they aren’t in a position to protect it unless they can curb the growth of companies providing video streaming over the internet. Although there is money to be made as an infrastructure provider, there are greater profits to be earned in being the provider of content…..especially if you are locked into using a certain tool. Apple has proved this with iTunes. Be the platform to provide services and then taking a percentage of the transaction is a very lucrative model. This is what Rogers, Bell and Telus want to hold onto and grow. They will be able to provide the infrastructure and the content – and charge for both. If they don’t block companies such as Netflix and others today, they risk losing a future revenue stream and will watch a current revenue stream shrink.
    From a pure business strategy perspective, there is brilliance in the actions of the large ISP’s as I don’t think Canadians will have alternatives to punish them in the future for their actions today. One only has to look at Canadian banks as a comparison. Until financial deregulation in the late eighties, banks charged usurious service fees with terrible service. They fought like crazy to protect their business by preventing competition entering the market so they could buy time to adjust their business offering and approach. Eventually the cost per byte will drop, but not until these companies have adjusted their product offering to be competitive with new forms of content providers.


Agree or disagree, I would love to hear from anyone who visits the site