Canadian Government Promises Review of Usage-Based Billing

February 3, 2011 -

Update: while writing this story it came to my attention (thanks to HarmlessBunny) that Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement has called on the CRTC to reverse its decision to end unlimited internet access plans offered by smaller internet providers. If the CRTC does not back down from its decision on usage-based billing, Clement says the government will intervene. Further Clement said that the CRTC must "go back to the drawing board" on the issue - more from CBC here.

Original Story: Canadians have fought the good fight and the government is now acting on it. Following a loud and angry protest from Canadians and an appeal by one major ISP over usage-based billing, Canada’s Minister of Industry, Tony Clement, said the there would be a review of the policy implemented by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The CRT recently approved Bell Canada's usage-based billing plan for its Gateway Access Services (GAS) customers.

"I am aware that an appeal has been initiated by a market participant," said Clement. "As Canada’s Industry Minister, it is my job to encourage an innovative and competitive marketplace and to ensure that Canadian consumers have real choices in the services they purchase. I can assure that, as with any ruling, these decisions will be studied carefully to ensure that competition, innovation and consumers were all fairly considered."

"The Harper Government is committed to encouraging choice and competition in the wireless and Internet markets," added Clement. "Increased competition can lead to more choice, lower prices and better quality services for Canadians. We have always been clear on our policies in this regard and will continue on this path."

Some Canadians wonder why it took Clement until now to act. Some commentators that live in the region point out that he waited until ISPs rolled out data caps and usage plans before acting. The other problem is that Bell Canada is a major player in Canada’s broadband market that sells chunks of its bandwidth to smaller, regional companies that provide internet in the country. This means that there is no real competition in pricing because Gateway Access Services (GAS) customers have to defer that cost somewhere. This means that consumers are on the hook for it.

We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Source: Zero Paid

 


Comments

Re: Canadian Government Promises Review of Usage-Based ...

The Canadian government is forcing the CRTC to reverse the decision after 375,000 people signed the petition... http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2011/02/03/crtc-internet-clement.html

 

Who'da thought that kinda thing would actually work, eh?

 

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Canadian Government Promises Review of Usage-Based ...

Win!

I'd like to think that US ISPs will take a hint, but they'll just see it as encouragement to move forward with their own plans to bend everybody over.

Re: Canadian Government Promises Review of Usage-Based ...

All things considering, Canada has a population of 38,000,000 to 40,000,000.

When nearly 10% of your population gets pissy, the government better listen :P

--------- James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

Re: Canadian Government Promises Review of Usage-Based ...

I think you have an extra zero in either the population or the percentage. 

Re: Canadian Government Promises Review of Usage-Based ...

Small typo.  It's 357,000 signatures.

More importantly it was enough.

===============

Chris Kimberley

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: Canadian Government Promises Review of Usage-Based ...

Keep at! Continue to fight the good fight! :)

However I am waiting for Bell, Rogers, Shaw, and Telus (big Canadian telecom companies) to find new ways to screw us *sigh* Shaw already put a cap...thankfully I don't have to fear switching now. Off to get internet from an unlimited provider now!

---------

James Fletcher, member of ECA Canada

Re: Canadian Government Promises Review of Usage-Based ...

 George Mason from TekSavvy made an excellent analogy on that. He pointed out that, at one point, we had absolutely ridiculous costs for long-distance calls. You could end up paying a buck fifty a minute to call from Toronto to Montreal. Ninety dollars for a hour-long call! (For Americans, that's a pathetically small distance in a very, very big country.) Bell said that those price were necessary then, and nobody could compete, since cell phones were something you carried in your car, and who could string up their own phone lines? It took the government stepping in and opening up the wires to competition to prove that they were wrong and that they were simply acting like monopolists. 

That's happening once again. You can't string up your own phone lines or bury your own cable lines. The telcos got access to government-owned right-of-ways that let them do that. The only way we're ever going to have real competition among ISPs is if companies like TekSavvy are allowed to fairly compete, without having their prices set by Bell et al. They don't "resell" the Telco's Internet access, despite what you may have heard; they basically just rent access to that last monopolized mile of copper/cable that nobody else could possibly lay down. If groups like TekSavvy are providing a better service at a better cost, then that's a GOOD thing for Canadians, not a bad thing.

Re: Canadian Government Promises Review of Usage-Based ...

A good point being that companies that place caps are basically handing the advantage to companeis that don't.

 
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TechnogeekImagine that level of accuracy, only applied to something that has actually caused physiological and psychological trauma in more cases than just whatever the equivalent of the CD-i Zelda games would be.07/01/2015 - 8:40am
TechnogeekThat's the issue I see as well, E. To put it in terms anyone reading this site will likely understand: you know how any time video games show up on TV, they feature absurdly outdated 3D graphics and/or audio from the Intellivison era?07/01/2015 - 8:40am
InfophileWell, you CAN go to a crowded streetcorner and tell everyone who passes by your social security number and bank account PIN, but you shouldn't. Is that censorship?07/01/2015 - 8:36am
E. Zachary KnightSo if it is going to turn out to be a bad scene, why even bother writing it?07/01/2015 - 8:07am
E. Zachary KnightMatts, Goth, The article, and others I have read making the same conclusion, state that most people fail in their attempts to write rape scenes without being overly offensive or overly incompetent in their attempt.07/01/2015 - 8:07am
Adam802http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Ex-Sen-Leland-Yee-may-be-headed-for-a-plea-deal-6358941.php07/01/2015 - 7:12am
Adam802Possible plea deal in Yee case: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_28408532/leland-yee-case-plea-deal-appears-likely07/01/2015 - 7:11am
MattsworknameInfo, Im with goth on this, the moment people start saying "You can but you shouldnt" thats a slow slide into censorship07/01/2015 - 6:05am
InfophileIn other words, you stopped when you found out it was arguing for a position you disagreed with, but before you found out why.07/01/2015 - 5:29am
Goth_Skunk"In short, anyone can write a rape scene—but should they? Chances are, the answer is no." And that's where I stopped reading.07/01/2015 - 5:11am
InfophileRelevant to our discussion of rape in fiction yesterday: http://www.wired.com/2015/06/rape-scenes/07/01/2015 - 4:58am
Mattsworknameof players, over and over for the last seveal years. Among non RPG games, which make up the vast majority of current games, I think that you still see a large scale disparity between male and female in the AAA industry.07/01/2015 - 1:36am
Mattsworknamewilson. Out of RPG players yes, thats true, and in pc ciricles im not suprised, but RPGS make a small fraction of Console games these days and while pc gaming is seeing a resurgance, MMOs are actually retracting in size , as shown by WOW losing millions07/01/2015 - 1:33am
Matthew Wilsonhere is the study to prove it. http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find-that-female-pc-gamers-outnumber-males/07/01/2015 - 1:17am
Matthew Wilson@matt wrong over half of rpg players, both singleplayer and mmos, are female.07/01/2015 - 1:15am
MechaCrashRight, women don't usually play AAA games because none are aimed at them because they don't play them because none are aimed at them because okay you see where I'm going with this.07/01/2015 - 1:11am
MattsworknameI think the better path is this, more games built to give you the Choice of playing as male or female, and give the females good voice actors07/01/2015 - 1:08am
Mattsworknameup more then a fraction of the AAA games industry, but they make up a much larger part of the moble market.07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Mattsworknameandrew is right, to a point, as you are seeing a slow increase of women in games, but the sales shows that the lions share of gaming money comes from a male demo, and while andrew is right that it is changing, it's gonna be a LONG time before women make07/01/2015 - 1:04am
Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
 

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