CRTC : Usage Based Billing : Screw you!

It’s final­ly mak­ing some news that major Inter­net Ser­vice providers (read Bell Cana­da and Rogers) in Cana­da are out to screw the con­sumer with new usage based billing.

I have no prob­lem with usage based billing per se.  The inter­net has nev­er been cheap­er at the whole­sale lev­el and tech­nol­o­gy is capa­ble of bring­ing ever high­er inter­net speeds to the home over exist­ing infra­struc­ture.  The prob­lem I have with usage based billing specif­i­cal­ly as the CRTC has allowed it is that the cost of the inter­net is sev­er­al orders of mag­ni­tude out of whack with real­i­ty.

As an exam­ple, a raw giga­bit of inter­net at 151 Front (the hub of the Cana­di­an Inter­net) is going for $1500 per month.  That means with­out any over­sub­scrip­tion and any use of free peer­ing with Google and Aka­mi, a 50 megabit home con­nec­tion should max out at $75 per month and a plain 6 megabit  con­nec­tion at $10.  Note that this would be a 50 megabit sym­met­ric con­nec­tion — not the asym­met­ric con­nec­tions that they actu­al­ly deliv­er.

Now I real­ize that the local wires in the ground cost mon­ey and that col­lect­ing mon­ey from peo­ple costs mon­ey.  I’ve played the inter­net provider game for 15 years now.  But the real issue is that the “usage based billing” is between 100 and 1000 times more than the cost of pro­vid­ing the ser­vice and in the case of Bell’s billing of oth­er whole­salers, it’s bor­der­ing on fraud.

Seri­ous­ly: take action now.  Look at the open­media page and take action.  If we don’t take action now, this insan­i­ty will become the norm.

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