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.