Canadian Internet Bills to Skyrocket Soon

Another good source I haven't seen come up in all this is StopTheCap.com. I've become a huge fan in recent months, and while they're US leaning, they've been giving some good coverage of the situation up north as well.

Oh, and if you want to know what US telcos want to do? You're seeing it right now in Canada.

AnimeJ wrote:

Another good source I haven't seen come up in all this is StopTheCap.com. I've become a huge fan in recent months, and while they're US leaning, they've been giving some good coverage of the situation up north as well.

Oh, and if you want to know what US telcos want to do? You're seeing it right now in Canada.

well at least we can act as a deterrent for our US brethren.

An astonishing thing is happening here. The issue has really picked up steam in the media and I kid you not, the StopTheMeter.ca petition went from 45,000 signatures 2 days ago to 75,000 yesterday to 156,000 today! That's a 2x fold increase IN A SINGLE DAY! Tell every single person you know to go and sign this thing right now. They've expanded it to send it to the appropriate ministers of all the opposition parties as well as Tony Clement's office. This is going viral and if it keeps up, the politicians will have no choice but to take notice. Spread the word far and wide because I'll be damned if I don't think there's a good chance we can win this now. If you use the Internet in Canada, spend 2 minutes and sign it for everyone's sake!

I signed it but you're kidding yourself if you think the government is going to side with it's citizens over big business.

You know... I don't usually wish for an election because they're generally crap.... but if the plug gets pulled on parliament this spring, couldn't this be turned into prime campaign material if done correctly?

Sinatar wrote:

I signed it but you're kidding yourself if you think the government is going to side with it's citizens over big business.

The DSL Reports community is open to any better suggestions. Harper wants votes and at the rate this is going, this could actually become an election issue. Especially once your average joe starts seeing their bill triple in a month. Even 100% reversing the CRTC decision wouldn't get me to vote for George W. Harper again (since his government allowed this in the first place) but it might for many people. This issue is quickly exploding and I think all parties involved greatly underestimated the backlash.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:
Sinatar wrote:

I signed it but you're kidding yourself if you think the government is going to side with it's citizens over big business.

The DSL Reports community is open to any better suggestions. Harper wants votes and at the rate this is going, this could actually become an election issue. Especially once your average joe starts seeing their bill triple in a month. Even 100% reversing the CRTC decision wouldn't get me to vote for George W. Harper again (since his government allowed this in the first place) but it might for many people. This issue is quickly exploding and I think all parties involved greatly underestimated the backlash.

Can't you (you meaning everyone in Canada paying attention) flood your elected representative with your opinion on this issue?

Parallax Abstraction wrote:
Sinatar wrote:

I signed it but you're kidding yourself if you think the government is going to side with it's citizens over big business.

The DSL Reports community is open to any better suggestions. Harper wants votes and at the rate this is going, this could actually become an election issue. Especially once your average joe starts seeing their bill triple in a month. Even 100% reversing the CRTC decision wouldn't get me to vote for George W. Harper again (since his government allowed this in the first place) but it might for many people. This issue is quickly exploding and I think all parties involved greatly underestimated the backlash.

Public outcry can only be a good thing on this one. If politicians see that this issue resonates they'll get interested and maybe do something. If nothing else, they'll tell the CRTC to stop making them look bad.

I sincerely doubt any of this would have been different with any other party in power. None of the parties in Canada care about internet issues. I'm not a fan of Harper, but be realistic on this one. That said, I hope this one continues to blow up on them and they get interested. The internet as an election issue would be great.

DSLReports is also hosting a very informative yet concise petition against the CRTC ruling that makes it pretty clear to anyone on the fence why this issue is anti-competitive in nature.

Looks like its no dice on the FP Sunday Feature on this story. My brother pitched it to his editor, who was casually interested but ultimately wasn't convinced by the controversy as he didn't see anything wrong with people paying for what they use.

That's ultimately the kind of attitude that I'm scared will turn this into a non-issue - a lack of understanding about how this works. And it is complicated, I don't blame them. Even sites like stopthemeter could do a better job of explaining why this is a problem isntead of just saying "This is a problem!"

"A Channel" is owned by CTVglobeMedia. Does anyone know if they have a stake in Internet Service Provision anywhere? Being that they're not Rogers or Bell, would they air a story?

G4Tech TV's Attack of the Show has done Canadian specific station breaks. They've done several "The Feed" stories on 'net neutrality. I bet they'd consider it a story, even if a short segment, if a thousand people tweeted the Sh1t out of them.

Of course beating Egypt out of the news right now isn't exactly going to happen.

Dysplastic wrote:

Looks like its no dice on the FP Sunday Feature on this story. My brother pitched it to his editor, who was casually interested but ultimately wasn't convinced by the controversy as he didn't see anything wrong with people paying for what they use.

That's ultimately the kind of attitude that I'm scared will turn this into a non-issue - a lack of understanding about how this works. And it is complicated, I don't blame them. Even sites like stopthemeter could do a better job of explaining why this is a problem isntead of just saying "This is a problem!"

That's the big problem. People are not paying for what they use here because this is not proper Usage Based Billing. Bell's just using that as a marketing term to confuse people like that. If your friend has the ability to pitch the story again (maybe he doesn't, don't know how these things work), I'd advise him to make a point of stating that.

I agree as well that OpenMedia's doing a terrible job of telling people why this is bad. People are going to their site to sign the petition (which to answer nihilo's question, is actually generating automated e-mails to politicians) but only because they're finding out about the issue from somewhere else. We've been hammering on them on the DSL Reports boards to do something about this but they haven't done much as yet.

Dysplastic wrote:

Looks like its no dice on the FP Sunday Feature on this story. My brother pitched it to his editor, who was casually interested but ultimately wasn't convinced by the controversy as he didn't see anything wrong with people paying for what they use.

That's ultimately the kind of attitude that I'm scared will turn this into a non-issue - a lack of understanding about how this works. And it is complicated, I don't blame them. Even sites like stopthemeter could do a better job of explaining why this is a problem isntead of just saying "This is a problem!"

Have your brother ask his editor if he'd be OK paying hundreds a month for internet he 'barely uses', just watches 'a handful of videos, maybe a couple movies or TV shows'.

AnimeJ wrote:
Dysplastic wrote:

Looks like its no dice on the FP Sunday Feature on this story. My brother pitched it to his editor, who was casually interested but ultimately wasn't convinced by the controversy as he didn't see anything wrong with people paying for what they use.

That's ultimately the kind of attitude that I'm scared will turn this into a non-issue - a lack of understanding about how this works. And it is complicated, I don't blame them. Even sites like stopthemeter could do a better job of explaining why this is a problem isntead of just saying "This is a problem!"

Have your brother ask his editor if he'd be OK paying hundreds a month for internet he 'barely uses', just watches 'a handful of videos, maybe a couple movies or TV shows'.

I'm pretty sure the ship has sailed on this one - a a journo his job is to pitch a story that's interesting, not make it his personal crusade. If the editor passed, he passed. My bro probably could have done a better job pitching it, but like most people he's confused about the issue himself.

Ghostship wrote:

"A Channel" is owned by CTVglobeMedia. Does anyone know if they have a stake in Internet Service Provision anywhere? Being that they're not Rogers or Bell, would they air a story?

G4Tech TV's Attack of the Show has done Canadian specific station breaks. They've done several "The Feed" stories on 'net neutrality. I bet they'd consider it a story, even if a short segment, if a thousand people tweeted the Sh1t out of them.

Of course beating Egypt out of the news right now isn't exactly going to happen.

CTVglobeMedia is at least partially owned by Bell. So no, they're not neutral on this. That doesn't necessarily mean their editors aren't neutral, but yeah..

The fact that the ISPs are so invested in olden times cable/satellite media is the part that makes me so unhappy about this whole situation. They're scuttling internet innovation because it threatens their conventional media monopoly. I really hope Netflix/Zip.ca step up their lobbying before they are crushed. I like the fact that Netflix is speaking out in recent newspaper articles.

I haven't owned a tv in years and get all of my media on the internet. What's more, I've been making a concerted effort not to pirate and only use legitimate sources. Bell/Rogers are trying to make that financially unfeasible and I don't even do business with them (well, mostly). Why oh why, CRTC, are you letting them decide how I buy my internet?

I'm not going to speak in detail about it because I have a friend who works there but the company that owns Zip.ca is a disorganised, mismanaged mess. I guarantee you they don't have the means to contribute anything on the lobbying front. As for Netflix, they've completely botched it. The didn't say a word until UBB was already ordered and all they've done since is comment in a quarterly earnings report about it. They chose to bury their head in the sand until it was too late and are only kind-of-sort-of speaking out now that their business model is being ripped to shreds by Bell. If they don't step up and start fighting soon, I will likely be canceling my service with them and as far as I'm concerned, they deserve to fail here.

I signed the petition after reading about it here last week.

I am very disappointed in myself as I was not even aware this was coming up as an issue, and yet I consider myself fairly knowledgeable. It wasn't until I opened a letter from Shaw that thanked me for participating in a "trial" (which I didn't) and informing me that I was now going to be capped at 60gig/month. I guess I am supposed to be grateful that it is not 25gig?

I find it incredibly upsetting that it is being advertised as UBB when it is not. Like others here I have no problem paying more than the Grandmother checking her email but in this case we are both getting screwed!

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

I'm not going to speak in detail about it because I have a friend who works there but the company that owns Zip.ca is a disorganised, mismanaged mess.

I actually interviewed for Momentus ~3 years ago, and was offered a position. I ran screaming after talking to the dude who had been recently hired to run Zip.ca because, among other things, they had fired the entire staff of coders who had written the software and hired juniors to replace them. He thought this was progress. He was also open about how completely undocumented and poorly understood the codebase was. But hey, you can bring your dog to work! (And, you can get fired for smoking.... anywhere... not just on site).

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

As for Netflix, they've completely botched it. The didn't say a word until UBB was already ordered and all they've done since is comment in a quarterly earnings report about it. They chose to bury their head in the sand until it was too late and are only kind-of-sort-of speaking out now that their business model is being ripped to shreds by Bell. If they don't step up and start fighting soon, I will likely be canceling my service with them and as far as I'm concerned, they deserve to fail here.

I cancelled my service this weekend. I'm not sure whose fault it is, but Netflix Canada has piss-poor movie selection.... it was literally quicker for me to drive to the local video store to find something that I wanted to watch than to browse their service on my PS3.

So I got wind today that apparently Tony Clement will either be accept Vaxination Informatique's petition to the GiC or denying it but immediately launching his own review of UBB. Apparently if they accept the petition, they have to wait 30 days for comments before they can decide but if they deny it, they can immediately start their own review and theoretically make a ruling much faster. This is completely unsubstantiated right now as it was from an anonymous poster on DSL Reports who doesn't want to reveal a source but the rumour is that we could hear something about it as early as today if not tomorrow. This person swears they're telling the truth and a few regulars there seem to back him up. I hope this is true because if it is, an impact is being made. By the way, SIGN THE PETITION NOW!

Liberals have now officially come out against UBB along with the NDP who have always been against it. Tony Clement has publically acknowledged Vaxination's petition and rumour is he will either accept it today or reject it but immediately launch a government investigation into UBB. If the CRTC gets reversed again (after also being reversed on the Wind Mobile decision last year), many believe a public inquiry will be launched on them, their role and if they are living up to it. This is working folks! The petition's already up to 220,000 signatures (it has jumped 180,000 since Saturday!) and if it hits the quarter million milestone, it will get a ton of press. That can be achieved today! Get every single Canadian you know to sign! The telco cartel can be stopped.

The Liberals taking a stance on this is definitely a good thing. They even went further than the NDP and called the decision 'anti-competitive' which is good language to hear.

Let's hope talk turns into action.

CBC article re: Liberal stance: http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/201...

As much as I'm enjoying the level of attention this is getting, I am a bit frustrated by the superficial coverage.

Until now, some of those packages have included unlimited internet access — something that isn't offered by Bell, Rogers or Shaw to their retail customers. Others have offered much higher download limits than Bell, allowing their customers to stream more video or other services that use a lot of bandwidth.

Large ISPs like Bell and Rogers said usage-based caps are necessary to prevent heavy internet users from hogging too much bandwidth and causing congestion.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission agreed that usage-based billing addresses the problem.

I haven't seen a single story where a journo has actually, I dunno, interviewed an independent expert on the subject and asked them about "hogging bandwidth". I feel like there's a lot of room for investigation here and explaining to people why the whole "bandwidth hogging" is bs, but they're just covering the press releases.

There have been a couple of Globe & Mail articles on this that don't address the bandwidth hog issue directly but provide good reasons for why this will ultimately harm Canada and generally claim the practice is unfair. Most people expected the Globe & Mail to be silent on this due to Bell's stake in them but they've been one of the most active mainstream outlets on the matter.

Michael Geist also wrote a fantastic write-up on the issue this morning. It's long but it directly addresses the reasons why UBB in this form is not true UBB, why it's based on outright lies and how the Canadian government has utterly failed over many years to keep big telco in check.

Probably the best image to get things across on how absurd this is.

Dysplastic wrote:

I haven't seen a single story where a journo has actually, I dunno, interviewed an independent expert on the subject and asked them about "hogging bandwidth". I feel like there's a lot of room for investigation here and explaining to people why the whole "bandwidth hogging" is bs, but they're just covering the press releases.

The fact that the telcos have been able to frame this discussion as "UBB" is the worst thing about this situation since that it not what is being implemented. People who don't understand the issue just hear "usage based billing instead of unlimited internet" and it does sound like a bunch of greedy torrenters expecting a free ride. Hell, that's probably what I would feel about it myself if I didn't know the details.

There seems to be a changing tone online however as "who cares because this is only about heavy users" is changing now that people have received their notification about the impending slash to their own allocation.

kaptainbarbosa wrote:

Probably the best image to get things across on how absurd this is.

Dysplastic wrote:

I haven't seen a single story where a journo has actually, I dunno, interviewed an independent expert on the subject and asked them about "hogging bandwidth". I feel like there's a lot of room for investigation here and explaining to people why the whole "bandwidth hogging" is bs, but they're just covering the press releases.

The fact that the telcos have been able to frame this discussion as "UBB" is the worst thing about this situation since that it not what is being implemented. People who don't understand the issue just hear "usage based billing instead of unlimited internet" and it does sound like a bunch of greedy torrenters expecting a free ride. Hell, that's probably what I would feel about it myself if I didn't know the details.

There seems to be a changing tone online however as "who cares because this is only about heavy users" is changing now that people have received their notification about the impending slash to their own allocation.

What's crazy is that using an SSD is the most expensive way to do that. Can you imagine that same graphic, but with a 2TB drive?

Seen on the news this morning between the hosts: "What about all the people watching Netflix?" "Netflix is streaming, not downloading, so I don't think it counts" "So bittorrent?" "Yeah, 'cause you're downloading it to your computer."

*facepalm*

There have been a couple of Globe & Mail articles on this that don't address the bandwidth hog issue directly but provide good reasons for why this will ultimately harm Canada and generally claim the practice is unfair.

The thing is, Bell's defense of this issue always comes down to the whole "Network congestion! Bandwidth hogs need to pay!" argument - which is why it needs to be addressed head on.

Aries wrote:

Seen on the news this morning between the hosts: "What about all the people watching Netflix?" "Netflix is streaming, not downloading, so I don't think it counts" "So bittorrent?" "Yeah, 'cause you're downloading it to your computer."
*facepalm*

To be fair, it's not their fault - everyone has done a crap job of explaining this to people and Bell&Co are taking advantage.

Even the excellent Geist article linked above is really confusing at points:

Third, while Bell claims that network congestion is to blame for usage based billing, there is ample reason for skepticism about these claims. It should be noted that there is no particular reason for Internet congestion to occur on the Bell network due to the independent ISP's customers, since their access to the Internet comes after they have been connected to the independent ISP. While Bell would undoubtedly respond that GAS is an aggregated service (meaning the independent ISP customers and its own customers are aggregated over part of the network), there are mechanisms to address this issue without imposing UBB. For example, Bell could offer independent ISPs a bulk wholesale service that would allow them to allocate the bandwidth as they saw fit - same overall bandwidth usage but without the UBB.

This paragraph describes a key problem with this issue (Not why UBB in general is bad but why imposing UBB on independents makes not sense) and is incredibly hard to parse. Also, it raises even more questions - is there congestion over the last-mile? Bell says there is...did it have to prove it to the CRTC?

Not sure how I feel about this. It may be spin and hyperbole the other way around. Obviously it doesn't hold up across storage media and lesser overages. This is the kind of argument that the other side uses. ...like trying to explain to you what your usage cap gets you using a unit like #of movies.

The Prime Minister's office has officially ordered a review of the UBB decision. A decision will be expected before the March 1st implementation date. They could accept the decision, kick it back to the CRTC (not sure what that would accomplish) or reject it. People are making a difference here. Harper's not known for coming down on big business so people have to keep the pressure up so he ends up having to follow through on this.

Ghostship wrote:

Not sure how I feel about this. It may be spin and hyperbole the other way around. Obviously it doesn't hold up across storage media and lesser overages. This is the kind of argument that the other side uses. ...like trying to explain to you what your usage cap gets you using a unit like #of movies.

For anyone looking to streaming media as a way to escape the rising costs of cable and satellite TV, there's no hyperbole involved. The piddling caps Canadian ISPs are enforcing leave that as nothing but truth.