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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Possible Canadian internet Woes

Posted by Stradden Monday January 31 2011 at 1:36PM
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I try very hard not to use this site as my own personal soap box. Generally speaking, politics divide gamers almost as much as the games themselves. Sure, I have my own personal opinions, but who doesn’t? frankly though, you guys don’t care about my views and I like it that way.

With all of that said though, I wanted to take a minute and address a concern that’s been growing here in my home country of Canada. It seems that the CRTC (a blessedly shortened name for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), the branch of our government that regulates our entertainment, has given the green light to a proposal that would allow our cable companies, and more importantly our internet service providers, the right to charge per byte for internet usage... you know, the same way that the phone companies charge for 3G access.  

As a gamer, and a general internet user, I take exception to even the vaguest idea that I should have to spend more, above and beyond my monthly internet bill, to continue to enjoy the same things that I’ve had access to without additional fees since the internet came into existence.

I know the argument: Why should grandma next door pay the same amount for enough bandwidth to check tomorrow’s weather and emails from the grandkids as I do to surf YouTube, play AAA MMOs, and do any of the other thousand and one download intensive activities I do on a daily basis?  

My answer is this: Grandma’s internet usage is behind the times, I’m not ahead of them. If ISPs want to give Granny a break on her rates, then I have no problem with that, but don’t punish me for using the internet the same way that the rest of the world does.

In any case, I’m not going to bore you with details that don’t affect many of you. I just wanted to point those of you who are interested toward a group that’s trying to do something about this:

Shadanwolf writes:

This is why Americans need to value and protect their Free Enterprise and Capitalist system.

Mon Jan 31 2011 2:04PM Report
DevilXaphan writes:

Oh trust me your not alone on this, it's starting to come this way for us too. It began with charging for bandwith by certain ISP providers and as more of the bandwith is used the more price regulation that will be used.

Mon Jan 31 2011 2:13PM Report
Mykell writes:

You guys are behind the times. Australia has been charging for bandwidth for years.

Mon Jan 31 2011 2:24PM Report
just2duh writes:

 It has me a bit worried too, my ISP (Eastlink) is sepiciously no longer advertising their internet package as "Unlimited".

 Their switch to Ulimited wasn't even that long ago and there was a big hub-bub over their mis-use of the word at first (they still had a very reachable monthly limit, at which point things slowed to a crawl).

 So this time I think they're taking extra precautions in removing that "Unlimited" word months in advanced before such an overcharge system takes place.

 If this happens here.. I honestly don't know what i'll do lol, won't be impressed I know that much.. 

 Even before their Unlimited switch I was reaching the cap within a week, but now the difference will be it won't slow down i'll just get overcharged some unseen ammount!?!!! AHK!

Mon Jan 31 2011 2:57PM Report
eric_w66 writes:

If the price per GB wasn't absurdly high, I'd have no problem with it. It's when they want to charge $50/m + usage that drives me nuts.

If they want a plan that was $10/m + $1/10GB or some such, that'd be about right (at highest speeds). If they want to throttle the connection as well as charge for usage, it'd have to be near free for usage at that point ($1/100GB).

It should be regulated as a public utility (in the USA this means something, not sure if Canada/elsewhere does the same thing). The internet has become almost as "vital" as telephone/water/power/sewer, it shouldn't escape being tagged as a utility, but so far, the major ISP's have bribed the FCC enough to keep it from being declared a public utility... sigh.


Mon Jan 31 2011 3:08PM Report
Xondar123 writes:

This is an incredibly important issue for Canadian internet users and Canadian gamers. Do you use Steam? Do you download MMOs from the source instead of buying the box? Well, if you're Canadian, it's gonna get a lot more expensive to do those things.

Mon Jan 31 2011 3:18PM Report
AlexTheTall writes:

The problem here isn't how we need to keep our market free / our "beautiful (erm not really) capitalist free...


The problem is BCE and Videotron making pressure on the government for them to make sure those smallest ISP company stop giving unlimited access to internet. 


That's all...  And it's bullshit, so this petition is signed and hopefully we will do more than a petition, being an activist I know that petition doesn't change anything... 

Mon Jan 31 2011 3:18PM Report
Sabbicat writes:


Mon Jan 31 2011 3:49PM Report
Kerne writes:

The cable companies, like Comcast, now own broadcast companies (Comcast just bought NBC). They don't want you getting cheap/free content from Netflix, Youtube, etc. That is by far the main reason they have caps and high usage fees.

Fair metered usaged -- possibly in a tiered format is not bad. People pay for what they need -- and huge bandwidth users should pay a bit more. A bit more, not the huge amounts that they are charging without any justification.

Of course, those with the huge bucks make the that they can make even more...

Mon Jan 31 2011 3:51PM Report
severius writes:

Companies in the US do that too, to an extent.  First we have speed tiers, then we have monthly bandwidth caps.  Every ISP that I have used on the west coast of the USA has had one or both of those.  Like comcast right now has both, I think my monthly cap is 300gb and my speed should be in the sig.  I know when Comcast talked about going to a per byte type of fee structure I thought I was screwed and was going to have to switch to AT&T DSL (my ONLY other option other than cel) but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.  Whether or not that stays true tomorrow is another subject all together lol.

Mon Jan 31 2011 3:54PM Report
darkevia writes:

I've been reading about this for a few days now, and it enrages me. My current cap is low as it is, and the overusage charge is ridiculously high. If this goes through, I have no idea how I would be able to pay for all these charges. Canadian telecom is pretty bad as is, adding more of these excessive charges is just going to further degrade the system. Something needs to be seriously done about it.



Mon Jan 31 2011 3:58PM Report
MMOrUS writes:

If we in the Uk where to go back to paying per Byte (and some still do) then whats the incentive for me as a customer to take the top speed package? I'l be paying for the privilege to download quicker, yes but I would still have a usage bill to pay ontop of that.

I used to pay for what I used, and damn was that expensive, as soon as we had unlimited usage (ok relatively expensive but worth it) I was throwing my hands up in joy and subscribing to the top package that Virgin could offer.

If Virgin was to do away with it's unilmited offer and try to squeeze more money out of me for the same service then I would only have 1 option, quit.

With high taxes, no pay rise for the past 2 years I could not afford the internet on a usage basis and I'm sure I'm not alone, it would be another stealth tax, one that would undoubtedly hurt the MMO industry and internet as a whole.

I pray that the UK does not take a step backwards or become so greedy that it has to squeeze yet more blood from the stone.

I'd rather go without than pay more for less.

Mon Jan 31 2011 4:02PM Report
Death1942 writes:

Come live in Australia with the slowest speeds and highest price for net in the western world.

Hell this month i got charged 10c per 1mb over my cap which is capped at $100, then and only then do they decide to use up my next months downloads.

That right there is a money grab and is what you get all over Australian ISP's

Mon Jan 31 2011 4:09PM Report
Halibrand writes:

  If this all comes to pass in Canada, does anyone have a rough idea how much the extra charges would amount to?  For example, let's say I download the Beta for a new MMO and it's a 2.3 gig download.  What's a conserative guess as to how much that 2.3 gig download would cost, assuming that it was 'over the cap'?

Mon Jan 31 2011 4:17PM Report
Bob_Blawblaw writes:

Good piece Jon (yup, I said it).

I would implore all of my fellow Canadians to please, sign this petition.

Mon Jan 31 2011 4:23PM Report
Drew writes:

Just read on Eastlink's Twitterfeed that they have no plan to implement usage-based billing on their 15MBPS offering.  Not terribly comforting for me, as I'm not with them but is probably good news for my friends out East.  check out the twitter feed here, if you're interested:

Mon Jan 31 2011 4:32PM Report
Liddokun writes:

Typical greed. Basically they want to milk you for all you're worth. Bandwidth is an inexhaustible resources (that means it never runs out as long as you keep maintenance on the infrastructure -- cables and telecommunications equipment). The maintenance cost is the same no matter if they transmitted 1MB or 100 Terabyte. The ISPs just want to milk you for all you are worth and from what I am hearing the head of the CRTC are all ex-CEOs and VPs from the big teleco/cable providers (Rogers/Bell).

Mon Jan 31 2011 5:16PM Report
Sidereus writes:

Révolution !! I wont freakin' pay  X$ / Gb ! Trust me ! Unlimited Access for ever !

No seriously, this would bring us like 10 years behind backwards

Mon Jan 31 2011 5:18PM Report
BradofCanada writes:

I have signed and sent out numerous messages to others.

Mon Jan 31 2011 5:19PM Report
boincman writes:

They're all a bunch of money grubbers.

Mon Jan 31 2011 5:25PM Report
mpalindat writes:

As a note. This has been going on for months. I was one of the first 10000 people to sign the petition. Another petition, not entirely sure if linked to openmedia, is

Mon Jan 31 2011 5:29PM Report
harrisonm7 writes:

The big 2 ISPs in Canada are already doing this. We have a bandwidth cap and if it goes over, then they charge per GB.  Now if this means they're going to switch to an iPad-type plan for regular internet, like 30 bucks a month for 500 MB , then I guarantee a lot of people will cancel their service.

Mon Jan 31 2011 5:39PM Report
mpalindat writes:

Okay, apparently my comment was also incomplete. What Bell was initially trying to do was charge per byte from the first byte used. This similar to the way a mobile user gets charged when they dont have a data plan, instead, much like data plans work, they charge overages. This bill has allowed the Big 3 (who did already have limits)(Bell, Telus and Shaw BTW) to no only lower their limits, but also charge even more for overages. Telus has yet to lower their limits. Shaw has lowered their limits, so has bell. There was a two month grace period for both Shaw and Bell before their limits lowered, and they will go down tomorrow.


Please do not quote me on this, as it is only AFAIK.

Mon Jan 31 2011 5:45PM Report
kevinjr writes: Shadan, free enterprise and capitalism supports full deregulation and allow the internet companies charge whatever the market supported in whatever manner they wanted. Mon Jan 31 2011 5:46PM Report
Yamota writes:

Charge per byte? Wow, talk about backward thinking.

Mon Jan 31 2011 5:59PM Report
harrisonm7 writes:

Seems like the more advanced we get the more we have to pay for the same amount or less of internet access. You'd think that bandwidth should be getting cheaper not more expensive. If not for the greedy companies who collude to fix their prices.

Mon Jan 31 2011 6:05PM Report
Elox1 writes:

/signed.  Not cool.

Mon Jan 31 2011 6:17PM Report
gigat writes:

Oh boy. What about those who work from home over the Internet? Will I be able to charge my clients for "data mileage?"

Mon Jan 31 2011 6:27PM Report
Madnin writes:

I have used Verizon for almost 3 years now..wireless broadband. They've always charged more for overuse, (5gb per month), even though they used to advertise unlimited, I just missed the boat when I signed up. (and then they told me I was mistaken about the commercial I watched 500 freakin times) Now I see the new dell xps advertised with Verizon built into it....dl movies with ease! Beware the little fine print that says 2yr contract at .....5 gb per month....ya, I'll dl a lot of movies there....with all the streaming content on most web pages these days, you really really have to watch your daily usage, and feel like I'm being used.

Mon Jan 31 2011 7:01PM Report
maplestone writes:

It's an anti-competitive power grab pure and simple.  The traditional cash cows: television and telephone are under threat so the technology is being kneecapped.

Mon Jan 31 2011 7:13PM Report
Falcomith writes:

If this type of plan does become more and more popular amoung countries, not only will it hurt our, meaning the consumer, wallets, but it will hurt the gaming industry. Think about it, almost every aspect of gaming uses the internet, from simple game patches, to games that were purchased online as digital therefore having to download the game, bandwidth used to play MMOS or multiplayer games on PC and consoles. Also other media industries can be hurt by this. Netflix, GoogleTV, Hulu, Vudu, Apple and Microsoft (Zune) to name a few as they provide quality movies and TV shows through streaming.

It seems when our governments or these organizations that try to regulate the internet and make these decisions, they never think of the consequences this has not only on the consumer, but on the economy of the country as a whole. The more we let them take the less freedom we have.

Mon Jan 31 2011 7:14PM Report
ChickGeek writes:

ahahahahah! that Canadian joke made my day... no offence to Canadian sitizens meant, but what your ISPs are going to do is really, really stupid...

i live in Russia and only maybe 5 years ago we started to get unlimited internet access tariffs, before that there were only pay-per-traffic ones. The more advanced unlimited tariff (i.e. more speed, less money) an ISP offers, the more it "rulezzz". againts the competiting companies.

Only a few months ago i forced my dad to move from pay-per-traffic tariff to an unlimited one, which is cheaper but 60% slower.

And those Canadian ISPs considering to go back to the Internet's dark ages while we're struggling to leave them behind!

what a joke...

Mon Jan 31 2011 7:22PM Report
AmazingAvery writes:

I actually work for one of the big ISP's in Canada. I can tell you there are some valid points on both sides of the fence. It is actually only about 8% of our user base that exceeds the cap in place. The majority of customers will not be effected.

IMO there is nothing wrong with Caps so long as the allowance is decent for the level you pay and any overage charges are appropriate. From what I know companies providing services out in Eastern Canada don't offer decent packages compared to Western ones.

Video over internet is increasing and will continue to do so. Companies like Netflix are not regulated in Canada on many points a typical BDU is therefore offering a less expensive service. None of the online streaming companies have paid for the infrastructure in place or any maintainance towards it.

Bandwidth is not unlimited.

Mon Jan 31 2011 7:26PM Report
Asthanos writes:

It's always been like that here (New Zealand), though for excessive chunks of cash every month some companies don't care how much data you use. To be fair though, the infrastructure here can't really support mass heavy usage (though it's improving with recent fibre installations) so charging as a way of discouraging it/covering costs isn't the worst thing ever.

It just kinda sucks having to watch monthly data usage or pay more.

Mon Jan 31 2011 7:33PM Report
Talroc writes:

considering the CRTC is staffed by emploee's of Bell/Telus and Rogers this should be no surprise to anyone.

It will be up to us the citizens to put a stop to this and hopefully a stop to the CRTC itself,this is the same body that keeps putting 100's of millions into the CBC every year.

Mon Jan 31 2011 7:38PM Report
maplestone writes:

The CRTC is usually a useful tool - telecommunications, especially in a country the population/size of Canada creates natural monopolies.  The organization has traditionally done a good job of tweaking the free market to allow the best rate of technological improvement.  In this case, for whatever reason, they've gotten completely bamboozled by Bell.

Mon Jan 31 2011 7:48PM Report
Falcomith writes:


I cant comment on how the Canada operates or works since I live in the US. But my whole problem, at least in the States, its always been about power. About 5 years ,  the people who regulate the internet argued that there was simply not enough bandwidth to distribute for broadcasting television/movies and other services using the internet. This argument was used in hopes they can give power to companies and allow to throttle down high usage consumers so they can distribute these services. Congress voted it down time and time again. Now look at us. 87% of Americans have broadband today and we are streaming those television and movies we love with little or no change in how its been operating. The internet, when created was supposed to be and always be unregulated. Yet they want to regulate how much bandwidth we can use in some areas which limits how much content one can have.

I know Canada works allot different, but I guess what I am saying is if we the consumer dont voice our opinion and let these organizations take and keep taking then the people of that country cant grow and prosper because the rich keeps getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. I urge all you Canadians to sign that petition and maybe your voice will change the future for the better.

Mon Jan 31 2011 7:51PM Report
Wraithone writes:

Got to love owning the politicians... No matter who gets "elected" its still open season on various customers and the tax payers.  As for "natural monopolies" you will find government at the bottom of their existence. In the absence of government intervention, collusion and subsity, abusive monopolies have a VERY didficult time existing.

Mon Jan 31 2011 7:54PM Report
orsin0 writes:

It's great that there is a petition for this and I hope that this can get overturned, but really, what is the chance that anyone is actually going to lsiten to a petition?

Mon Jan 31 2011 8:00PM Report
hermit000 writes:

The CRTC takes its lead from teh big three here in canada as well as from big brother(the FCC). every FCC ruling has a large ripple effect here in canada, especially in regards to wireless technologies and the interenet. I used to be on the board of directors for one of the small ISP's out west, and 10 years ago we did throttle the big users and charge for excessive use. back then it was over 6gb/month(dialup) and for DSL it was anything over 20GB/month. Eaastlink already has a data ca structure in place, and had doneso long before the ruling came out allowing it to be. The big rush by the big three is due to teh ramp up they are mandated to perform in regards to fiber to teh door by 2012. They feel they need to limit the useage per customer before thi shappens so they wont need to after they roll it out completely.

Mon Jan 31 2011 8:10PM Report
Falcomith writes:


Even if it doesnt get overturned, at least you can say you tried to do something about it. Thats the problem these days. People get in the mind set that says, "No matter what I do or say, nothing will ever change."

That mindset slows and stops progress. If we dont change the mindset of that then we might as well move to a country that doesnt give the luxury of thinking for ourselves and living free.

Mon Jan 31 2011 8:11PM Report
mxish writes:

reading through these comments i cant believe that people try and defend what is going on. You have to be a complete moron to think that charging by the gig is ok. This is a classic example of technology being held back for profits. These companies dont want to lose the money they make on TV and telephone, even tho it is actually laughable we even still use them when you understand the technology we have. They do not want to fork out the money that is OBVIOUSLY required to keep up with current times.


"only 8% of customers actually go over the cap" ya, if your braindead and have no ability to think ahead... you may fall for that as a valid argument. but once the vast majority of ppl make the switch to all digital.. surprise surprise, these ppl have there foot well in the door.

Its the same reason wind/solar and geothermal are not used to power ALL houses, and the same reason we still drive gasoline cars. technology is supressed because the people who have the market do not want to lose that lifestyle and position of power.


its that simple

Mon Jan 31 2011 8:58PM Report
Aethaeryn writes:

yeah I am getting hosed.  Unlimited for around $40 is changing March 1st.  For the bandwidth I use it will likely cost me $80. . nice to see the CRTC ensure competition (sarcasm)

You can't even buy a slower service with higher usage amounts.   Argh. . I won't even use the words that come to mind or I will be banned!  Go rogers and Bell. . you have ensured you will ceratainly never get my service in the future.

Mon Jan 31 2011 9:23PM Report
khaixiii writes:

@AmazingAvery - You fail to mention something quite important.  When Netflix announced it was going to open in Canada, the big three -also- announced within days that they were lowering their data caps considerably. Customers who were paying $50 per month for a 60 gig/month (with a $2/gig overage fee) suddenly realized that that same $50 would only translate to roughly 20-30 gigs per month.  Oh sure, with the package, we could -maybe- stream at a nice speed of 14mbps, but how fast does that make us reach the cap?

Many, many people will go over the cap (and be charged that $2 per gig overage fee).  Claiming 8% only go over the cap is ludicrous, and especially suspicious coming from someone who admits they work for a big ISP.

It's a money grab, pure and simple. Way to go corporations, you really go far to stick it to anyone you can.

Mon Jan 31 2011 9:47PM Report
werewood writes:

Hey ... wake up!!!

I pay to Rogers (Canada) by GB for 2 years. LoL.

60 GB is my cap and every extra on top would be 2CAD$ per 1GB.

I can upgrade to 80GB or 100GB  if I want. The prices are a rip off. And naturally when I use less no-one gives me my $ back.

Wake up Mr. :)

Mon Jan 31 2011 9:50PM Report
Dwarvish writes:

This has been talked about in the USA to. More as a maximum usage cap but once it starts....


  Signed, twice!!!!

Mon Jan 31 2011 9:58PM Report
Failtrain writes:

I have no idea how it works in Canada at the moment but I'm pretty sure New Zealand and Australia have had it this way for as long as i can remember... It can't be THAT bad. Can it?

Mon Jan 31 2011 10:07PM Report
Cognoman writes:

A true unfettered capitalist system will eventually result in monopolies.  The company with the deepest pockets will eventually take over every competitor in their industry then impose their will/price on the consumers.  The more vital the industry the better for the company cause no one can live without those goods/services.  That is why water and electricity should never be privatized. 

The CRTC is making a big mistake on this.  Does playing an MMO every day add to your cap count?

Mon Jan 31 2011 10:11PM Report
Falcomith writes:


Do you realize how much gigabytes on average an mmorpg takes up. 15 GB. Take that as a download since allot of us get it as digital downloads, the amount used to patch it which can be another 6 gigs, some more usage while playing the game that month and allot more usage when you consider streaming movies/TV/music and everyday use of the internet. It adds up quickly.

Granted, you may not download a game on a monthly basis, but streaming and normal MMORPG usage will tally up the cap in no time. So yes, it can be that bad.

Now granted

Mon Jan 31 2011 10:16PM Report
just2duh writes:
Originally posted by Drew

  Just read on Eastlink's Twitterfeed that they have no plan to implement usage-based billing on their 15MBPS offering.  Not terribly comforting for me, as I'm not with them but is probably good news for my friends out East.  check out the twitter feed here, if you're interested:


 Thanks for posting that Drew, they are my ISP and had no idea they even had a twitter lol.

  Puts me at ease a bit but i'm still suspicious with them not advertising as "Unlimited" anymore, they also say they "have no plan" for this change, which doesn't exactly mean it won't ever happen.

 This still doesn't change my outlook on the situation as a whole though, it's just uneccesary charges for the sake of corperate greed.

 To everyone currently being charged already, this is something that should have fought aggainst to begin with, but you payed it still, and that could be what opened the floodgates for the rest of us unfortunetly.

Mon Jan 31 2011 11:26PM Report
Hyperwolf writes:

Yes, this is a big issue in Australia. Late last year I went over my 'alotted' bandwidth for the month by 20gb. I was paying $99 a month for 60gb at the time so you would think going over by 1/3 more then normal might result in a charge of maybe $33 to $66.

No... $3700.00. (Approximately $3700.00 USD) 

True story. The company was Telstra, biggest telco in Australia.

Mon Jan 31 2011 11:44PM Report
Evile writes:

Time Warner tried to do this in Rochester New York as a "test market" for this badwidth charge. We had massive protests at the Time Warner building and they recanted.


Mon Jan 31 2011 11:57PM Report
cowhead writes:

Yes, this sucks. But guess what? Bandwidth is not unlimited nor a right. Its a service. You pay for a luxury service that you can live without. You don't need the internet to live. Companies sell you a service and you choose to use it. They have the right to charge however they want. I don't want to pay anymore than I am now but you not have a "right" to internet. You have the right to breathe. Everything else is optional.

Tue Feb 01 2011 12:01AM Report
soximus writes:

Regardless of what a few others have said about Australian Internet.. We DONT get charged Per MB (if you are, i suggest finding a new ISP)..

Here, we have Internet Cencorship trying to stop our internet freedoms, and now they are considering the same thing thats happening now...

Good news We stopeed all the proposed bills since 2006. If we can do it so can the Canadians.. If one country is able to get this kinda of charging scheme in, only a matter of time before it happens in other countries.

Tue Feb 01 2011 12:25AM Report
kilz1039 writes:

I will do you all a favor and let you in on how to deal with this limiting of your internet.

Cancle it. stop using the service. If the provider sells you tv as well have that turned off too. If good majority of the users can unplug, the companys doing this will have the choice. Change the service or go out of business.

Together we stand, divided we make it possible for greedy jerks to take our money.

Go to the library or a book store and pick up some books to entertain yourself.

Tue Feb 01 2011 12:46AM Report
comerb writes:

wtf Canada.  You guys are suppose to be my backup plan if Palin somehow manages to get elected as President.  This is unacceptable.

Tue Feb 01 2011 12:48AM Report
ppetty writes:

'theres talk about this happening in the US"

LOL it already is.  if you arent affected yet, i say f-u.  it is impossible for me to find a cable broadband connection with more than a 10gb limit unless i want to pay $150 a month, and then its 20-30 or so.  there is a dsl option available for me, but i dont think its even 1mbps.  there is 'supposed' to be a 2gb limit on it, but they dont enforce it apparently.

a few months ago, i had an unlimited package, but it was only available to the provider's ultimate package, which included TV, and a landline, and ran us about $150 a month anyways.

what they need is 'Rollover Bandwidth'.  because i kinda understand limiting people that are downloading 100s of gb a month, but 10gb just doesnt really cut it sometimes.  for the most part 10gb is not a problem for me, but once in a while, i will go over.  mainly from just downloading new demos from PSN.  how lame is that.

also i dont know if anyone answered it already but someone asked about how much going over costs.  my service charges 50 cents per mb, and the times that i have gone over, its been like 5-10 gb, and it doubles what my bill usually is, which is higher than most of you pay.

Tue Feb 01 2011 1:19AM Report
Nethermancer writes:

I am Canadian also and am not happy about this....and do not worry I am making it known how unhappy I am. 

Tue Feb 01 2011 1:41AM Report
AmazingAvery writes:

Comcast have a 250GB cap in the US allowance.

@khaixiii (in part not whole post)

I believe both Bell and Telus in Canada have publically stated that the average user doesn't use more than their cap. Can't remember exact quotations but something like a large portion of their customers use less than 20GB / month and many have 3 times the allowance. That info is freely out there and I can only speak from what I know and do for a living in being honest and upfront as always on this site.

How many people here remember that Internet used to be billed on an hourly rate?

Canadians use the internet more per capita than any other country - up to 40 odd hours per month.

No one is saying that we can not use the internet just that if you are a heavy user you would be expected to pay for it and I think that is fair so long as I think it is fair for the price for everyones own personal use based on average consumption.

Some companies offer additional "data packs" and some do not provide that option for customers.

Does anyone have any idea on how much cost it takes to manage the infrastructure on these networks?

It is not a case of simply laying the cable down and thats it. There is a price attached to node splits, new servers to provide bandwidth, technicans to employee internally and externally.

The rate of bandwidth consumption is exploding at a massive rate and it is costly to update and maintain with that level of service on an ongoing basis at that same rate to provide service to everyone. This is just going to get worst 5 years down the road.

3rd party resellers in Canada use other companies infrastructure to sell their services. Much in the same principle as Netflix does. No one is stopping them from setting their own up and investing Billion$ in it. Netflix is not mandated to pay the same fees as the Telco's or Cable countries in Canada due to a loop hole, they also are not bound by a strict % of specifically Canadian content and/or additional fees. Their business model relies on other people infrastructure. Why do you think they can only charge $8/month for services..

There are 3 main ways that video can come to you. THe most expensive is the cell phone where Data Plans are most expensive because the cost of delivering those services to you are the most expensive way. Next is the internet followed by how you receive it over the TV. Providing service over DSL or coax or even fibre to the home is the cheapest way. (there are some differencies with how it is delivered by internet and cell phone that increase cost)

What I am trying to explain or point out is that times have changed and will continue to do so (there are many reports that came out of the recent CES show that show usage going through the roof) and there are many costs that on the face of it many of you won't see or accept or even plain just know about. Many people are using the internet for different things than 3 or even 5 yrs ago, ISPs have to keep up with the times and the bottom line is there is a cost associated to provide that wanted service to people. This is just logical. 

Tue Feb 01 2011 2:12AM Report
MisatoTremor writes:

I don't know much about the situation in canada and other countries, but in germany we're already paying per usage in some way.

One can order their internet connection in various speeds which cost less if you want less speed. Additionally we have bandwith dependet contracts available and even still couls get time-based contracts.

But even here there are plans floating around to split internet users by offering premium internet for additional fee. The plan is that the data packeges for those who get this would be procecced prior to those of non-premium users.

Other plans are to even spy into packages and prioritize them by "source", e.g. them coming from YouTube, file sharing and so on. But that's another story ...

Tue Feb 01 2011 2:58AM Report
Mogcat writes:

Now you know how us Aussies feel!

Tue Feb 01 2011 6:15AM Report
Milander writes:

Yes Cowhead it is not a right, but a service...But what is happening here is the government is stepping in because big companys are crying because the 'little guys' can give better internet offers than they can. They whined enough and the CRTC signed off a bill saying those big companys can rape the little companys for bandwidth so they little guy can no one afford unlimited bandwidth.

And the US is screaming soooo much about Obamacare? Hell just about the same thing here, cept the government is destroying businesses not trying to create :)


Tue Feb 01 2011 6:20AM Report
UnsungToo writes:

Heh :) Get everyone to go in the other direction and cancel their internet subscriptions.

Tue Feb 01 2011 6:28AM Report
Unlight writes:

@ AmazingAvery

Your words would probably hold more sway if you weren't shilling for scum like Rogers and Bell.  I have no doubt infrastructure costs are increasing.  But how much of that is being offset by fees paid by a growing number of new internet users?  And just how much are these extra costs biting into their bottom lines?  You make it sound as if they are running on the edge of bankruptcy.  Having been a Rogers drone for years (no longer though), I'm guessing it's more like their profit has dropped from 300% to 290%.  This is unacceptable, of course.  How will Ted Rogers be able to afford the final payment on that south pacific island, taking a hit like this?

As for Netflix and Canadian content -- do you know how f-ing sick I am of Canadian f-ing content?  I'd like to see Anne of Green Gables burned at the stake, to be perfectly honest.  How's that for Canadian content?  In fact, I'd like to see the entire CBC (a bloated whore) dismantled and sold for scrap.  Now I know why Netflix offers a superior service.  They aren't contrained by the idiotic regulations that everyone else in this frozen burg has to deal with.  Once they are, they will probably start giving us over-priced crap, like all the other media delivery companies in Canada.

The CRTC is scum.  Fight them at every turn because their job isn't to protect the interests of Canadians, but those of the giant corporations who are already raking in the money hand over fist by offering the consumer less for more.

Tue Feb 01 2011 6:37AM Report
vkaraoke writes:

I just finished watching this short informative clip from George Strombo show (Canadian) discussing about this exact issue.

An interesting quote from him was that "it costs internet service providers 1 PENNY to route a gigabyte," and yet your going to be charged anywhere from $2-$4 a gig.

Tue Feb 01 2011 7:54AM Report
Exarch1982 writes:

Damn, for first time i think it`s nice to live in Russia (well, thinking media-wise). You can hit stright unlimited and forget about it. No news on per-byte charges as well... May be lag behind the "progress" is not such a bad thing! =)

 Anyway, i feel for you guys, good luck with that petition!

Tue Feb 01 2011 8:27AM Report
alexbei1 writes:

whats worse is that its already implemented and the jackholes at CRTC are planning to allow the other companies besides Bell ( which was already approved ) and contains many smaller networks under it which offer unlimited ( Acanac for ex. the one im using ) still no idea whats going on or what will actually happen to these companies, but pretty soon gamers, massive p0rn downloaders, online watchers etc will have to pay the monthly fee + the max cap size to do the same thing theyre doing right now, and another point i'd like to add is that Bell recieved a permission to SHUT DOWN users who go over their cap, even if you got lets say 2$ per additional GB to a max of 50$ you go over that and they will shut you down.

Tue Feb 01 2011 8:29AM Report
Anireth writes:

I think the main reaason many people do not use more then the cap is - surprise - the cap. They want to avoid any additional costs on top of the internet package itself. If you would raise the cap, many would use more.

And internet itself is no longer luxury. Video streaming, online gaming, downloading 10 GB per day, yes. But internet itself is necessary in todays world, especially when your studying or working in a field related to computers.

Also, it doesn't matter if it is luxury. It's not like we got it for free. We are paying for it since years, if not decades for this 'luxury'.

Also, we have a similar situation regarding 3rd party resellers and the main ISP who built it all. They where formed out of the federal post office, a monopolist, and remained that for a while. They built most of the infrastructure with tax money.

They are profiting from that even now, as they are still in control of most of it, even though they got privatized. And yet they are complaining about competitors using these infrastructure, even though they have to pay for it, while they themselves got it for free. They even shy away from supplying  the smaller cities/villages with broadband connections, as it would mean an investment. It's not like they would connect everything and the others would reap the profit.

And they still made more then $ ~480 million profit, even though they are loosing money with stuff not related to the main business. And thats with most packages offered being unlimited.

I believe the situation is similar in similar countries, e.g. the US or Canada. The cost to provide the service is in no way related to the amount of money you have to pay. This is true for almost everything.

Tue Feb 01 2011 9:10AM Report
hardicon writes: if everyone that bought from this company just canceled their service for a month and put in the reason why i guarantee that would change how that company thinks. Tue Feb 01 2011 9:35AM Report
Wraithone writes:

In a free market economy, you are quite correct, in that a business can charge what it wishes. But cable and other such industries are not even CLOSE to a free market. Without government intervention, collusion and subsidity they wouldn't exist in their current forms.  As it is, they get all of those Sweet Deals going with the politicians(who they make generous "contributions" to...), and thus can massively increase the barrier to entry into their market sector. That protects them from effective competition.  That being the case, they should have STRICT regulations on what they can and can not do. If they don't like those regulations, then they can leave the market. But instead, they buy the politicians. Is this the system you are attempting to defend?

Tue Feb 01 2011 10:18AM Report
Eladi writes:

Ah well, sutch a thing will never cross over to the US (i think) or Euro zone.

I know one simple way to counter sutch thing if it would happen in the Euro zone, Simple call the Europian court and inform them your local goverment is passing a "law" that alows for unfair bussiness.

Streaming media, is a bussiness, its dependent on current "unlimited" Bw , TV is a direct concurent of it, they do nto have pay per ..Minute.. rate. thus creating unfair adv and protection of old media. 

Besites unless canada only has on ISP in each region you can be fairly sure they will not start charging by BW usage, they need thier customers.  if they sudently all start charging then its a corubt system and they have made backdoor prize fixes among themselfs. no open economic system is able to give the  lowest goods to customers for the higherst prize amoung all corperations.

Tue Feb 01 2011 10:29AM Report
ACiDXiAN writes:

Dont forget all those movies you stream off netflix for 8$ a month or the games you play with high bandwidth usage on your PS3/XBox/Wii or whatever get logged to your cap as well.  I don't download a lot of extras, my youngest watches the poor selection of kids shows off Canadian Netflix, my wife likes the facebook and I play MMOs usually 2 boxing in MOST games.  and my cap right now is 100gb a month, from Jany 26th to Jan 30th my usage meter reads (from my ISP not on my end) 82gb.  Now there might be somethign wrong on my end or their end but it has NEVER been that high in the years I have used this service, I was using a maximum of 80gb a month up until they put in their new monitoring system, now it is 4x more.  The other neat little fact most peopel are forgettign is that is DATA USAGE (both ways baby!) so all that crap your wife or girlfriend ups to facebook etc is also counted in your usage, 100GB is pretty low, the next step up is 150$ a month for the next 'tier'.  Nice tiered service AND usage. Kinda like a monthly pay mmo with huge cashstop.

*sorry for the poor formatting its early here still*

Tue Feb 01 2011 10:55AM Report
ElykDraw writes: I tried reading most of the replies, but I did skip a few, so my apologies if what I'm about to say has already been said. The reaction from most of the people in this thread is predictable - this is a high bandwidth-using audience. Of course you're not going to like when Grandma has to stop subsidizing your internet usage. I could leave it at that (and be correctly labeled a dick), but I also want to float the idea that this is a good thing. I know there are a lot of smart gals and girls here, so I want to submit that bandwidth currently suffers from the tragedy of commons. True, you have to pay an entrance fee (per month), but your variable cost is either low or non-existent. This is partly why caps exist in the first place: to keep the entrance fee tolerable/marketable. If they let you use as much as you would with no cap, they'd have to charge Grandma a ton of money to support your usage. So why is this a good thing? More efficient allocation of resources at the macro scale. The extreme-gamer community now actually has to pay its own way, and everyone else gets to put their money to other uses. This is the trend with bandwidth. Providing those willing to pay premium/dedicated service is the future. Of course free-riders are fighting it - they'll lose their sweet deal. What they don't know is that they'll be better off in the end. When you pay per byte, caps will be removed. ISPs will be able to respond to the demand appropriately to alleviate shortages. Google "internet running out of bandwidth" and you'll see a ton of reports of "experts" warning of impending shortages and brownouts. That's what you always get when people don't pay the real price for what they consume. This move will ensure that no shortages will ensure - in part because a bunch of MMO gamers like us will have to limit our consumption to what we can truly afford. From Straden's post, it's clear that he knows all this - and is just complaining anyway. To Wraithone: You make a very valid point that the current market is not a free one - hence all its problems. I would only respond by saying that your observation doesn't justify preventing the market from moving in the right direction. If the problem is too much government, the answer isn't more government. Let's push our governments to free the market, not strangle it tighter. .02 inserted - thanks for reading Tue Feb 01 2011 11:12AM Report
ElykDraw writes: lol where did my paragraphs go? So much for anyone reading lol. Tue Feb 01 2011 11:13AM Report
Eliandal writes:

  I've signed, and I urge all Canadians to do the same.


  For those with Eastlink - it seems their Internet TOU has been updated.  The most recent update states that they will be implementing a 250GB cap on all High speed offerings except for High Speed 5 and Extreme 15.  Since I live in a rural area, 5 is the best offering I can get -and there's NO way I'll be changing that even when they do upgrade it ;P

Tue Feb 01 2011 12:05PM Report
elsurion writes:

this is no surprise to me, my wife and I were talking about something similar to this, this morning in regards to comcast buying NBC Universal and how streaming is the big thing now but how streaming could be abused. For example,  youtube now forces people to watch commercials before watching or listening to content. Facebook, uses people as the data ultimately so that they can target advertisements at them, and harvest data so companies and make or market products to  ell. My point...for business... the internet is simply a way to make money, a LOT of money. It is no surprise to me that there are lobbyist out there whispering in the ears of politians (like wormtongue) getting thm to do their bidding or push there agendas. This is where the real problem is. The government is supposed to do the right things for the people, but rather its not. Its doing whats best for those that have money and want more money.

Tue Feb 01 2011 12:08PM Report
rhinok writes:

In the US we've already had issues with companies throttling access (Digis throttles download speed once you hit a GB cap) or throttling access based on the type of content (Comcast throttling P2P traffic).

Without a well defined Net Neutrality legislation, the US will suffer pretty much the same fate as Canada and elsewhere. I don't mind paying more for higher speed, but I damn sure mind paying more for usage.  In my house, irrespective of playing MMOs, I have:

  • Home computer - used by kids for homework and wife for facebook, email, work, etc..
  • Laptop - I work from home and am on it all day long
  • XBox 360
  • Wii
  • 3 Smartphones with WiFi access
  • A second laptop/network when my older daughter comes over or when my wife wants to surf from the couch..
That is not an atypical situation in my neighborhood, which isn't affluent. The reality is that modern families are "connected" and generally in more than one way.  Heck, my children's school sent home a paper that states kids require internet access in order to do their homework. My 14 year old needs me to download gimp for one class.
I highly recommend US citizens check out the Entertainment Consumers Association ( for more information on a topic that will surely impact us all.
Tue Feb 01 2011 12:35PM Report
cheyane writes:

I am paying 60 euros a month in Rome Italy. Unlimited but the speed is not so fantastic since we do not have fober optics where we are.Downloading is about 600+ kbs max. Although when you test it it shows like 1.5 gig.

Tue Feb 01 2011 1:42PM Report
lordpenquin writes:

Sorry, but I get ENOUGH socialism bull**** from my government as it is.  I don't need a "spread the wealth" marxist mentality when it comes to internet usage.  I pay X amount to get X per second.  To HELL with how much I use per day.

Tue Feb 01 2011 1:56PM Report
Gruug writes:

Blame download sites such as Netflix and such. As more and more people start downloading movies and using limited bandwidth for things OTHER THAN just surfing the web or games, ISP's are more a more limited. Plus, cable companies are not going to give just free access to their competitors (again Netflix) to be used as a delivery service for the cable companies prime product.

Tue Feb 01 2011 5:25PM Report
Eliandal writes:

For those interested, news this evening from CBC that the federal cabinet is reviewing the CRTC decision, and will decide by March 1st to either accept it, send it back for review, or quash it.  Keep signing that petition and send it to everyone you know.


  I wouldn't mind 'fair' usage rates - but when companies pay 1c per Gig and then charge $1-2 - that's not acceptable. 

Wed Feb 02 2011 1:08AM Report
Drew writes:

Thu Feb 03 2011 12:23AM Report
Emhster writes:

I understand the ISPs point of view... I think the biggest problem here is trust. They are not trusted to provide fair pricings should CRTC allow them to kill unlimited plans. Our Internet infrastructure is not so good and we have amongst the most expensive smartphone plans...

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