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How does the Canada’s CRTC’s Usage Based Billing policy affects me

January 30, 2011 3 comments

DSL seemed like a bliss with unlimited internet in Mississauga, though at the time I felt I will miss my previous 60GB/month cable provider. Currently, we are paying 31.95 + 9.95 + HST per month with Teksavvy for a 200GB cap. Then I thought in mid-December, “Teksavvy came up with cable with unlimited Internet (in my area), that’s progress!”.  Now my thoughts have changed.

Come CRTC, and the anguish follows . Bell and Rogers lobbyists successfully pursued CRTC to end their competitors like Teksavvy. How ? They simply introduced a fair usage policy called as Usage Based Billing. Once again fair. 25 Gigs maximum per month (in Ontario) followed by 2 CAD per Gig after that. That is download and upload included. And then they introduced a totally new class of insurance called as the Bandwidth Insurance. Want to go beyond 25 ? We need some (read as lot) insurance. At 14.75 CAD per month you can get up to 120 GIG.  At 55, you get 275. That is the new unlimited. How is this fair ? Bell and Rogers are so scared of the competition, that they changed the law. I think we should follow their footsteps and change the definition of fair.

Let us keep aside the politics of this sad and disappointing policy. I have been thinking how this will affect me in everyday life. So, 25 GB, here we go.

I am student at McMaster University. For those who don’t know, it is in Hamilton, 40 Kms from Mississauga. I pay 169 CAD for a monthly GO pass. Being a Ph.D student means I don’t necessarily have to go to university everyday in non-teaching or no-course term and can work from home with remote desktop. That means I take the 66.67 CAD student 10-ride tickets as and when  I need. I think I probably cannot do that anymore. At least, not often. Which means, GO gets more out of me. (remote desktop = lot of bytes)

Me and my husband’s family stays back in India and we video chat with them few times a week. I also audio chat on skype everyday. How much of that needs to be checked now ?

Can I upload those 500 MB of photos on flickr ? Already dropping the plan to get Netflix.

Got bored of reading that research paper ? Let me check some new songs on Youtube. Can I do that often now ? Can I upload the 2 GB high def video that I took in Cuba on Youtube which takes more than 2 hours on my internet ?

I think, I might as well uninstall peer-to-peer softwares like utorrent.

Well, I have an iPad with Global and CityTV apps on it. I stream Fringe, House, Modern Family and few other TV shows on it. It also keeps on polling my g-mail every few minutes (15 or so) to check my e-mail. Many such apps need to use internet-on-the-run. I think Roger wants me to buy their Sim card. I am not.

So now the evil plan of CRTC (potentially working for Bell or Rogers or both) is revealed. They want me to buy every other service they provide, including the cable. They want to tell me there ain’t no difference between Bell and Teksavvy. The rates are competitive – after we killed the competition. They will remind me that “I could go the new unlimited at only 100CAD/ month (and the bill comes out to be 113CAD)”.

Is CRTC filled with educated illiterates ? Or are they just ignorant folks employed by the Corporates ? Should we also change the definition of Customer Service ? Will Oxford hear us ?

Before I can start using my Internet today, I will have to visit Teksavvy’s Internet Usage page and then decide my Internet Surfing Potential for the day. Probably it’s the day to surf the static html page with no images on them (defined as Normal Potential) or the day to switch off the modem for rest of the month (defined as Null Potential). I am already wondering, at this rate, will my cell-phone provider, WindMobile, survive ? Oh well,  I might as well move to USA or even India – where unlimited actually means unlimited.

I have so many more thoughts to speak out loud but I need to stop writing and publish this ASAP,  loosing my bytes already.

PS: Despite that rant, I am not loosing hope. Raise you voice. Sign the petition at http://openmedia.ca/meter

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