Usage Based Billing (UBB)

 

Usage Based Billing, also known as Metered Internet Usage is coming to Canada on March 1st, 2011.

CRTC has approved UBB for Bell Canada back in September 2010. This essentially means competitive ISPs will be metered by Bell for their internet traffic usage. Across the board, Canadians will have to pay inflated price for internet use charged by the gigabyte.

TekSavvy has published an open letter against UBB. Here’s an excerpt:

“We are discouraged by the decision by the CRTC to force us to charge virtually the same amount to our customers for the bandwidth they use that Bell does,” said Rocky Gaudrault, TekSavvy CEO. “This essentially gives the opportunity for incumbents like Bell, at zero cost, to increase their margins and stifle competition. If Bell wants to charge an economically unjustifiable amount for downloading to its customers, that is their business. However, we should not be forced to do the same. In the decision we asked for a discount of 50% to give us flexibility in serving our customers, but the CRTC limited the discount to 15%, so we are essentially stuck with pricing that serves Bell’s interests, but no one else’s.”


UBB is an increasingly controversial “tax” on downloading virtually unique to Canada, which makes consumers pay artificially high amounts for downloading to discourage bandwidth usage. TekSavvy and businesses like it buy their bandwidth from telecos and cable companies at wholesale rates stipulated by the CRTC which are supposed to allow TekSavvy and others to compete, and at the same time compensate the suppliers like Bell fairly.

Also on Facebook Stop UBB in Canada page, Lynda Fraser outlined the info about costs and caps directly from Bell Canada/Bell Aliant for Ontario and Quebec and this was all approved by the CRTC.

Ontario:
Lite Residence – cap of 2GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 2GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/month
Lite Plus Residence is the same as aboveBasic Residence – cap of 25GB, $1.70 charge per GB if you go over 25GB to a maximum of $51.00/month

Quebec:
Lite Residence – cap of 1GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 1GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/month
Lite Plus Residence – cap of 5GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over your 5GB to a maximum charge of an extra $51.00/monthBasic Residence – cap of 60GB, $2.13 charge per GB if you go over 25GB to a maximum of $51.00/month

Globe and Mail has an article by Preet Banerjee on UBB for further reading.

You can take action by visiting OpenMedia.ca .

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