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Canada Gets Metered Internet
Canada approved usage billing on ISP plans. Here we go...
Lapizuli

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 4:57 am on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

To put it mildly, this could be a problem for Canadians in business, and if other countries follow suit...ouch.

[arstechnica.com...]
Starting on March 1, Ontario TekSavvy members who subscribed to the 5Mbps plan have a new usage cap of 25GB, "substantially down from the 200GB or unlimited deals...


Here's the "good" news: TekSavvy users can now buy "insurance," defined as "a recurring subscription fee that provides you with additional monthly usage."

 

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 12:42 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Bye-Bye internet tv!

walrus

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 1:02 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yep, keep em baffled with BS , then shlooooop.

johnnie

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 1:20 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

So the age of dialup-style bills is again at hand?

My god, what a gigantic leap backwards. Absolutely unbelievable.

johnmoose

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 1:30 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Back to the Internet stone age for the Canadians!

mrtonyg



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 1:43 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wow, incredible.

Those people doing business with Canadians are going to have to go back to static html pages with no images. Or forget the WWW and bring back telnet clients!

jecasc

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 1:49 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

In my opinion this would be the right way to go: Keep up net neutrality and charge the user according to he bandwith.

What have we today? Flatrates everywhere that do not cover costs and ISPs trying to get additional money from companies.

Would you rather prefer it the other way? The user gets a cheap flatrate, the big companies pay for preferential treatment and if you start a video service your users can only download in 56k speed because you can't afford the ISP internet toll?

Problem only is the ISPs will try to milk both cows, the users and the content providers.

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 1:58 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

jecasc, I think you've misunderstood.

The primary ISP in Canada makes billions each quarter. They're charging plenty to cover costs. Canadian internet connection costs are on the high end.

What's happened isn't that companies are charging differently of their own accord. It's that the government has regulated that ISP's MUST charge in a tiered structure. They're actually not allowed to offer flat rate internet - irregardless of the costs.

Canadian internet is a funny thing. There's one company that is basically state-sanctioned that owns all of the copper lines across the country. Private ISP's then must lease these lines from that one company. All the while, that one company is also offering retail internet services in direct competition. Now that company has convinced the gov't to regulate that the private resellers can't offer unlimited internet - that they must charge more for useage AND pass some of that money on to them.

That's a bizarre use of regulation if you ask me. If the free market was allowed to operate Canadians would have unlimited internet useage at cheaper rates then they have now. Instead they get demonstratably higher prices for lower service.

In unrelated news, that primary company? they are also huge in land line phones, cell phones, and satellite TV. All areas where they're facing tough competition from internet based offerings - and all areas where they are now either stifling competition or taking an undeserved cut of the profits from their competitors. Get Netflix? Pay netflix for their useage and then pay this company for the bandwidth.

jwolthuis

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 2:27 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Think of the US health care system, but change the wording: "hospitals" to "ISPs", "doctors" to "copper wire", and "internet usage" to "medical services".

Now that sounds fair for everyone, doesn't it?

httpwebwitch

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 2:27 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yup, typically I pay more per month for an "unlimited"* basic residential plan than my comrades south of the 49th parallel. Canadians are already overcharged for our connectivity, and this new legislation is going to make it worse, mark my words.

*"unlimited" = never really means unlimited; there is a ceiling and I've hit it several times

Here in Ontario, we have two choices. Bell, or Rogers. Bell owns the phone wires, Rogers owns the Cable TV wires. Ultimately any electrons that enter my house come via one of those two infrastructures. I've got a Bell plan for my phone, and Rogers for my TV and Internet - I compared prices just a little while ago and they're both really about the same (exorbitant) price.

Small ISP companies are all just reselling one service or the other. When I call around local ISPs to negotiate my connection service, the first question I ask is "Are you selling Bell or Rogers?". The prices at these ISPs are generally the same as if I bought directly from the two monoliths; they survive on slim margins offering added customer service.

If this was just the cartel hosing us then the free market would eventually bring in an opportunistic American provider to give these fat hosers a stiff uppercut. But... this legislation is coming from the government. They've doomed us.

Personally I don't download much in the way of massive media content; I'm not a netflix or torrent consumer. But I do move very large piles of data around for my business - in the future I may have to stop manipulating these piles of data on my local machines in Canada, and start moving data around using rented servers in the USA, controlling them from up north like a puppeteer (I've already started doing that anyway, for some processing jobs)

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 2:40 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

The actual usage charge may or may not be excessive (not being Canadian I can't comment on that) but on the underlying philosophy I an with jessac 100%. The user decides how much to take so they should pay, not the content providers.

brotherhood of LAN

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 2:50 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Apparently mobile phone contracts in Canada are some of the most costly in the world, due to coverage issues in such a vast country. Why not the same for Internet?

50GB limit and $1 per GB over the limit would be a fair rate IMO. I agree that it seems like a step backwards, but it's not too different from those $3/m hosts that offer 'unlimited diskspace and bandwidth'.

Lynque

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 2:59 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Speaking as a Canadian there have been a number of reasons for maintaining my current ISP contract.
While there have been other "cheaper" ISP's pop up lately, if I hadn't kept up my grand-fathered contract I would soon be subject to the same cap's and subsequent charges.

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 3:05 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is no big deal. Lets not exaggerate the impact ... such as suggesting going back to static html pages.

Wheel was right in his first post. This has everything to do with the popularity of using Netflix thru your Wii or other device. These cable companies and phone companies also provide television access. They see that people have cancelled or reduced their television service to get relatively cheap content with their Wii.

They are not going to stand by and watch their investments bring in lower returns.

These limits have always been here. This is nothing new.

Newflash ... you are not going to get unlimited movies and television for $10 a month.

StoutFiles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 3:14 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wheel was right in his first post. This has everything to do with the popularity of using Netflix thru your Wii or other device. These cable companies and phone companies also provide television access. They see that people have cancelled or reduced their television service to get relatively cheap content with their Wii.


With their standard definition Wii? Bleck!

25 GB is still a lot...you have to be a pretty hardcore internet user to pass that. I do worry that once we start metering internet it will eventually get to GB levels that aren't a lot for the price we're paying now, and unlimited data wil be much more per month.

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 3:28 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

With their standard definition Wii?


I know. But there are several people in the building I am working in who immediately jumped on the $10 per month television. They rave about how cheap it is.

I suspect it is incredibly popular and people are scaling back cable and satelite tv purchases. Hence the reason the hammer is coming down.

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 3:30 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

it's not about how much, or whether the rates are fair. It's about forcing, through legislation, private companies to charge for useage. It's now against the law in Canada to offer flat rate plans for many providers.

I'm on a flat rate plan myself, dealing with a private company for access. It's insane that the government wouldn't let me and that company continue our agreement that's working profitably for both of us.

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 3:31 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Apparently mobile phone contracts in Canada are some of the most costly in the world, due to coverage issues in such a vast country.


That is correct. The 2nd largest country on earth and only 33 million people spread over it. Some things are just going to cost more because of this reality.

Propools

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 3:36 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

We talk about this while it's to be enacted in Canada, but what about when it comes to the U.S.?
Wasn't there talk by the FCC about doing somewhat of the same thing?
Which in the end, would equate to what Canada is having imposed.

What are the shortcomings of this..........
Weak Economy = Spend less = Cut down on internet usage

For Ecommerce that's an illegal tackle from behind.
For the government/commerce this may very well equal a backwards pass.

Either way, there will be a lot of social flags thrown on the field.
Whether its a yellow penalty flag or the red "challenge flag", there will be flags thrown.

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 3:40 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

What are the shortcomings of this..........


Blowing this out of proportion.

The fact is, you will not be able to watch movies for 20 hours a day all month long for only $10. That is hardly a "shortcoming".

Everyone will have plenty of bandwidth available for what we were doing up to 6 months ago before Netflix entered the market.

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 3:41 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

That is not neccessarily correct. It would be correct if coverage was spread out and available across that wide expanse. It actually is not. Most places in Canada have no cell phone coverage. In fact, some fairly populated places in Canada have no cell phone coverage.

The cell phone companies provide coverage in major metropolitan areas and well travelled areas only - and do so at higher costs than comparable in other countries. In the rest of Canada, they've got as much coverage as US providers do there - none.

Propools

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 3:56 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't think we're blowing this out of proportion, just hoping that we can all see beyond this hype and look at the deeper issue of how these control(s) will have long term impact on the internet, social browsing, Ecommerce, etc.

Let's look beyond the 20 hours a day movie marathon and think about the instructional, informative stuff on the internet which, today requires a lot of band width.

How much bandwidth does it take for ALL aspects of a site doing business online.
Let's think of how this could impact all of them, then add them up and it's a lot of bandwidth.

If a household is held in by usage constraints what are the odss they will go online and spread the word socially, watch the installation videos, read the installation instructions, do product research prior to purchasing, look at the thousands of different items before deciding to purchase that one exact item? Off the cuff one might say very little impact, but in the end there's a huge impact.

And it doesn't matter if it's Netflix or whatever-flix.
Let's step back and see the forest.
To get to my house to work takes me about 1 gallon of fuel, each way.
I don't go home to eat any more because I want to save the ~$1,200 annually in fuel.

Folks have quite smoking to save the ~$1,800 annually.

It's the small stuff that adds up over time.
If this ever gets enacted here, consumers may just very well cut out the online small stuff.

It doesn't matter if it's Netflix or whatever-flix.
Let's step back for a moment and look at the forest.

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 4:02 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

But Wheel, the same companies that have to provide regular phone service to Baffin Island are also the cell phone companies. They have to spread the cost over all of their customers and still have a decent return on the investments.

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 4:05 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Propools I spend a lot of time on the Internets at home, even do some music downloading. I have never reached my limit for downloading. Never.

This change will not affect me and I am a heavy user of the Internet.

I am telling you, downloading a couple 1G movies per day is the problem and it is the target of this change.

bakedjake

WebmasterWorld Administrator bakedjake us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 4:13 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here in Ontario, we have two choices. Bell, or Rogers.


Not true. I have Cogeco at home. 50M down/2M up with no cap. I have Atria at work. 10M down/10M up with no cap.

UBB is fine with me. Maybe it will encourage some competition in last mile, especially considering the low price of LTE equipment. We'll never see competition in last mile if the government mandates that you must only charge X.

People seem to think that cheap, unlimited internet that allows you to pirate all the software you want and steal all the TV you'd like is a basic human right with no regard to the cost of infrastructure.

I'd love to fly first class for the price of economy, too.

For Ecommerce that's an illegal tackle from behind.


This won't affect e-commerce one bit, unless you're in the streaming video business.

It's about forcing, through legislation, private companies to charge for useage. It's now against the law in Canada to offer flat rate plans for many providers.


You're distorting the legislation. The deal is that Bell wants to impose usage based billing on their wholesale customers (read: folks that compete with Bell by using Bell's network).

CRTC said "sure, you can do that, but you must utilize the same pricing scheme on your retail customers so that you don't get an unfair advantage".

Bell said "ok".

Bell is changing their pricing for their customers (both wholesale and retail). They shouldn't be allowed to do that?

That's a ridiculous position to take.

I'm on a flat rate plan myself, dealing with a private company for access. It's insane that the government wouldn't let me and that company continue our agreement that's working profitably for both of us.


That private company utilizes last mile infrastructure that they don't own and didn't put a dime into building. Let's not forget that.

The government created this mess in the first place, by mandating that last mile providers had to open their infrastructure to third parties.

If they hadn't done that in the first place, we'd have more last mile providers. True competition for last mile is what we really need.

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 4:53 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Glad I am not the only one who is putting this in proper perspective. Thanks Jake.

I knew this would get blown out of proportion as soon as I saw the Fear-Monger-in-Chief Matt Drudge hyping the story. It would kill him to post a positive news story about Canada. He should stick to fear mongering about snow. The Snow Hammer is coming, start hording yesterday!

ergophobe

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 5:48 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wheel - you say the govt isn't mandating those plans, because the "company" that has been allowed to charge by usage is actually a government monopoly? Is that the deal?

But in principle...

I'd love to fly first class for the price of economy


Well, I'm pretty mad about that one too. I'm also mad about being billed by usage on my propane, electricity, phone, water, sewer, trash disposal and roads (indirectly out of my gas taxes).

Okay, so I'm not actually mad about any of those things. I'm a low end consumer of all of them, so the pay per usage actually saves me a ton of money and overall what bothers me is services that are NOT metered on a pay per use fee.

Look at the electrical grid in the US - it is crumbling because there is not an adequate profit model for people who provide transmission. All the profit is in generation and delivery. As a result, our power grid is creaking and there's no money to upgrade it.

If the US is ever going to see the kind of internet connectivity that you see in developed nations (ahem), we need to fund the transmission system adequately and get big users to pay proportionately. So I wouldn't be surprised to see the Canadian model rolled out in the US.

BTW, my home internet in the US is capped at 7.5GB/month down and 2.5GB up. I usually don't come close to using it up.

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 6:12 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

it is allowing carriers to charge for usage.

My understanding is that they're not allowing. They're requiring. Therein lies the difference. The companies don't have a choice.
But Wheel, the same companies that have to provide regular phone service to Baffin Island are also the cell phone companies. They have to spread the cost over all of their customers and still have a decent return on the investments.

Again, a misunderstanding. You're assuming that they provide broad coverage where population is thin. This is not the case.

I can name numerous locations that are <3 hour drive east or north of Toronto Canada that have no cell phone coverage. I vacation frequently in that area and there are 0 bars. You'd have a point if the companies were providing coverage - but they don't. And these areas are hardly remote.

Canadian infrastructure doesn't cover all of Canada. It covers the populated area of Canada, and that's basically the big city areas. The rest of Canada? No cell phone coverage and internet that the goverment installed - not private stuff.

BakedJake - naming Atria is again an example of government intervention where they shouldn't be. Atria is hardly a private company like we expect it to be. It's built on the backs of and money from the power company. When the power companies went 'private' (and by private, they're owned by the municipalities, so not really private) they just used their government clout to install fibre. Atria is the power company beauracracy in sheeps clothing - that's why there's no competition there either. And it's not just Atria - these fibre companies have sprung up all over, but they are all from the ashes of the power companies, not private corps.

bakedjake

WebmasterWorld Administrator bakedjake us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 6:22 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

My understanding is that they're not allowing. They're requiring. Therein lies the difference. The companies don't have a choice.


Citation? Neither Cogeco or Atria (or Rogers, to the best of my knowledge) are changing their plans because of CRTC's ruling. This is specific to Bell and their request to change their wholesale billing model.

Atria is again an example of government intervention where they shouldn't be


While Atria is a weird entity that's gone through a lot of changes in the last 5 years, I didn't mention Atria as an example of non-interference, only pointing out that there are more than two last mile providers in Ontario.

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4260994 posted 6:46 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

First of all most people that have DSL in Canada are either using the monopoly, or resellers. There's no effective DSL supplier that isn't affected by this ruling. For all intents and purposes, if you have DSL in Canada it's against the law to have unlimited bandwidth plans.

Secondly,don't be too happy about cogeco. Seems like they're getting in on the fun too. To quote another group I belong to:
http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2011/2011-44.htm

If you read the ruling, Rogers and Cogeco are listed, so UBB will be coming
to them eventually as well.


SO yes, cogegco too. And rogers. Did we forget anybody?

Atria probably doesn't apply because they don't realistically do consumer level coverage. They feed businesses, and not even most of them. That's high end stuff, not for your local bookstore.

<dire straits> I want my Net TV! </ dire straits>

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