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YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, iPad. . . and whatever else is about to take the world by storm, making all of those digital breakthroughs seem old news. Surely it's obvious by now that Canadians are going to be better off if we foster digital media creativity, rather than leaving it to people in other countries.
But tell that to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the body supposedly responsible for regulating electronic media for our well-being. The CRTC has decided to allow Bell and other big telecom companies to change the way Canadians are billed for Internet access. Metering, or usage-based billing (UBB), will mean that service providers can charge per byte in addition to their basic access charges.
The move is sure to stifle digital creativity in Canada while the rest of the world looks on and snickers.
This is not what a lot of small Internet providers who use Bell Canada's infrastructure wanted. But they are now subject to Bell Canada's requirements, and will be forced to usage-bill their own customers. That's how it's already rippling out to create an entirely different economy of Internet use in Canada. That's what the big telecoms wanted and the CRTC is in the process of giving it to them.
January 25, 2011 – OpenMedia.ca, the group behind the 41,000-strong petition to stop Internet metering, is disappointed by the decision made today by Canada’s media regulator. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has taken a small a step in the right direction, which OpenMedia.ca acknowledges, but the public engagement organization also believes that the Commission has failed to safeguard consumer choice and affordable access to the Internet. This decision is a renewal of a ruling to allow large incumbent Internet service providers (ISPs) to force usage-based billing (overage fees) onto their independent competitors and Canadians writ large. This means that the likes of Bell, Rogers, and Shaw have been given the green light to determine how we pay for Internet. If this decision goes unchecked, broadband is about to cost much more for Canadians. Likely in response to popular opposition to Internet metering, the CRTC has decided to alleviate, albeit only to an acute degree, the burden this pricing regime will have on independent ISPs, whose competition serves as a check on Big Telecom. Indie ISPs will get a 15% discount from incumbents’ rates – just barely enough to allow the indie ISPs to differentiate their pricing structures.
Originally posted by MMPI2
Being the world's biggest loser in any respect should not be alien to canadians.
They are, after all, canadians. They have a great deal of practice at it.
Given the amount of Canadians online, and the fact that we outperform the US in terms of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook usage, this is simply RIDICULOUS.
Digital Journal reports that the age group in Canada that uses YouTube the most is between 18 and 24; they spend an average of 360 minutes viewing videos every month. Canadians are also world leaders in adopting Facebook, with 83.1 percent of its Canadian net users now visiting the social networking site. Only 71.5 percent of the U.S. online community uses Facebook. Canadians outtweet Americans, too: These latest figures show that 13.7% of Canadians use Twitter each month, as opposed to 11.3 percent of Yanks.
Nicolle Morton’s company makes websites -- fancy ones that aim to capture attention with creative graphics and video. For eight years, it has been a prosperous business. But more recently, it has run into a new, and peculiarly Canadian, obstacle.
A few weeks ago, Ms. Morton was in a Toronto boardroom advising a major public sector client. The assignment: to build a website, rich in video and interactive features, that would outline to the public the benefits of a huge proposed infrastructure project.
The discussions kept getting derailed by the same concern. In Canada, many Internet customers have strict limits on the amount of data they can download and upload. If they go over those limits, Internet providers such as BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada unit and Rogers Communications Inc., charge them extra fees. Would this website actually use up too much of the Internet?
“The client was producing a big, beautiful, heavily produced video that they wanted to present in the best possible format. They had spent a fortune on producing this,” said Ms. Morton, who co-owns Peapod Studios in Hamilton, Ont. “They were very concerned about doing it, mostly because of the cost to end users – the cost to deliver it. It’s just an interesting thing that you have to be confronted with when you’re in the middle of a creative storm.”
It is the sort of worry that will grow more serious after a decision this week by the country’s telecom regulator. Stringent download limits for Internet plans, and the charges for exceeding them, have long angered consumers and citizens’ groups. Many have sought to get around those download caps by turning to “unlimited use” plans offered by smaller providers that lease space over the networks of large providers such as Bell.
But a CRTC ruling on Tuesday sent a stark message to customers on those plans: Watch what you download, or it will cost you. The regulator said that large providers can begin charging smaller ones by the gigabyte, making it nearly impossible for the latter group to keep offering unlimited packages.
Originally posted by tribewilder
reply to post by Kennit
UM...I think Nixie is right here....try taking those percentages and dividing them by the population.....the States have a much bigger percentage of internet users.
Originally posted by loagun
reply to post by MMPI2
Now about the article... don't most companies already have a usage charge? My provider gave me the option of per bite use + hookup fee/per month or a $45/month unlimited usage last fall. I don't think this is really 'new' News
Originally posted by MMPI2
post removed by staff: