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Rogers Cable Plans Fees to Curb Bandwith Hogs

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the play-more-pay-more dept.

The Almighty Buck 847

jeremyd writes: "Major Canadian broadband provider plans to charge heavy users higher monthly access fees as high as $80 per month. Read the article here from the Globe and Mail. If only the world would protest. What's the point of high speed broadband access if you can't use it to full potential without having to start selling organs to pay the bills?"

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Yet another Fist Sport (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954190)

Kiss the Ring!

Movie ratings SUCK!!!!! (-1)

the_furies (541751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954255)

Todd Solondz' new movie "Storyteling" features a scene where Selma Blair [go2celebs.com] gets sodomized by a big black man. Unfortunately, the director was forced to cover up the good parts using a big red square in order to get an R rating for his film.

I hate censorship!

They'll lose customers (1)

Jormundgard (260749) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954193)

Shit, as soon as people gotta start worrying about additional fees, they'll dump that service. People want to know how much they're going to pay.

Re:They'll lose customers (1)

baldeep (213585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954237)

Yeah, just like with mobile phones.

Eventually we'll probably see analogs to pre-paid plans, peak and off-peak rates, etc. The only difficulty is knowing how big a web page is before you download it.

Shaw's a b*tch too (3, Interesting)

Glonk (103787) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954194)

I use Shaw (Roger's main competition), and several times now they've called my house and asked me to tone down my bandwidth usage.

I asked them that very question: What's the point of broadband if I can't use it to its full extent?

The license agreement I signed clearly stated there's no bandwidth restrictions for home users, but you can't run servers. I wasn't running any servers, they knew that, and they called me anyway. They actually tried to get me to switch to a business account (more money, bandwidth restrictions), too.

If the ISP can't handle the bandwidth it makes available, it's their loss if people use it too much. It's not my fault I enjoy streaming content and sending movies to friends and all that. :)

Competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954231)

Uhhh where in Canada do Shaw and Rogers actually compete for customers? They are in distinctly different areas of the country and are not competing with one another.

We love Monopolies in Canada, and we have the CRTC to regulate them!

Re:Competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954260)

Uhhh where in Canada do Shaw and Rogers actually compete for customers? They are in distinctly different areas of the country and are not competing with one another.
I think he meant competing as in, the two major companies.

Re:Shaw's a b*tch too (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954242)

but you can't run servers

What kind of rule is that? Imagine the phone company telling you "you can use the phone as often as you like but you're not allowed to speak Japanese on the phone".

In a broadband connection packets are sent, packets are received, and that's that. They can set different limits on the ingoing/outgoing bandwidth if they want, but the type of packets transmitted is none of their buisness.

Re:Shaw's a b*tch too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954275)

I have run a mail/web/game/whateverthehellIwant server on Shaw/Rogers whatever you want to call it for many years now and have never heard a peep from them.

If you get "caught" running a server, more than likely something red flagged you and you deserve to get bagged. It's a consumer grade connection, if you want to run a server and have no problems, pay for a real connect.

Re:Shaw's a b*tch too (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954328)

"I use Shaw (Roger's main competition)"

Isn't Sympatico Roger's main competitor for highspeed internet? They've certainly spent a lot of money on anti-Sympatico HSE ads describing download rigor mortis. Last I heard Sympatico had a few hundred thousand more subscribers.

more money? (1)

jdwilso2 (90224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954195)

Geez... Everyone wants to charge more and more for stuff we already have because its getting more popular... It really sux that all our contracts with people such as time warner express such ideas as "rates subject to change without notice" and such... But then, how do you compete in bandwidth with big industry? It isn't a trivial matter to lay one's own cable across the country and say "hey, buy my bandwidth, its cheaper!" ... cause it'd be more expensive prolly than the leading largeass company in the feild... Anyway, I'm done rambling...

Re:more money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954236)

get a 1 or 2 year contract

Re:more money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954259)

Ummm, yeah. Then get slammed with sticker shock when the contract is up.

Bandwidth costs money (2, Informative)

negativekarmanow tm (518080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954196)

Contrary to popular believe, bandwidth DOES cost money, so it's not that strange they do this.
A lot of people just want (their computer) to be online 24/7, and don't use that much bandwidth.
It should be cheaper for them than for those who use kazaa as an external harddisk.

Re:Bandwidth costs money (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954220)


Every tenth slashdot article seems to be a bitch about ISP's TOS, but ISPs have to pay for used bandwidth, so why would they want to make a loss on high-volume users, or worse, subsidise those users by slugging low-bandwidth users.

What's wrong with paying for what you get?

The point is convenience (2, Interesting)

baldeep (213585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954197)

What's the point of high speed broadband access if you can't use it to full potential without having to start selling organs to pay the bills?

I'd say the point is being able to download a thing here or there at high speed. It seems perfectly reasonable to me to let the cable operator set parameters on acceptable usage.

Re:The point is convenience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954322)

yeah but when you advertise all the wonderful things you can do with broadband, then slap people with limits that eliminate all those benefits once they've signed up for the service -it's kinda stupid.

ep! (-1)

the_furies (541751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954198)

Storage, up to 128 megs, now available in convenient buttplug form! [fingertech.co.uk]

Now you can truly take linux with you everywhere you go!

Elementary Telecommunications (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954199)

It's wasteful to give EVERYONE the same amount of bandwidth, as 99% of the time it's just sitting idle.

So you multiplex a number of connections across the same amount of bandwidth. The problem with this is that if everyone's hogging as much bandwidth as possible, the network becomes congested and screws things up for everyone. A somber example would be attempting to use a phone in New York on September 11th. (Ignoring the physical network damage here.)

The fact is, scumbags such as your typical "Everything should be stolen" zealot obtain their cable modems for the sole purpose of DESTROYING the Intellectual Property Rights of artists, especially the ones about having a right to receive compensation for their work. The fact that these cowards are too Jewish to even PAY for extra bandwidth just goes to show how little respect they have for paying their own way in society. Yet are the first to cash their Welfare checks whilst complaining of the slump in the "tech sector". (CLUE: The only slump is in useless Operating Systems. MCSEs are still in VERY high demand. Time to grow up!)

Now stop whinging and consider an alternative solution, like DSL.

look at it this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954201)

It's more lenient than throwing you intellectual property scofflaws (oh, sorry, "bandwidth hogs") in prison. You think /. is gay? You havent seen anything yet.

First Snuggler (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954204)

I like to snuggle.

Diversification in fees is GOOD! (4, Insightful)

zby (398682) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954206)

Why everybody here seems to be so opposed
to diversification in fees based on used
The bandwidth is not a unlimited resource.

Re:Diversification in fees is GOOD! (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954269)

Because then people who use their unlimited bandwidth accounts the way they were meant to be used will have to pay even more. Think about cell phone minutes. Imagine a plan where the price is $50 and everyone can use the phone as often as they like. Most people will use only as many minutes as a current $40 plan provides. They could be using many more minutes though if they choose to. My problem with different plans for different uses is that the companies setting prices will gouge the hell out of everybody. It's bad enough many companies are limiting DSL and cable to 512Kbps or lower download and 384 or 128 upload. With separate plans the $30 plan will only allow 300MB per month at 384 down and 128 up. The $40 plan will offer 500MB per month. Count on paying $60 or more though if a user is up in the 1 or 2 GB range. 1 to 2 GB is perfectly reachable for many users through both legal and illegal content.

Re:Diversification in fees is GOOD! (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954339)

We're not talking 1-2GB caps. It's more than that. I'm already using an ISP (IStop.com) in the same area as Rogers (Toronto) that has bandwidth restrictions: 20GB/mo (10GB local + 10 GB non-local), with excess charged at Cdn$3/GB. I use a lot of internet, but I haven't gone over my limit yet.

If charging heavy users makes my internet service better or cheaper, then that's fine by me. I already pay by the unit for other more important services, such as electricity, water and long distance telephone. Why shouldn't internet access be the same? Market forces will ensure that the caps are reasonable... assuming you have ISP competition as we do.

Reality check (5, Insightful)

thunderbee (92099) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954209)

Has anyone noticed how bandwith cost less to the end-user as to the upstream provider?

Anyone notice a problem here?

Well, there is. The bandwith sold to you is shared. If you use all of it, constantly, then others are deprived of what they paid for. So the upstream provider bills you more to accomodate for your dedicated bandwidth needs.

I'm amazed most broadband operators made it so far selling bandwith so cheap. As a matter of fact most didn't, and bought the farm. Funny how no-one seems to notice.

The free ride is ending (2)

Have Blue (616) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954210)

Internet use is exceeding the economies of scale of a flat-rate system. And who are you going to turn to when all the broadband companies start changing by the byte, as I believe they eventually will?

Re:The free ride is ending (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954321)

"fidonet" will make a comeback, this time on wireless. Prices are just about low enough to allow that.

So what's the problem again? (3)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954211)

I have no problem with this, as long as the policy is clearly stated and laid out at the time of signing up for the service, or a change in the billing policy is made very clear before it is applied. Why shouldn't heavy users be charged more? Simply because you want a flat rate connection doesn't give you the right to one. Broadband providers are going out of business left and right, they have to do something.

If this policy is implemented without warning and not publicized except in dense 30-page license agreements that you "must" read, then it is unacceptable. But otherwise it is fine, simply good business practice.

Re:So what's the problem again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954291)

The change of policy indicates that the people who wrote the previous billing policy were stupid. These people are probably still working for Rogers Cable. That's the problem.

Who cares about them companies, I want free stuff! (1, Funny)

wickidpisa (41827) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954212)

If only the world would protest.

Yeah! I'm with you. I mean, it's not like banwith costs cable companies money or anything! In fact, why don't they just give me free high speed internet access. I'm entitled to bandwith by birthright, who do these companies think they are witholding it from me.

Seriuosly though, if you don't like the price, don't buy it. Yes it may be true that they have a monopoly on high speed internet in a certain area, but is that really surprising when broadband companies are going bankrupt all over because of people are unwilling to pay for the bandwith they think they "deserve"?

Confusing Slashdot Headline Coredumps Reader (2, Funny)

JohnPM (163131) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954213)

Am I the only one to totally hang when reading that headline? It read like 3 different nouns to me. "Rogers Cable Plans", "Fees to (the) Curb" and "Bandwidth Hogs". I just couldn't figure out how they were related.

I need a lie down...

Re:Confusing Slashdot Headline Coredumps Reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954285)

Am I the only one to totally hang when reading that headline?

Yes, you're the only one. The rest of us speak English.

Not necessarially bad... (1)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954214)

For excessively high bandwidth uses $80 canadian doesn't seem that unreasonable to me, provided they treat you fairly.

Personally, I looked into getting a cable modem here, but found the 1-computer-only, no-server policy, and 128k upload cap to be too restrictive.
I was even considering getting the $100/mo. "corporate" option, but found it to be little better.

If I could get an un-capped upload and download line, and the ability to use the bandwidth as I see fit, I'd be willing to pay US$100 for it. I don't think $80 canadian would be a bad price at all.

--The Rizz

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." --G.B. Shaw

Re:Not necessarially bad... (1)

dadragon (177695) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954289)

If I could get an un-capped upload and download line, and the ability to use the bandwidth as I see fit, I'd be willing to pay US$100 for it. I don't think $80 canadian would be a bad price at all.

You forget that $80 Canadian is still $80. People seem to think that since our currency is low, we get more of it. We don't. You may make, say USD$2000/month for your job. I do the same job, I get paid CAD$2000. It's the same portion of our respective paycheques.

I also think that the CRTC may have something to say about this. It seems to violate their price caps. I can get uncapped bandwidth here for $35CAD/month. If it goes up to $80, I'd be some pissed off. Do a little math, that's 16/7 of the original cost.

market powers? (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954215)

what is this about?

whining about prices? the editors usually tell us non-american that we shouldn't whine about america/slashdot.

well, let me tell you, this is a classic example of your so called 'market forces/intrests/powers'

if someone is PREPARED to pay 80$ for a more advanced server, this is going to work, if nobody pays, well, what a shame.

to bad you dont live in i a country where the goverment subventions things like this. /me looks at his 10mbit for 7 bucks á month.

Re:market powers? (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954226)

if someone is PREPARED to pay 80$ for a more advanced server, this is going to work, if nobody pays, well, what a shame.

.. service that is :-)

its still early here.. heh

Re:market powers? (1)

xtremex (130532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954250)

I have Cable TV, and a Cable Modem (with 8 systems connecting thru a firewall), and pay around $125 a month. For the bandwidth AND Cable TV(HBO, etc). Cablevision....you gotta love 'em! If I drop my Cable TV, and Get something like DirecTV or Dish Network, I'd only be saving about $15, which lets me buy a couple extra cups of coffee :)

Re:market powers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954324)

Two points:

1) CANADA IS NOT AMERICA! Rogers is a cable monopoly. Bell Canada is a telephone monopoly. They both offer internet services, they are pretty much the only two in Ontario.

2) You seem to live in Sweden. Canada is a country that is larger than your whole continent, and has the smallest population density in the world, or close to it. Canada does subsidise rather large networks, it's just more expensive to do it here.. Sweden is about 1/2 the size of Saskatchewan, IIRC, the smallest non-atlantic province.

Canada's doing pretty good for herself considering we're staggaringly huge. /me looks at his 10mbit connection that costs $35/month, and wonders why Sweden, with its small size, can't get the money to make it less than $7.

Dream slipping away? (5, Interesting)

Little Dave (196090) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954216)

I always kind of assumed that broadband internet access would start off desirably out of the reach of most people, but gradually slide down the scale of availibility, dropping in cost until it was a mass market technology. But more and more I see providers of the service taking steps backward and either raising prices or limiting availibility, putting restrictions on what you can or can't do with it.

This is especially true here in the UK where free dial up internet access appeared, then promptly disappeared. Now a similar thing seems to be happening to broadband. Rather than becoming more accessible to the average man in the street, companies seem to be raising prices and limiting signups right, left and centre.

Not a lot to do with the article here though, just an observation. What exactly has caused this? Have companies overestimated network capacity? Or are they just incompetent? Will widescale, high bandwidth access ever become the norm, rather than the exception?

How exactly fast is a high-speed Internet service? (2, Funny)

Shiny Metal S. (544229) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954218)

I don't know what exactly does the high-speed Internet service mean, but I'd love to pay $80/month for what I consider a high-speed link. I live in Poland where I pay about $450/month for 768kb/s DSL... And it's not even a guaranteed bandwidth.

Re:How exactly fast is a high-speed Internet servi (1)

xtremex (130532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954257)

Well, for $40 a month, I get 700kb/s guaranted connection. It's nearly T-1 speed.

Re:How exactly fast is a high-speed Internet servi (2)

tulare (244053) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954303)

I pay $25 per month, and am certain to get at least 3000kbps down and usually no less than 900 up. Usually, it's more like 5000/1000, but who's counting? No bandwidth limiting, either. But that's what happens when Big Government [ashlandfiber.net] buts in where business can clearly provide more service for less money.

If it's anything like our Charter service... (1)

Kaellenn (540133) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954222)

It certainly isn't worth it. We are currently paying $80 a month for broadband through charter (69.95 for the service, $9.95 for modem rental) and we're getting a maximum of 65k/s downstream, about 30k/s upstream.

Until these cable providers can start providing truely reliable service, they really can't justify these price hikes. With an economy this slow, it's going to do nothing but discouraging potential broadband users from signing up with the service.

My advice to the cable internet providers, fix your networks first, then worry about charging users more for high usage. Hell, with the type of bandwidth we're getting, I don't think it's even possible to GET those higher realms of transfer.

Re:If it's anything like our Charter service... (2)

tulare (244053) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954325)

See my earlier post [slashdot.org] . Funny thing... Paul Allen (partorfull owner of Charter), promised to do whatever it takes to defeat AFN. ROTFL. I have seen two or three outages in a year and a half. I have seen people go to Charter, and come back crying. Sincerely wish people had more options, as it would help squash the Charters out there.

Half the story... (2)

heyetv (248750) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954223)

Yea, but they're gonna lower the cost for "light internet users", or so they say. So you pay for what you use, and if you don't like it, use another ISP. Now lets hear it about monopolies and repressive governments...

you ain't seen nothin' bad till you see the "high spped" resident network at my apartment... they wad extra fibre lengths and stuff them into the most crammed slots... Paint clogs the jacks... latency of 3 seconds. to the router. I seem to recall being able to shoot myself in quake games...
I'd be happy to pay $50 bucks for this dsl, but they have us on a 33k limited pbx, kinda killing dsl. And the cable is some wireless fed crap, most channels don't have audio. Now they claim up north that it costs too much... we can't even pay for better access... /rant

Bandwidth Levels? (1)

mr. phantastik (202943) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954224)

Anyone have any ideas on exactly how much bandwidth a "bandwidth hog" uses? The article doesn't give specifics, so I'm curious what others think the limits will be set at.

I use rogers right now, and this pisses me off to no end. Bell Sympatico can't be installed in my neighbourhood, so I'm stuck with rogers if I want to use broadband (I can't even use Shaw or Cogeco).

restrictions (1)

meatspray (59961) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954227)

maybe there aren't enough people like my but i'd pay $120 a month for 2-3 static ips, unlimited bandwidth 1mb down 512 up. that price would easily cover that cross section of a t3 split amongst other members, i'm not even looking for garunteed bandwith i'd settle for average speeds. (within reason) sooner or later hopefully someone will provide that. (unfortunately at this rate it might well be a cell phone provider)

Sounds good. (1)

celephais (45225) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954229)

Really, if you have to sell blood to pay an $80cdn/month internet bill, you need to surf less and get a job. Bandwidth isn't free, and I'd rather pay $80 for an awesome connection than $52(usd) for a shitty one. However, my options in OKC, USA are $52 for a shitty one or $250 for a good one...

no problem here... (2)

startled (144833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954230)

Well, sure, strictly speaking I'd rather pay more than less. But I wouldn't mind paying about twice as much as the low end customer. I'm still getting a better bargain from it-- the low end users check their e-mail and that's about it.

Plus, $110 Canadian? Damn, that's not much more than you have to fork over for AT&T cable modem. And if AT&T offered better upload speeds for a few extra bucks, I'd seriously consider it.

Re:no problem here... (2)

tunah (530328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954268)

Well, sure, strictly speaking I'd rather pay more than less.

Well then come right into my new online shop, my friend! Have you been getting your air for free till now? You'll be kicking yourself when I tell you that we have it for the full price of $15/liter (+s&h).

Tactics like this... (1, Troll)

marcsiry (38594) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954232)

...are going to drive bandwidth collectives.

You already share bandwidth with a whole mess of people in your neighborhood... you just don't know them, and that's why the cable co's can screw you all.

All it takes is some knowledgable people to form community ISPs, lease a fat pipe and redistribute the bandwidth via the most convenient method (802.11?) When the need to make a profit is removed from the cost of being an ISP, the price per user can come down quite a bit... hopefully the cable co's will start to feel some of the pricing pressure they thought they escaped when they killed the competition.

Sure, easier said than done, but hatred of getting screwed is a strong motivator...

Re:Tactics like this... (2, Insightful)

dun0s (213915) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954317)

What happens when Fred round the corner plus all the people in his house start leeching so much that they use all the bandwidth on your community fat pipe? Do you:

a) change him a higher monthly fee because he is using more bandwidth than Jim?

b) bandwidth limit Fred so that when he starts leeching his transfers get slower and slower to the point where he would be better off using a modem?

c) cut him off?

d) none of the above because, lets face it, he has a right to use all the bandwidth. doesn't he?


The price of high-speed, for whom? (1)

minyard (101989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954233)

Quoth the poster: "What's the point of high speed broadband access if you can't use it to full potential without having to start selling organs to pay the bills?"

The provider might ask the same question. At what point does the cost of offering the service cover the price charged to the customer? In other words, the provider doesn't want to lose his shirt just so Joe Consumer can have service.

I have to agree with you though, $80 is getting a bit expensive for the average home user. The company will also have to temper their need to charge more with what people are really willing to pay!

Kudos to Rogers. (5, Interesting)

arcade (16638) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954234)

I fully understand Rogers. Of course, there will be lots of whiners, that does not understand that there are lots of users on the same network.

Of course you can use the cablemodem for the quick speed, for normal things, and with some extreme spikes when you download things occassionally.

The _problem_ starts when someone starts using 100% of the bandwidth available to them, almost ALL the time. The problem is when there are about 50-100 people that does that. I'm not sure what speed Rogers is offering, but say its 512Kbps. If 100 users use all that, they need a T3 just for 100 users! If they've got, say 1000 users that are like that.. well, then they have a big fucking problem, as an OC3 wouldn't be enough to satisfy them.

Now, if someone does some calculations. How much would three OC3 links cost Rogers? Now, tell me, how much is 1000*45 ? Well, $45.000 .. for providing 3 OC3 links per month.. pluss service.. pluss other costs.

It seems like a rotten deal for Rogers, to me. I fully understand that they want to punish the bandwidth-pigs.

How much is too much? (0)

The Rabid Rabbit (553616) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954254)

The big question is where they draw the line. Sure it's fine to charge the top 1% of users an arm and a leg for using 98% of their share of the bandwidth, but what happens when they decide to charge the top 50% of users?

I can just see them deciding that the top 50% are the "heavy users" and the bottom 10% are the light ones.

Re:Kudos to Rogers. (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954293)

What disgusts me is that the service is advertised as unlimited bandwidth. That should mean that if I want to leave Kazaa running 24/7/365 there should be no problems at all. That isn't whats happening though.

Something else that pisses me off. Think of the situation in terms of cell phones. Imagine the DSL or cable modem is the handset. Unlike cell phones, many people do not have contracts. People buy the modem, but as part of the sign up deal, the modem is sold below cost if the user does the installation or some crap like that. Five months after signing up, the company providing service decides to cap bandwidth, or raise prices. Without a contract the user can either shut up and suffer, or try to switch companies. If the user knew this was going to happen they probably wouldn't have signed up in the first place. Now they have to buy a new modem, possibly without a discount.

Even users with contracts don't appear to have a better deal. These folks have cancellation charges to deal with if the bail early, and their contracts still let the company to change the service as it pleases. When in the cell phone industry has this crap ever been tolerated?

Re:Kudos to Rogers. (1)

VenTatsu (24306) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954335)

24/7/365?!?! You mean running it for 7 years strait?

Seriously though, the situation you describe DID happen with cell phones years ago. Some users did have rates jacked on them, because some contracts let service providers do that. The reason you don't hear about that now is that the cell phone industry has changed, competition and new technology force cell companies to drop rates steadily. The super special introductory rates from 3 months ago are this month's standard rates. When there were only two cell phone frequencies providers could get away with murder and they knew that to _one_ alternative their customers had was no better. With the expanded frequencies we now enjoy, there is true competition forming in the cellular service market.

The cable market is still an almost completely closed market by area. So any given company can charge what ever they feel they can get out of customers.

Devil's advocate (3, Interesting)

tunah (530328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954235)

I am frustrated by these things too. Our ISP just made us change our ADSL setup to help them "track us better" and "cut down on the 20% of the users generating 80% of the traffic". The best bit is that our connection is capped at 128k! (not K).

On the other hand, things like "if only the world would protest" sound a bit self-righteous. I don't personally know how much bandwidth costs ISPs, but presumably there is a point beyond which your account is being subsidised by the other customers.

At that point, the ISP can either:
eat the costs (unlikely)
pass the cost on to all users, and possibly lose the very people who they are making their profits off (people who don't download very much) for whom it will no longer be value for money, or
Get rid of the users that don't make them money, or shift them onto more appropriate (read more expensive) plans.

All this is no excuse for companies promoting plans as 'unlimited' and then imposing limits, but it is unreasonable to expect profit-seeking companies to lose money providing you with your ideal broadband access.

What's the problem here? (3)

btempleton (149110) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954238)

I know what it is, and perhaps the ISP can be blamed to some extent for promoting the illusion of what they are selling you.

But the truth has always been that they're selling you a shared pipe. Everybody doesn't have the right to saturate their pipe because its physically impossible for everybody to do this. It's an illusion if you think they sold you that right.

Sharing a pipe is a great win for both customer and supplier. It lets them sell access to the pipe for far, far less than they would have to charge if people saturated. With totally flat pricing, the low users subsidise the heavy users. That's fine, even good to a limited extent. But how far?

When you say "how dare they not give me all the bandwidth all the time for the same price as the grandmother who logs in once a day?" what you're saying is not that you should pay as much as her, but that she should be forced to pay as much as you.

They can price everybody the same, and that makes grandma pay for your heavy usage. Or they can have level of pricing and balance it out. If they can give people lower data flow with the same bandwidth for $25 CDN (just $15 USD, think about that) I think it's a great thing, and those who oppose it are selfish.

Having to pay to buy the whole pipe is the old way. Sharing is the internet way.

Now I know why people are upset. The flat rate deal had some interesting positive consequences. When grandma subsidzed the heavy user, it allowed heavy users to experiment and do things that might never have been done if people had to pay for their own usage. That's why per packet charging is bad, it goes too far the other way. But nor is entirely flat rate the fairest answer.

My example is not made up. My mother (who is a grandmother) won't buy a cable modem. She thinks the dial-up using her existing phone lines is just fine for the 3 times a week she goes to check mail. Why shouldn't she have a chance at high speed for a similar price?

makes sense to me (0)

The Rabid Rabbit (553616) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954239)

As long as actually do reduce the charge for low bandwidth users there plan is pretty reasonable. They article says that light users will be charged $23/month, which is pretty darn reasonable for broadband.

I do some part-time computer work with elderly people and a lot of them don't have enough cash to go and spend $50/month on cable. Just as the $5/month limited use dialup accounts are popular with these people, I'm sure that others with little income would stand to gain a lot from this type of pricing structure.

For those bitching about this (1)

heideggier (548677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954241)

We already have this in Australia, The major cable provider (telsta) limits you to 3 gig a month, which makes it more then useless IMHO, the second Optius reserves the right to kick you off if you go over a limit worked out by a average of traffic, normally about 18gig, slightly better.

Personally I blame P2P and FTP, I think that there is a real argument for usenet which lessens the bandwidth at the ISP end.

There are alternatives but they are priced out of your average consumers price range

I dont mean to whine, but it tends to peeve me that you yanks and Cukics compain about blocked ports or slight price incresses not knowing the real handicaps that people in other contries have to face, man I wish I was American sometimes

Re:For those bitching about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954287)

Well then move to Canada or the U.S. where there is an abundance of bandwidth and spell checkers. ;)

I'm already paying $70 (2, Insightful)

deadgoon42 (309575) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954245)

I'm a soon to be former Comcast Online (used to be @Home) subscriber and they are charging me $70 a month including the modem rental fee. I said soon to be former because I find this price to be too much per month. Additionally, since they have switch over to the new service, everything is slower and tech support is non-exsistant. The actual monthly fee is supposed to be $39.99, but when you figure in modem rental, taxes, franchise fees, etc, etc, etc, the price ups to $70 a month. It's nice to have bandwidth, but not $70 nice.

$80 is a lot for broadband? (4, Insightful)

InsaneCreator (209742) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954246)

It's funny readin all your complaints about how expensice internet access is. Where I live (Slovenia) I have to pay just as much (~$80) for 150 hours of being online - and I'm foreced to use this lame 56k dial-up connection! No, I can't get DSL, since I do not live in a "profitable area".

Rogers Cable vs Vancouver & suburbs (0)

Stonan (202408) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954247)

We used to have Rogers here but due to them using negative billing, hiking fees for poor service and generally being the epitome of a lifeless, bloodless corporation (no, I'm not bitter...) the general public forced them out.

To those affected I say organize a rally, call the papers, submit letters to the editors, hit every public news broadcast you can and let them know how you feel.

It worked on the West Coast, no reason it shouldn't on the East!

So What's the Problem? (3, Insightful)

Crispin Cowan (20238) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954248)

So what, excactly, is the problem with heavy users paying their own way?
What's the point of high speed broadband access if you can't use it to full potential without having to start selling organs to pay the bills?
Hmmm ... perhaps, to get low-latency access to the small(er) blobs of data you want to access?

Look, all they're doing is changing the bundling of their service to more closely reflect the usage patterns of two groups of customers. To insist that they do otherwise is to demand that the light-usage customers subsidize the heavy users. And this is exactly what happens in the DSL market anyway, where service providers charge different rates for different bandwidths.

Crispin Cowan, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, WireX Communications, Inc. [wirex.com]
Immunix: [immunix.org] Security Hardened Linux Distribution
Available for purchase [wirex.com]

Re:So What's the Problem? (1)

Martigan80 (305400) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954290)

Look, all they're doing is changing the bundling of their service to more closely reflect the usage patterns of two groups of customers. To insist that they do otherwise is to demand that the light-usage customers subsidize the heavy users.

You are absolutely correct. This is simple business at work. Sure they should have had a closer look to their contract, but they didn't figure on so many leeches on the band. So they are adjusting to curb down the BW pigs to make it more friendly for the rest.
The end result would be that the 70% of the normal users will get upset about their slow speed, and move some where else which-means a greater loss compared to pissing-off the BW pigs.

When Telus (fully) enters the DSL market in Ont (2, Interesting)

alpha1125 (54938) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954249)

When Telus (fully) enters the DSL market in Ontario, we should Ontarians should see some price competitions.

Telus is offering high speed [telus.net] DSL service for $79.95 (including modem)
Downstream speed up to 2.5 Mbps1
Upstream speed up to 640 Kbps
5 e-mail boxes
30 MB Webspace
5 dynamic IP addresses
Domain hosting - Included
6 GB/month Internet connection traffic (5 GB/month down, 1 GB/month up)
Unlimited hours with high-speed connection
10 hours dial access per month for when you're away from your high-speed connection, $1.50 per hour overtime
Expert technical support
Satisfaction guarantee

Now, Rogers is offering
128 Kbps UP/1.5 Mbps DOWN
1 ip
(don't know about email, cause I don't trust their server uptimes)
5 megs webpage
blah blah...

Bell DSl isn't much better, than rogers, other than it's DSL (you know the trade offs)

Personally I think the service stinks everywhere, and CRTC won't do anything about it, because it's not cable, radio, television, or telephone service. It's internet... which they are not monitoring, or governing, yet if ever.

Shaw cable, when there were in Ontario, was great, high speeds both up and down. Things didn't break too often to complain about.

Well... enough ranting... atleast we have choice... well ones that are close enough to a CO for DSL.

Wonder if Look.ca/Look.com (Look communications) still has wireless digital internet?

Horray for Ontarians and their choices:
1.) Bad [Bell]
2.) Bad, if not Worse [Rogers]
3.) Don't know yet, but will be coming soon [Telus]
4.) dead [Look]
5.) dialup [is this the same as 4?]
6.) high cost Small business DSL lines [misc companies, and really expensive for home use]

mean versus peak bandwidth (5, Interesting)

Swordfish (86310) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954261)

I really wish that everyone would distinguish
between mean and peak bandwidth.
The cost of provision to the ISP is the sum
of the means of the user bandwidths, plus a little
extra for the root mean square of the standard
deviation etc. The reason people get high bit-rate
access is because their demand has a high variance and their satisfaction depends on the response time. So as long as users have a reasonable mean demand, they should be happy.

Consider the example of telephones.
If everyone picks up the phone at midnight, they
won't all get the dial tone. That's called the principle of "statistical multiplexing".
This principle is also used in selling tomatos.
If everyone buys their tomatos at noon on Friday, then the tomato business will not work well.

But when it comes to the Internet, so many users think that the rules of arithmetic have been banished.

What the ISP needs is statistical shaping - that is, the user's packet priority should be directly related to the difference between the user SLA and their current mean demand for the last 30 minutes. When you use this algorithm, the hogs just automatically get cut out.

Re:mean versus peak bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954309)

If everyone buys their tomatos at noon on Friday, then the tomato business will not work well. [...] That's called the principle of "statistical multiplexing".

I think that the proper technical term for it is "meatspace slashdotting".

$80 A lot? (2, Insightful)

Deltan (217782) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954262)

$80/mo is still an amazing deal for 3Mbit down and 640K Up, which is what cable speeds run at in Canada typically. Currently it's $39.99/mo for 2 Dynamic IP's and until now there has been no stipulation about the amount of traffic you're allowed run over your connection. (This is Canadian dollars we're talking about here so it's like a nickel for you Americans)

It could go up another $100 and still be a sweet deal compared to any "Highspeed Business" solution out there. It would cost you a lot more than $80 for a T1 or something of that variety.

As a Canadian, I firmly believe we have no right to bitch about Highspeed internet. We've got it made compared to many other countries in the world.

Pfft.. $80.

Re:$80 A lot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954323)

I have no problems with bandwidth caps that are in place to prevent abuse of the system. Bandwidth hogs end up driving up the price for everyone but if the caps are in place to bleed every last nickel (American or otherwise) out of each user that doesn't make sense. One of the reasons I use high speed is because of the volume of data I access, if all I wanted to do was read web pages I would get a dial-up connection.

To say it's ok to increase the price simply because the cost is higher elsewhere doesn't make sense. By that logic McDonalds's should increase the price of the Big Mac to $20. In some third world countries it can cost up to two months salary for one Big Mac so relatively speaking $20 is a steal!

As for the Home to Business use comparison: The average business connection has a lot more users that spend a lot more time online.

Sounds like they are moving to a usage based fees. (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954265)

I pay over 90 bux a month for IDSL, thats ISDN, only 2x the speed of a modem! But its unlimited. ;)

80 bux for high speed access? Sounds damn good to me. The only thing that would concern me, is that they are lowering the monthly rate for low usage customers. This is needed to switch to a usage based system, and when they start doing that, it will really be down hill for us. Slashdot users are not the norm. Not many grannies downloading linux iso's or mp3s all month.

I wonder in 10 years, how many products will migrate from service to usage based fees.

Are you into the scene? www.scenemusic.net [scenemusic.net]

Re:Sounds like they are moving to a usage based fe (1)

puppetman (131489) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954311)

That's $80 Canadian, my friend.

At the current exchange rate, that's about $50 US. Currently, cable/DSL in Canada goes for about half that.

Re:Sounds like they are moving to a usage based... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954340)

youre definitely getting screwed, man.

my 3 roomies and I split 768Kbs - 1Mbs DSL, unlimited bandwidth, for 60 a month, or 15 for each of us. Time for you to find a new ISP =]

And on the other side of the coin... (1)

Bnonn (553709) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954267)

  • consumers will still be paying much lower prices than in the United States, where monthly bills range as high as the equivalent of $111.

A lot of people, like me in New Zealand where cable is non-existent, and apparently Usians too, would consider $80 a month to be pretty damn reasonable for high-speed, high-volume cable access. When did the idea of paying for what you use become so unfair? If you're a 35 year old housewife who just wants to check her email and have a connection for her kid son to play games online and chat to friends, would you want to be paying the same as someone who downloads three gigs of porn a night, every night?

The point is this: (2)

Apuleius (6901) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954271)

When I'm cruising for pr0n, it gets to me quickly. If all I do is cruise the Web during certain hours, I want my bits coming quickly, and at an affordable price. If however, I decide to set up a server and use up more bandwidth on average, then yes, I'll be willing to pay more. Better this than have rules of use against servers. (And yess, I'll slashdot-proof my box with mod_throttle).

hmm (1)

Zanek (546281) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954272)

I'm on the fence on this one. What does a company do when users start to eat of major chunks of bandwidth that start to eat into their revenue ?
People should definately be given lead way, but realistically, someone has to pay for the 2 gigs of pron your downloading at the end of the day.
I wonder what the people that bitch about this would say if Rogers said that they were about to go out of business because of the bandwidth hogs eating their revenue ?
Could you still be indignant ?
Just a thought ...

Its hard to compete... (1)

MikeLRoy (246462) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954273)

with $20/month dialup, once people realize that they only use their connection at home for checking email/news occationally.

That suits me fine! (1)

Ducon Lajoie (30475) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954274)

I could not be happier about such a move.
I like my cable modem for the always on factor, and for the occasionnal big download. I have my little router and I just enjoy having my LAN connected to the net with no fuss.
I don't plan on running a gnutella node anytime soon and I'm not a big *insert favorite mean of file transfer here* user.

They could even get a mean bandwidth usage factor in there, so people streaming audio to their machines woudn't be penalisez for the constant trickle.

If I could get a cheaper high speed, low latency, connection for cheap, I could not be happier.

Gentlemen, Start Your Editors... (1)

great throwdini (118430) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954277)

If this isn't a reason for Slashdot to ditch its crufty, table-laden markup for a modern, svelte approach to layout ... well, I don't know what is.

SlashdotLite isn't the solution. I'll even let Malda et al. keep their tables, just cut down on the cruft.

It's a joke. Laugh.

Canadian Dollar (1)

doubtless (267357) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954280)

A quick check of the currenty yeilds
80.00 CAD = 50.1078 USD

doesn't seems to bad as I am paying about $45 monthly for my cable access anyway.

As long as the service is up and you have a choice of other type of ISP services, I don't see a point to argue..

Organs? (1)

Scotch Game (442068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954281)

I can't think of any organs of mine, offhand, that I would let go for $80, much less broadband access. I still use a 56k modem, and I make my living (a good one at that) designing Web-oriented applications. I've never needed broadband for that. In fact, I've found it advantageous to avoid broadband in many cases for my development work.

Come to think of it ... Slashdot comes up just find a my normal 50.6k rate. Yahoo and Google both work. Salon comes up. Devshed, DevX, developerWorks, and OnLamp all come up. Even EOnline works fine.

MP3s are what, 5 to 6 MB on avg.?

Maybe Rogers just figured out what the rest of us already know. There's only one thing for which one really needs broadband in order to satisfy the requirements of very large downloads as well as a sense of very palpable urgency.


Give me high speed access or give me death.. (1)

xtremex (130532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954284)

I used to own a datacenter and bandwidth costs money. A T-3 is humorously known to cost a "Porsche a month". But as of now, I choose where I live depending on whether or not they have high speed internet access. If I can't afford it, I will give up FOOD to get my bandwidth :)
I can't conceive of using a modem. I've been too spoiled by having a T-1 piped to my house and then getting a cable modem. Dialup?? What's that?

selling organs? (1)

wyndigo (534813) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954298)

Look guys. Its not a free ride, someone has to pay for all that bandwidth. You have three choices:

1. keep the low cost high bandwidth until the provider goes bankrupt leaving you with nothing.

2. You raise prices across the board, and let the low bandwidth users subsidize the high end user.

3. You let the highend users pay for their heavy usage.

People in N. America have more or less been spoiled by their broad choices up to this point. Now its time to actually pay for the services you use. It is a free market. If they are actually overcharging then the situation should naturally right itself, but I suspect we will findout that this is just market normalization.


To the moron who submitted this article (1)

Moonwick (6444) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954301)

What's the point of selling high-speed internet access if you can't make enough money to cover the costs of said bandwidth?

Get a clue.

Yah, Well... (1)

puppetman (131489) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954305)

I read the same article. Rogers complained that 70% of the network capacity is being used by 10% of the users.

When you are downloading 10 gig a month, your broadband is effectively becoming a music store, a Blockbuster, and probably a porn theatre.

I have friends on Rogers/Shaw, and it's a constant stream of complains during peak hours, most likely due to bandwidth hogs.

Most commercial Internet providers for business charge by the gigabyte. Why shouldn't your consumer broadband provider?

But to be hypocritical, I download about 10 gig a month with Telus DSL. Fortunately, they have no plans to put this sort of cap it (it's in the rules, but not enforced). Probably to woo customers to their service.

Conversion... (3, Insightful)

MiTEG (234467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954312)

I hope you all realize that the current exchange rate is about $.625 for $1 Canadian. This of course means that $80 Canadian converts to $50.07 US. [yahoo.com] Not exactly a far cry from the $49.95 a month I fork over to ATTBI. Indeed, as the article states, some people in the U.S. pay as much as $111 Canadian, which is really $69.47 U.S. [yahoo.com]

Regardless, the bandwidth hogs will be exceed the amount they pay in terms of the cost of bandwidth. Assuming they have 1.5 Mb/s down and the cost of 1 GB is around $4 US [isp-planet.com] , about 16 GB/day can be downloaded and totaling upward of 450 GB/month. That's $1800/month providing access for a customer who pays only $50 a month. Granted, the cable ISP is most likely not paying the full T1 price for bandwidth, but even at 1/4 the utilization and 1/4 the price for bandwidth, the ISP is still losing money on these customers.

Sympatico too, allegedly (3, Interesting)

Malc (1751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954313)

Apparently Sympatico are also going to be imposing bandwidth caps, according to this rumour [google.com] . This hardly surprises me as these two companies seem to operate as a cartel when it comes to pricing. For those who don't know, Sympatico is the other big ISP in Ontario and Quebec, with a few hundred thousand more DSL subscribers than Rogers has cable subscribers.

Re:Sympatico too, allegedly (1)

halo8 (445515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954326)

do you really think sympatico is that much bigger? in Ottawa every one i know has cable

Backbone Providers (1)

bruthasj (175228) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954315)

I am surprised I haven't heard this yet, but let's take a look at the root of ISP costs. If anyone is going to revolt/protest, go direct to the backbone and trickle-down economics tells us that the realized prices by the Consumers will get lower. If they don't, then protest at that level.

Need more competition in the Backbone department.


I've been accused of hogging bandwidth (1)

BobSoros (544035) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954316)

And frankly I'm a little surprised when my service provider greeted me early one morning with this message. I run a small website that averages 3 hits day (more code red hits than real visitors.) The mail server takes in about 40-50 messages/day. Pop onto opennap every few days and download a few tunes. And have IRC running all the time.

I dont play quake, I dont run a porn site, I do share oggs on my website with friends but we're talking about 15-20 people that download on an infrequent basis.

So to sum it up, Well I dont know what these cable companies expect their users to do, maybe shut their machines off? I'm miffed and for the amount of money that I have to shell out for this "high speed" connection I'm about ready to go back to dialup.

A couple of points. (4, Offtopic)

farrellj (563) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954320)

First, and that $80 is Canadian, which is about $50 US.

Second, Videotron doesn't keep track of what type of traffice is incommig...so if you piss off someone, they can floodping you, and get get a bill for hundreds of dollars, and then they cut you off. They tried to say I downloaded 20 gig in a month...I don't think so! I don't know what other providers do ...but this potentially could be a big problem.


no DMCA in Canada (yet) (1)

halo8 (445515) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954330)

We dont have a DMCA in Canada. so when that /. story (that i couldnt find) about @home cutting news groups that affected us because we were @home. but when @home fell apart Rogers gave us access to ALL the news groups.. i mean have any of you ever heard of alt.binaries.cd.image ?? WOW!!! thank you @home for going under :)

course... no rogers is going to charge me for that :( oh well..

Carmack's Nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2954332)


What, will DooM ]I[ be able to beat that?! It LOOKS impossible, but one can always hope!

I'd pay it (2)

tester13 (186772) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954333)

$80 a month for fast service and no caps or throttles? I'd gladly pay it! What is even more interesting is this is Canadian money. I do not know anyone in the states that gets fast broadband for anywhere near that cheap.

It's $80 canadian! (1)

IRCsloth (512837) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954334)

That's like $45USD. I get digital cable, high speed (350kb/sec down, 150kb/sec up) internet, and telephone all from the cable company (www.eastlink.ca) for $99 a month, canadian funds. That's like $55 USD for all that service!! Plus the downloads are 2.5x T1 and uploads are equal to t1. Canadian broadband rocks!

Bandwidth Capping the Nice Way (1)

seanellis (302682) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954342)

Rather than doing it this way, why not just set a capacity cap which is enforced by bandwidth which starts out high and degrades slowly. For example, if you have a 128MB/day limit, you deliver the first 64MB at full rate, then next 32MB at half rate, the next 16MB at 1/4 rate, the next 8MB at 1/8 rate, etc.

You can save up unused capacity from one day to the next (up to a maximum limit?), and so on.

In this way, you put a limit on the heavy users and don't penalize those of us who need to get the odd 600MB Linux distro.

$80 Dollars? I can only *dream*..... (1)

MrBandersnatch (544818) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954344)

As a bandwidth hog myself ( I watch all my favorite TV shows on the web ) $80 sounds CHEAP. In the UK I pay about $70 US for 512k down, 256k up. 2MB/256K would cost me the equivilent of about $200 US per month.

I wish they would come over here and Roger me like they are doing the Canadians *grin*

Pay-Per-Megabyte... (2)

Tal Cohen (4834) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954346)

... is only a matter of time. (And it makes sense, too.)
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