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Internet Downloading Costs To Rise In Canada

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the all-that-hockey-streaming-gets-expensive dept.

Canada 433

An anonymous reader writes "According to CBC News, 'Surfing and downloading from the internet is about to get more expensive for many Canadians as internet companies Shaw and Primus have announced plans to impose new fees and caps on internet usage. Over the past year, the CRTC, Canada's communication regulator, let Bell and Rogers start charging extra for customers who download a lot of data. ... Primus and Shaw have said they will begin passing on higher fees to their customers beginning Feb. 1. Primus, for example, rents bandwidth on Bell's networks and said Bell is inflating the costs for everyone, including them. 'It's an economic disincentive for internet use,' said Matt Stein, vice-president of network services for Primus. 'It's not meant to recover costs. In fact these charges that Bell has levied are many, many, many times what it costs to actually deliver it.'"

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433 comments

I must be on the wrong site (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34809958)

You jelly, Canadians?

Hmmm, this doesn't LOOK like 4chan...

Re:I must be on the wrong site (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810050)

You jelly, Canadians?

Hmmm, this doesn't LOOK like 4chan...

/. pretty much is 4chan. Only difference is 4chan allows you to upload pictures and people tend to act a little less arrogant on 4chan.

Re:I must be on the wrong site (-1, Troll)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810162)

And they are not as smug nor as know-it-all either on /b/.

Re:I must be on the wrong site (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810306)

and the people of 4chan haven't attempted to commit murder or kill inmates, unlike you.

Re:I must be on the wrong site (1, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810222)

Only difference is 4chan allows you to upload pictures (...)

It's seems you're not familiar with 4chan's text boards [4chan.org] .

Re:I must be on the wrong site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810716)

Have you read your SICP lately?

Re:I must be on the wrong site (0)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810788)

text boards? 4chan has text boards? Hell, I thought the only thing worth looking at there was /k/ and /b/.

Don't worry (4, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34809972)

You can always switch to other providers. That's what Capitalism says. Corporations will never get large, agree together for certain things and therefore control the market directly.

No sir-ee.

Re:Don't worry (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810052)

But that's only part of the picture. Don't forget that as these companies prosper, the wealth will surely trickle down and benefit everyone. We can attribute the current strong economies and low unemployment rates, especially in the US, directly to the benefits of trickle-down economics.

Re:Don't worry (3, Funny)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810064)

It took me a while to realise that you're being satirical. I was going to write a point by point rebuttal.

Re:Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810450)

However taxes retard and reduce any significant trickle-down.

Re:Don't worry (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810600)

Mod parent up. Also, separation of wealth is important, because only the ultra-rich can be trusted to use their money to create jobs and invest in new ventures. It makes perfect economic sense.

Re:Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810486)

Compared against, say, France, the US actually does pretty well with its policies in terms of employment and wealth generation.

Consider the current economic situation in the US, which is about as well as France was doing before the crash.

Re:Don't worry (3)

IamTheBren (1935488) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810604)

France manages to provide excellent universal health care and other social services to its citizens. 40% of "wealth generation" in the US is from financial services, which is not "real" wealth, it's just the delicious candy coating around the bubble.

Re:Don't worry (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810720)

France manages to provide excellent universal health care and other social services to its citizens.

Considering that for a working class family of four here in the US, health care costs take more than 20% of their income (and as they age that number just goes up), I think it's fair to say the French are doing a LOT better. When a 65 year old American coal miner will face another 5 years of going down in the mine, or an unempolyed 59 year old is facing another 11 years of poverty I wonder how many of them will still think they're "doing better than the French".

And other countries with universal health care are even further along. Somehow, Israel manages to provide universal health care AND have a competitive economy based on innovation. Germany, of course, does even better (and they're one of the most pro-labor, pro-union countries in the world). You go from country to country in northern Europe, and they're way ahead of the US. Why do you think Canada makes it so hard for Americans to immigrate there? Because we'd double their population overnight.

You know, we hear a lot about all the "new conservatism" in the UK and Germany and Canada, but still, not one of these "new conservative" leaders is crazy enough to even suggest getting rid of universal health care. And they'll continue to retire earlier and work shorter weeks than Americans. Their economies will recover quicker, their standards of living will remain higher than that of the US, their health will be better, and they'll be happier. No wonder they look down on us.

Re:Don't worry (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810084)

You're assuming that the buyers in the market aren't satisfied with this bullshit. Blame it on them for paying these companies for their shitty service. The free market doesn't listen to complaints; it listens to money.

Re:Don't worry (4, Insightful)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810164)

Your forgetting, in many places, there isn't a choice. Its either your with company A or with... company A. They are the only option so either you buy their internet or you have no internet.

Re:Don't worry (5, Informative)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810654)

Yeah, we basically can only choose between Bell (phone) and Rogers (cable). The current regulation creates an illusion of competition by forcing Bell (and possibly Rogers as of late, I'm not sure what happened there) to provide wholesale access in some way to third parties. However, the CRTC isn't forcing Bell to offer access to the highest speeds of service, isn't preventing them from throttling the BitTorrent (et al) traffic from customers of third parties (e.g. TekSavvy), and is now allowing them to impose 60GB bandwidth caps on third party customers with big fees for going over. Basically, every possible differentiator for the third parties is being gradually eliminated by Bell. Meanwhile, Rogers made the news recently for trying so hard to throttle torrents that they're now throttling download traffic that is sometimes not even related to BitTorrent. We're not exactly third world, but our regulators are certainly failing us, and most people are too ignorant to make a fuss about it.

Re:Don't worry (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810668)

What else are they supposed to do? Go without internet access? I work from home. Having internet access is imperative. You might as well be suggesting that if you don't like high taxes, you should just put your money where your mouth is and be homeless and unemployed, so you can really stick it to them by not having to pay any income tax at all.

Re:Don't worry (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810740)

Company A or Company B, C both reselling A's network at best effort, more data, less data, faster for $ ect.

Re:Don't worry (-1, Offtopic)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810108)

You can always switch to other providers. That's what Capitalism says. Corporations will never get large, agree together for certain things and therefore control the market directly.

No sir-ee.

I think we should switch to Communism, where everything is controlled by the government so that there cannot possibly be any of that corporate corruption that's so prevalent in Capitalism. Where nobody will ever find themselves without everything they need for life and entertainment, and no one person will ever benefit more than anybody else.

No sir-ee.

Re:Don't worry (3, Informative)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810126)

I believe this particular logical fallacy is called a "false dichotomy". [wikipedia.org]

Re:Don't worry (-1, Flamebait)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810232)

I'm not the one that brought up the false dilemma. The argument has always been between Capitalism and Communism (and the in-between-but-more-leaning-towards-communism Socialist system).

But I'll entertain other ideas as well for the sake of not being accused of committing logical fallacy on an internet website.

I think we should switch to Anarchism, where the market is completely uncontrolled because there is no controlling entity so that there cannot possibly be any of that corruption that's so prevalent in government. Where nobody will ever be struck down by The Man and we can all live in huts and grow our own food without being bothered by anybody but the gangs of people out to steal all our shit.

I think we should switch to Feudalism, where those born into elite families get everything they could ever want while the 95% of the population that aren't so lucky get to grovel at their feet in hopes of getting some table scraps to feed our families.

I think we should switch to Mutualism, where only those who work the hardest will earn the most. We don't need such foolish things as innovation and enterprise, because busting your ass is the only thing that matters. There will also be no governing entities, but in order to maintain such a system, we will need a governing entity to manage the labor.

Anything else you'd like to add, Mr. Ignoramus?

Re:Don't worry (3, Interesting)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810476)

Since organization of human societies can be completely arbitrary, there are literally an infinite number of possible permutations.

Anything from religious communes all the way to totalitarian corporate empires.

I sense however that you somehow, for reasons probably personal, have invested all your ego into "solutions" based on philosophies that center on individual greed as being the cure-all for all ills of humanity as the only possibility.

May I point out that the level of happiness of the members of a society is the only criterion of its success, and that, for example, "innovation" and "enterprise" are four letter words to people whose existence becomes unhappy because of them.

So ultimately it does not matter how the society is organized, as long as its members are happy with the state of affairs. And this is the point a lot of hard-core ideologues, like yourself, seem to forget. A "primitive" agrarian society that has 90%+ of happy members is in actuality far superior to a high-tech empire where 90% of people are depressed in their pan-global-information-network interface equipped climate-controlled apartments complete with automated anti-depressant dispensers.

But then again all this is probably entirely lost on you, because greed-centered world-views have a way of making their victims evaluate everything only in terms of amassing of possessions and the degree of power one has over others and so consequently you probably cannot be happy until someone else is enslaved and in pain. And so all your scenarios revolve around that theme.

The obvious and universal solution is to create multiple societies so that people can choose one that fits them best and then work on making those people and their society mesh to maximum of their potential, rather then trying to force your one-size-fits-all, simplistic pet solution down everyone else's throat.

Re:Don't worry (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810594)

The obvious and universal solution is to create multiple societies so that people can choose one that fits them best and then work on making those people and their society mesh to maximum of their potential, rather then trying to force your one-size-fits-all, simplistic pet solution down everyone else's throat.

Y'know, there ARE multiple societies on this planet. If you don't like the way ours works, go choose one that fits you best.

If you think that America should make room for whatever new political philosophy rears its ugly head and allow them to live in total separation from all the other political philosophies for the sake of carrying out the "obvious and universal solution" (that combination of words sounds so Orwellian that I can actually hear Wallace Breen saying it right now) and not forcing our "one-size-fits-all, simplistic pet solution down everyone else's throat" then you are completely delusional and need psychiatric attention.

Re:Don't worry (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810870)

The argument has always been between Capitalism and Communism

You mean the argument in your head?

What is it about the "in-between" that makes it invisible to you? What happened to you growing up that made you only see some extremes that don't even really exist? A true Communist state is no more possible than a "free market"? They're both fantasies of ideologues. Most of the world lives in the real world, in the "in-betweens" between having a bureaucrat tell you where to line up for breakfast and having to fight your neighbors to the death to get your breakfast.

But somehow, you live in a world where there are only two ideas, both imaginary, and RIGHT NOW! you have to decide between them forever, Black or White, Up or Down, Hot or Cold.

One of the things that you end up missing, unfortunately, is the huge problem you have by making this binary fantasy the guiding principle of your life.

Get help, friend. I'm in a charitable mood so I'm not going to call you names or say you're stupid or anything. But don't let yourself stay stuck this way. It's no way to live.

Re:Don't worry (-1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810638)

LOL -1 OFFTOPIC.

Adjective
off-topic (comparative more off-topic, superlative most off-topic)
1. Not related to the matter under discussion.
2. Slashdotism Anything that does not conform to the general consensus; against the groupthink.

Re:Don't worry (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810760)

I think we should switch to Communism, where everything is controlled by the government

How 'bout instead we switch to whatever it is they've got in Germany, Denmark, Sweden? Why is it that you are only able to see our system vs soviet-style communism?

Wait... you've never been outside the US, have you? Geez, man, I'm sorry. I shouldn't pick on you since you just don't know any better.

Never mind.

Re:Don't worry (0)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810866)

I think we should switch to Communism, where everything is controlled by the government

How 'bout instead we switch to whatever it is they've got in Germany, Denmark, Sweden? Why is it that you are only able to see our system vs soviet-style communism?

Wait... you've never been outside the US, have you? Geez, man, I'm sorry. I shouldn't pick on you since you just don't know any better.

Never mind.

The United States is massive compared to those tiny countries. We would completely collapse under their pseudo-socialist forms of government and economy. And don't act like they don't have problems of their own resulting from such things.

Re:Don't worry (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810132)

True, as Communism is working great for North Korea. Just look at how cheap and plentiful their bandwidth is.

Re:Don't worry (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810186)

Communism is working great for China. They are becoming a major world power and if I remember right, they have great internet service (might be censored, but still a good speed at a decent for them price).

Re:Don't worry (4, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810274)

Communism is working great for China. They are becoming a major world power and if I remember right, they have great internet service (might be censored, but still a good speed at a decent for them price).

Their Communism is working great because our Capitalism is over there injecting billions of dollars into their dead economy. Would you like to live in China (as an average Joe Schmo citizen that's not in a position of particular wealth or power)? I sure as fuck wouldn't. And that there is proof enough that their system doesn't work.

Re:Don't worry (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810314)

Actually it's China that has injected billions of dollars into the US. [washingtonpost.com] There Communism is what has been keeping the US's Capitalism alive. China is also a very fast growing economy, not a 'dead economy'. [go.com]

Re:Don't worry (2)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810508)

Actually it's China that has injected billions of dollars into the US. [washingtonpost.com] There Communism is what has been keeping the US's Capitalism alive. China is also a very fast growing economy, not a 'dead economy'. [go.com]

You don't seem to realize that all this has only happened in the last 3 decades. Yes, China's government has given our government a bunch of loan money, but their government got all the money with which to give us loans from our private sector. Not their private sector. Their private sector has no fucking money. It's their government that has money. Their economy doesn't have any money, our economy is giving them money. And their government (and the government-controlled and government-controlling coporations) keep it all (and loan it back to us).

Their economy was completely stagnant before we started producing fucking everything in China 30 years ago, and without us it would return to its sorry state, because they don't know how to survive without us. They don't have any innovation of their own. They only know how to control their people and use the money that they get from us.

Yay Communism!

Re:Don't worry (3, Interesting)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810698)

The US may have started China's economic growth, but if they lost the US's business now, they would still have you by the balls. They've used the last couple of decades to reverse-engineer everything worth reverse engineering, and I'd be surprised if they couldn't sustain themselves and their economy going forward.

Re:Don't worry (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810706)

You don't seem to realize that all this has only happened in the last 3 decades. Yes, China's government has given our government a bunch of loan money, but their government got all the money with which to give us loans from our private sector.

Citation needed.

Not their private sector. Their private sector has no fucking money.

Thats why the next investment wave from China is coming from it's private sector. Because they are broke... [findarticles.com]

It's their government that has money. Their economy doesn't have any money, our economy is giving them money. And their government (and the government-controlled and government-controlling coporations) keep it all (and loan it back to us).

They have been deregulating a lot of that in that past few years. No, their government doesn't control everything, their economy has money.

without us it would return to its sorry state, because they don't know how to survive without us.

Considering their global investments, I doubt it. [heritage.org]

Re:Don't worry (3, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810836)

You don't seem to realize that all this has only happened in the last 3 decades. Yes, China's government has given our government a bunch of loan money, but their government got all the money with which to give us loans from our private sector.

Citation needed.

Find the nearest object to your person. Locate "Made in China" imprint.

Not their private sector. Their private sector has no fucking money.

Thats why the next investment wave from China is coming from it's private sector. Because they are broke... [findarticles.com]

The wealthy businessmen in the private sector aren't broke, you're right. The teenagers working for technology manufacturing aren't broke, you're right. Everybody else is broke, though. There is a major income inequality between the rich and the poor in China, and you thought it was bad in the US.

It's their government that has money. Their economy doesn't have any money, our economy is giving them money. And their government (and the government-controlled and government-controlling coporations) keep it all (and loan it back to us).

They have been deregulating a lot of that in that past few years. No, their government doesn't control everything, their economy has money.

Deregulating a lot of what? What are you talking about? Are you trying to say that the Chinese government is voluntarily dropping their stranglehold on the Chinese economy and selling the huge numbers of shares they have in nearly every powerful Chinese corporation? Are you simple?

without us it would return to its sorry state, because they don't know how to survive without us.

Considering their global investments, I doubt it. [heritage.org]

I do submit that at this point, yes, China could survive on their own without us. They couldn't have ten years ago, and the only reason they can now is because we keep pumping more and more of our GDP into China's economy.

Re:Don't worry (1)

fey000 (1374173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810852)

Haha, you are fantastic! Is there anything you actually do know, or does this wellspring of knowledge stem entirely from your extremist ideology?

And also to remember (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810580)

There are really two Chinas. The China you hear about is the urban China. It is a few cities across their eastern seaboard mostly. They are quite developed over all, and have a good deal of modern conveniences, though their pollution and other health issues are rather severe. This is actually the minority of China though. The rest of China is rural China where people are still, in a very real way, peasants. They have no medical care, no education, and live very much a subsistence living. This is the reason people will put up with the poor health/environmental conditions in the city, because that is far preferable to rural life.

China has a massive divide, and as you accurately point out is hardly communist at all. It is a major capitalist system, and in some ways a fascist system in that the government has major stakes in many companies.

China is, if anything, an example of a failure of communism and a success of capitalism, though to what extent you consider it a success may vary depending on your perspective and priorities.

Re:Don't worry (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810318)

China is not communist, contrary to what any authority might tell you. Under communism there is no economic stratification, and the state eventually withers away and dies.

Re:Don't worry (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810410)

Communism is working great for China.

As long as you don't count the happiness of the people living in the country...

Re:Don't worry (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810596)

China has only just been growing for a few years now. For the people to really feel the effects it takes more years after the growth happens. In fact Their people are in better shape, a lot better, in 20 years. Poverty was at around 84% in the mid 80's. In 2005 it was 16%. [economist.com] Chinas middle class has also been rising. [seekingalpha.com] While they might not be at the levels of the western world yet, they are getting big and better with much investment by their own countries infrastructure is only going to help them more.

Re:Don't worry (2)

digitallife (805599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810244)

Communism isn't the only alternative to capitalism. In fact, capitalism isn't a single beast but a slough of different ideologies and practices. Personally i think the major problem is the size of modern corporations. Our corporate and political environment favors large corporations, so the market tends towards ever larger and larger mega multi national corps. Unfortunately those corps are really the worst offenders, and the most resilient to market forces, meaning they don't give a shit about you or what you do.

What we need is to limit corporation sizes, keeping them small in size and breaking them up when they get too big. Keep everything else the same, and simply introduce legislation to limit corporation size, and i think a lot of the current problems will sort themselves out.

Re:Don't worry (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810310)

As IgnoramusMaximus said above, that's called a false dichotomy. First, there are other political lines besides Communism. Second, even "Communism" itself can't be defined - there are multiple schools of thought on it. NK follows a Stalinist line, which isn't at all the only possible.

The core principle of council communism is that the state and the economy should be managed by workers' councils, composed of delegates elected at workplaces and recallable at any moment. As such, council communists oppose state-run "bureaucratic socialism". They also oppose the idea of a "revolutionary party", since council communists believe that a revolution led by a party will necessarily produce a party dictatorship. Council communists support a workers' democracy, which they want to produce through a federation of workers' councils.

Re:Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810360)

how can you compare Capitalism to Communism? The first is a form of Economy, and the other is a form of government. If your going to compare it to something how about socialism.

Governments tend (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810312)

to make it near impossible for other competitors to get into many markets, before mocking the system you need to realize how many times it is the government which makes it not viable for competitors to enter an existing market. A great example is personal health insurance in the US, where the Federal Government has prevented people from buying insurance across state lines. Related to this article, in my locality, the larger city here is exclusively one provider because they cut a deal for the government sites screwing the people in the area. As in, we will get you excused from pole taxes and such if you provide us service to these buildings.

Welcome to byproducts of regulation.

Re:Don't worry (1)

kenshin33 (1694322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810334)

which provider you're talking about ????? Every single f*** DSL serving ISP depends on f*** BELL/TELLUS for last mile. last CRTC decision on this topic was a GO for UBB. Want cable ??? it's either Rogers or Videotron.
Big 4 lobbied to get UBB and now every fucking last customer is going to taste it.
So again where is that provider you're talking about ??? Unless we're rich enough to be your own ISP/Lobby CRTC ... we're SCREWED.

Re:Don't worry (2)

armer (533337) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810634)

Once again, I am reminded of the scariest words in the English language: Hi, I'm from the government. I am here to help...

Re:Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810842)

Why do people always use that argument? I've never lived anywhere that I had more than one Internet access option. Unless you consider dial-up an option.

Not surprising, with the Conservatives in power. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34809974)

This isn't surprising at all, with the Conservatives in power. They somehow trust the "free market" to work, yet this is always the result. The consumer gets fucked over again and again and again and again.

What's needed is real government regulation. Not this perverse sort of Conservative "regulation" where they basically enable these companies to fuck over consumers.

Re:Not surprising, with the Conservatives in power (2)

Jim Robinson Jr. (853390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810116)

With all due respect to the anti-conservative/capitalistic commentary (which has a lot of apparent validity) this type of situation occurs BECAUSE of government regulation... not because of insufficient regulation. At least in the US, governments have permitted and even encouraged monopolistic business practices that restrict the free market and customer choice. Whether traditional carriers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) or traditional cable (Comcast, etc.) they all have PURCHASED - FROM THE GOVERNMENT - an exclusive territorial provider contract. That means that the very government that should be encouraging competition is in fact allowing the exact opposite. Because we consider ourselves more civilized, we no longer call this graft, corruption, bribery, etc. Instead we bury our collective heads in the sand, take the contract purchase dollars, and tell ourselves that its OK. Isn't it great that we are so good at lying to ourselves?

As a free-market capitalist, and traditional conservative, what I want to see is governments getting OUT of market control. Once there are multiple real choices in providers, with the associated competition for customers, we will see this disturbing trend reverse itself.

Re:Not surprising, with the Conservatives in power (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810282)

That's a false dichotomy. We have the regulations necessary to prevent that abuse, it's just that the typical conservative view point is to take the government out of regulating it and to leave the regulators out of it.

The bigger issue which you're ignoring is that it's not cheap to do that last mile. The only reason why anybody did it was for a monopoly control over to guarantee that they'd be paid back for extending into territory that wasn't necessarily profitable.

You're not going to get a change by taking the government out of it, unless by change you mean change for the worse in terms of price and availability.

Re:Not surprising, with the Conservatives in power (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810346)

Do you actually know if this is the situation in Canada, or are you simply spouting off without any knowledge?

Yes, stupid regulation has made the situation worse in the USA. Here in the EU, there is strong regulation and our (Portugal) bandwidth caps have risen through the years until they're not "unlimited" (well, it seems some ISPs have those undefined fair use policies), and we have *more* competition due to regulation (a huge telecommunications company was cut in two, and each offer competing services now).

Re:Not surprising, with the Conservatives in power (2)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810838)

I don't think that's the situation in Canada, but it doesn't matter, Internet access is a natural monopoly: it doesn't make economic sense for some other competitor to come in and build a big fiber network in the hopes of stealing business from the established players. The free market makes sense in situations where there are low barriers to entry, because in those cases, if profits are high, more competition will enter the market. It's obviously not going to be efficient to have e.g. competing fiber networks, so free market capitalism is not an efficient way to facilitate investment in network infrastructure. Governments should recognize this and deal with it accordingly.

Re:Not surprising, with the Conservatives in power (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810652)

I agree, in concept, but do you really believe any broadband companies would have laid all that cable if it hadn't been subsidized by the tax payers? I doubt even one would have, much less enough to generate actual competition. I don't know what alternatives there may have been, given that.

Re:Not surprising, with the Conservatives in power (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810790)

This has been happening for years. Long before the Conservatives wrestle the country away from the Liberals. Just take a look at the state of the Canadian cell phone market. Makes me want to move to another country in Asia or Europe where I can get fiber pulled right to my door for half of what Bell or Rogers charges for copper here.

Seriously? (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34809978)

'It's an economic disincentive for internet use,' said Matt Stein, vice-president of network services for Primus.

Translation: "We are discouraging you from using our product." What VP in their right mind says that? I may disagree with them, though I understand why a company might want to get extra cash, but to come right out and say that this new change will make their service less desirable is just bizarre.

Re:Seriously? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810014)

He's VP of a company that leases from Bell and is having the price increase imposed upon them.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810022)

My parents already pay 50$ a month for internet with shaw, you are telling me its not already excessive enough to cover the downloading? I am definitely getting them to switch, despite them being a customer for around 7 or 8 years.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810030)

Welcome to the wonderful world of regional monopolies and oligopolies. What he's really saying is, "Our industry has decided that we, the CEO's, should compete on how many jets we buy next year. Therefore, we are increasing our profits by boning you, the consumer. You have no alternative to our products, and the government has decided not to get involved. We can charge you whatever we want. Now, for my next trick, your contract says you have to bend over and drop your pants."

Re:Seriously? (3, Informative)

drosboro (1046516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810044)

'It's an economic disincentive for internet use,' said Matt Stein, vice-president of network services for Primus.

Translation: "We are discouraging you from using our product." What VP in their right mind says that?

Umm, a VP who is upset with the company he's renting bandwidth from. Primus is making Bell out to be the "bad guys", hence the comment.

Re:Seriously? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810750)

That's exactly right. All the little guys are pissed at bell. Initially, it was because bell started throttling download speeds even on the bulk-bandwidth it sold to other providers if they thought it might be P2P traffic. One of those companies - Acanac - said fuck that shit, and created an SSL gateway to allow their technically-minded customers to get around the throttling. Now Bell seems to have won the right to not only throttle speeds, but also charge extra based on usage. It's retarded. This is exactly the opposite of free-market capitalism - the "alternative companies" have basically become just an extension of the Bell marketing and tech-support departments.

Hmmm..... (2)

rts008 (812749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810100)

I read that as:
Primus VP delivers a verbal jab at Bell, Bell having raised its rates, which Primus is going to happily pass on to its customers.

On second look, it still appears to be a bizarre, mixed message....

How Many Affected? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810016)

Not until the very last line of the article do we read, "Currently, only a small percentage of users download enough data to hit these new caps. But many fear these fees will soon apply to everyone as the internet becomes more video based."

This writeup isn't too useful without stating the caps, nor the percentage who currently exceed them.

As for the percentage who may exceed them in, say, 3 years... well, it's the future, a lot could change including the caps themselves.

Re:How Many Affected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810150)

The current cap is 60GB, but Bell already filed another provision for 25GB while in the middle of the approval process.

Now what is there to stop them to decrease that usage cap to 2GB?

Competition from 3G (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810640)

Now what is there to stop [cable companies] to decrease that usage cap to 2GB?

The fact that even cell phone companies offer 5 GB/mo, and you don't even have to be at home to use it.

Re:How Many Affected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810152)

the caps are 20gb/month as per bells latest filing with the crtc. they used to be 60gb on bells network.

Re:How Many Affected? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810700)

the caps are 20gb/month as per bells latest filing with the crtc. they used to be 60gb on bells network.

Yeow. The 20GB/mo plan better be cheap. If the webpage I just check is to be believed, Netflix streaming is almost 2 GB/hr (or 3 for HD). I just tallied my family's Netflix streaming for the last from Dec 9 through Jan 8 and got 22 hours, so figure 50 GB. And that's not counting Youtube (which my kids watch quite a bit) or the occasional paid streaming movie from Amazon. Then Internet phone (ooma). I suppose good old fashioned email and web browsing still add a little more too.

I grouse at Comcast for not lowering prices as networking technology improves, but our bandwidth usage probably went up by a factor of 5 when we got an Internet-enabled TV.

Re:How Many Affected? (2)

seifried (12921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810182)

I doubt that. I have been a Shaw customer for over a decade (they are slightly less evil than Telus). In the time from when I first got Shaw high speed cable Internet my desktop went from a 486DX2/66 with 8 megs of ram and a 100 meg HD to a quad core AMD with 8 gigs of ram with a 120 gig SSD and a terabyte HD. In other words almost exactly 1000 times faster/more ram/storage/etc.

On the other hand my high speed cable Internet connection (roughly the same cost plan) has gone from 10 megabits download and 1 megabit upload with no caps to ... wait for it... 15 megabits download and 1 megabit upload with a cap of 100 Gigabytes/month.

In other words I can use my Internet connection at full speed for about 15.2 hours a month before I hit my cap.

I'm sure in ten years it'll be MUCH better.

Re:How Many Affected? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810302)

Wait, you had a 486DX and you had broad band? I assume that wasn't a computer that you were using for the purposes of being anachronistic. We didn't get the option of high speed until about a decade or so ago, and the speed has changed little if at all in that time.

Government of Canada finding new ways to suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810040)

Finding new ways to suck at developing high tech industries is something at which the government of Canada excels.

Root Cause (5, Insightful)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810114)

The root problem here is the monopoly on infrastructure owned by a company that also provides services. For years now, other competitors offered uncapped DSL using Bell's infrastructure, while Bell offered a fraction of the bandwidth for much greater prices (and hassles.) I guess enough people woke up and started switching away from Bell's native service and jumped to other providers. And naturally, Bell uses their governmental friends to kill the competition, instead of, you know, competing and improving their services. BELL CANADA IS THE WORST COMPANY IN ALL OF CANADA. BELIEVE IT.

For much of the most densely populated area of Canada, Bell and Rogers own both the infrastructure and provide services to end users. I don't think that should be permitted. Companies should not be able to perform both functions. This is already what happened in our electricity industry in Ontario, when Ontario Hydro was broken up into separate generation and transmission entities.) Bell continues to use the CRTC, which is an impotent and ineffectual organization that seems to be on the leash of the same politicians that decided their friends at Bell would get a monopoly, to prevent other organizations from laying down wires underground in new residential developments.

This problem would not exist if a real competitive market was in place.

I am continually surprised by the amount of energy that Bell puts in to creative marketing, customer disservice, finding ways of adding hidden fees, and downright screwing people. If they just put a fraction of their efforts into actually improving their services, they would actually be a competitive company. But wait, they aren't interested in fair competition. Bell just wants passive income through forced usage of their monopolistic network.

By the way, it bears repeating again, Bell Canada is THE WORST COMPANY IN ALL OF CANADA. I am seriously not joking. Imagine the incompetence, bureaucracy and arrogance of government incorporated into a business. Add the fact that it's their intent to screw you at every turn and "accidentally" add 48 month contracts onto every deal that to which you've never agreed, and for which they somehow lost the audio recording of that CSR's call. That's Bell. They're like government for much of the Canadian population because you pretty much HAVE TO USE THEM because they own the wires.

*Note for other Canadians: I am fully aware of the other Telus / MTS / and other monopolies outside of Ontario/Quebec.

Re:Root Cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810332)

Bell Canada is THE WORST COMPANY IN ALL OF CANADA

Jesus Christ, you guys have it pretty good up there!

Re:Root Cause (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810780)

Bell Canada is THE WORST COMPANY IN ALL OF CANADA

I dunno, Rogers is giving them a run for their money. It's hard to decide which one is more incompetent / corrupt / douchebag-y.

I wonder... (5, Insightful)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810122)

How much does this have to do with things like Netflix now being in Canada? [arstechnica.com] Not to mention other things like slowly more and more games being sold digitally for the XBox360, PS3, PC/Mac (Steam, Mac App Store), iTunes movies, ect.. These are all using more and more data and I think they are wanting to capitalise on the digital download bandwagon. They watched Rogers do this and hey, it didn't hurt Rogers so the others are just following suit thinking "If they can do it and make more money for nothing, why not us?" And what is the caps? Anyone can say that only a small percent of users hit these caps, but that could also be based on just a rough estimate of "users typically do basic web surfing and check email, meaning they should only need 5-10 gigs max a month". Helps make gov look the other way by making baseless claims like that.

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34810376)

It's got everything to do with it. I called Shaw to complain, and they said '...services like Netflix cost us a lot of money...'

I'm pretty sure they want to curb everyone from subscribing to a better TV service than what they broadcast. Not to mention the iTunes etc of the world. Broadcast TV is in trouble, my friends, and the cable companies are starting to realize it.

Re:I wonder... (2)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810462)

Reminds me of the channel line up a few years ago. Suddenly all the popular channels (cartoon channel, Comedy Network, the movie channels, ect...) were made part of the more expensive tier ($10 a month more to re-gain the same channels). When I called to question why it was happening, I was told that those were being moved to a higher tier to save me money since nobody watched those channels except for a small part of the population and by doing this they could offer me better channels for the same price (channels no one watched). Canceled Shaw the same day. I guess this is their next answer since no doubt more people people canceled their Shaw accounts (many people had canceled when they shifted the channels, they said that it had been a PR nightmare. Why they also started to spam their commercials of "We don't make you sign a contract" ones. Too bad 6 months of Shaws non-contract was the same price as a years worth of Telus contract and Telus had a better channel selection). Shaw is killing itself with greed and they want to kill any alternative.

Re:I wonder... (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810626)

I think you misunderstood what they meant. Netflix doesn't cost them a lot of money, because of bandwidth. It costs them a lot of money, because people would rather ditch their cable television service in favor of Netflix.

Re:I wonder... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810612)

I don't think it matters. This isn't about scarcity. It's about cash. I have Comcast and as a residential customer, I can't use more than 250gb/mo. Supposedly, because I'd be impacting those around me who also need to use the service. However, for an extra $40/mo, I can get a business account and now I use a couple terabytes and nobody even blinks an eye. Even though it's on the same network, the same pipes, the same address, the same building, and the same neighborhood and supposedly "impacting" the same people.

Re:I wonder... (1)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810696)

Actually Bell setup usage caps first, rogers followed suit 3 months later, bell are assholes for trying it, rogers is an asshole for following.

Re:I wonder... (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810848)

How much does this have to do with things like Netflix now being in Canada?

Probably a lot. My father recently decided that he was tired of paying $100 a month for his Bell Satellite TV, and would rather pay $8 a month for Netflix. I crunched some numbers for him and showed him that he'd have to spend at least an extra $20 per month on his internet connection, and that's assuming that his household goes through only an average of 2 hours of SD TV per day. I'm guessing that was their intent - charge ridiculous amounts for bandwidth in order to keep their customers from abandoning their satellite-based TV offering.

Bell Canada (3, Informative)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810128)

Bell is just a terrible company. Unfortunately, at some point, pretty much every ISP has to buy product from Bell. They had it so easy for so long, and now their competition is taking them down and they are having major suck fits. They also got fined 1.3 Million dollars for calling people on the do not call registry. Looks good on them. I would rather not have a phone or internet than buy anything from Bell.

Re:Bell Canada (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810320)

I've got a similar problem here in Seattle. My options come down to Comcast or Qwest. Technically, I could go with Hughes or Clear, but the latency on those suck.

I've heard that Sonic is really good, but they aren't available in this region because of the company controlling the infrastructure. All the other options suck or suck and are expensive. I think Speakeasy is probably the best alternative at the moment, but the speeds aren't really any higher and the cost is at least double what I'm paying now. Even if you factor in for moving phone service to them.

Bell is evil (3, Informative)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810160)

Bell already owns the majority of pipe in Ontario, and they deliberately restrict pipe for end users of the ISPs that lease bandwidth from them. It's done entirely to make Bell's half-assed service look better.

Rise is an understatement. (5, Informative)

semicolin (1973084) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810268)

The cap is pretty much universally 40GB with overage fees around CAD$3.00/GB. Some providers cap the overage fees and cut off service (possibly illegal for VoIP providers) whilst others don't and just rack up the charges. The actual tariff has not yet been finalized but that's the standard figure being pushed by providers who have started billing already. I'm with Acanac who hasn't started billing, has no caps, has declared that they have no intention to add them and is fighting Bell both at the commission and in the media.

This is a direct result of Netflix hitting the Canadian market a few months ago as it competes directly with Rogers and Bell, the two largest ISPs who happen to also be the two largest cable and satellite providers. Netflix HD movies take around 4GB each and a couple hours of TV programs is about the same. If you are in the habit of watching two hours of TV a night then you'll easily go over 100GB in a month. Bell wants to blame this on piracy but the fact of the matter is that this is perfectly legal and normal usage.

Internet connections used to be faster and cheaper and the providers were rolling in cash. We've seen price hikes, throttling, and severe curtailing of progress. The current government is clueless on the portfolio but wants the market to sort it out- the only problem is that we don't have one and the regulatory commission is stacked with former Bell/Rogers execs with active financial interests in the company. It's a blatant conflict of interest but the conservative government claims they're powerless.

Re:Rise is an understatement. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810588)

That's absurd. I easily go through 40gb/day. There are two of us in my house and between netflix, podcasts, video podcasts, sites like GiantBomb and their HD content, streaming radio, off site backup services, VPN to work, videogames, Steam, and so on . . . you consume a lot of data. And again, we're only two people.

The average person watches something like six hours of television a day. If they're watching Netflix, instead, that's twelve gigabytes of content per day. Per person. If you're a family of four, that's 48gb/day just for Netflix.

Hell, I just installed Dragon Age and Team Fortress onto my new box via Steam and that was close to 30gb, combined. And if I had already hit some limit and they were going to charge me $3/gb, that would have cost me $90 on top of the cost of the two games.

Just like text messaging... (1)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810276)

As the cost of transmitting large amounts of data goes down due to new technologies, the price of access either stays the same or goes up. This is the exact same as text messaging. It costs the cell phone companies in Canada hardly anything yet they charge users a fortune to do it (0.30$ per inbound or outbound message in most cases).

Re:Just like text messaging... (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810792)

THe naked truth is that the so called SMS for you are the so called "garbage" for the telecomunication company :) The result is that we are paying for something that is worth exectly nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Contradictions. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810504)

Why doesn't anyone call these providers on their bullshit claims of things like "five percent of users consume 95% of the traffic" and "the average user only checks their email and reads the news paper online"? If the average user consumes almost no bandwidth whatsoever, then there should be plenty of bandwidth available for the "few" heavy users to use.

The real cost... (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810684)

1.Everybody is talking about free market.....hey, guys, do you really know what FREE MARKET is???? Dont answer me, check the dictionary. 2.I used to use Rogers when their cap limit was 60gb, and i always end up paying the maximum fine (which is $50 no matter how much you download) for downloading over it. 3.Rogers made the cap 25GB, at wich point i said enough is enough and switched to Teksavvy. 4.Now i am paying the same $40 for the same package, but with 200GB limit....and that is really enough for me :) 5.During my research of alternative provider, i found out that Teksavvy is paying $19/month to Rogers for unlimited internet access, and that Rogers cannot just like that rise this "rent" (government regulated), and that they cannot refuse to rent it to anyone.... 6.Rogers/Bell are not happy with this regulations, and now they are trying to push a bill which shortly says that they will have the roght to NOT lend their new optical network.......if you have imagination, tell what will happen. 7.The current regulations for any new startup company, willing to become ISP are so heavy and expensive that if you dont already have the network, you could never possibly be able to build your own...... 8.This my comrades, is called COMMUNISM, not capitalism, capitalism exists only in your wet dreams (and mine too) 9.The so called "last line" is not as expensive as you are willing to beleive. In an area as dense as GTA for example, you need to have only about 1000 cutomers in order to give them optical, i repeat, OPTICAL network, with all the consequencies (fast internet, and evern faster intranet if you want to have it, for the customers of the same ISP of course). Just imagine, an intranet with 1000 computers.........

Regulatory Capture. (4, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810708)

Regulatory Capture [wikipedia.org] is the name for what is going on here. The USA suffers from it in many industries and Canada is not far behind. Lobbying is how it started and now you have organizations like the RIAA basically writing their own laws. The government is supposed to step in and put their foot down when a provider (especially since the providers are virtual monopolies in most places) begins to charge the "many, many, many" times more rate than their cost. We're being fleeced and our government is complicit in it.

No caps...but throttling (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34810800)

I remember when we had unlimited internet a while ago. Yet companies had throttling.
Then people complained about throttling. Today we have all these bandwidth caps.

Yes I work in networking... I know about peering costs and the limits of bandwidth.
Yes, you cannot have everyone maxing out their data all the time.

However, having dealt with ISPs many times at the vendor level, I had a very bad feeling when throttling fell out of favor for bandwidth caps.

I would rather have had them keep throttling. It keeps consumers paying a fixed rate. And networks can compete with their network management.
I remember people would switch if Bell was throttling, but Rogers wasn't... or they'd go to TekSavvy... or something.

I would dare say the government should step in and ban bandwidth limits. Every internet plan should be unlimited... and the ISP can throttle the USER... not on type of data... but the user.
That way networks that are managed well will attract more users.

But that would be a simple 1 line piece of sensible legislation.
Can't happen in any country :P

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