Most Canadians who are up in arms over this are missing the point. The ministry is missing the point. Bandwidth caps are GOOD. They provide the proper incentive structure for both consumer and ISP. On the consumer side, you can pick an appropriate plan that allows for only the amount of bandwidth that you need, resulting in more effective market segregation. This means low-use consumers don't need to subsidize high-use consumers. On the ISP side, the incentive is to provide as fast a connection as possible to encourage usage and excess usage.
A little publicized fact about the recent CRTC rulings is that bandwidth caps are classified as an economic Internet Traffic Management Practice (ITMP). Throttling, DPI, etc, are classified as technical ITMPs. The CRTC is trying to encourage economic ITMPs and discourage technical ITMPs so that consumers know what they are paying for.
Imagine these two situations:
1) You pay $40/month for an unlimited 10Mbps connection, but can only get 10Mbps at 2-4am in the morning. Other times, because of high network usage, you get an unstable connection that goes 3-5Mbps, or even slower during peak times.
2) You pay $40/month for a 10Mbps connection with a 100GB limit. Most of the time, your connection speed is around 10Mbps, but you just need to watch how much you download. There is a tool provided for you by the ISP to check your usage, updated daily.
I would much, MUCH rather go for the second option. I am paying for a certain service. I know the terms of that service. I'm getting exactly what I'm paying for.
The problem that most Canadians have (and rightly so) is that the caps were set way too low. The reasons are complicated, but I'll try to summarize them. In Canada, the Bell companies own the last mile infrastructure. However, they are mandated to lease their last mile infrastructure to third-party ISPs at a reasonable wholesale rate that allows for competitive plans and pricing. This has been working well for a while, as third-party ISPs were able to provide similar plans at lower cost. HOWEVER, the Bell companies recently started to roll out VDSL service. They argued that they should be able to sell VDSL service exclusively for a limited time to "recuperate investment costs", and the CRTC agreed. So third-party ISPs cannot currently sell VDSL service, only ADSL service. Then the Bell and cable companies argued for UBB, which was granted. When they were allowed to use UBB, the Bell companies purposely gutted their own ADSL plans, putting strict bandwidth limits and high overage costs. This meant that the wholesale plans that they sold to the third-party ISPs were impacted in the same way.
All of that builds up to this: The third-party ADSL rates ARE competitive with respect to the Bell companies' ADSL services. However, since the Bell companies can sell VDSL services exclusively, they used that leverage to put in place anti-competitive practices.
THIS is where the problem is. The problem is not UBB, but rather the slimy business practices executed by these Bell companies. To solve this situation, the government should NOT be repealing the UBB decision. Instead, they should either allow third-party ISPs to sell VDSL services, or mandate reasonable minimum bandwidth caps and reasonable maximum overage charges.