Stop the meter on your Internet use: Sign the petition against usage-based billing

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OpenMedia.ca OpenMedia.ca's picture
Stop the meter on your Internet use: Sign the petition against usage-based billing

The CRTC just decided to let your Internet Service Provider put a meter on the Internet!

Bell Canada and other big telecom companies can now freely impose usage-based billing on independent Internet Service Providers (indie ISPs) and YOU.

This means we're looking at a future where ISPs will charge per byte, the way they do with smart phones. If we allow this to happen Canadians will have no choice but to pay more for less Internet. Big Telecom companies are obviously trying to gouge consumers, control the Internet market, and ensure that consumers continue to subscribe to their television services.

This will crush innovative services, Canada's digital competitiveness, and your wallet.

We need to stand up for the Internet.

Sign the Stop The Meter petition! *Choose from of the options below or do all three!

Sign online »

Sign it on Facebook »

Sign it with Twitter »

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Do it! Do it! Do it!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

A bit of drift, but I didn't know where else to put this:

 

Net neutrality: US expected to ratify new rules on internet access

Framework may allow mobile internet service providers to charge content firms for delivery to US homes

 

excerpt:

 

Al Franken, the Democrat senator, said the vote would decide "the most important free speech issue of our time".

 

"Imagine if Comcast customers couldn't watch Netflix, but were limited only to Comcast's video-on-demand service. Imagine if a cable news network could get its website to load faster on your computer than your favourite local political blog. Imagine if big corporations with their own agenda could decide who wins or loses online," Franken said on Monday. "The internet as we know it would cease to exist."

Snert Snert's picture

This is new?  Currently my Internet plan allows me a certain amount of bandwidth per month, and if I exceed that, I pay extra.  Thus has it ever been.

Now if you really want to put a few bucks back in my pocket, how about we get rid of usage-based hydro bills?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I can't find a current active thread on this topic so I'll place this here:

 

By David Beers, 26 Jan 2011, TheTyee.ca

 

Canadians Just Became World's Biggest Internet Losers

 

excerpt:

 

NDP digital affairs critic Charlie Angus gets what's at stake. "We've seen this all before with cellphones," he said last week. "Allowing the Internet Service Providers to ding you every time you download is a rip-off. Canada is already falling behind other countries in terms of choice, accessibility and pricing for the Internet. We need clear rules that put consumers first."

Fidel

What a great business to be in. They could charge $2 and $5 bucks a GB for transmission costs that were 12 cents years ago and about $0.03/Gbyte today. It looks like a really good time to threaten telcos and cable companies with nationalisation. If only we weren't stuck with these corporate stooges in Ottawa, we'd really show 'em where to go fuck themselves.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Right on, Fidel!

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Since metering is being implemented, are there any software developers who would like to face big Telecom head on?:) Be a "net scape" to Microsoft's attempt once at monopolizing on platform?

Don't you find it odd that while complaints were piling up about throttling the internet, this was Telcom developing the software in which to control Usage Based Billing, and all the while being investigated by our Government, imagine what Big Telecom was doing. They were setting it up, for what was to happen today?

So you want to add a cost too,  above and beyond.....well,  would you like to create a bank? Can it be done? If you do not use your amount of data transfer why not develop the soft ware to off load that difference? Remember we are not here to make money but trying to find a way in which to create a "zone for internet traffic that comes from the amount of time that you have not used."

 

Any ideas?

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

160,000 Strong Petition to Stop Internet Metering to Become Largest Online Action in Canadian History

One Hundred and Sixty Thousand Canadians Protest New Internet Fees

January 31, 2011 – The citizen engagement group OpenMedia.ca has announced that an unprecedented 160,000 Canadians have signed the Stop The Meter petition. The petition calls on Canadian political leaders, including Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff and Conservative Industry Minister Tony Clement, to take action to stop new Internet usage fees, or "Internet metering".

The Stop The Meter campaign is shaping up to be the largest online action in Canadian history.

After the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made a decision that allowed Big Telecom to control the cost of the Internet, the number of citizens involved with the Stop The Meter campaign began to grow at the rapid rate of over 15,000 per day, and is quickly coming to represent a significant portion of Canada’s voting population.

Though the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada did recently come out in opposition to Internet metering, the Liberal and Conservative Parties have remained awkwardly silent.

“Considering the historic public outcry on this issue, we expect the other parties to be scrambling to endorse the Stop The Meter campaign,” said OpenMedia.ca founder Steve Anderson. “If they aren't, they probably should be.

“Canadian voters appear to be unanimous in their distain for greedy big telecom corporations, and the CRTC's role in enabling them to gouge out citizens’ pocket books, and unfairly hogtie competing independent ISPs. They know that these unnecessary fees will stifle innovation, ground-up entrepreneurialism, and social progress ”

Via Facebook, Twitter, and email, OpenMedia.ca has heard from business owners, media producers, and citizens who have expressed that Internet metering will impede their lifestyles and livelihoods. They are now waiting to see whether their government will represent them, and overturn the CRTC’s usage-based billing decision.

-30-

Contact

Lindsey Pinto
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
778-238-7710
lindsey@openmedia.ca

Sean in Ottawa

A point people are often unaware of-- with metered internet the worse your service is the more you pay.

The way it works is a series of handshaking and verification. So when you connect to the internet everything is sent in tiny packets and verified on delivery. If something is wrong because of the quality of the internet the packet is resent. This happens countless of times a minute in ways you can't see. On the other hand there are larger ways you can. If you are downloading a youtube video and it times out, it will reload until it gets it right-- buffering, rebuffering.

So if you have a crappy Bell connection for the amount of internet you actually experience the metre will click over a lot more than if you had a better connection. With low caps here is a disincentive to plow any of that money back in to upgrading lines because they will actually metre and therefore make less money.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

So where are the guarantees of information transfer, if information is being resent going over, then they cannot charge extra because of their shitty service? Just trying to wrap my head around it.

Shaw is stating the amount of data you are charge on price per month.....okay buffering.... using up....shitty connection, whose fault from the source? So where is government to make sure quality of information transfer is at a rated level. So this is not standardize how can they give the okay for metering?

Today Finland officially becomes first nation to make broadband a legal right

Quote:
Starting today (July 1), every Finnish citizen now has a guaranteed legal right to a least a 1Mbps broadband connection, putting it on the same footing as other legal rights in the country such as healthcare and education.

As we reported last year, Finland was the first nation in the world to pass this type of legislation, followed by Spain in November.

The Finish government has promised guaranteed speeds of 100Mbps by 2015 for all of its citizens, and currently about 97% of Finns already have access to broadband connections.

As our @Zee mentioned last year: “the fast growth of technology has led the European Commission to bring forward a review of the basic telecoms services Europeans can expect.”Today Finland officially becomes first nation to make broadband a legal right

Fidel

http://www.testinternetspeed.ca/canada-internet-speed-test/

I did three tests and got an avg of 8 Megabits/s on download - 0.5 Megabits/second on the upload. And I'm using Shaw cable.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'm using Telus Globetrotter dialup, 48 kbps. It occasionally goes down to 28 kbps. I pay for 250 hours per month. I have no idea what changes may lie ahead for me, if any.

Fidel

My goodness that's dialup. I feel your pain, Boom Boom.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Here in Quebec Labrador, there's no digital service of any kind - just land lines.

 

ETA: big mistake!!!! We all have satellite TV receivers, and there's a satellite Internet connection now available here, but it's really expensive - something like $800 just to start up, and almost $75/month afterwards.

Fidel

I'm pretty sure that's a violation of basic human rights to digital service, or something pretty close. I'd raise heck and send them a strongly worded letter about it.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

In this high speed global economy, broadband internet service should be as basic a service as the telephone.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Unpacking The Policy Issues Behind Bandwidth Caps & Usage Based Billing

 

excerpt:

 

As virtually every Canadian Internet user knows, the Canadian market is almost uniformly subject to bandwidth caps - the OECD reports that Canada stands virtually alone with near universal use of caps. The scale of the Canadian caps are particularly noteworthy - while Comcast in the U.S. imposes a 250 GB cap, Canadian ISPs offer a fraction of that number.

TVParkdale

Just posted on DSLreports...


Stop The Meter' Rally Toronto
Friday, February 4 · 9:00am - 3:00pm Peak Time 12PM Noon
Location Yonge-Dundas Square
Print out the petition and bring it with you.
1046 attending, 884 might attend.

Stop The Meter Rally: Ottawa
Time Saturday, February 12 · 10:00am - 2:00pm
Location Parliament Hill
Again, print out the petition.
260 attending, 167 might attend.

Rally Against UBB - Montreal
Time Saturday, February 5 · 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Location Dorchester Square, Montreal, QC
Insert the appropriate text here. (I should have just written out to bring the petition, it's shorter anyway)

 


Stop the Meter! -Chatham-Kent Essex Rally
Time Friday, February 4 · 10:00am - 2:00pm

Location In front of Dave Van Kesteren's main office
6 King Street West
Chatham, ON

 

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Fidel wrote:

http://www.testinternetspeed.ca/canada-internet-speed-test/

I did three tests and got an avg of 8 Megabits/s on download - 0.5 Megabits/second on the upload. And I'm using Shaw cable.

 

You see,  I think this must be part of the software development I am referring "as a add-on"  to sent data shortfalls on a monthly basis to a bank. This is of course if the Federal government does not reconsider.

While nationalization would be the preferred method,  we know that is not going to happen with a Progressive Conservative Government, so all we need is the Quebecois "to raise the motion in the house, " and this will unseat the conservative position of Clements.  Especially now that the Liberals are on board with the NDP.

Imagine going to a election on this issue?:)

Also, smaller ISPs are reconsidering the issue of infrastructure in order to be competitive, I would suggest that a Non profit organization be set up to think about this infrastructure in order to accommodate "the consumer" as a competitor.

Net-scape, you remember?

Part of the software development is fully aware of the promises they make yet do not keep with regards to the download and upload speed abilities. While being now recognizable,  and after corrections in the promised speeds,  any data shortfalls on account would be accepted by this non profit organization as part of the software package that people agree to take on in metering while they browse the internet and use only so much according to the promise amounts of information data transfers?

Fidel

I used to play around with a network analyzer(free for downloading), [url=http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=Ethereal+&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql... when learning about ethernet packets and stuff. It's nice in that you can edit the code and recompile, and really get inside the protocol to see what's happening. I don't recommend this one for the average net user though.

I see there is a freebie bandwidth meter, [url=http://bitmeter-2.lastdownload.com/]bitmeter for Windows[/url]. And there are a number of similar ones for Linux at different sites on the web. With bitmeter I believe you could check your numbers with what your ISP bill says for comparison. [url=http://packet-tracer.software.informer.com/5.2/]Packet tracer 5.2[/url].  The newer PT5.3 is available from CISCO if you sign up for one of their online networking courses, which are free as well I think.  Become a certifiable cisco network administrator for less time and money than it takes for a similar micro$oft certfication.

Some of the antivirus software will log internet usage statistics as well. Not sure which ones though.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Clement was saying on P&P that part of the problem is that companies like Netflix make their money the easy way - by using internet infrastructure that someone else has paid for. I think he called Netflix a 'rider'. Tough to be competitive when other companies don't need to invest, is what he was saying. I think he meant 'freeloader', using massive quantities of bandwidth provided by someone else.

Sean in Ottawa

I understand Clement well.

You see there is no sense of public anything or what is a public good. That the public invested in the infrastructure he is talking about seems irrelevant to him.

These are the same guys who would feel the same about the roads so public transit woudl be freeloaders... the roads should be sold and privatized...

Essential public services are not concepts these people consider important.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'm not 100% certain, but I think Clement was referring to Netflix freeloading - with their huge bandwidth requirements - on internet infrastructure built by private companies in Canada. In other words, using private ISP structure to sell their product.

This begs the question, of course: does Netflix pay for internet carry in Canada? Or are they indeed getting a free ride?

ETA: later in the day I'll google around if no one has a quick answer to the question I asked. But it seems unlikely to me that Netflix can charge $8.00/month to hundreds of thousands of Canadians to provide movies with huge bandwidth needs on an ISP without having paid for the privilege.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
But it seems unlikely to me that Netflix can charge $8.00/month to hundreds of thousands of Canadians to provide movies with huge bandwidth needs on an ISP without having paid for the privilege.

 

Wouldn't NetFlix reasonably assume that that cost would be borne by the consumer?

 

As an analogy, if I buy my anvils and other heavy objects by mail order, wouldn't it be me that pays the cost of shipping? Certainly the vendor wouldn't need some special arrangement with Canada Post.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

No small ISP was already riding on the back of current infrastructure of the big three and were to add an additional charge(governement already ammended this to a reduction of 15% for competitive reasons?:)), and as been pointed out,  the big three were once small ISP them self.

So this is not a far cry from understanding that small ISP would think about developing there own. Why I would postulate "a non profit" who would also been developed to push forward their own infrastructure and deficiency in service toward that Non-profit. Streamlining you see.

We've come a long way from the likes of Richard Stallman,  or,  from the idea of access to the digital world. The Federal government sold something that already was free and of public use in what was called Whitespace. You can see the evolution in link supplied.

You know why I am pushing this? My stance has never changed and  I think people should be up in arms about the constraints applied toward knowledge enhancement and potentials within their societies.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

But Snert, if I am Bell, Telus, or some other company that has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into building my ISP, why should I allow Netflix to make money from using my ISP without compensating me? My ISP is not a public service - it's a private-for-profit service.

 

ETA: I do understand what you're saying - that the ISP collects from the consumer for using the bandwidth. However, what I think Tony Clement has heard from the private ISPs is that they are being forced to provide huge amounts of bandwidth for companies like Netflix, and it's difficult for them to keep up. Sounds lame to me, but maybe that's what Clement is considering - the plight of the poor ISPs having to provide more bandwidth because of companies like Netflix. (sarcasm intended)

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

It's actually called something but I can't recall.....this would be similar to Netflix and Small ISP about riding current infrasructure of big three.

You got to remember "who put up that infrastructure."

 

Amended post above to indicate 15% reduction imposed on big three in regard to small ISP and Netflix, in regards to being competitive.

Seriously.

Wrap your head around Hydro metering and you will get a good sense of the whole issue. In BC they went from Hydro metering to Smart Meter which is a hardware application of a software idea. The BC Governement rolled it out in perfect timing with the issues of the INternet?

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

But Snert, if I am Bell, Telus, or some other company that has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into building my ISP, why should I allow Netflix to make money from using my ISP without compensating me? My ISP is not a public service - it's a private-for-profit service.

 

At risk of banning, I'll admit that I'm not unsympathetic to Bell in this. But to continue my analogy, Bell would be the equivalent of Canada Post, and NetFlix the equivalent of OnlineAnvils.com, where I order my heavy anvils. Why would OnlineAnvils pay Canada Post for using their service when *I'm* going to be paying them for that? In this model, it's *me* that's receiving a service, not OnlineAnvils.com, and similarly, if I download a movie from NetFlix, it's me that's using my Internet service to download it. Why would NetFlix have to pay Bell for what *I* do with my service?

 

Quote:
However, what I think Tony Clement has heard from the private ISPs is that they are being forced to provide huge amounts of bandwidth for companies like Netflix, and it's difficult for them to keep up.

 

Huh. I think it makes more sense to say that their bandwidth demands are coming from their customers who choose to download from NetFlix. It's not like NetFlix has some kind of power to push video downloads on people.

 

And I think that when they say they cannot keep up, they mean "we cannot keep letting people download as much as they want for a lower fee than Bell charges". In other words, I think their ability to undercut Bell, using Bell's own infrastructure, was a key part of their revenue model.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Spectrum wrote:
"You got to remember "who put up that infrastructure."

 

Sure, but if I own an ISP, and I've invested hundreds of millions of dollars in it, I have a say in how it will be used, yes? The consumer pays the ISP for the bandwidth used, that's understood, but if Netflix is using my product (bandwidth) to generate money, should they not have to pay a user fee or some kind of tax for using bandwidth that I provide? Otherwise I can decide not to carry their service.

ETA: In fact I wonder if the ISPs have said to Tony Clement is that they are going to use bandwidth caps to control the use of their bandwidth - because Netflix (and others) suck up so much bandwidth the ISPs simply don't want these companies on their ISPs at all, becaus eit means they have to increase capability, which they're too lazy to do - either that, or they don't want to make the investments required. Clement was saying there's another side to this that no one has considered - which I think is BS.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

In the meantime, any news today from Clement or the ISPs on this issue?

Le T Le T's picture

Speaking of canada post...

 

They offer a cheaper and faster alternative to the internet in cananda.

 

 

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

It has always been "about privatization" so I need no further info to supply on that perspective. I think you know this. Capitalization is an competitive idea about pushing government toward creating profit for the very few. They have whole teams who are on research and development why wouldn't you increase once you have taken over public service? Clements is a tool to advantage capital positions.

Somebody better wake up.

A democratic society forced to be a competitor as a consumer? Something had to change and directing large segments of the population to "other ideas" forces changes in the governments position because they do not understand anything else while pushing that privatization agenda.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I still don't understand why bandwidth caps in the USA can be so much higher than here. More competition? (Clement did suggest more competition here is needed)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Snert wrote:
Huh. I think it makes more sense to say that their bandwidth demands are coming from their customers who choose to download from NetFlix. It's not like NetFlix has some kind of power to push video downloads on people.

If I'm the ISP provider, and I'm not happy with Netflix on my bandwidth, why don't I just refuse to carry them?

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

It's all out there on the news wires.

 

Quote:
I was also taught that space, and the moon, were free and open. Nobody owned them. No country owned them. I loved this concept of the purest things in the universe being unowned.Steve Wozniak

 

Also study the whitespace issue and you will get a clearer understanding of the issues, that extends beyond borders.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Why cut off money your getting while you know what's coming in additional charges?:)

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

If I'm the ISP provider, and I'm not happy with Netflix on my bandwidth, why don't I just refuse to carry them?

 

Because presumably your subscribers want to download from NetFlix, and presumably you don't want to lose them.

 

That said, if NetFlix is causing them a problem, it's only a problem because they're not charging their subscribers enough for what they're giving them. They're like an all-you-can-eat buffet that's discovering that people can eat a lot more prime rib than they thought, and while the $5.99 price is certainly drawing in the customers, it's maybe not sustainable.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Because Netflix is causing a surge in bandwidth demand that I am unable to provide? Because of Netflix I have to upgrade my service? Just guessing. Maybe the ISPs want Netflix to pay a tax or service charge for profiteering on their bandwidth.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Snert wrote:
That said, if NetFlix is causing them a problem, it's only a problem because they're not charging their subscribers enough for what they're giving them. They're like an all-you-can-eat buffet that's discovering that people can eat a lot more prime rib than they thought, and while the $5.99 price is certainly drawing in the customers, it's maybe not sustainable.

 

That's the justification for low bandwidth caps - exceed the bandwidth cap, and you pay more. Except the caps are much higher everywhere else. The ISPs here however seem to be happy with low bandwidth caps, because it makes more money for them.

Le T Le T's picture

Nationalize ALL telecom infastructure, sell access at the cost of maintaining it. Tell Bell to get a real job. No more problem.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think Netflix is keeping their prices low to steal customers from TV services like The Movie Network (TMN) which costs me about $25/month. Netflix is $8/month.  That makes Netflix very appealing, and low bandwidth caps very profitable for the ISPs.

But I'm on dialup, so it's highly unlikely I'll ever use Netflix.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Le T wrote:

Nationalize ALL telecom infastructure, sell access at the cost of maintaining it. Tell Bell to get a real job. No more problem.

Under a neocon regime? Get real.Laughing

Snert Snert's picture

Plus, we have a nationalized postal service, yes?  So why is it about 35% more expensive than U.S. Postal Service?  I'm not sure that putting the government in charge necessarily means "better".

 

Quote:
Because Netflix is causing a surge in bandwidth demand that I am unable to provide?

 

If you're a small ISP, it's not that you can't provide that bandwidth (properly speaking, it's data transfer we're discussing, but we seem to use "bandwidth" interchangeably, so as long as we know).

 

The problem is that the small ISPs are going to have to pay for the bandwidth that NetFlix or other very high-use customers use, and that's going to make them less appealing. Or, they can take a hit to their own bottom line (ie: pay Bell for all the bandwidth, but continue charging customers a low price for unlimited) and I'm guessing that neither option appeals much.

 

The best analogy I can think of is a "deregulated" supermarket, which is forced to sell you and me (small vendors) produce at a very low cost and to provide space for us in their facility. You and I price our vegetables below what the supermarket does, and when we say "a dozen ears of corn" we're really giving customers more like 18 ears. So we're popular! We're cheaper than the supermarket that supplies us and we can undercut them under their own roof. But then the supermarket wants to put a stop to it. If we want to sell people 18 ears of corn, we either have to charge them for 18, or we can charge them for 12 like always and eat the difference out of our own margin, but we don't want to do either.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Even though I'm on dialup and this debate over bandwidth caps isn't likely ever to affect me personally, I nevertheless believe internet access in 2011 is as basic to our needs today as the telephone was in the previous century. It ought to be designated an essential public service, and provided at very low cost with a public subsidy. I'm not calling for nationalization - which probably will never happen - but I see no problem with making superfast internet access an essential public service - provided by private companies as at present - but subsidized by taxes. 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
 I nevertheless believe internet access in 2011 is as basic to our needs today as the telephone was in the previous century.

 

Well, that argument would be a wee bit stronger if the current debate were centred around users downloading massive datasets, or enriched learning materials, or pretty much anything other than The Love Guru.

 

Quote:
Speaking of canada post...

 

They offer a cheaper and faster alternative to the internet in cananda.

 

Heck, I can go them one better. Using only my feet, and some excess calories, I can walk to the video store and back and "download" all 4.7 Gb of The Love Guru in fifteen minutes.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

When people view Netflix, are they actually downloading or just watching? I've never used the service. If you download a DVD or VHS from the video store, is that legal?

Bacchus

They are downloading, just like you do when you watch youtube. Every Youtube video you watch is a download and counts against your download limit. (actually so does viewing webpages such as rabble but generally its negligible)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Thanks. I'm really behind the times when it comes to technology. I've never used a cellphone, DVD, blackberry, or indeed any digital service.

ETA: oops - I used broadband internet while I stayed at the motel in Sept-Iles, which I assume is a digital service.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Le T wrote:

Nationalize ALL telecom infastructure, sell access at the cost of maintaining it. Tell Bell to get a real job. No more problem.

We've subsidized every single centimetre of infrastructure anyway, spending a half billion of our tax dollars in deferral and direct subsidy to build out into rural areas in the last 5 years.

Nationalize it.

...I wish the NDP had the balls to say those words out loud.

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