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August 1st, 2014

Stop The Meter: Why is the CRTC Sticking it to Canadians on Bandwith?

Stop The Meter: Why is the CRTC Sticking it to Canadians on Bandwith?We do not normally get into politics much less Canadian politics since the site is very much an international one but new rules coming down from the CRTC are so ridiculous and outrageous that it would just not be right if I did not bring it up. What I thought was common knowledge for most internet users is clearly not as a campaign to Stop The Meter and prevent cable companies from ripping off their users finally hits the mainstream and starts generating interest. For those who do not have a clue what I am talking about lets take a quick step back.

About 3 months ago I subscribe to Netflix Canada for $8 a month and within a week realized that this is the greatest thing to come to Canada since sliced bread and indoor plumbing. I wrote about how much I loved it and readers started writing in the comments saying ‘hey man watch out for your bandwith bill’ which resulted in me doing some homework and finding out that for whatever reason the CRTC had green lit a program to allow the large internet companies in Canada to charge for use of bandwith.

At just about the same time that Netflix announced it was bringing its service to Canada Bell & Rogers Internet announced a great new addition to our internet service, bandwith caps. Bandwith is basically how much you can download per month and came into effect in my view for no other reason than to battle Netflix and its clear threat to Cable TV business. Who in their right mind is going to pay $50 to $100 a month for cable when you can get it for $7.99 on Netflix? I currently pay almost $180 a month for phone, internet and cable. $60 of that is cable and I can get most of the specialty shows for FREE as part of Netflix. Now admittedly I won’t get everything on Netflix but when you consider I will save $672.00 a year I am willing to miss out on a couple shows.

There has been an excuse given that because users are now using much more bandwith downloading videos, game trials and films we need to pay more for bandwith. This despite the fact that Comcast in the USA has admitted it costs less then $7 to double the internet bandwith capacity of an ENTIRE neighbourhood. Under the new changes to your internet bill according to GeekTown.ca if you exceed the new bandwith cap you will be billed $4 per gig that you go over . If you figure every movie you watch is 1gig to 4gigs in size your looking at up to $16.00 PER movie in punitive fees from your internet provider simply because you chose to watch it online and avoid a hefty monthly bill.

Start doing the math on this and it better make you not just annoyed but outraged and angry! I am unable to nail down exactly what bandwith costs the major internet/cable companies in Canada but small internet companies say that the new fee’s being charged are thousands of times more then what its truly worth. Small service oriented internet companies are upset because they get their internet access from the big monopoly and have no choice but to also charge the fees. Does it seem fair the CRTC is allowing this?

These new bandwith caps are a typical cash grab but also in my view a way to keep Netflix and other online services in check. Under the pretext of protecting some sort of ‘canadian interest’ consumers are being thrown into the stoneage and frankly we are becoming the laughing stock of the internet world. If anyone actually knows why the CRTC is allowing the Cable companies do this sound off in the comments. As it stands it appears the cable companies are using the CRTC to force those of us who have long ago tuned out the TV because of more interesting fare on youtube / Netflix and other services to go back to their commercial filled shows by cutting us off at the proverbial knee’s. In an interview with the CBC Steve Anderson OpenMedia’s Co-Ordinator put it best saying quote;

“The CRTC has once again left the wolves in charge of the henhouse. Canadians have come out in unprecedented numbers and demanded an affordable internet, and while there is evidence that this has moved the CRTC, they have not gone nearly far enough. It is deeply disappointing that the commission has decided to give a few companies a free hand to engage in economic discrimination and crush innovation. Now is the moment for forward-looking, visionary policymaking, not half-measures and convoluted compromises with the companies trying to kill the open internet.”

Just who is the CRTC really looking out for? As of writing this 107,532 canadians have signed a petition to STOP THE METER and I for one think that each and every one of you Canadian readers needs to sign the petition and tweet  / share this on facebook. Do not let this injustice continue. The CRTC has no place allowing cable companies make decisions that are vindictive. Just because we don’t watch their cable/satellite service they decide to punish us and prevent us from using internet services which are better priced and offer better service. Seriously CRTC.. what gives?




26 Comments


  1. Fed up

    This is one of the stupidest things the CRTC has come up with! As if Bell and Rogers need more money! I am fed up with this crap being served up by Canadian internet providers. Bell and Rogers are trying to kill the small ISPs and this ruling should be reevaluated asap. But what are we to do? Push the liberals to rescind this this ruling if elected, they would have my vote. This is just profiteering on the backs of hard working Canadians. Thank you Bell and Rogers. I am really tired of this load of BS.


    • Blackrabbit81

      Do everything you can to spite Bell and Rogers and keep money out of there pockets by signing up for small ISPs, change your cell phone to Mobilicity or Wind Mobile. Abandon cable TV of get Satellite TV. Cancel your home phone or get VOIP phones.


      • Anonymous

        Good idea but Bell and Rogers lease the lines to small ISPS so the money ends up with them regardless. What we need is the monopolies removed and a truly free enterprise.


        • Andrew

          This is not really a good idea, because I do not think I should have to pay for pop-ups, advertisements and windows updates; all of which take away from download bandwidth and without our permission.


        • Andrew

          This is not really a good idea, because I do not think I should have to pay for pop-ups, advertisements and windows updates; all of which take away from download bandwidth and without our permission.


    • Stevess

      That’s just fantastic…first take Canadian jobs by outsource to overseas countries and then rape us of our money too when you’re not happy that we outsourced our TV and phone!!!!!

      LETS STOP THIS!…have you seen their balance sheets. they make tons of money. they just want to stop all competitors.

      ISN’T COLLUSION ILEGAL????


  2. Tonystep

    The CRTC might just have inadvertently triggered the demise of Big Canadian Corporation Control over Canadian electronic media. Here’s why:

    Satellite internet media and web services is just starting to come into its own. New low-orbit two-way satellite networks are as we speak coming close to completion, or are on soon-to-be-delivered drawing boards. These high-capacity networks will revolutionise and internationalise two-way media delivery. No longer will we in Canada be tethered to the big Canadian telecommunications corporations. They will then, of course, be forced into real international competition for our consumer dollars. True, there may or may not be higher costs in the future for the services we receive, but the relative “unfairness” will be governed mainly by the supply and demand of international competitive capitalism. This will at least put us in Canada on an equal footing with the rest of the Western world – a privilege we most certainly do not enjoy today.

    This step by the CRTC, undoubtedly praised by the Big Canada Telecom Giants, will only serve to speed up the deployment of networks which can now look forward to rapid subscription growth as soon as they are available to the public. So chin up, Canadians, and hold your breath – the throttlehold won’t last much longer, I believe.

    Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to let everyone up there in the media and government know what you think of these “Rich clawing for more riches at the expense of the commoner.” I’m the farthest thing from a revolutionary, but when I see the proletariat in a position to thumb their noses at the top caste, I can’t help but smile.


    • Anonymous

      Tony i can only hope you are right!


    • Bob Loblaw

      How idiotic to frame this as “class warfare.” What are you…a union true-believer? It’s about anti-competetive business practices by a monopolistic industry with too much pull in what is supposed to be an independent government body like the CRTC.

      The corporations are only doing what is best for them – totally rational (if unethical). It is up to the regulatory body that is supposed to look out for us “proletariat” to keep them in check. To bad they’re a bunch of corrupt nanny-statist who are far too open to bribes and pork-barrelling!


  3. Yakker

    The entire issue is a scam designed and perpetrated by ISP’s to part you from your money to enrich their shareholders. The cost of a single GB of data flow to the ISP’s is less than 3 cents. When you add in infrastructure costs and other overhead you can probably bump this number up to 10 cents. Shaw is currently charging $37 (in BC) for basic high speed internet with a 60GB cap which is costing them about $6. That’s about a 500% mark up or $31 profit every month from a basic high speed customer.

    Now they want to charge an additional $2/GB on everything over your 60GB cap. That is a 2000% markup of pure profit. I don’t have a problem with companies making a profit but I do have a problem with them making THAT much profit. They are not hurting for money and they have no business charging $2/GB overcap charges. 20-25 cents would be more reasonable. They recently reduced the cap limits too so they can make even more money faster. It’s simply a cash grab in a country where we already pay some of the highest broadband and wireless rates in the world and the CRTC allows this.

    Write and complain to your ISP, your MLA and MP. This huge profit grab may not affect you now but I promise it will affect you in the future when more of your daily life is connected to the internet.
    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r22180391-ISP-Economics-Just-what-does-a-gigabyte-cost


    • Kau

      We’re on the 37$ plan from Shaw. Don’t forget for any of your plans where you don’t already subscribe to their cable or phone you get an extra 10$ tacked on to your bill just for ‘stand alone service’. When the bill does finally get to us, we’re paying 55$ for 60GB and that’s if we don’t go over!!


      • Anonymous

        I am looking at moving my phone service to Vonage and my internet to a small isp. Crappy part is a few years ago I bought PVR’s which means I am stuck with Bell Satelitte.


  4. Roger

    A couple fun facts: Rogers-on-Demand – you can download as much ‘free’ on-demand as you want from rogers without affecting bandwidth, but essentially that is what it is. This is Rogers way of fighting netflix. Secondly, large ISPs use caching. So when you watch a pretty kitty falling from the tv, the ISP doesn’t have to download it every time, it just fetches it from a storage cache. Saving bandwidth for the ISP, do they pass the savings on to the consumer?


  5. mcfudge

    Dear Industry Minister Mr. Tony Clement,

    I am absolutely opposed to the CRTC decision to permit Canadian internet service providers to grossly overcharge me for internet access. I am already paying $70 per month for internet access ALONE which is in itself far too expensive. There is absolutely no justification for you or the CRTC to allow Bell to gouge me $2.50 per gigabyte when it costs them a penny $0.01 or less to deliver that data. 2,500% profit is outrageous, shameful, and totally un-Canadian.

    If you cannot reign in this disaster then you should resign your position and someone who actually stands up for technological advancement and creativity in Canada should take your position.


  6. Caw Mentor

    Those who haven’t checked your usage, don’t just assume well i don’t torrent or music download so I’ll be fine. Well online gaming and surfing and watching youtube puts my normal use of me and my wife, and teenage son at 90GB per month (under my current 100GB cap) One month of Netflix on top of that changed that to 222GB. So seriously watch your bandwidth, it’s higher than you think!


  7. Caw Mentor

    I would like to urge everyone out there on the new 25GB Bell plan to quit your service. Same with you Rogers customers on 60GB plans. Tell them that you can’t live with a 25GB/60GB caps and won’t stand for it. Check your local area, there are lots of DSL resellers in your area. Sure they will have caps too, at least at first, but it will send a powerful message to those idiots at Bell and Rogers that “WE ARE MAD AS HELL, AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!”
    We the customer have the power to punish them for their greed!


    • samuel-12

      It’s not like if it’s going to hurt them at all. They don’t need money…. They just whant to dominate.

      The best thing to do is to keep using their services, and on top of that pushing a collective recourse agaisnt that kind of practice. All this TO bring to light how much internet capping is a scam and is used to bring down competition ONLY!


  8. Dezigns333

    Hey Roger,

    The reason you can download Rogers on demand for ‘free’ is because they still charge the customer for going over the cap limits.


  9. Ras

    Stop complaining here.

    Write to your MP, Tony Clement and all the political leaders!!!


  10. alloowishus

    Hey people, I am the last one to defend large money grubbing corporations, but what is happening here is a shift from the traditional cable model to the on demand internet model. These companies aren’t stupid! They know people aren’t willing to sit through more and more commercials for 90% of crap that you don’t even want to watch! So you think you are beating the system by downloading over bittorent or netflix or whatever, well they know people are doing this. I only wish some of this money would go to the content providers, not Rogers!


    • Anonymous

      the issue is being charged when we are using a perfectly legal service which is competition to rogers/shaw/bell.. etc


  11. Randar007

    Who are the idiots subscribing to Bell and Rogers anyways? They are the ones who are propping up these giants. Are these rich people? Canada I have 2 words for you SHOP AROUND !. I subscribe to Teksavvy Solutions who is a reseller for DSL and now offering Cable internet, voip and more. No I dont work there, just happy not paying through the nose. The CRTC is corrupt, and has set Canadain internet back to the dial up era. CRTC’s motto should be “Protectionism and favoritism at any cost” They should all be fired and replaced with the consumers that use these services. E-mail Tony Clement and your MP. We have but 2 choices, complain or pay the price ! minister.industry@ic.gc.ca


    • Mt

      Shortly after the ‘cap’ charges were introduced in Ontario, I switched from rogers to Acanac and have no regrets! Rogers and Bell have no excuse because the capacity is only limited by their lack of infrastructure. Their back haul bandwidth is plentiful, it’s only the area by area bandwidth that’s too small. The providers claim that Usage-Based Billing is necessary to control congestion but the pricing model of their overages is in direct contrast to how network congestion actually works. On top of that, they keep adding higher speeds. Some of the major providers recently started offering their own internet TV services which somehow don’t count toward the usage limit. Funny that!


  12. Helen

    I think it’s a moot point! See better this site: http://www.torrentoff.com and get a respite from arguing!



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