Canadian Broadband Regulators Annoyed That People Are Pointing Out They Don't Understand What They're Regulating

from the job-hazard dept

If you were paying attention last week in Canada, there was a huge fight over an attempt by Canadian regulators, the CRTC, to implement new "usage based billing" pricing structures for independent ISPs who make use of Bell Canada's network. The effective result of this, of course, is to try to prop up old business models, while holding down new, more efficient, more economically valuable business models. However, due to public outcry, politicians asked the CRTC to justify itself, and the response was basic annoyance at having to defend the decision.

However, as some are noticing, perhaps a large part of that annoyance comes from the realization that the CRTC didn't even fully understand what it is regulating, focusing on the bogus consumer-focused claim that it's about "fairness" in broadband pricing, so that "broadband hogs pay their fair share." Of course, if that were truly the focus, then shouldn't it also mean that the broadband companies, like Bell Canada, should be refunding tons of money to the non-broadband hogs? Except, that's not happening. The whole "broadband hogs" claim has always been a red herring. As we've seen over and over again, "usage-based billing" is never about offering "fair plans" to those who don't use very much. Instead, it's almost always about setting very low bars to force normal users to pay much more while decreasing their incentive to use new, more innovative internet services.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Feb 2011 @ 5:54am


    It is an interesting poll, but sort of misleading. First off, it's self selecting (only appears on a page of an opinion piece about bandwidth overcharging) and second, it doesn't touch on what limit they hit, on what network, etc. Could it be people hitting limits on wireless plans, or base or very limited plans, example?

    Strangely these numbers are much different from Bell's claims

    it isn't strange at all. Without qualification, the numbers presented in an "informal opt in if you want reader poll"are fairly meaningless.

    There is nothing 'reasonable' about selling a commodity at 100 to 250 times its cost

    Feel free to expand on this. What are they reselling for 250 times the cost?

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