Say “No” to Usage Based Billing!

Since the UBB topic is really starting to heat up I thought that I’d post a few good links for people that are interested in figuring out what “UBB” is, and what it means for Canada.

What is “UBB”?

UBB stands for Usage Based Billing.

Why should you care?

The CRTC recently passed a decision forcing all independent DSL and Cable Internet providers to substantially match incumbent (like Bell) usage rate caps. This will influence all of our internet service packages.  In the past you the customer had an option to go to a Internet reseller to get competitive prices and bandwidth caps.  This ruling allowed Bell and Rogers to force the resellers to impose a bandwidth limit on all of their customers.

This is a major push from Bell and Rogers to force customers to stop moving away from the traditional satellite/cable structure that has kept them in business.  Some people see this as a direct response to new streaming media companies like NetFlix coming to Canada with a streaming plan that was affordable and allowing a lot of casual TV watchers to cancel their satellite/cable subscriptions.

This change will affect almost every aspect of the modern family.  Surfing the internet, streaming videos from YouTube, checking email, using iTunes, playing online games and even VOIP programs like Skype that allow you to save money and keep in touch with friends and family around the works.  If you are going to use a service that doesn’t belong to your ISP, then they are going to force you to pay a premium.

What can you do to help?

To help get informed on the issue start by visiting http://openmedia.ca/meter and sign the online petition.  It only takes a few minutes to fill in your information and it could help everyone in Canada.

If you want to take the next step try calling the Competition Bureau and file a complaint to reverse the CRTC’s recent ruling.  This will let them know that you want the internet to remain free for all Canadians:

Make sure to use these terms: “Anti-Competitive” and “Conflict of Interests”. For example:”it is a conflict of interest to allow our Cable TV provider who is also our ISP, to limit our access to their competition, ie: Netflix”
“It is anti-competitive to allow our ISP to use UBB as an excuse to limit our access to their online TV competitors, such as Netflix, by making them cost-prohibitive to use.”

8:30am to 5:00pm EST
Telephone: 819-997-4282
Toll-free: 1-800-348-5358 (Canada)
Toll-free TTY: 1-800-642-3844 (for hearing-impaired only)
EDIT: Also call CRTC at 1-877-249-2782 with the same complaint above.

Menu Guide after dialing to save you time:
For English press 2 – for French 1
For complaints press 5

FAX your complaint to the CRTC:  1-819-994-0218
FAX your complaint to Tony Clement:  1-613-992-0302
If you want to contact your local MP, and ask them what THEY are doing to prevent the destruction of the Canadian internet, please send them a FAX or written letter.  You can find out who your local representative is here: http://howdtheyvote.ca/findmember.php

Take a look at the attached picture and if possible download and share it.  Remember, you can help by telling everyone you know!