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CRTC Review Of UBB Will Likely Be Hollow
Review To 'Verify' Whether Over-Billing 'Protects Consumers'
by Karl Bode 03:37PM Friday Feb 04 2011
If you've watched the CRTC and Bell Canada working in coordinated concert over the last few years to bring Bell's punitive broadband dream pricing to market, you've probably realized that the CRTC's insistence yesterday that they'll review their UBB order to "verify" that it protects consumers is about as hollow as a cheap chocolate easter bunny. Regulators that buckle under a light breeze to the whims of their wealthiest constituents don't suddenly change their stripes overnight, and Canadian Law Professor Michael Geist has an interesting post exploring precisely how the CRTC's review of usage-based billing will likely be fluff and nonsense.
quote:
That should not be the foundational principle nor the key starting point for analysis, particularly for a GAS service for independent ISPs. In the current Canadian environment, it should be competition, competition, competition that rules. Given how absent the competitive environment was from the Chair's comments, there is ample reason for skepticism about where this UBB review will lead. This is precisely what Commissioner Tim Denton warned against in his dissent in the speed matching case which I quote at length (the same decision that von Finckenstein cited as an example of how the CRTC has fostered competition).
The very language the CRTC is using -- such as that they'll try to "verify" that a system that results in ridiculous over-billing will "protect consumers" obviously says plenty, as does CRTC head Konrad von Finckenstein's inability to directly answer questions yesterday when pressed on how the agency came to many of their conclusions. Geist is absolutely correct to highlight how this is all being discussed without the agency seriously addressing the lack of competition and regulatory capture that makes this kind of punitive pricing possible in the first place.

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alexandra21
Premium
join:2010-11-01
Toronto, ON

Yay.

Karl, how i love you so.

You are helping bring visibility to an issue that simply can't get enough.

Truly appreciated.
the cerberus

join:2007-10-16
Richmond Hill, ON

Not to worry Tony Clement has our back

»www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Politics···79426903

Skip to ~5 minutes in.
Karl, I'm surprised you haven't mentioned Tony's take on yesterdays questioning of Konrad.
Ncrdrg4

join:2011-01-25
Brossard, QC

Re: Not to worry Tony Clement has our back

Very interesting video you've got there.
Tony Clement seems strongly against the idea that independent ISPs should be forced into any plan by a competitor. That if they want to provide unlimited, it's their business.

Even mentioned how nobody makes a fuss about landlines phones being a flat fee for everyone and that he doesn't seem any difference here.

That's good news because it indicates that they'll override the CRTC if they come up with any plan that involves forcing independant ISPs to cap their business if they don't want to.
TheMcG

join:2010-03-09
k2c5t4
a note for adblock users it seems to block all content on the page until you turn it off.

and as a note on the video, although i may think he isnt going far enough Tony seems to at least understand the basics of forcing people to use one billing type causes a no choice market situation.
grazed

join:2006-10-15
Havertown, PA
I'm not canadian, and I don't know who that interviewer is. But holy crap is he a complete douche bag.

alexandra21
Premium
join:2010-11-01
Toronto, ON

Re: Not to worry Tony Clement has our back

The interviewer is Evan Soloman and he is incredibly sexy - but pro-UBB (not so sexy).

trainwreck6

join:2010-09-21
off track

Re: Not to worry Tony Clement has our back

Usage-Based Boobs.

torontoist

@utoronto.ca

DSLreports user-submitted content good too

jfmezei's petition remains the best demolishing of the CRTC's ruling that I've read:

»Petition to the Governor in Council against UBB

When Bell's own depositions to the CRTC say that UBB fees will be revised in response to market conditions, that pretty much says it all. "We charge what we like".
the cerberus

join:2007-10-16
Richmond Hill, ON

Re: DSLreports user-submitted content good too

»www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2011···nto.html

I see things like this and I wonder why people continue to fight.
We won. We dont need protests.

This video says it all.
Tony says no UBB.

»www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Politics···79426903
backness

join:2005-07-08
K2P OW2

Re: DSLreports user-submitted content good too

Its not over yet big guy...

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

1 edit

1 recommendation

Re: DSLreports user-submitted content good too

I've watched a few too many politicians pay this kind of pro-consumer lip service to consumer advocacy. I have a feeling this is a long, long way from being over. Bell (and their fancy hand CRTC puppet) will come back with entirely new justifications and tactics to get this kind of pricing implemented.

alexandra21
Premium
join:2010-11-01
Toronto, ON

Re: DSLreports user-submitted content good too

Agreed. They've invested too much money in this, and the potential profits of successfully implementing this is too high to pass up. It's not over... by a long shot.

coldmoon
Premium
join:2002-02-04
Broadway, NC
Reviews:
·Windstream
As Karl notes, a win may not turn out to be a win in the final analysis unless those opposed to the rules keep the pressure on the politicians and the CRTC; even after you think you have won.

History has shown over and over that once the spotlight is turned off, things have a way of retuning to business as usual unless they know they are being watched with wide public opposition to back-sliding.

Politics is about compromise, so never forget that any wins you get now may be sacrificed as the next compromise...

JMHO
Mike
--
Returnil - 21st Century body armor for your PC

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

1 recommendation

Re: DSLreports user-submitted content good too

Well and however galvanized the opposition is, Bell Canada has a lot more money to spend that even the most deep-pocketed consumer group. People fighting this fight need to realize this is probably just the beginning.
CaptainNutsy

join:2011-02-03
no. this is just showing that we only won the first battle. the real fight is coming, so we have to press even harder to win.

make no mistake. it's only going to get harder. Bell will throw more weight into convincing the CRTC that UBB is a good idea, so we have to be prepared.

g0nepostal
I Am The One Her Mom Warned Her About

join:2001-03-23
Burlingame, CA
CRTC needs to be continually fought until they either 1) give in, or 2) are overruled by other branches of the Canadian government.

Why? Because regulators at any agency - and you only need to see agencies like the California Air Resources Board to realize this - are generally creatures of their environment who think that they know better than the majority of the rubes who make up the general public. It generally takes concerted, sustained public action to restrain them from pulling stunts like UBB.

gp

CableConvert
Premium
join:2003-12-05
Atlanta, GA

Bell Talking Points

He shows it over and over

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn4VShTpIPk

PPLFTW

@teksavvy.com

they really don't understand anything

»www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Politics···79426903

another pannel that doesn't really understand what's going on...especially the host and the guy from The National Post..people from the National Post are bunch of idiots, first Terrence Cocoroach now this guy Ivan something

fatness
subtle
Premium,ex-mod 01-13
join:2000-11-17
fishing
kudos:14

cheap chocolate Easter bunny

said by article :
you've probably realized that the CRTC's insistence yesterday that they'll review their UBB order to "verify" that it protects consumers is about as hollow as a cheap chocolate easter bunny

CRTC review?

mr sean
Professional Infidel
Premium,ExMod 2001-07
join:2001-04-03
N. Absentia
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: cheap chocolate Easter bunny

I liked the Kukla, Fran and Ollie analogy.
said by Karl Bode:

Bell (and their fancy hand CRTC puppet) will come back with entirely new justifications and tactics to get this kind of pricing implemented.


--
How you can make the world a Better Place

Asai

@reliablehosting.com

• The CRTC listens •
said by article :
you've probably realized that the CRTC's insistence yesterday that they'll review their UBB order to "verify" that it protects consumers is about as hollow as a cheap chocolate easter bunny

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Competition

I spent some time watching the hearing until I finally got bored with all the double-speak. Frankly, unless the Canadian government relaxes its rules and allows majority foreign investment as here in the U.S. (Deutsche-Telekom owning T-Mobile for example), there will never be any real competition in Canada. Look at what happened with Wind and the CRTC threatening to shut them down due to their foreign investors.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

MySecret

@bellaliant.net

Stop The Meter On Your Internet Use

»openmedia.ca/meter

UPDATE: We've taken a big step forward, but the meter continues. Keep signing and sharing - the fight's not over yet.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are about to put a pay meter on your Internet use.

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 MUCH 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.

These Big Telecom companies are forcing small competing ISPs to adopt the same pricing scheme, so that we have no choice but to pay these punitive fees.

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

The NDP, the Liberals, Green Party and Conservative Party have all now come out AGAINST Internet metering. Now for the most important phase of our campaign - the CRTC has been asked to reconsider their billing rules. So far the CRTC is digging in its heels and reacting to public pressure with disdain.

We urgently need to send a clear message to CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein that we demand access to an unmetered internet. Enough is enough.

MySecret

@bellaliant.net

Dissolve the CRTC

»dissolvethecrtc.ca/node/1

We, the undersigned, believe that the CRTC has become a burden on the Canadian public and are failing to perform their duties in the interest of the Canadian public and that of a fair and unbiased telecom policy.

MerinX
Crunching for Cures
Premium
join:2011-02-03
kudos:1

More info

Regularly compiled at
»UBB articles and video compilation thread (shaw)

sm5w2
Premium
join:2004-10-13
St Thomas, ON

Time to break up Bell Canada

We will keep fighting this battle until Bell Canada is broken up into at least 2 separate companies. The GAS (Gateway Access Service) needs to be split from Bell and operated as a separate company. That should be simple, because it's entirely contained within the building located at 151 front street in toronto.

As a separate company providing connectivity access to the last-mile copper to end-customers, it's connectivity charges to other companies (Bell, Teksavvy, etc) would be regulated by the CRTC.

The model for this is the breakup of Ontario Hydro into separate power-generation and power-distribution companies, and also the concept that even if Union Gas or Enbridge owns or operates natural gas distribution pipes, I don't have to buy my natural gas from them.
HeadSpinning
MNSi Internet

join:2005-05-29
Windsor, ON
kudos:5

Re: Time to break up Bell Canada

said by sm5w2:

We will keep fighting this battle until Bell Canada is broken up into at least 2 separate companies. The GAS (Gateway Access Service) needs to be split from Bell and operated as a separate company. That should be simple, because it's entirely contained within the building located at 151 front street in toronto.

The GAS network is not located at 151 Front Street. The GAS network is located all over Ontario & Quebec. 151 Front Street is just one place that is commonly used to interconnect to the GAS network.

We connect to the GAS network in Windsor at 1149 Goyeau Street for example.
--
MNSi Internet - »www.mnsi.net

sm5w2
Premium
join:2004-10-13
St Thomas, ON

Re: Time to break up Bell Canada

The point is that you split the GAS part of the network off into a separate company that, as a monopoly service, is heavily regulated by the CRTC in the same way that other similar monopoly-distributed services (gas, water, electricity) are regulated. Then other companies can hook up to the GAS and provide various end-user services (telco/pstn, ADSL, IPTV, etc) which can be less-regulated by the CRTC because there are more players in that space. As an end-customer, I play a flat-fee for my GAS connection - regardless how much data flows through it or what services it carries. It's the retail-level provider (Bell, Teksavvy, etc) that will sell me what-ever service they choose, with what-ever bandwidth capacity, speed, or caps as they choose, and they will compete for my business. And maybe I'll be paying this new GAS company directly for my GAS connection, or maybe it's bundled with what-ever retail-level service I buy from a third-party.

But that's how this should work.

Cable is a different story. The way I understand it, CATV systems were bought, installed and paid-for totally by private enterprise over the years, and as such do not justify being regulated by the CRTC any more than any newspapers or magazines would or could be.

Cable systems should have the ability or rights to sell any programming they want to on their private systems with no interference or oversight by the CRTC. CATV systems are not a public resource, unlike the broadcast spectrum which is a public resource.
rdcezar

join:2001-12-05
Markham, ON

Re: Time to break up Bell Canada

sm5w2: I'm guessing you would mean something like how in the UK, British Telecom had to start up BT OpenReach? »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Openreach

That would be quite interesting; you'd suddenly have a level playing field (hopefully). If BT can offer 40Mbps with unlimited usage at approximately $60CAD with unlimited calling, I'm sure Bell could AT LEAST match it.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Already said

that this "review" would come up with nothing. It's just a simple thing to make the PM look good. Especially when he "REQUESTED" that there be a review and not "ORDERED" as some "news"/blogs reported. And got everyone's hopes up that the issue with be overturned before anything was even really said.

Talk about drumming up the viewer ship on those sites. Gotta love it! UBB will come to Canada and the US is already and geared up to offer it anyway. Hell ATT already has the system in place and TWC does as well. Nothing like just flipping a switch and a few key strokes later. and BOOM! UBB is here.

CableDude60

@rogers.com

Re: Already said

We all agree that UBB is essentially a license to print money. The pure greed of these large coporations is sickening. I have no issue with companies making healthy profits, which is good overall for the economy. If ISP's want to protect their networks from abuse, from which they claim, the best way to go about it is to throttle the speeds of those abusers to a crawl,once they reach a set threshold. I think 150G/month is an acceptable threshold since most internet users barely go above 5-10 Gig/month.

saneblane

@teksavvy.com

That's what you think

"I think 150G/month is an acceptable threshold since most internet users barely go above 5-10 Gig/month."

That's not true at all. bell and those guys talk about the average, the average. but we need usage per plan. for example the average user on a 10mps plan uses more than 60 gigs. and the average user on 512kbps plan uses way more than 2 gigs. believe it or not if a person is using the internet even for surfing the net an average of 4 hours a day, your going to blow way past 10 gigs.loading flash site eats a lot of bandwidth.and don't forget those people who use iptv from bell or telus, they average about 400gigs easily, but they were conveniently left out of the bandwidth witchhunt.

the reason why that is so low is because most people aren't are on lite internet, their are even people i know who are on 5mbs, who get just above dial up speed. and bell's answer to that problem. "speed isn't a guaranteed figure, you can get up to 5, not your going to get 5. what a joke.

the so called bandwidth hogs as they call us. yes i am a bandwidth hog and am proud of it, you know why. my monthly bell bills use to be 170 dollars for tv, internet and phone. and the funny thing is, tv is full of commercials, the phone is way over priced and the net which use to be unlimited was being billied for usage.

so i signed up with teksavvy, got the extreme cable 15/1 for 49 bucks a month everything included. got rid of the satellite, and got a voip phone. phone is 10 bucks with italkbb, i use a vpn and got hulu plus u.s and netflix u.s, on a roku player.now my bill for everything
is about 80 dollars and that's for all the movie i can watch and tv shows on netflix and all the tv shows i can watch on hulu. my average usage per month is 300 gigs. but am the one who's the hog?. Gimme a break

i may be one and a few, but those iptv people are in the millions now. so i say to bell if you really want to manage bandwidth properly start throttling those fibe tv people, and am sure their will bandwidth left for everything else.
tyciol

join:2007-01-29
Richmond Hill, ON

Not enough

Promises to review are not enough: I simply do not want it. If they can not manage the last mile, the people should take control of their lands once more and have more ISP competition.