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CRTC Announces UBB Hearing For July
Unsurprisingly Says They Won't Expand Scope Of Their Inquiry
by Karl Bode 03:54PM Friday Mar 11 2011 Tipped by Davesnothere See Profile
As we've been covering, Canadian regulatory agency the CRTC recently had their (or should we say Bell's) effort to impose usage-based billing (UBB) on Canadian wholesalers and consumers shot down by Canadian leaders for being anti-competitive, punitive, and generally just ridiculous. The review was demanded after immense public backlash to the concept, though the CRTC's inquiry is expected to be rather hollow. Several of our friends to the north note that the CRTC today issued a statement announcing they'll be holding a public hearing in July in Gatineau. Surprising pretty much nobody in Canada, they agency won't be trying very hard to expand the scope of their inquiries:
quote:
The CRTC will not be expanding the scope, as requested by several parties, to include the billing practices for retail Internet services. There is no evidence that market forces are not working properly in this unregulated market. Finally, the CRTC will not review, as was also requested by several parties, the overall regulatory framework for wholesale high-speed Internet access services. The overall framework was not part of the decision that is being reviewed, and it would not be appropriate to initiate such a wide-ranging review within the current proceeding.
The only way such punitive pricing can be foisted on a market is if the market suffers from a lack of competition and regulatory capture, so the CRTC's comments indicate a certain detachment from reality. That was also recently apparent when CRTC leaders were called before lawmakers to justify UBB, only to complain about being there and make it clear they really didn't fully understand the policies they were implementing at Bell's request. The July public hearing likely means little, since the CRTC is fond of fishing for public input -- and then ignoring it completely as they work to implement policies favored by incumbent ISPs. That's also repeatedly a problem in the United States, whose "pay to play" broadband policies Canada seems intent on mirroring.

The CRTC's latest announcement is being met with a series of hearty guffaws in several threads in our Canadian user broadband forums. On the positive front, at the very least Canadian consumers won't have to deal with the UBB threat until at least July, with most eager ISPs in a holding pattern until the current political mess calms down. On the other hand, pushing the agenda to the summer allows for plenty of time for political wrangling and the dissipation of consumer outrage.

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bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1

They won't expand the scope

But it's not as narrow as I expected. They left themselves wiggle room if the backlash continues to build. Not that I expect anything positive to actually come from that wiggle room...

The other downside is that while this means we won't have to deal with the threat of wholesale UBB until July at the soonest, it also means speed matching is on hold until then as well.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: They won't expand the scope

said by bt:

The other downside is that while this means we won't have to deal with the threat of wholesale UBB until July at the soonest, it also means speed matching is on hold until then as well.

Speed matching?
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JoePro

join:2006-11-01
canada

Re: They won't expand the scope

Wholesale ISPs don't have access to remotes and can only offer adsl speeds, ATM.
bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1
What JoePro said is correct. Wholesale DSL providers are currently limited to 5Mbps connections in Bell territory, and 6Mbps connections in Telus territory.

Some cable companies are also holding back the higher speed tiers they offer from cable wholesalers as well.

The speed matching ruling required that the phone and cable companies offer their full range of retail speed tiers to wholesale ISPs. As UBB significantly affects the pricing of those tiers between the last mile provider and the wholesaler, they are essentially on hold until UBB gets sorted out.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: They won't expand the scope

said by bt:

What JoePro said is correct. Wholesale DSL providers are currently limited to 5Mbps connections in Bell territory, and 6Mbps connections in Telus territory.

Some cable companies are also holding back the higher speed tiers they offer from cable wholesalers as well.

The speed matching ruling required that the phone and cable companies offer their full range of retail speed tiers to wholesale ISPs. As UBB significantly affects the pricing of those tiers between the last mile provider and the wholesaler, they are essentially on hold until UBB gets sorted out.

Thanks for explanation.
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hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Called this

a LONG time ago.
beachside

join:2009-06-28

1 recommendation

Oh please...

quote:
The July public hearing likely means little, since the CRTC is fond of fishing for public input -- and then ignoring it completely as they work to implement policies favored by incumbent ISPs.
This is a silly statement. The CRTC, in its decisions, has to consider the impact of its decisions. The public, when providing feedback, don't have to consider the impacts of their feedback if accepted. They don't even have to know what they're talking about.

Its a good thing the CRTC "ignores" a lot of public input.

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

Re: Oh please...

I'm missing precisely what's "silly" about the fact that the CRTC, stocked with many incumbent ISP executives and in a market suffering from regulatory capture, pretends to care about public input and then ignores said input (good and bad) entirely.
beachside

join:2009-06-28

Re: Oh please...

said by Karl Bode:

I'm missing precisely what's "silly" about the fact that the CRTC, stocked with many incumbent ISP executives and in a market suffering from regulatory capture, pretends to care about public input and then ignores said input (good and bad) entirely.

Its silly because its false and reflects a lack of understanding of the CRTC, its mandate and how it operates.

MerinX
Crunching for Cures
Premium
join:2011-02-03
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Shaw
said by beachside:

quote:
The July public hearing likely means little, since the CRTC is fond of fishing for public input -- and then ignoring it completely as they work to implement policies favored by incumbent ISPs.
This is a silly statement. The CRTC, in its decisions, has to consider the impact of its decisions. The public, when providing feedback, don't have to consider the impacts of their feedback if accepted. They don't even have to know what they're talking about.

Its a good thing the CRTC "ignores" a lot of public input.

Yes after all regulators work for corporations not the public interests right?
Let bell set whatever limits they want and lower them as they please and charge what they please well having an inaccurate measuring tool that Canadian regulators also refuse to regulate accuracy(measurement Canada)

Why should the CRTC have power over the internet when the head of it does not even know the difference between a gigahertz and a gigabyte? Watching him unable to form any sentences with any understanding during the hearings shows that the whole CRTC should be broken down,reformatted or replaced.

The only thing the CRTC considers is what the east/west duopolys tell them to consider.
beachside

join:2009-06-28

Re: Oh please...

said by MerinX:

Why should the CRTC have power over the internet when the head of it does not even know the difference between a gigahertz and a gigabyte?

Do you think the CEO of Toyota or Honda understands the technical differences between the many methods available for painting their cars? Do you think Harper understands how to calculate how much your EI payment would be if you were out of work?

Leaders don't require subject matter expertise.

pnjunction
Teksavvy Extreme
Premium
join:2008-01-24
Toronto, ON
kudos:1

Re: Oh please...

said by beachside:

This is a silly statement. The CRTC, in its decisions, has to consider the impact of its decisions. The public, when providing feedback, don't have to consider the impacts of their feedback if accepted. They don't even have to know what they're talking about.

said by beachside:

Leaders don't require subject matter expertise.

So apparently the CRTC doesn't have to know what they're talking about either? To me that sounds like a recipe to decide based on bias and ideology rather than facts.

How does the CRTC have to consider the impact of their suggestions? They're not elected, they showed clear contempt at even having to answer questions from elected officials. Ooh they've got a mandate, that's a worthless piece of paper if there isn't any 'enforcement' (who regulates the regulators?).

As far as we know (and it certainly appears this way) the only impact they consider is how their stocks are going to do and whether they'll land that sweet 'consulting' gig at a big telco when they go back through the revolving door.

Babyloff

@supralink.com
Right, that makes eminent sense, confirming that our leaders are allowed to be morons!
genzoulv

join:2004-10-05
Las Vegas, NV

Re: Oh please...

Their IQ is irrelevant. Their wealth and connections are how they got there. Well most of them anyway.

FLengineer
CCNA, CEH, MCSA
Premium
join:2007-06-26
Leesburg, FL

Hmmm

If I understand correctly they are comparing Bytes to Watts. If the power company can charge by the Watt why can't the ISP charge by the Byte..... What about my upload? If I provide a website for my family to see videos of my kids, is the ISP going to pay me for the Bytes that I provided to them?? If they was smart they would charge download bytes - upload bytes instead of charging download bytes + upload bytes in order to make their argument valid.
bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1

Re: Hmmm

said by FLengineer:

If I provide a website for my family to see videos of my kids, is the ISP going to pay me for the Bytes that I provided to them??

Hah! I never looked at it that way before! It's like feeding back into the grid

But no, to the big ISPs that would be just like the "Free ride" Google and Netflix get!

XNemesis

join:2002-11-16
Kitchener, ON

And yet again...we're WAITING

Seriously, another hearing, another waste of more months of beign stuck in a backwater state of high speed offerings. FFS, this just keeps dragging on year after year after year with nothing to show at all.

Who wants to be that after the hearing nothing will come of it, and the government in power will not do shit about it either.

End rage and pessimism

bryanviper

join:2002-10-12
Toronto, CAN
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

Re: And yet again...we're WAITING

I thought Tony Clement was supposed to do something within a month no?

If so why the hell do we have to wait months again until the stupid CRTC makes a list of excuses to give everybody when they rip into them.

This is stupid, they should have a week 2 weeks max to get moving on this topic and if they can't come to a conclusion that benefits the customer then fire all of them and get some real tech people in there that know what they are doing. Maybe even 1 person from all the ISP's. so 1 from bell/rogers/telus/teksavvy/acanac etc etc at least it would be a bit more fair then the BS ppl they have now.
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Computer Repair/Upgrades In Toronto.
vintagewino

join:2003-07-22
Grimsby, ON
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

1 edit

Re: And yet again...we're WAITING

... and we'll wait ... and we'll wait ...

Then an election will be called, and everything will go on hold, or worse, canceled.

... and we'll wait ... and we'll wait ... and we'll be screwed again

Clements: another damned mealy-mouthed politician that won't do anything except talk.

Von Finkenstein and his kiss-ass buddies (aka CRTC) who cow-tow to Bell & Rogers every whim and desire and give the rest of the Canadians the middle finger all need to get the same sign from us.

This damned waiting is strictly to make it APPEAR something is being done. In reality, SFA is being done. Time & money wasted on artificial placebo public hearings that are being held after the decision was made (with no thoughts of changing) just to make it APPEAR the public has been consulted.

In reality, they don't give a rat's fuzzy behind about the people in any way, shape or form.

Next vote, time to go independent.

andyb
Premium
join:2003-05-29
SW Ontario
kudos:1

Re: And yet again...we're WAITING

Clement is actually going to address wholesale(and retail) issues in his digital strategy announcement in May.Dont count him out.He may be a politician but is also not stupid.He knows whats going on.He will not say anything untill such time thou.He will let CRTC run its funny farm hearing and then decide depending on outcome.Bell knows what he said and will come to the table either armed with fake stats or a "new" proposal.This aint over by a long shot
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: And yet again...we're WAITING

and you really think Tony is going to do something? If he was going to he would have a long time ago. He's only buying time by pushing this off and off. Once any election goes on and he's voted in again; this will be back in affect.

andyb
Premium
join:2003-05-29
SW Ontario
kudos:1

Re: And yet again...we're WAITING

Yes I do.What I cant say but the digital strategy "should" contain some info.He has stated it will have something to do with retail and wholesale broadband.Right now its a matter of the gov getting as far as May to find out.With all 3 parties acting on it UBB wont go away to quick.

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

I thought Tony Clement was supposed to do something within a month no?

He told the CRTC to re-study the issue and come back with their results, and that he'd wait until they did that to act if it was necessary for him to act. He also said he'd overturn UBB if they still stick to it after study.

bryanviper

join:2002-10-12
Toronto, CAN
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

Re: And yet again...we're WAITING

said by fatness:

said by bryanviper:

I thought Tony Clement was supposed to do something within a month no?

He told the CRTC to re-study the issue and come back with their results, and that he'd wait until they did that to act if it was necessary for him to act. He also said he'd overturn UBB if they still stick to it after study.

Thank you
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Computer Repair/Upgrades In Toronto.
GAMEFUEL

join:2011-01-05

Re: And yet again...we're WAITING

UBB is not evil, if it had been approached with the right attitude it would have improved the quality of internet in Canada.

*Reasonable limits
*Not forcing every ISP to use it/ Allowing them to actually have unlimited usage plans
*Price per GB limit / not allowing 500% mark up

No more studies and statistics provided by the ISP with no way to monitor the accuracy.

The Canadian government needs take control of the pipe lines so every ISP is charged equally to use the existing infrastructure. Then we can be certain that the money will be used to expand, improve, update, and maintain the lines. Allow foreign ISP or MSO into Canada to create some actually competition. Although I suspect if the government did start to regulate the pipe line “the last mile” ISPs that bell currently lease to will be able to have a fighting chance at competing against the current monopoly.

We need to create a system that only allows the efficient or innovative to compete in the marketplace, and removes these complacent giants.

On a side note the only reason that this would take another 3 months to decide is if they are simply stalling until they can get enough politicians in their pockets to move this bill threw. Are else there really is no point because without support even if they try the exact same bill again it will be shot down regardless.

Chuck kCAR

@teksavvy.com

Re: And yet again...we're WAITING

Price per GB limit / not allowing 500% mark up?

Try a 20,000 percent markup. They're selling gigabytes at 2 dollars apiece or more for something that costs around one cent at peak hours.

J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Rogers Portable ..
said by fatness:

said by bryanviper:

I thought Tony Clement was supposed to do something within a month no?

He told the CRTC to re-study the issue and come back with their results, and that he'd wait until they did that to act if it was necessary for him to act. He also said he'd overturn UBB if they still stick to it after study.

He did the same for Wind, allowing them to set up shop in Canada, which NOW the CRTC is fighting, again.

What might put an interesting spin on things is if there is a 'snap' federal election which is a possibility this spring. In which case, Bell will get what it wants. (unless it becomes an election issue itself for the Conservatives, Liberal and New Democrats)
--
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CliqueofOne

join:2003-08-22
Brantford, ON

1 recommendation

The CRTC is Simply Buying Time For Bell

There's a chance the Feds may have an election this spring. Just watch what could happen after this election. No matter which of the two major parties come to power, it'll remain a corporate, foreign, and private interest, controlled government. UBB will come to pass. The CRTC is simply buying time for Bell by going through the illusion that it exists for the benefit of the people.
vintagewino

join:2003-07-22
Grimsby, ON
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

Re: The CRTC is Simply Buying Time For Bell

Since the petition has not gone into the Gazette, should the upcoming budget fall and we go to the polls, everything that has occurred against UBB will be lost and gone. RoBelLus (CRTC) will rule the roost again without competition.

Likely at that point, Wind (Orascom) will have problems as well.

You have one supplier. if you don't like it or the way you're being gouged in the pocket, tough.

andyb
Premium
join:2003-05-29
SW Ontario
kudos:1

Re: The CRTC is Simply Buying Time For Bell

Next week is earliest it will be in Gazette.Thats week before non confidence motion in the house
crazypants

join:2011-02-25
North York, ON

Re: The CRTC is Simply Buying Time For Bell

said by andyb:

Next week is earliest it will be in Gazette.Thats week before non confidence motion in the house

Judging on what is transpiring in Ottawa and a possible non-confidence vote, this will play well for the CRTC if an election happens in early May. If there is a majority this time, there will be a possibility the new government will show little interest.

samol

@bell.ca

July is Vacation Time

"On the other hand, pushing the agenda to the summer allows for plenty of time for political wrangling and the dissipation of consumer outrage."

The CRTC I'm sure, is well aware that a lot of Canadians will be on vacation in JULY. Just another sneaky move by the CRTC and their Bell Masters.

pcguy

join:1999-10-15
Winnipeg, MB

Saw this coming last month.

Well nothing new here. Federal body using stalling tactics with the minister still tweeting but doing nothing. Remember "actions speak louder than words" Mr Clement!
donkey

join:2008-04-08
Montreal, QC

clement

time for tony to s.... or get off the pot as the saying goes.
jibby

join:2008-03-31

waste of time

Sweet! they added another jump to the dog & pony show!

(i can't call it a kangaroo court anymore because its taking so long)

I'm so excited to hear KvF confuse gigahertz and gigabytes again!

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

Time to ramp up my downloading then

Looks like I'll be hanging on to my legacy no-cap status a while longer. I recently found jdownloader - makes downloading from hotfile, rapidshare, etc so incredibly easy. I just watched The Adjustment Bureau a couple hours ago.

••••

Just a GUY

@acanac.net

UBB

Well they are just going through the motion of consulting whoever, so they can go around and say "THEY HAVE CONSULTED".

They have already made up their minds, and they are going to TRY to IMPOSE the "UBB" down the THROATS OF THE COMMON MAN.
avmf84

join:2004-08-22
Port Hope, ON

Re: UBB

You are correct and if its rejected I know just as you and everyone else knows they will keep pushing this till they get it through.

Since it is never over if we win the battle they will still eventually win the war. For the people pushing UBB it's never over until they get there way. They will just keep having temper tantrums and they will kick there feet and stomp there heels till they get there way.

I honestly see no way to fight these morons. All I can say is everyone pushing UBB is lucky I am not the prime minister. If I was they would all be out of a job since I would fire all of them. I mean everyone the CRTC the head CEO's of bell and Rogers everyone trying to push this through. If any politician was also involved I would fire them as well.