Posts tagged: canada
Hello. As you may or may not have heard, Canada has approved UBB, that is, Usage-Based Billing for all ISPs. This means the end of unlimited internet for individuals in Canada.
This makes me incredibly angry, because it’s backwards, it’s anti-competitive, and it’s expensive.
“Bandwidth (computing) or digital bandwidth: a rate of data transfer, bit rate or throughput, measured in bits per second (bps)”
I believe it’s fair to charge for BANDWIDTH. i.e. THROUGHPUT. That’s what actually costs money. If these telecom idiots hadn’t overprovisioned their infrastructure in the first place so that they could scam customers for more money, they wouldn’t have to do this to save their asses.
Ever notice how at “peak hours” the ‘net gets slower? That’s because Rogers or Bell or whoever it may be did not bother spending the money to upgrade the fiber to your local hub. In any other business this is unacceptable (taking into consideration interference and other such factors). I have a 100Mbps network, I EXPECT at LEAST 60Mbps out of it.
Once the physical medium is in place, who gives a damn how much data goes through it? It’s not like there’s physical wear on the equipment. Sure there’s maintenance, but like everything else in computing, it makes more sense to upgrade rather than to repair. So why not make network upgrades, and offer higher speeds at higher prices?
Charging for usage is wrong. Plus they’re making up rules while misusing technical terms. =Double angry.
Vancouver’s city council says that Internet traffic metering discriminates against video and audio streaming providers.
Finally, some level of government is taking action against Bell and the CRTC’s decision! For those who don’t know, all of us Canadians are being ripped off by our broadband carriers. They impose arbitrary bandwidth caps and require end uses to pay premium prices for extra speed in order to up these limits.
Now, before you get all “well I never hit my cap, it must be all those BitTorrenting pirates. They should stop complaining and buy movies like the rest of us”, let me point out that there are a many ways of acquiring content with high bandwidth requirements legally online. To name a few, iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, as well as the websites of every national television network and radio station. Not to mention the loads of freeware/shareware and open-source software, digital downloads of proprietary operating systems and productivity software, SDKs, game demos, benchmarks, software updates, and even data transfer for business purposes. The list goes on and on and I won’t bother or even attempt to list more uses.
Point is, what is the purpose of having an “information superhighway” if some users are faced with arbitrary tolls and speed limits in addition to advertising?
How is streaming media supposed to render optical media obsolete if we aren’t free to consume it? How do we keep our systems up to date if we have to count the bytes downloaded for each update pack? How are we to move to video conferencing, VoIP, and social media with horribly limited upstream bandwidth?
Anyway, enough with the negativity. Thanks to Vancouver and openmedia.ca, there is a glimmer of hope for Canadian Internet users!
For more info, check out http://stopthemeter.ca/ .
This used to be on my googlepages page, but apparently that’s going to be shut down, so here it is now.
Download, unzip and stick the two files (cf.icns and cf.keylayout) in /Library/Keyboard Layouts. Then go to System Prefs, International (Language and Text for Snow users), Input Menu and check off “Canadien Francais 0.9″. (You may need to log out and back in before the new layout appears in System Preferences).
OR use the easy-peasy version that I made. Just unzip and double-click:
I did NOT make this keyboard layout, I found it somewhere on the web but the original site is now gone.
Voici le clavier Canadien francais pour Mac OS X. C’est l’equivalent du clavier “Canadian French” ou Francais (Canada) sous Windows. Lien de telechargement ci-dessus.
You may also want to try Microsoft’s keyboard layouts bundle: Microsoft Keyboards.bundle
Here is the actual keyboard layout screenshot:
Looks like unlimited Internet access no longer exists for Canadians (or at least Ontarians, at any rate). The CRTC has approved a petition by Bell to charge small ISPs (TekSavvy, Velcom, Acanac) for the bandwidth they use. These small companies are currently the only way for most residential customers to get true unlimited Internet access at home. The large Canadian ISPs such as Rogers, Bell Sympatico and Videotron all limit their customers’ download traffic, forcing those who need more to upgrade to more expensive service plans. This is absolutely ridiculous. In an age of digital media, where high-bitrate HD content and streaming video are becoming more and more commonplace, along with steadily increasing Internet connection speeds, this is a big step backwards for Canadians. Furthermore, the small ISPs are now at risk of going bankrupt, since their major selling point is their unlimited or high traffic allowance.
Seems the CRTC has failed Canadians once again. Now that I’ve had my little rant, the question is, what can be done to reverse the decision, or to prevent anything worse from happening?