So It Begins: Small ISPs Begin Cutting Download Limits

by Jordan Richardson on February 1, 2011

The results of the CRTC’s recent ruling over usage-based billing are already coming out in the open. Even as the federal Liberals push for the government to reverse the decision, customers of smaller internet service providers are set to experience cuts in streaming or download limits that could amount to nearly 90 percent.

As the CBC reports, March 1 will be the day that customers subscribing to “five-megabits-per-second internet service with Teksavvy will only be able to use 25 gigabytes per month in Ontario and 60 gigabytes per month in Quebec instead of 200 gigabytes per month.” The company added that customers who exceed the new cap will be subject to “hefty surcharges.” Also, unlimited internet service packages are now off the table.

Thousands of customers of similar internet providers are receiving other notifications that state essentially the same thing. Limits are going down and customers are being given their legally-required 30-day notice. Teksavvy’s email referenced the CRTC decision, noting that the regulator was “forcing all independent DSL and cable internet providers to substantially match incumbent (like Bell) usage rate caps.”

Customers are understandably furious, but word of this sort of thing has been coming down the pipe for a long time. Businesses will be impacted heavily, too, and users whose careers depend on internet service will have to watch their limits carefully.

Tom Copeland, chair of the Canadian Association of  Internet Providers, says that these cuts will become industry standard. Wholesalers will impose similar caps, he says, noting that Canada’s telecommunications industry is “monkey see, monkey do.” That means that even customers of larger internet providers, like Bell or Telus for example, can expect to see these types of limits imposed on their service plans.

While there has been considerable uprising from Canadians, many are still surprised that this sort of thing is going on.

Distracted by flashy new gadgets, like tablet computers or smart phones, many simply go about their business without concern to how much internet they’re able to use. They’re unaware that Canada has some of the highest rates in the world for exceeding current usage caps, for instance, and they’re also unaware that those rates are going to be imposed on more people with this ruling. They’re also largely  unaware that, while Canada tops speeds in the United States, we lag behind countries like Bulgaria, Moldova and Latvia.

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Federal Government to Decide on CRTC Internet Billing Ruling —
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