Friday, January 28, 2011

MTS Allstream, Shaw Cable, UBB and U and Me.

What is taking MTS so long on switching to their new 3.5G network? My Rogers contract expires in two months! Shaw is planning on charginging $2 a gig for exceeding their lowered 60 GB cap, so for once I'm actually considering a switch to MTS (especially with the way they argued against UBB with the CRTC..) Makes me proud that the only respectable incumbent ISP left is Manitoban. Though I am severely disappointed in Shaw. Jim Shaw leaves, and the company turns to complete shit in a matter of months.

Heres the thing about Shaw charging for bandwidth overages. They do a study that shows people aren't using their bandwidth to backup lowering the caps. *THEN* they fix their bandwidth monitoring tool (my bandwidth seems to have jumped by 300% since then.. coincidence?) Then they implement charging for going over their caps. Screw them. They've squandered all of the good will I had for them in one fell swoop. Their non-existent cell phone service? Off the table for me. Shaw has positioned themselves in the same boat as Rogers and Bell. I hope the UBB charges they get from people will offset all of the people who will be cancelling service with them. I'm not the heaviest internet user out there, but I'm not some grandma using the internet once a week either. However I will make it my goal to badmouth Shaw and convince people to switch until they act in a more respectable manner.

I'm concerned for people like my mother, who runs an unencrypted wireless network using Shaw lite. Sure I could fix that, but that would mean going to my mothers place and .. fixing it. Which again, screw you Shaw. For making me do that work. For making me go through my old emails to see if I ever used a email for anything important and forcing me to change it.

But most of all, screw the CRTC. Screw the people AT the CRTC. They are clearly criminals who deserve to be punished for their treasonous actions against the internet and Canadians. That they wont, causes me to lose any little faith I had in society. And once people start to lose faith in their society, the rule of law crumbles. All actions have repercussions. Certain individuals need to be mindful of the fact that their blase decisions don't happen in a bubble. They affect us all. There is only so far people can be pushed before people start to push back. The CRTC thinks these companies should be allowed to take the policies of the most hated companies in Canada and apply them to the internet too. The CRTC thinks companies that own the media industry should be allowed to shut down their competition on the internet using bandwidth caps that are shameful compared to any other country, using charges that are 1000x pure profiteering. Despite the fact that they exist as monopolies because Canadians themselves used tax dollars to INVEST in that infrastructure. Maybe these companies should be made to realise that the repercussions of acting in such a reprehensible way is government takeover of what used to be their companies. Think then they'll act so callously?


Anonymous said...

Good article - and I agree. This implementation of UBB is absolutely ridiculous, and completely unnecessary. Our ISPs are fabricating this supposed level of bandwidth congestion so they have an excuse to prevent us from using their online TV competitors, such as Netflix. Thanks for bringing it to people's attention. The ISPs would obviously rather that this situation stays quiet for now. At least until people realize their bills have doubled or tripled.

** The CRTC has approved METERED BILLING for all Canadian internet service providers.  Also known as "UBB", this will put a "meter" on your internet, and you will now be charged PER BYTE for Email, web surfing, Windows updates, video games, and any other online activity! **

Matt Stein, Vice-President of Network Services for Primus, calls UBB overage fees:
"an economic disincentive for internet use" since the charges levied by Bell Canada are "many, many, many times what it costs to actually deliver it."

The CEO of Teksavvy ISP said:
"UBB is pure profit. IP transport of internet data is somewhere between $3 and $10/Mbps for companies like ours.... So doing basic math we're talking of $3-$10 per 300GB of data... So 1 to 3 pennies per gig of downloading on the Internet transit side."

ISPs use misleading information, telling customers that their limits are generous, and overstate the cost of bandwidth. In fact, bandwidth is 1-3 PENNIES per GB, but ISPs are charging $2 PER GB!

Canadian ISPs are using UBB as an excuse to control our access to their TV competitors, ie: Netflix, Hulu, etc.  It is clearly a conflict of interest to allow a TV Broadcaster who is also an ISP, to limit our access to their competition.  

With these massive new overage fees, once you are over your recently lowered "usage cap", every HD Netflix movie will cost you an extra $8!

This is how Netflix feels about this situation:

Here is what YOU can do to put a stop to metered billing:

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:

Fight back!  Visit Open Media's facebook page, and join the fight - Thousands of Canadians working together to put an END to metered billing!

Please sign the petition!  Forward it to your friends, family, and co-workers. We need to act on this, or every single Windows update, web page, and email will cost you money.
150,000 signatures and growing fast, but we need YOUR support!

Gustav Nelson said...

Well, you started off fine, then you lost me right at the end.

You're switching services and taking your money to someone who provides a better value for your dollar, which is the appropriate action to take.
You don't need to run to the government and demand something happen everytime someone changes something.

reedsolomon.matr1x at said...

No, but I'm fed up with the abuse of profiteering oligarchs. Bell has a monopoly on internet copper in much of the country, heavily subsidized by Canadian taxpayers. The CRTC is itself filled up mainly of industry shills.

There comes a time when a company acts so heinously that they should be put down in the worst possible way. Old Yeller style. This is what I believe. Bell is one such company.

In the same way a Wal-Mart or McDonalds shits its pants at the idea of a union coming in, so too does a Bell or Rogers or Shaw shit their pants at the idea of outside regulation and nationalization. They've honestly pushed things too far, and need to be stopped absolutely.

I have no assurances either, that MTS won't go down the same route. But for the time being, I will give them the benefit of the doubt that their board is run by sensible businessmen and not parasitic demon creatures that would drink the blood of newborn babes should they find any available.

Gustav Nelson said...

I think the system is set up pretty crappy too, because it allows for monopolies and oligarchies to be set up and it's because of the CRTC and high barriers to entry created by protectionist laws, that there are these problems.
If you want lower rates, you have to increase competition, which means reducing regulations, not creating more of the same.

Rolling_Go said...

Unfortunately, most of Canada doesn't have a choice to take their business elsewhere. TekSavvy in Ontario just announced being forced to drop their cap from 250gb/mo to 25gb. Same will go for all other resellers that fall under Bell/Rogers across Canada. At least I have Sasktel that I can rely on.

quinblake said...

I'm surprised you've even used Shaw up to this point. They use deep packet inspection.

reedsolomon.matr1x at said...

I started with Videon (how I miss them) and just never switched away once shaw acquired them. I am aware of their use of Deep Packet Inspection and throttling, but it has never really affected me. Shaw held a pretty sensible line on things otherwise until now. Heck, I give them props for getting Global on Over the Air in HDTV in Winnipeg when no other channel has yet followed them (I'm looking at you, CBC, CTV). But this is too much. They've pulled the elastic band too far and they need a painful reminder of the limits to profiteering and corruption. If Bell suggests something and your first thought is "That sounds like a good idea, lets do that" then you need to be put down for your own good.

reedsolomon.matr1x at said...

Gustav, the problem is reducing regulation is not some sort of magic solution to everything the way you espouse it to be. Hey, going to the doctors costs too much, lets reduce regulation. Hey, automobiles cost too much. lets reduce regulation. Hey, banks aren't profitable enough. Let's reduce bank regulations. Regulation exists for a purpose. All of the above scenarios are ones that you seem to have an idealistic leaning towards. What should be reduced is monopolies, not regulation. I include copyright and patent monopolies in there as well. It serves us no good for life saving drugs and techniques to be patented. It has been proven time again to actually hinder progress rather than advance it. But I admit I've gone off on a tangent.

Gustav Nelson said...

There are two ways that monopolies can exist, one either through take over of the market in which companies buy out competition and offer low prices that others cannot compete or through corporatist government in which governments set up barriers to entry in which small businesses cannot compete.
The latter is the problem here in Canada and adding more regulations is just going drive up costs for other businesses to try and enter the market.
Monopolies are only a bad thing when they happen because of government help.