Main | Thursday, February 03, 2011

Ontario Gets Metered Internet Usage

An Ontario internet provider is the first in Canada to impose greatly lowered usage caps on its customers. This move comes in response to the exploding popularity of heavy-bandwidth sites like Netflix. Customers who exceed their contracted usage will page steep fees.
Starting on March 1, Ontario TekSavvy members who subscribed to the 5Mbps plan have a new usage cap of 25GB, "substantially down from the 200GB or unlimited deals TekSavvy was able to offer before the CRTC's decision to impose usage based billing," the message added. By way of comparison, Comcast here in the United States has a 250GB data cap. Looks like lots of Canadians can kiss that kind of high ceiling goodbye. And going over will cost you: according to TekSavvy, the CRTC put data overage rates at CAN $1.90 per gigabyte for most of Canada, and $2.35 for the country's French-speaking region.

Bottom line: no more unlimited buffet. TekSavvy users who bought the "High Speed Internet Premium" plan at $31.95 now get 175GB less per month. "Extensive web surfing, sharing music, video streaming, downloading and playing games, online shopping and email," could put users over the 25GB cap, TekSavvy warns. Also, watch out "power users that use multiple computers, smartphones, and game consoles at the same time."
So not only are some internet providers charging users much more for the same service, they are charging the providers more to deliver that content. What a freekin' racket.

UPDATE: Canadian readers point out that the government is threatening to ban the new billing system.

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