Sunday, February 6, 2011

Canada: Wholesale Usage Fees Delayed

The Canadian regulator, CRTC, decided few weeks ago to allow wholesale carriers to use metered (usage based) billing (see "CRTC [Canada] Approves Usage Based Billing to Bell Canada" - here). The decision was quickly translated into usage-based charging by Canadian ISPs (see "Canadian ISPs Charge DSL Subscribers for Over-Consumption" - here).

Now, the chairman of the CRTC, Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C. (picture), announced that the CRTC has decided to "Delay the implementation of usage-based billing for wholesale customers by at least 60 days and Launch, of our own motion, a review of our decision to verify that:
  1. it protects consumers
  2. those who use the Internet heavily pay for their excess use, and
  3. Small ISPs retain maximum flexibility and continue to be a key source of innovation in the industry."
See "Statement from the Chairman of the CRTC on usage-based billing" - here.

Primus, for example, announced that (here) "In light of the CRTC’s recent announcement to review their decision and delay the implementation of Usage Based Billing, Primus will not implement usage caps on our internet service for at least 60 days, pending final direction from the CRTC".

I can’t see any change to Bell Internet "Get answers to your Internet usage questions" page (here).

Nevertheless, the CRTC message emphasizes that "We are convinced that Internet services are no different than other public utilities, and the vast majority of Internet users should not be asked to subsidize a small minority of heavy users. For us, it is a question of fundamental fairness. Let me restate: ordinary users should not be forced to subsidize heavy users "

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