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Canadian Steam/Netflix users to feel the pinch of new Internet UBB Policy

Posted by on 31/01/2011

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Canadians are up in arms against a new Internet cap policy coming into effect soon thanks to the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Basically, rather than enjoying the benefits of downloading unlimited data via the Internet, users will now have to pay hefty fines if they cross their set data plans.

Usage-Based Billing (UBB) basically has been around for quite some time in other countries, but the CRTC and big media corporation have somehow thought it would be a brilliant idea to abuse the UBB plans by setting data caps as low as 25GB per month. If users cross their limit, they could face fees as high as $4.00 per extra gigabyte. The CRTC has done this in an effort to bring users back to the television scene and getting them to subscribe to HD viewing plans rather than watching shows or making calls online for much cheaper (or even free).

With the Internet becoming such a high bandwidth information channel, even regular users would easily reach their caps within a short space of time per month. Also, when compared to the rest of the world, the caps are certainly much lower and the excess charges are much higher.

Folks planning to download any movies, games or large file size programs should think again. Online game distributor Steam will definitely feel the pinch. With most games starting at arounf 6GB in size, gamers may actually have to reconsider getting their products at a brick and mortar store instead. The obvious crunch falls on Netflix because the CRTC is trying to boost customers in the television department. No longer will folks be able to download tons of movies from the web, but will have to purchase it through a cable corporate such as Bell, for a much higher price.

There really is no excuse of over trafficked servers because when they hit the off-peak periods, there is much room for data download for the more bandwidth hungry users. Also many are questioning whether this is against the anti-competitive laws because trying to move customers from one service to another with outrageous prices and no clear and justifiable reason is just plain unfair. Clearly they are moving in a negative direction. Rather than improving on the Internet, they are putting a major bottleneck on it.

It’s funny how the data plans were not set to be applicable during high peak periods alone, but it’s not funny because the obvious truth reigns above their veil of lies.

At the moment users still enjoy unlimited plans and many have already started up campaigns to stop the policy being passed. If you want to read up about the whole situation, check out Anti UBB.

Here are what some Twitter users had to say about the situation.

Canada has implented broadband cap.(UBB- Usage Based Billing). Affects Steam and Netflix users tremendously http://bit.ly/gmXLe7
@Jayvee
Jayvee Fernandez
Canadians need to make the CRTC’s latest UBB ruling an election issue – unless we all want to a collective trip back to the Stone Ages
@taylornoakes
Taylor C. Noakes
It the telcos are so concerned about saturated networks, why not provide an incentive to use the Internet during off-peak hours? #UBB
@benlucier
Ben Lucier
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