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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So last billing period, I went over the limit. Had to pay an extra $10.

Now, we're in the following billing period. I received an e-mail from my roommate that said "Hey cool it! You're already at 50% of the monthly usage." Sure enough, I logged in and he was right: I had used 30.6 GB of the 60 GB permitted in only 9 days. Anyone with common sense sees that I need to curtail my downloading. In other words, fewer YouTube videos.

So 5 days later, today, I log in, and here's what it says: used bandwidth: 29.62 GB.

You've got to be kidding me. How can this company be trusted?

I'm now questioning about the previous month's download meter. I am going to call and ask for the rebate on the overage charge for last month.
 

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It's very rare that there is an actual error. See the following thread on the topic and check your usage again. I (and everyone else) have found the ISPs to be accurate unless there is a mix-up of accounts.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=136205&highlight=tomato+router

In your case it's very odd that the usage went down, unless you were on the next billing cycle, but it is a good idea to view the 'day by day' usage and not just the total to see if it makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Same billing cycle.

It's not possible that the number goes down without an error.

Even if I used zero bandwidth for a consecutive number of days (which I do often when I leave for a weekend), the number should remain the same.
 

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As I wrote on another post

In Canada, the federal agency responsible for ensuring the accuracy of measurements is Measurement Canada. To date, the federal agency has done nothing to ensure that Canadians internet billing, like their gas, water or electricity is measured accurately.
Previously, I was somewhat blase about this issue but I realize now that we can't trust the Internet Service Providers to get this right on their own.

We need measurement Canada to legislate how Internet usage is measured and to oversee the development of an independent verification mechanism.
 

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From the same article, lets have a little perspective, bolding is mine:

It’s never good to impact even one, but let’s keep scale in mind – it’s less than 0.1 per cent of our Internet subscriber base affected and we’re making good to all of them. But yes, the timing is awful,” he added.
Also, so far there have been no similar documents for Rogers.

I see no need for independent verification which will increase our costs since there are enough people who do keep track to keep the ISPs honest. If you have a concern about your bills, start keeping track properly, even if only watching your daily usage to see if it makes sense. Or get some tracking software/hardware.

We have just as many complaints about electrical or gas bills on this site, but it's almost always an arithmetic error, or simply that the month was a high-use month, etc.
 

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What evidence do we have that it's 0.1%? They haven't fixed the problem so maybe the true number is 1% or 2%.

The fact is that Bell has been measuring usage for years and they still haven't go it right.

If you are going to charge people on usage then I think we have to have independent verification for the same reasons we have independent verification for water, gas, natural gas etc.

As far as costs go, I doubt it would cost much extra at all. Primus tells me they have to set up their own usage monitoring in addition to Bell so its not that big of an expense. In addition, if its interdependently created and verified, you only need to create one system and all the ISP's can use it.
 

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Your gas and electricity meters must conform to standards set out by Measurement Canada.
 

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then I think we have to have independent verification for the same reasons we have independent verification for water, gas, natural gas etc
It would also be nice to know exactly what they're measuring. There's a lot of traffic on networks that's not carrying user data. Also, what about all that spam email? Are they counting that garbage too? There are many other attacks over the internet that might increase your count. Are they counted too?
 

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What evidence do we have that it's 0.1%? They haven't fixed the problem so maybe the true number is 1% or 2%.
I find it odd that the number isn't either 100% or 0%, or are they only talking about users that went over their cap. I simply copied the point from the article, obviously.

I think we have to have independent verification
This costs money at a time when people don't want to spend more. As stated earlier, I see no need to spend the time and effort since we already have the technology to track this ourselves and report it to regulators, the press and the ISP. Tracking Gas or Electricity would be much more costly per user, although it would be pretty easy to check your water use with a "bucket". ;)
 

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^^^^
In any other area of businesses, measurement methods *MUST* be calibrated to spec, in order to prevent cheating. While you can certainly measure the amount of traffic, you still have to know what's being measured. I suppose we could check our data use with a "bit bucket". ;)
 

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Maybe you didnt, but check with your household or other users if they did download. Downloading 30gb worth in 9 days is not hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
^^
LOL @ JK.

The bucket just reminded me of a favourite song: "There's a Hole in the Bucket" by Harry Belafonte and Odetta.


For what it's worth, the cumulative usage totals until last Friday totaled 27.3 GB. Why it said 30.6 GB, I do not know. It's not like I looked at the wrong data, because 30.6 + 27.3 =/= 60 GB.
 

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Is there a device that we can install to check gas and electricity usage?
No and yes, as discussed here

Accurate measurements are a huge issue, especially considering the way that customers are billed for excess usage. After being a Bell subscriber for 40 years, I am convinced that Bell will never get their billing system right. They can't be trusted to bill POTS correctly, so how can they be trusted with something as complex as UBB? My experiences with Rogers are better but I've seen some huge billing mistakes from them as well. Now they want to be trusted when even small errors in complex measurement systems can result in millions of dollars a month in consumer over-billing. I wouldn't be as concerned if the UBB billing rate was something realistic, like $0.02/GB/mo instead of $2.00/GB/mo, especially when the real wholesale cost is close to $0.005/GB.
 

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Previously, I was somewhat blase about this issue but I realize now that we can't trust the Internet Service Providers to get this right on their own.

We need measurement Canada to legislate how Internet usage is measured and to oversee the development of an independent verification mechanism.
Well said - I think the ISPs may have opened a real "can-of-worms" for themselves with this.

If they are so keen on Usage Based Billing, then they are expected to go through the costs associated with making sure it's all done ACCURATELY and verified by an independent party. And my feeling is that won't be a cheap (or quick) undertaking.

I've been floored how often Bell's usage numbers have used in statements by the CRTC or even in news media coverage. Further, it's terrible when those numbers aren't prefaced as being supplied by Bell. And lastly, could we not at least get some comparison numbers from Shaw and Rogers? Even if they are similar numbers, at least you have a benchmark - validity aside that is.
 

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Check and see if your router can count it's own bandwidth. I use DD-WRT and it counts data both up and down. I add it up and compare with what Rogers has...normally it's very close.
 

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Check and see if your router can count it's own bandwidth.
The vast majority of off the shelf routers cannot. The only ones at this point are new ones from Netgear meaning probably 99% of users cannot measure their own internet usage in a reliable fashion.
 
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