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Discussion Starter #1
Most of the major providers in Canada are heading towards usage based billing (or are there already) and away from a flat-fee "all you can eat" consumption model. Ultimately, the real reason for this is two-fold - to protect legacy TV revenues and to maintain network integrity with the expected onslaught of HD video availability.

I read many rants from people demanding that they continue to be allowed to download/upload as much as they want, for no additional cost, while at the same time crowing about how they are getting their TV programs legally/illegally over the Internet.

I'm trying to look at the situation from a small provider perspective. All those around me are telling me that UBB is inevitable and must happen or we're doomed. I'd like to think there's some happy medium between what the public wants and the fairly draconian policies implemented by the major providers.

I'd like to get some thoughts from anyone interested in the topic. Hopefully not knee-jerk responses. I believe that the all you can eat era is ending, and that's unavoidable, so if that's all you believe in, you probably can't contribute much to this thread.

Thanks for any comments you may have.
 

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I would not mind Monthly limits on my internet if they were reasonable, however, since I'm getting unlimited I would not want to switch to a limited bandwidth.

We you run a website and you have to, very often simply backup information it gets to be costly if you only get 5GB.

Basically I'm saying if I get 500GB of monthly data that would do. But I would have one rule, instead of charging "overage fees" or shutting you off, why not just slow you down a bit. Not to dialup speeds, just a little faster.

So basically 500GB now you wouldn't be able to exceed unless you're running a big company. It would all depend on speeds too.

Bells 10GB Rural Internet and Telus' 5GB Mobile plan is not enough for me to run a website.
 

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I have always believed that UBB is the way to go but that only covers part of the cost.

Realistically, there are four basic costs that must be covered: Administration, Infrastructure, Service and Bandwidth.

My suspicion is that bandwidth is not a major cost and that service is one of the biggest.

So ideal pricing:

Admin - should be a flat fee per annum
Infrastructure - should be a flat fee per annum
Service - maybe a monthly or annual fee so many calls after which a fee is added
Bandwidth - cost per GB

Also I think that infrastructure should not be charged twice. Why should a cable company charge a fee for both cable and internet when its the same cable.
 

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The model that the incumbents are using is anti-competitive, anti-productive and does not progress broadband in Canada. Maybe this is what they want.

Yes, they are building "newer" infrastructure. However, in the case of DSL, they are offering a faster network sold as "Fibre" when infact it is not. They advertise faster speeds- however this will only get you to your bandwidth cap faster. The Caps have actually been reduced in most cases. There's no point to having a 4-lane highway if the highway is only a kilometer long.

The troubling part, is how Bell/Telus are wanting to dictate smaller ISP's offerings by asking the CRTC to extend UBB to them. By implementing UBB, you are taking away the last competitive offering they have. Most are limited to 5MB by regulation- although that appears to have changed with a recent CRTC ruling this week. Bell/Telus will likely appeal it again, further delaying it.

I don't feel for a minute that UBB is the way to go. It is nothing more than a protectionist measure by the big guys for their TV services (which are garbage anyway). If Caps "must" be imposed, make them more realistic for 2010. They are simply too low for what most people are doing online now.

I strongly feel it's time to separate last mile and back-end infrastructure, as there are 2 companies in all of Canada that control the last mile. The last mile should be a publicly owned infratructure, the same as hydro, water, and gas. The rates should also be regulated to protect gouging. ISP's would then rent the lines to the customer's residence.

Canada's model is broken. Without progressive government action, we will continue to pay the highest money for the lowest and most restrictive service.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So cambo, what is a reasonable cap for what most people are doing now?

Keep in mind that what you think most people are doing right now, is wrong. Heavy users think that everyone else is a heavy user, and that's just not the case.

For example, in August 2010, we had the following traffic breakdown:

0.9% of users used more than 150 GB combined (upload + download)
4.4% used between 50 GB and 150 GB
23.0% used between 10 GB and 50 GB
31.5% used between 2 GB and 10 GB
40.2% used less than 2 GB

It looks like we could have about a 60 GB cap each month and only annoy 5% of the users. But this feels low to me.
 

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It looks like we could have about a 60 GB cap each month and only annoy 5% of the users. But this feels low to me.
We have seen similar numbers in similar threads where we have discussed caps before, so your numbers are probably accurate.

Also I think that infrastructure should not be charged twice. Why should a cable company charge a fee for both cable and internet when its the same cable.
Well if everyone only had cable TV or internet, then there wouldn't be a need for as much infrastructure, although the addition of the second service is incremental cost. Think of it as a larger single pipe instead of two smaller pipes. It's how much you pay overall that matters obviously.
 

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I checked my usage over the last few months from Rogers.
I used 10,5,4,6,4,4 Gb out of a monthly cap of 60GB. I do not download movies nor music.

I wonder if a model could work like this:

The ISP has a cap whatever it is for whatever money it chooses... its their business model.
BUT if you go to a site ( something like a HULU or even Itunes) and pay for and download a movie/music, something with an appreciable amount of data, that data should be paid for to the ISP from the download provider and be outside the cap. That is the price of the movie should include the cost of the download. This would also work over the cellular network.

A scheme like that would be fair I think. As we have so few major ISPs and last mile providers in Canada it would work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think you are underestimating the number of ISPs out there and overestimating the willingness of a content provider to pay for bandwidth costs. They're already paying the cost of upload from their source, there's no way they'd pay for downloads on the user side. Even if they would, it would ultimately just get built back into the cost to the consumer for that content.
 

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I have always believed that UBB is the way to go but that only covers part of the cost.

So ideal pricing:

Admin - should be a flat fee per annum
Infrastructure - should be a flat fee per annum
Service - maybe a monthly or annual fee so many calls after which a fee is added
Bandwidth - cost per GB
And then when everyone is use to this billing scheme, they will want to start billing for time of use of our bandwidth.

I guess we could always lower our cost of internet usage by using it after midnight. Crap, I hope a bell executive doesn't read this and get a bright idea.
 

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Well I also agree with the earlier sentiment that infrastructure should be divorced from the service similar to hydro, water and gas.

Don't want it to be government owned though!
 

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The web's new walls

...lack of competition in broadband access. The best solution would be to require telecoms operators to open their high-speed networks to rivals on a wholesale basis, as is the case almost everywhere in the industrialised world.

...operators have long argued that being forced to share their networks would undermine their incentives to invest in new infrastructure, and thus hamper the roll-out of broadband. But that has not happened in other countries that have mandated such “open access”, and enjoy faster and cheaper broadband
http://www.economist.com/node/16943579?story_id=16943579


This is exactly what Bell et al are fighting against. The first step is to remove the conflict of interest in the broadcast/internet oligopoly and the second step is to open up the networks.

In that scenario, standalone network operators would have ample reason to invest in network expansion and upgrades, driven by free market ISPs pushing to compete and thus offer better services to their own customers.
 

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My suspicion is that bandwidth is not a major cost and that service is one of the biggest.
Bandwidth costs next to nothing. That is reflected in overage fees charged by independent ISPs that are as low as 5 cents per GB. The biggest major cost is expanding and upgrading infrastructure. The low data limits and high overage costs are out of line with reality. ISPs such as Rogers and Bell are already expanding their infrastructure to provide services such as IPTV, VOIP, VOD, increased IP speeds and other IP based services. The extra cost involved to provide everyone with 200GB of data per month or more is negligible. Overage fees are all about protecting revenue streams and restricting competition. As long as the major ISPs are allowed to continue their current practices, services such as Netflix will think twice about doing business in Canada and will have difficulty competing.
 

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UBB is kind of fine with me; that is the way I got Internet access last century, except the usage being hours, not GB, so long as I know the terms before hand.

If the root "problem" for the ISP is competitive content, but the bandwidth is in fact there, I am not sure of an equitable solution, other than saying "UBB" is the new norm, as would legitimate content providers paying partner ISPs to not cap their content.

If the root problem is incoming bandwidth to ISP, simply require ISPs to have a lower ratio of users to available bandwidth, by capping the amount of customers they have, or increasing their incoming bandwith to support the users they have or hope to have, without having to cap or throttle them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The root problem isn't really about bandwidth, it's about protecting legacy video revenues. Companies like Rogers and Bell don't want to become dumb Internet pipes, where they make money off the Internet connection and nothing else.
 

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I would like to see Netflix file an intervention with the CRTC and/or take Bell and Rogers to court over their bandwidth caps and ridiculous overage penalties. There are anti-competition issues and possibly other legal issues involved. I'm surprised that the independent IP telephone companies have not done this already but maybe they are too small to succeed in a long court fight.
 

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On the other hand, I don't want VOD such as Netflix to become commonplace.

One of many reasons there is no successful better audio format than CD is because of MP3... which is lower in quality.

I don't want Blu-ray to be the best it can ever be just because people are flocking to garbage quality (albeit very convenient) Netflix, AppleTV and the likes of them.
 

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You know how cellular users now have rollover minutes I be a lot more comfortable with bandwidth cap if we get bandwidth rollover!
 

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hee hee. If there is rollover bandwidth for Rogers internet, I will already have more than 1 TB rollover bandwidth. Same goes with my Rogers rollover minutes (if it is actually available for me)... I already banked at least 1,000 minutes in the past 6 months!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I would think if bandwidth rollover were implemented, there'd be some sort of limitation on how long you could roll over for.
 
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