Three major telecom corporations in Canada have received permission from the communications governing body known as the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission) to charge subscribers on a per-Gigabyte basis for Internet use. This type of pricing scheme, known as Usage Based Billing, has been decried by Canadian consumers as unfair. It’ s not hard to see why: with bulk data rates approaching $0.01/GB, the $1-$2/GB rate being proposed by these telecoms appear predatory.
Their actions can also be seen as anti-competitive; the major providers in Canada lease their lines to third party Internet service utilities, and those providers have now been given permission to pass the per-Gigabyte overage fees onto these utilities. This effectively kills the competitive market for Internet service in Canada.
We had a chance to speak to Mike Smyth of CKNW 980AM in Vancouver about Usage Based Billing. The recording below is an excerpt from that show, dated January 27th, 2011.