By Ian Vandaelle
Biz & Tech Editor
On Mar. 1, the CRTC will clamp down on small internet service providers (ISPs), mandating they eliminate their unlimited internet plans and switch to usage based billing (UBB), killing their only advantage over the big ISPs like Bell and Rogers.
Small ISPs, like Teksavvy and Primus, have been renting network access from the larger ISPs in order to offer more bandwidth for reasonable prices that are particularly attractive to students. But in less than a month, those deals will be dead.
200 gigabyte/month plans are dropping to 25 GB/month plans for many consumers, which means that customers will have to curtail their Internet usage, or risk overage charges of up to $2.50/GB.
Do you like Netflix, downloading torrents or streaming video? Bell and Rogers sure don’t. By imposing UBB, the CRTC has essentially put the power into the hands of the big ISPs. The CRTC has imposed rules that may handcuff the smaller competition and drive more traffic to the big ISPs that already have their hands deep in your pockets.
The average movie download will cost you 700 megabytes. A half hour sitcom will cost you 175 MB. The same service you’re getting from the small ISPs for $35-$40 dollars now could cost you hundreds in the coming months if you’re really working the bandwidth.
Thanks CRTC. Maybe next you could come to our houses and kick our dogs, too.