Why usage based billing is unfair

By Reprobus
February 12, 2011
Usage Based Billing
Usage Based Billing -
I think for anyone to choose a side in this debate, they must understand why "data usage" is not the same as "bandwidth". Gigabytes have no cost/value in this context. The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) push that concept because it's the only measurable flow they can use against us in this scam.

Bandwidth is a speed, not a volume of data. No customer can exceed the speed of the connection they paid for. If Bell sells a 5mbps connection, Bell is accepting the responsibility of providing that 5mbps for the month. If Bell oversells, it is not the responsibility of the consumer. How dare they demonize those who make more than a few hours use of the connection.

Gigabytes should not be monetized! With a fixed rate infrastructure, the more gigabytes are transmitted, the lower the perceived "cost/gig". It collapses under its own logic, despite the spin put on it by ISPs.

The amount downloaded in a month does not relate to congestion. This is simply creating a revenue stream by unfairly and unjustifiably taxing people's growing internet habits, because it threatens their own content assets.

The utility comparison to water/electricity is flawed (for the simple reason that data is neither produced nor consumed).

I think the suitable analogy is Public Transit. Customers buy a monthly metropass. Some use it more frequently than others. Obviously some times of day are more congested (peak times). But the frequent riders would be using the service during uncongested times too. The frequent rider is riding an existing scheduled vehicle (not "hogging" or negatively impacting anyone else's ability to ride).

UBB is akin to the transit company deciding that halfway through the month, they would charge the more frequent riders per kilometre travelled.

If the transit company is concerned with congestion at peak times, why would the blame lie with frequent riders? Those riders simply provide a consistent baseline showing where support is needed.

It's time to nationalize the last mile, if Bell is only interested in exploiting its ownership at a ludicrous cost to Canadians.

Bell has recently publicly stated they will rethink their approach, but Bell's senior vice-president of government and regulatory affairs said “We're going to put our thinking caps on as well and see if there isn't a different way to address this, but we believe fundamentally that what is ultimately ruled on by the CRTC has got to accept the principle that those who use the most, pay the most.”