Usage Based Billing

I am probably taking a very unpopular position on this issue, but as you may (or may not) know, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is currently holding hearings regarding Usage-Based Billing (UBB) for Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  On the Working World Blog there is a piece about it that I read with interest.

Working World is an IT firm in Brampton, Ontario that provides IT services and support (including Hardware as a Service (HaaS)) to customers throughout Southern Ontario.  I have worked with them on a number of occasions, and have the greatest respect for them.  I urge you to read the piece Usage Based Billing Heats Up Again, then my response to it.  (note: the response has not yet been approved, but I hope it will be soon!)

As much as some people may argue otherwise, Internet usage is not a right (fundamental or otherwise).  It is a privilege that we pay for, and that payment is made to the for-profit corporations who had the foresight and the capital to invest to build an infrastructure of fibre-optic cables that now run to nearly every house and business in the country. 

For purely selfish reasons I wish it were otherwise, but they are entitled to make a profit on those investments.  I only wish that rather than regulating what the few major players can charge, the government would allow other companies to build competing infrastructures and compete on an equal footing.  The free market usually does a better job of regulating competition and services than the government.

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