Meditations on programming, startups, and technology
New Relic

Canadians, fight Internet Usage Based Billing (UBB)

This is a short note to warn my fellow Canadians about an important matter related to our internet access. As you probably know, Canadian Telecom providers are nothing to boast about, but this time they are trying to pull a fast one that would have a major impact on Canadian internet users. The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) instructed Bell to provide ISPs with wholesale service speeds that match their own retails customers. As things currently stand though this is not the case. You can have 16Mbit/s if you choose Bell, but only 5Mbit/s if you opt for an ISP like Teksavvy (which is the ISP I use). Bell opted not to adhere to this directive and instead decided to take the issue to the federal Cabinet, while at the same time filing a tariff application with the CRTC that proposed the introduction of Usage Based Billing (UBB) to its wholesale customers.

If Bell were to be successful with their application, ISPs would be forced to change their current offerings, cap internet usage and substantially increase the price of extra Gigabytes per month. In practice, we’d be paying more to get much less, and most people would not go through the hassle of dealing with this, thus opting for Bell – despite their absurds usage limits (60GB per month, are you kidding me?).

If this scenario doesn’t float your boat or down right outrages you, please send your polite comments and concerns to the CRTC, by clicking this link. For the subject select Tariff, and as a subject, use File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 – Bell Canada – TN 7181.

I personally sent them the following message:

Please do not accommodate Bell’s monopolistic tendencies by letting them introduce Usage Based Billing (UBB) to its wholesale customer accounts. Canada is behind many other first world countries in the Telco sector. Don’t let our country fall even further behind. For Canadians to be innovative in the high tech field, unlimited, high speed access to the Internet is a must. Thank you for your attention.

The deadline for sending comments regarding this matter is today at midnight, so please, if you want write to them, do so ASAP!

(Via Teksavvy‘s email to its customers)

If you enjoyed this post, then make sure you subscribe to my Newsletter and/or Feed.

receive my posts by email

15 Responses to “Canadians, fight Internet Usage Based Billing (UBB)”

  1. Simon says:

    Thanks for letting me know about this. I’m a Canadian citizen who is very concerned about our country’s telco policy.

  2. Thanks for pointing this out, I hadn’t heard about it. (It’s on the front page of Hacker News right now.)

    I just sent:

    I am proud of the fact that Canada is one of the world leaders in internet usage, but please don’t let the internet fall prey to telecom companies like the mobile market did.

    Allowing Bell to stifle competition with their proposed Usage Based Billing will hamstring wholesale providers, forcing them into pushing usage caps and higher prices on customers. It will put us behind more progressive countries that allow freer competition and will surely hurt our economy and future technological advances.

    Thank you,
    [name, address, etc]

  3. josh says:

    As a US citizen, I support your fight against this, and also encourage other Canadians to fight it. It’s just wrong.

  4. Srdjan says:

    Done and done. I really do hate how Rogers and Bell have monopolized internet access in this country.

    Hopefully, CRTC will do the right thing in this case.

  5. Daniel says:

    The CRTC did not budge on the throttling issue despite the fact that inspecting your internet packets is illegal (Canada Post does not open my letters before they deliver them to me). I am not expecting the CRTC to help us Canadians. I can not believe that we are starting to see totalitarian regime from Canadian companies (Air Canada, your are next!).

  6. As a former employee of Sandvine Incorporated I have a deeper knowledge of the issues that are driving the push for UBB.

    Agreed that broadband internet availability will help drive innovation of the current and future generations. Hopefully improvements in infrastructure will come to the attention of the CRTC before increasing the revenue of the already oversized Canadian broadband monopoly.

  7. mike says:

    You can read the CRTCs information here:

    I sent this:

    I have recently learned that you are considering an application from Bell to dictate pricing structures to its wholesale customers. I don’t see how the CRTC can possibly conclude that having Bell dictate more prices than it already does will be good for consumers.

  8. meeech says:

    What I don’t get is when I called CRTC to complain about Bell’s practice of ‘leasing’ modems and not allowing people to buy them (which is EXACTLY what they used to do with Telephones, till they were forced to stop the practice) the CRTC basically told me sorry, nothing we can do. we don’t regulate the internet services.

  9. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Definitely don’t want this to happen. Mind you, based on how they have acted in the past, I’m sure my current ISP (eastlink in Nova Scotia) would be happy to pass on new charges to me…

  10. ElMad says:

    Excuse me for the language I’m about to use.

    What the fuck is bell thinking. This is the most stupid plan every and only improves Bell’s profits. Meanwhile we have to tons more money to use the internet. I currently have TekSavvy and it has 200 GB a month which is pretty good for me. Now if this plan goes through I will have 60 GB. This will lead all small ISP’s to bankruptcy and make Bell one of the only companies out there to provide internet. Stupid Bell wants all the fucking money in Canada when they clearly have a multi billion dollar corp.

    This is an outrage to all and nothing good could come of it. I pay 30 bucks for 200 GB and if this goes through I’ll pay about 170 (I crunched some numbers).

    This is a selfish deed of Bell and I think they should slow down in terms of trying to dominate Canada’s economy.

  11. Bob Jonkman says:

    Well, it’s happened. UBB will be a reality in 90 days.

    Thank you for posting the link to the CRTC “request” page. I’ve submitted my complaint.

    I made some guesses about rate increases at if you’re interested.


  12. Sadly Bob, the CRTC ignored our comments/requests. And they received tons of them.

  13. […] Help protest this, submit a complaint to the CRTC For the type of application select Tariff, and as a subject, use File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 – Bell Canada – TN 7181. (Instructions courtesy of Antonio Cangiano) […]

  14. richard proulx says:

    This is getting out of hand as i pay for my internet and they cut me off whenever they want as i pay for the service cause i use to much soon i cant afford all this crap i think we all need to drive together on the highways very slow and protest this crap make there highways slow like they do me when they want too ! its all about the money

  15. We need to keep this fight going. To help I’ve started a dedicated blog called

    Probably the most important thing in it is a glossary to help other non-technical Canadians understand the jargon so we can understand the issue BEFORE we start getting killed by this extortionate pricing.

    The other big thing we can do right now is to sign the online petition at

  16. […] * Canadians Fight Internet Usage Based Billing […]

  17. […] was introduced regardless of what thousands upon thousands of taxpayers had to say about it. Countless complaints were forwarded to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), and these […]

  18. […] Tariff, and as a subject, use File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 – Bell Canada – TN 7181. Thanx to Antonio Cangiano for these […]

  19. ted says:

    bloging wont help you have to accutally do something you have to protest the fucking company and fight back canada always sits back and tacks what ever comes our way we need to stop this things are only going to get worse because of it

Leave a Reply

I sincerely welcome and appreciate your comments, whether in agreement or dissenting with my article. However, trolling will not be tolerated. Comments are automatically closed 15 days after the publication of each article.

Copyright © 2005-2014 Antonio Cangiano. All rights reserved.