It’s no secret the CRTC has spent most of this year failing at this whole keeping the big 3 ISP’s in Canada at something vaguely resembling in line. They decided nearly two months ago that unlimitted internet didn’t actually exist, and kind of stuck to that until escentially told not to be–Shane’s take on how that ended up playing out is over here. Then, they decided it might be in their best interest to put the idea up for a review and get back to it in 60 days. I thought they might take advantage of the election to change their mind again, but before they could, Bell Canada–one of the big 3 who’re sitting comfortable behind usage-based billing (UBB) decided to get crafty.
Bell, in a submission to the CRTC yesterday, dropped its usage-based billing demands of the third-party ISP’s, one of which I’m currently a customer. Well, they sort of did. They replaced it with agrigated volume pricing (AVP), also known as UBB 2.0. Rather than charging ISP’s for what they’ve used after they’ve already used it, Bell is now looking at the possibility of having them purchase a certain amount of bandwidth from them, and god help them if they underestimate how much they’ll need. Yep, download cap 2.0, kids. Officially screwed? You betcha. And Netflix knows it. In direct response to the fact their Canadian branch is among those being targetted by these measures, Netflix Canada has officially lowered the quality of its video streaming service. Oh, yeah, and they kind of pointed out what I’ve been saying for at least the last month–the only ones benefitting from it are the big 3. Oh and, guess what? Here’s the kicker–Bell’s customers still get the pleasure of dealing with UBB while they slap us in the face with AVP. Forget officially screwed. We’re heading straight down the road to officially ripped the hell off.