Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Who Is the CRTC Working For?

The short excerpt below is taken from the CRTC website and notes their position on why they are taking steps to create a usage fee for the internet users in Canada.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today launched, of its own initiative, a proceeding to review its decisions on billing practices that would have applied to the residential customers of Small Internet service providers (Small ISPs).

   1. as a general rule, ordinary consumers served by Small ISPs should not have to fund the bandwidth used by the heaviest residential Internet consumers, and
   2. it is in the best interest of consumers that Small ISPs, which offer competitive alternatives to the Large Distributors, should continue to do so.

There are competing views on this action taken by the CRTC, ostensibly it could be seen that they are taking measures to protect the Canadian market from any internet monopoly, but in fact they may be limiting the ability of people to access this invaluable resource.  Another view that can be taken is that they are trying to scuttle the illegal downloading of movies and music.  Many profess that the internet bandwidth is a scarce resource and signing up new users only draws away more of that resource, therefore charging those that draw the most is the only appropriate action.  This appears to be a reasonable argument, but maybe these companies and the government should invest more into infrastructure in order to accommodate their customers and the people, which could help to stymie the ever decreasing speed of internet access.  There are many factors that have to be weighed in this discussion, but upon looking at the price of internet use here in Canada already, we are one of the highest in the world which goes hand in hand with our cellular costs as well.  Obviously, geography, population, and our social system all play a part in this, but it is also the disinformation of the providers that plays a part in artificially driving up prices and their desire for higher profit margins.

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