Canadians getting ripped off on internet rates

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I found a recent press release that left me nodding : http://www.nextmedia-source.com/frame.php?id=8619846

It was weird because it came from the NDP.  Regardless of the Harper conservative bashing, which I wholeheartedly understand and endorse, the NDP is actually right on this one.  As Canadians we pay too much for internet service, and then of course as Canadians we are taxed heavily on top of that.

An OECD report here: http://www.oecd.org/document/4/0,3343,en_2649_34225_42800196_1_1_1_1,00.html confirms  Canada’s internet is among the slowest and the most expensive in the developed world.

Canada ranks ninth out of thirty in terms of bandwidth penetration, fourteenth in price, and twenty-fourth in speed. When all these factors are taken into consideration, Canada drops to twenty-eighth overall, just ahead of Mexico and Poland.

"This may be the most telling metric," explains Michael Geist. "Since it confirms that Canadians pay more for less." Not too long ago, Canada led the world in broadband standards. If Canadian ISPs are given free reign to continue to raise prices, throttle customers, and cut services, Canada is only going to fall further behind.

There's another good discussion here regarding speed control and the ineffectiveness of our CRTC :  http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/crtc-farcical-hearings-on-internet-speed-control/

Given that a lot of services are moving to the cloud/web/inter-web or whatever you choose to call it, the cost for this service should be better regulated.

Sure everyone "could" just opt to buy the top package from Robbers/Bell to accommodate this, but one has to wonder is the average web user a heavy web user?, and if everyone else isn't considered a heavy user why are we?

Here in Aurora we took for granted what it meant to have our own Internet Service provider with A.C.I.  There were no caps, we were treated with respect, not like thieves.

Now that we have all been assimilated to Robbers we are indeed getting robbed.  More money for less service, only justified because the price is inline with competitors, of which there is only one or two.

Having caps in place and being dinged on data transfer is going to be heavily questioned as people start pulling their Voip/Skype/Facebook/Flicr/NetFlix/Hulu/iTunes content over this pipe, content they have already paid for and will now have to pay more to download it again should they inevitably go over the cap.

Pretty soon the cost of using your internet at home will equal the cost of using your cellphone for long distance, or logging onto wifi at airports or internet cafes.

A recent article from the Ottawa citizen lists mark-up on text messages at 4,900 %
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Technology/Mark+text+messages+cent+expert/1702279/story.html

Srinivasan Keshav, Canada Research Chair in tetherless computing at the University of Waterloo said "I'm not here to judge whether the market is competitive or fair, I'm just telling you this is the price and this is the cost.  Let people who are experiencing these plans decide whether it's correct or not."

Well I have decided.

Like most people when I expect when I use a service, say water/gas/hydro that I am being billed fairly for my usage and that my money is being used to improve service, not going to some outrageous profit margin.

If to do that we need to open up for some more competition I say bring it on. 

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