So if you haven’t heard all the debate and uproar about Internet in Canada, you must have been hiding under a rock. I read a interesting globe and mail article today about essentially the major ISP’s wanting to make Internet usage much more like cell phone usage, whereby the user is punished for going over their limit and whereby the ISP’s not only expect this, but they actually profit from this happening and almost encourage it.

The ISP’s claim that it’s the “bandwidth hogs” who are the problem. Apparently about 10% of the users are going over quota at this point in time, and have hence been termed hogs. We’ll here’s the deal, I have Netflix on my Apple TV and we watch less tv than we used to, in fact we cut our cable and now survive solely on Apple TV. When I checked my bandwidth this past month we were running at about 145 GB. You see these hogs are actually more appropriately called “early adopters” and what they truly represent is not a small irresponsible minority, but a trend that will eventual become the overwhelming majority.

Canada and indeed the rest of the world is shifting to a high bandwidth and high usage reality. Now ISP’s who have neglected investing in infrastructure or are reluctant to do so  are in trouble. Canadians are going to start using more and more bandwidth, it’s not a question of if, but how much and when. More and more people will see they can live cable free, and that it’s not only less expensive, it just plain better. More people will download HD movies, more people will play HD online games, more people will share movies online.

What the ISP’s would like to do is put you on the hook paying for for these infrastructure upgrades while lining there own pockets and protecting their share holders at the same time.  On my current plan, I get dinged $1 per GB I go over my limit. My plan comes with 100 GB per month, but my plan doesn’t not cost $100/month, is more like $47, so why would I pay $1 per GB I go over? How much does it really cost to deliver 1 GB of data?

As technology progresses, it more less follows Moore’s Law, and every year we can deliver more for less.  Bandwidth costs should hence be dropping, not increasing. I have no problem paying for more bandwidth, but I do think the price an average Canadian pays for a GB of data needs to be reexamined and not left up to the CRTC and the major ISP’s to decide.

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