Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CRTC compromises on Internet metering

Unlimited Internet plans are alive and well after federal regulators stepped in Tuesday to block Bell from so-called Internet metering—a billing plan that might have put an end to all-you-can-use data contracts. “It’s a step in the right direction,” said Steve Anderson, executive director of OpenMedia.ca, which spearheaded opposition to Bell’s proposed usage-based billing scheme. Most small, independent Internet Service Providers should be able after this decision to “provide unlimited, unmetered Internet access for Canadians,” he said. But Anderson said the intricate new rules laid down by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission might lead to higher costs for some small ISPs.Those costs could wind up being passed on to consumers. In its compromise decision, the CRTC was trying balance the interests of companies such as Bell and Rogers with those of independent ISPs, who rent network access from large telecommunications firms.

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