So apparently this entire debate is getting a lot more heated due to the fact there’s potentially a good press story and that the government made some announcement about doing something about the entire issue of User Based Billing for any ISP that isn’t Bell Canada (probably to do things like avoid losing a potential election which would come out of budget problems). However, the problem is quickly being bogged down into saying ‘it’s only 30,000 users who have to worry’ and that they have options and shit. Meanwhile I think the user base is still just saying ‘THIS IS WRONG!!!’ and “You can’t do this!” while getting replies from business that this will create innovation and it’s only fair since bandwidth blaw blaw blaw… Money arguments barely get anywhere and typically just are ignored in the long run. If you’re going to fight, don’t do it over money.
Interestingly one such national news paper, the National Post, decided they would put their old man old thinking logic into this argument and ironically write it on their INTERNET NEWS PAPER BLOG. See, for some time the newspapers have been heavily hit by the internet and how fast news gets around from other sources than a printed paper. Printed news sometimes is rendered obsolete and old by the time it hits the news stands and we only know this because of the constant blogging and writing on the internet. For the most part they’ve kept up by doing the online thing and blogging and apps for news to get to people and still make advertising dollars.
Now on to some stuff they said in that blog:
Yes, Internet access is crucial to the Canadian economy, and, increasingly, our way of life. But so is electricity, and no one is suggesting that meters be ripped from homes so that heavy users can get a break. Bandwidth is no different from any other scarce resource: The only way it can be allotted efficiently and fairly in a market economy is if consumers are made to recognize its economic value, something that is impossible if it is treated like an open commons.
See how they just proved that they don’t have a good grasp on the arguments to be made? The bigger irony comes from the fact they said this on the internet (where people can comment), and on a page riddled with advertisements, feeds, links and comments. I’m sure the text content is about 45kb, but with all the page coding, I’m sure that page stands to be at least 1MB fully loaded into your browser (more if it has revolving web ads and comment update feed). Thanks for wasting my limited bandwidth. How about you strip down your news site to make it more bandwidth efficient. Something Web 1.0.
Really as hilarious as this was back in 2005/2006, it’s happening all over again:
Yeah remember our dearly departed friend the Senator from Alaska Ted Stevens and his rant about the internet? The story in that was that he was an old dude talking about something he realistically knew nothing about in its operation or function. And if the song didn’t make sense, here’s what he really said;
The summer of 2006 is happening all over again Canadian style. But again, bandwidth is not something that’s finite and limited as people want to you to say. Just like how hard drive capacity has gone up and driven down the cost per Gigabyte, bandwidth operates at the same level, like nearly ALL things computer related. So if some massive telecom like Bell is bitching they don’t have enough bandwidth for everyone while saying at the other hand most people are under that cap, then there is no reason why they have to limit other smaller ISPs who use that unused resource. It’s not like bandwidth dries up if not used. Your pipes don’t get smaller just because you’re not using water. Read more at Wikipedia: Bandwidth.
As it is turning out now, people at Bell are going to try their hardest to argue the money point (how it’s costing them so much for small ISPs to use their bandwidth) and how they offer plans comparable that gets people bandwidth (see pervious post about this). And they had a bit of a talk on this:
Sounds kind of un-convincing doesn’t it? I mean Bell can sell people 40GB of bandwidth for $5 + what ever they pay for their internet plan? If my math is right that’s approx $0.125 / GB. (if you have a plan that’s $32 for 25 and you add-on 40 GB for $5 that’s $37 a month for 65 or $0.596 per GB, cheaper when you get the 120GB for $15 @ $0.32/GB). Wait? You mean bell can sell bandwidth for basically 13 cents, but they don’t offer that to other people not using bell? They have to make smaller ISP users and their own who don’t have extended internet bandwidth pay $2 per GB or x16 the price of what they offer additional bandwidth at.
This is why I really, really don’t want this entire opposition to the billing to be about money and more focused on the lack of bandwidth being offered. At some point people are just going to throw around unimportant monetary figures that are going to muddle up the true numbers.
And so that is why I believe it is better to change this argument in to the matter of access restriction and specifically to the restrictions of access to Canadian content and its creation. Why should I argue that point? Because it was the CRTC who made the ruling on the billing, and they’re also the same body that’s suppose to regulate and ensure that I as a Canadian have access to media that is created by Canadians. Even this blog I believe falls under being Canadian Content, and I know if I were to make my own show/vlog, it would be 100% Canadian content. I think the rules are a bit ancient in regards to the internet, but I think there’s are valid stronger arguments to be made on a that front than one about money.
It would be far easier to win an argument by putting your opponent into a position where he can’t exactly argue against you. You think some major corporation is going to disagree with your choice and right to make Canadian content without such a limitation of Bandwidth? What my only method to watch the CBC is via online streaming since I don’t own a TV? Why am I being charged more for watching something I can on TV which I don’t have to pay for? I’m sure the arguments can be better crafted and worded, but the point is you don’t have to argue about the costs directly and it helps sometimes to misguide the argument. I do have a stake in this as I write for this blog (which requires me to do to lots of internet research and youtube video watching) and I upload art from time to time which can get quite hefty on the old bandwidth. I mean I get less bandwidth per month now as I do have memory for my digital camera (16+8+4). And that shit can fill up fast.