Welcome to the Canadian Internet, now stop using it


Welcome to the Canadian Internet, where extreme concentration in telecoms and a weak, lame regulator have given rise to a nation where your Internet access is metered in small, ungenerous dribs, and where ranging too far afield during your network use results in your ISP breaking into your browsing session to tell you that you're close to being cut off from the net.

The incumbent telcos have successfully petitioned for "usage based billing," wherein their customers only get so much bandwidth every month (they've also long practiced, and lied about, furtive throttling and filtering, slowing down downloads, streams, and voice-over-IP traffic). This will effectively make it cheaper to use their second-rate voice-over-IP and video-on-demand service than it is to use the superior services the rest of the developed world enjoys.

If you were a Canadian entrepreneur or innovator looking to start your own networked business, this would be terminal. How can an innovative service take hold in Canada if Canadians know that every click eats away at their monthly bandwidth allotment? I can think of no better way to kill Canadians' natural willingness to experiment with new services that can improve their lives and connect them with their neighbours and the wide world than to make them reconsider every click before they make it.

Welcome to the Canadian Internet, and welcome to Information Age Canada, a nation whose government is willing to sell the country's future and competitiveness for the sake of a few more points on the bottom line of the creaking telcoms industry. Way to go, eh?

I'm from Canada, this what it looks like when you are close to using your allotted bandwidth. Yes this is real.

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