usage based billing Since the launch of the online petition, 200,000 canadians have expressed their opposition against the upcoming usage-based billing. It’s an unprecedent level of mobilization, that is growing strongly by the hour. At other levels, the liberal party and the NDP also raised the issue in Ottawa, while Bell’s purchase of CTV is questioned.

The impacts of usage-based billing have yet to be understood by everyone, so here’s a little exercise to understand what usage-based-billing means:

  • It’s as if the government limited overnight your car’s monthly kilometers to a max of 30km, quoting too many cars and lack of infrastructure. What was once a commodity becomes a hindrance to your daily schedule.
  • It’s as if the STM limited overnight your monthly bus and metro pass to run only a selected 3 hours per day. They try to explain that there are people using buses 30 times a day, which is unfair use of the system. What was once a commodity becomes a hindrance to your daily schedule.
  • It’s as if HydroQuebec limited water delivery to only 3 days a week. HydroQuebec tells us their infrastructure wasn’t made for unlimited consumption. What was once a commodity becomes a hindrance to your daily schedule. And then they announce the same thing for electricity.
  • It’s as if your grocery store can only sell one 6 pack of beer to each customer weekly, because there’s a beer monopoly and they are the only one in town to have a end-user distribution system. What was once a commodity becomes a hindrance to your daily schedule.
  • It’s as if your bank limits cash withdrawals to $500 a week, because armored bank trucks have formed a monopoly, with now limited delivery to local banks. What was once a commodity becomes a hindrance to your daily schedule.
  • And, it’s as if your mobile phone provider gives you only a few GB per month for your smartphone. Goodbye to internet tethering and building new innovative mobile applications. Oh wait… not funny, that’s already the case, unlimited data plans are only for the states

Are you shocked? Those are actually real-world examples, decreeted by many governments or local state monopolies, with citizens having to spend time & resources to cope with the limits, dumbing down local economies … Except it’s only found in developing countries! Are we going to see the same thing for Quebec & Canada?

Ending unlimited internet access means negative impact on the Canadian digital economy, slowing down innovation & local entrepreneurs, making impossible the creation of new business models, and discouraging everyone else to come into the country. Everyone needs to realize that Internet access is a building block of a modern life & economy. If you realize the urgency of the situation, here are a few links:

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