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This is a site about things that I like, things that I don't like, things that I've done, things that I'm doing - and other things that occur to me.

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If you know me in real life, you will recognize many of the things I talk about here. If you do not know me in real life, well, I feel kind of bad but I'm sure you will get along fine. In fact you might get along better not knowing me! If you have any questions or comments about the things I talk about, it's best to leave a comment on the article in question. Otherwise you can contact me personally and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can

Bell convinced the CRTC to allow usage based billing (UBB) for wholesale/3rd party DSL providers.

If you happen to be a DSL internet customer, this directly affects you – especially if your provider is anyone other than Bell.

If you are a cable internet cutomer, this will likely affect you in an indirect way, as it makes the DSL companies less competitive and opens the door for cable companies to get away with charging more for less.

The short story is that Bell fought at the CRTC in order to implement usage based billing for DSL wholesalers. This means that companies like Primus, Teksavvy, Acanac, Velcom and other smaller ISPs will be charged by bell for any bandwidth usage over 25GB for their customers.

Many of these smaller ISPs built their customer base by offering services with fewer (if any) bandwidth restrictions and lower prices than Bell. Now Bell is forcing them to pass along charges to these customers.

If you are on an unlimited plan with a smaller ISP, or if your current bandwidth cap is higher than 25GB, this affects you.

Some are claiming that the reasoning behind this move by Bell has less to do with the cost of providing bandwidth than it does with the threat of legal online streaming services (netflix.ca, youtube.com) eating into their lucrative digital satellite television offerings.

What can you do if you believe in freedom of competition for these smaller companies?

Sign the petition at Stop The Meter.  This will let the government know how you feel about this decision.

Call Bell and complain.  Even if you are not a Bell customer (I would say especially if you are not a bell customer), you should call. After all, when you are charged UBB rates, the money is going to Bell – so in essence you’ve become their customer at that point!

Make them earn their $1.10 – $2 per gigabye overage charges by calling them and letting them explain their reasoning directly to you, their new unwitting customer.

Their number is 310-2355 – you may have to enter your own area code first. Hit the zero button three times in order to reach an agent as soon as possible. Ask for the internet billing department. Tell them you have a general complaint and need to speak with a manager. Don’t bother talking to the lowest level call centre tech. Once you reach a manager, explain your feelings about their third party billing policy and that you’d like your position to be registered to their manager.

The backlash toward this policy is growing fast. Although it is rare for a private citizen to do so, Montreal-based computer consultant Jean-François Mezei has filed a petition to the federal government requesting that they overrule the CRTC decision.

Join the fight today.

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