Monday, January 31, 2011

Internet Data Limits to be handed down in Canada

Well this has been a long time coming, but at the same time most Internet service providers have been imposing bandwidth usage limits on their customers in Canada for some time now.

Starting March 1st, 2011, the CRTC is making smaller ISP's charge for the amount of data you use for your Internet activities. On one had I agree with it, but on the other hand I do not.  It might help control the massive amount of movie, music, and software downloading that goes on. But for myself, I play some online gaming  with my xbox, do the occasional skype  conversation with video, and  watch movies using Netflix, this could mean that i don't do some of these activities any longer.

In Newfoundland, Canada, where i live, Rogers have had somewhat of  cap on its service, but once you go past 90GB of data, the charge maxes out and you don't get charged any extra. But with Bell Aliant, (my isp) they don't impose any limits or charges for the amount of  data you transfer over the Internet.

I still have more reading to do to get all the details of this. I will be following this very closely because the place that I work  We offer free Internet access to all our library patrons, and we have 96 separate locations.  As I get a better understanding and details of this new law, I will keep you all updated.

I can see this hurting many businesses have come to rely on the Internet to cut costs with long distance calls  by using video conferencing, posting videos to such services as  you tube for promotion, and the list could go on.

I guess when it you really look at it, back in the days when the Internet was first starting to get popular and making it's way into cities and towns way back in the early 90's. There really wasn't much capacity to do large data transfers, and the golden rule was, if you had to transfer something, or you were developing a web page for the Internet, your goal was to make it as small as possible, so that it would only take a short time to transfer.  For the readers who know what and used a dial up service, imagine getting on you tube to watch a video clip back then.

I remember the first day I got hooked up to the Internet. I bought a 14.4kbs US Robotics dial up modem which i paid almost 300.00 for back in 1994, and I wanted to get the latest Netscape web browser, it was a 5.5MB download. Well that took almost 12 hours for me to download, and back then you paid for time you spent online in blocks of time, if i do recall i had a 120 min package.

Today, I have a 10MB connection and the progress bar for that same download flies across my screen so fast, I have to check to make sure that it actually got downloaded, and getting the latest version of Ubuntu Linux (800MB)  only takes me 15 minutes of my day. Because I am a developer, and computer support person. I spend close to 12-13 hours a day online, some days I am much much longer. I can't imagine what the bill would be today considering i was paying 29.95 for  2 hours a month.

I am sure that this new regulation might some how slow down Internet piracy, but the users will always find away around the blocks. Remember Napster the very first file sharing program back in the late 90's. They shut that down and not long after came P2P networks, followed by the every popular bit torrent.

So for now, I guess we will have to wait and see what will happen in Canada with this new regulation. I really do hope that Bell Aliant doesn't follow suite and  impose some crazy small monthly cap on me.

for your reading pleasure,  my guess is that you don't want to do any more reading after that nice speech, here is the link the the CBC News article

* Update *

if you want to speak out about this, check out this site
hope you enjoyed the read

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