Recently, Canada’s Canadian Radio-Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the usage of metered, or “usage-based” internet. This effectively allows carriers to put a cap on how much bandwidth users may use, and charge basically however much they want for bandwidth after an allotted amount. In terms of the future of the internet as an open channel for communication, innovation, and creativity, this is a major blow. Some notable quotes from Ars Technica:
Dark clouds are looming to the north. We’re already seeing some of this metering in the US by companies like Comcast, but the caps are so high (250 GB) that most users won’t notice.
With a cap as low as 25GB, users are forced to pick and choose what media they access through the internet (for a frame of reference, this is about 12-13 streamed Netflix movies a month). This does not bode well for digital advertising, especially bandwidth-heavy rich media – the first thing users are going to cut out to conserve bandwidth are ads. With AdBlock available for almost every major browser, many Canadians are going to become familiar with this plugin very quickly.
This is bad, bad, bad for business. Unless you are Bell Canada, of course.
On a similar note, this graphic was uploaded by Reddit.com user Cookiecow, and outlines some of the more extreme issues with metered internet they face in Bahrain. With such a rich government and country, it’s absurd to have internet so incredibly restricted.