Saturday, January 29, 2011

No More Free Porn In Canada

 The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved Usage-based Billing (UBB). Which, according to Open Media, means:
Bell Canada and other big telecom companies can now freely impose usage-based billing on independent Internet Service Providers (indie ISPs) and YOU.
This means we're looking at a future where ISPs will charge per byte, the way they do with smart phones. If we allow this to happen Canadians will have no choice but to pay more for less Internet. 

You can read the official decision here.

This change means that everything Canadians stream or download (or upload) is subject to UBB. If you watch YouTube, for instance, you're going to get charged. Internet providers have already created "data plans" similar to those used by cell phone providers. The customer is charged a flat rate for a certain amount of bytes. Anything the customer streams or downloads above the amount specified in their data plan will be charged at a per byte rate.

The CRTC very quietly held open meetings for public input. Problem is that they were quiet and hardly anyone knew about them until it was a done deal.

Here's a clip from George Stroumboulopoulus Tonight on the issue.



So what does this have to do with sex? Well, for one thing all those free clips that you find on the web will not be free for Canadians. If you stream a 10 minute clip from RedTube and you are over your rate plan limit you will pay for that 10 minutes by the byte. If you pay for a membership on some site your ISP will still charge you. Not only will porn no longer be free, you could pay for it twice.

I'm not going to argue about whether porn is a good thing or not. UBB doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care if you're watching Masterpiece Theater on PBS.org or Saving Ryan's Privates on GetYerRocksOff.com. It doesn't care if you're uploading pictures from your last family vacation to Flickr or pictures from your last dungeon party to SpankMe. You will be charged for the bandwidth you use.

In effect UBB will create two forms of the internet. The one for people who can afford unlimited data plans has all the bells and whistles. The other internet, for those who can't afford big data plans, may have email but they'd better not try to send those pictures from Timmy's birthday party to grandma. That internet may let you see websites but forget chat rooms and file sharing of any kind.

There's something un-Canadian about that.

If you want your voice to be heard on this issue, sign the petition against UBB here and then send an email to your MP or any other politician you can think of. While you still can.

No comments:

Post a Comment