Friday, June 17, 2011

Usage based billing is a joke and a major scam.

It always amazes me how large corporations can never get enough money and constantly surpass the line between good business sense to complete corporate greed. For over a decade, Internet Service Providers have been providing unlimited Internet usage at a relatively reasonable price. Today, these same corporations no longer provide unlimited Internet usage and have imposed draconian data caps. They have moved from unlimited data transfer to a mere 80 gigabyte limit for $65 per month and an additional 1 gigabyte will cost you $1.50, even though it only costs $0.03 for the ISP to transfer it over their networks. This new policy that the ISPs are trying to implement is called Usage Based Billing (UBB) and it is becoming common in North America and is slowly being adopted world wide. These companies have realized that they can charge for each additional gigabyte a person uses instead of giving away unlimited data transfer. They want to convert Internet packages to the same model as we see with cellphones today. With your cellphone you only get a few text messages in your monthly plan and if you go over they will charge you an arm and a leg for additional texts that cost them virtually nothing. In today's day and age with people watching TV over the Internet, playing games, downloading pictures, videos, files and making long distance calls we as users need more bandwidth instead of less. However, the ISPs want to stop us from using the Internet to do these things so that they can charge us individually for them. These corporations realize that if we are doing so many wonderful things on the Internet for free they are unable to sell us their home phone service, cable T.V., long distance plan etc. That is why they are trying to limit your Internet usage through UBB to a ridiculously small amount so that you will not be able to do these free things over the Internet anymore. They will become too costly for you as you surpass your meager monthly cap. For example, to use Netflix which only costs you about $8 a month, you need to be able to use a significant amount of Internet bandwidth. If the provider caps you, they are trying to force you to go back to their Cable TV for $60 a month for a rather basic package and box rental.

There is plenty of bandwith on the provider's networks but that is not as profitable as giving you very little bandwith each month and then charging you extra for additional use. I find it hilarious when I call my ISP and they say I don't need additional bandwith because I never go over my monthly usage. I try really hard not to yell at them and tell them that they are morons. If they cap you at 80 gigs and tell you that they will charge you for each additional gig, I make sure that I stay within the small limit alloted to me. I do need more bandwidth and I don't go over my monthly cap so that I don't give these greedy corporations even a penny more. They have upset millions of people in North America and world wide and continue to harm the relationship between them and their customers. In the future they should not be surprised when their own customers lash back at them by moving to smaller ISP's who are less greedy and offer a reasonable amount of data for a reasonable amount of money.

Internet usage is becoming more expensive not because it really is but because the large corporations are trying to inflate the price so that they can make huge profits and gouge their customers as much as they can. The Internet has become an integral part in our homes and people have to realize what is happening with Usage Based Billing and fight back against this new policy that the large ISPs are trying to force on us. So far, many people are not very knowledgeable about this subject and I hope that they take it upon themselves to research it and get to know the facts. The large Corporations do not care about their customers and they will continue these business practices until we stop them by demanding something fair. If we do nothing, the large corporations will definitely charge us a lot more for a lot less. We would love to hear your own opinion on Usage Based Billing so please leave your opinions in the comment section below.


  1. commicast, verwhinezon, suckscom, and the like are PISSED that we are no longer feeding the 1980's & 1990's cash cow of land lines & cable commercial programming *uh I mean tv programming*.

    when I got my dry loop dsl I had to practically go off on the 3rd person I talked to because they didnt realize that I was not a grey haired old lady that still too scared to get rid of my $50 a month land line because I am afraid my jitterbug cell phone wont work in a snow storm after I break my hip in the shower.

    ....long story short I finally reached intelligent life and got my 3000kbps dry loop for $30/mo with no home phone.

    as far as TV goes...I ONLY watch netflix hulu etc (unless I am at someones house and they are watching cable).....I cant stand cable AT ALL commercial commercial commercial commercial show commercial commercial commercial commercial commercial show...etc.

    anyway UBB blows

  2. No kidding with you there. With the economy sucking so bad, I quit satellite TV a long time ago, have no cable, got rid of my land lines, but didn't care much because I could do Netfix and stream music with Slacker and Pandora and Lastfm. Verizon Wireless is now going to put the screws to me since they will be implementing UBB... if does the same for my DSL then screw it. I'll start reading books again... buying several used paperbacks each month to read will cost a hell of a lot less than data usage...!!!

  3. I'm going to disagree with you. I don't think UBB is wrong in itself. In fact, I believe that we should move to metered bandwidth, and I'm an extremely high-usage customer.

    The problem is that the prices for these services are absurd. Whereas developed countries provide reasonable 100Mb or 4G service for about US$25-30 a month (unlimited), US and Canadian providers want to accept enormous tax breaks to build out infrastructure, then charge customers US$50 for something capped.

    What if metered banwidth cost $5 per month for service and $0.05/GB above that? Would you support UBB then? I'm sure you would, because suddenly it seems fair and achievable to pay $13 for that 80GB and 500GB would cost you a whopping $30. The utility company would still get 60% gross profit, and almost every business in the world operates on much less than that (retail operates in the 40% area and restaurants are much less than that).

    It's the price you refuse to accept, I'm sure, and you should. Gross profits of 90%+ are absurd and don't happen in healthy markets.

  4. Australia has been doing this forever.

  5. Shit "worldwide" has alway had UBB - unlimited is a myth and is not feasible. User pays is the only way to control people who use more of the system than others. Now I would prefer a system where you pay just per GB .. No caps A's like you say it stops you from surfing hindering the Internet. Hopefully with such a system competition will bring down prices

  6. It's more common in the UK to have a data cap than to have unlimited.

  7. It is not competition when the corporations share boardrooms.

  8. 80 GB is pretty high cap on a per month basis really, although I have to say its not inconceivable that I would go over that with video streaming. And you are right... they want to discourage video streaming or at least turn it into a source of profit. I never stream netflix because I am pretty sure that if I do then my ISP will limit my bandwidth even though they say they don't. The fine print of my contract says they can do so whenever my usage affects the network adversely... in other words, we will give you the bandwidth as long as you don't use it. Its a bait and switch marketing tactic to sell you a premium service but never actually have to deliver it.

    The idea that millions of people were ever going to get to share the entire contents of their video and music libraries with each other for nothing but the cost of a modem was a fantasy from the start.

    Here's an alternative: MAIL A USB HARD DRIVE to a Friend and have them mail it back. I have a 250 GB usb hard drive and even with shipping costs and delays in transit I can swap that with a couple of friends by mail every month, which must be at least several hundred gigabytes of data transfered between us. I am speaking hypothetically, of course. We don't actually do that because we don't have that much data.

    Also, you can build your own Wireless Lan like what they do with Freedom Box and transfer as much data over that as you want between you and your neighbors.

    Finally, you can buy EC2 Instances and use S3 from Amazon if you are sending a lot of data to others, which will reduce the draw on the ISP's bandwidth.

    Giant corporations are not the only source of data transfer between human beings and if you are going to buy into their way of delivering "The Internet" to you then of course you have to pay them what they want. Its their equipment and you are being allowed to use it at their pleasure.

  9. Personally I regard it as evil beyond belief. It is the product of a disease long thought dead, GOLD-FEVER," yep there'g gold in them there suckers pockets and if they won't hand it over willingly we'll just Hang 'em High till they get the message.
    These disgusting people have used the ridiculous excuses of ecology and the mythical paperless office( which wastes more paper than ever) in order to create a society totally dependant on the Internet, whether we like it or not. The argument,or more correctly the lie, has been that it's inevitable. It isn't. However the aim in convincing people it is serves the same purpose.
    When there are no longer any other options they will charge what they like and leave the " rebels, commies, cybercriminals, jews, etc" totally out in the cold to look after themselves. The concept of Dystopian society could well become a reality if we allow these corporate parasites to do what they like.One thing the Internet has a lot of are users and perhaps it's time these users got together to form an International Internet Users Collective to champion the cause of the user and fight these spongers. We make the internet possible through our purchase of computers and once purchased we should be free to use the computers we buy to do what we like, when we like. If ISP's aren't happy with that they can always close down, but we know they won't do that because of the advertising revenue profits they are already receiving- profits they are not even doing anything to earn.