Michael Geist sums of last week’s developments in the ongoing UBB saga, from the Toronto Star:
The CRTC commissioners appear to have recognized that proposals based on limiting the volume of Internet use are not only bad policy — discouraging Internet use benefits no one — but are ineffective in dealing with network congestion. The reason is that the amount of data consumed has very little to do with whether the network is congested.
He goes on to explain network congestion in with the most straightforward analogy I’ve read:
Consider a four-lane highway that can comfortably accommodate 24,000 vehicles per day. If the vehicles are spread evenly at 1,000 per hour throughout the day, there is no traffic congestion. But if 20,000 of the vehicles attempt to use the highway over a four-hour period, the highway becomes very congested during that time frame. The aggregate volume of traffic may be the same, yet the congestion implications are very different.
The same is true of networks, which can be used to capacity without congestion concerns.
‘Geist: Competitive conditions prompt Web data-cap debate’, Toronto Star
First rule of movie club… backpedal.
Earlier today the mainstream media jumped on Shaw’s new Netflix competitor “Movie Club“, a service that would allow you to stream movies without running up your bandwidth meter.
I wrote a blogpost that echoed what quickly became the resounding verdict of the internet, Movie Club was anti-net neutrality and therefore, anti-competitive.
Shortly after I wrote that post, Shaw posted a series of tweets and an official “clarification” on Facebook.
Shaw Movie Club is intended to be watched through your set-top box…watching movies on your set-top box won’t affect your included Internet data. However, you can also stream your Movie Club movies online to your computer – this WILL contribute to your Internet data.
While I’m glad they’re not breaking net neutrality, this position is even more damning. Bandwidth is bandwidth, regardless of whether it’s being sent to your cable box, or your cable modem. If Shaw can afford to send the data to your cable box for
free $12/mo, then they can afford to send the data to your cable modem, there’s no difference… and so the UBB argument unravels further.
Show notes coming soon.
This just in, the government plans to overturn the CRTC’s UBB ruling!!!!11!!
This is great news! But the fight is not over.
Lost in all the reddit posts and media buzz is the fact that there is currently nothing stopping any ISP from charging their retail customers bandwidth overages.
The fight is not over, but hopefully the dialogue will continue and real competition can be fostered (west of Ontario even!).