The usage-based billing fracas has calmed down considerably over the past few weeks, but a few people continue to beat the drum in support of it despite the fact that it’s looking dead in the water. UBB is, if you’ve forgotten, essentially an increase in prices by big internet providers on a wholesale service they provide to smaller rivals. The increase means it’ll be a lot more expensive, if not impossible, for smaller ISPs to offer the large internet usage buckets they’ve been selling.
People got freaked out over this and hundreds of thousands signed an online petition, prompting the government to promise it will overturn the plan if the regulator, the CRTC, doesn’t do so first. The CRTC is going back to the drawing board and UBB is in a holding pattern until this all gets resolved, if it ever does.
Still, some folks – like the editorial writers at Maclean’s – continue to maintain that UBB is the right way to go. Supporters usually latch on to one or both of the arguments of fairness – that heavy internet users should be forced to pay more – or that bandwidth is like a utility. Many commentators, myself included, have argued against these talking points but evidently they still continue to percolate. Here then, are 10 reasons why the arguments for UBB don’t hold water.