Interesting editorial on the Northern View website this morning, one which seems to put the paper’s official position as in support of CityWest’s bid to add on to usage based billing. Though we wonder if CityWest is “losing money” (maybe they could show us the books sometime so we can see how our investment is really doing)
Not sure however if the real answer to that problem is by adding on cost to the users of the service.
“CityWest also has to look at this from a business perspective, and we in the community should be aware that if CityWest isn’t acting to create a sustainable business that dozens of jobs are on the line. The Internet is a resource and a tool, but like anything it has to be worthwhile to the people who offer it. Like any business, if you’re losing money doing it then it may be time to re-examine how you operate.”
I’m not sure if it’s because the NorthernView reporter doesn’t know how to ask questions, or just doesn’t know what all these terms and numbers mean, but he or she didn’t challenge Citywest at all. For one thing, why does Chad Cunningham keep switching between bits and bytes? Why not challenge him on that alone?
Nothing to do with losing the mobile market share to Rogers, Bell, and Telus? Nothing to do with laying a fibre line and buying a building in Kitimat? Nothing to do with losing such a significant number of local phone customers that Citywest is now asking the CRTC for a subsidy? Nothing to do with paying all the salaries of people who apparently don’t know the difference between a bit and a byte?
It is serious bullshit to say that Citywest profits are declining because consumption of bandwidth is going up. Citywest profits are declining because of strategic errors made by Citywest management. There are many reasons that Citywest is losing money and profitability, but I guarantee you it’s not because someone uses 100 gigs per month playing World of Warcraft instead of 75 gigs.
So Citywest isn’t in the same boat as other small ISPs – Telus isn’t going to be charging them by the bit, like Bell and Rogers are doing to small ISPs elsewhere. That’s good news for us, but it weakens Citywest’s argument that they are just passing on the cost.
Cunningham either really doesn’t know the difference between a bit and a byte, or he is purposely misusing these terms to confuse people. Either way, he should have been challenged by TheNorthernView reporter.
Next time, TheNorthernView reporter can just ask plain English questions: How much does it cost Citywest to deliver 75 gigs to a customer per month? How much does it cost Citywest to deliver 100 gigs to a customer? $50 more? Certainly not.
Let’s try and make some sense of Chad’s confusion here.
$158 per megabit / month from Terrace to Rupert. We’ll take his word on this.
Now here’s the funny thing. That’s per second, not per month. $158 per megabit per second. It’s not like they’re paying $158 for each megabit transfered. They’re paying for a 1-megabit connection. I hope Chad isn’t confused by this – he certainly didn’t clarify it in the article. It’s like getting a 2-megabit modem. That’s a speed/capacity rating, not a bandwidth total for the month. So it’s $158/month for a 1-megabit connection.
So, using a bit of math, it works out to:
= $1264 per megabyte / month (see how easy that is, Chad? Multiply by 8!)
$1264/meg per second. 86400 seconds in a day. 2592000 seconds in a month.
or 0.00048765 dollars per gigabyte. Roughly. Let’s call it half a cent per gigabyte.
Is my math off? If so, please correct me.
So Chad isn’t lying when he says “People say it’s pennies per gigabyte. It’s not pennies per gigabyte in Prince Rupert.” He’s right, it’s not pennies. It’s less.
Some questions to ask: how much does Chad’s salary cost Citywest? How much will the “portal” and “tracking software” cost Citywest?
Hahahah! Then they’ll need to pay someone’s salary to maintain the thing, and to troubleshoot it.
Finally, here’s a question that hasn’t been asked – wasn’t the fiber line supposed to make Citywest’s bandwidth cheaper? Doesn’t Citywest own the fiber line?
Good time to start up a facebook group. Who’s with me?
I recently priced out a 10-meg connection in a much more remote area than Prince Rupert, and it was $1500/month (including HST!). So if Citywest is really paying roughly the same cost, then I’d say there’s something wrong.
Still, I think your math is right, but it assumes a completely saturated line. So if Citywest customers are only using a portion of the available bandwidth, the cost per byte goes up.
One way to find out the true cost of bandwidth though: ask them how much they paid last month to Telus for bandwidth. Then ask how many gigabytes they transferred. Divide one by the other. I doubt it’s in the dollars range. Probably in the cents or half-cents range.
After a year of running the portal and UBB, I’m also willing to bet that the majority of the cost to be recovered will be salaries, equipment, and software – not excess bandwidth. Hence the $2.00/gig extra. Have to pay for all those other things.
This reminds me a bit of those towns that decided to stop charging for public transportation – the cost of collecting fares was more than the amount they collected from the fares!
Anyway, if anybody wants to start a facebook group to oppose Citywest UBB, let me know and I’ll set it up.
Before CityWest adds on any more charges to it’s Prince Rupert base (aka the shareholders) they need to have a complete independent accounting of their expenses and revenues conducted, and then provide us (the shareholders) with that independent accounting so we can truly understand their current financial situation.
Just asking us to shell out more money cause they say so, somehow I don’t think that was the original plan for the company when the city started it up oh so many years ago.
Either they are a mysterious private corporation, or they are a publicly owned one which should be up front, open and transparent with its customers.
No one to my knowledge demanded that they purchase a failing cable outlet, nor expand to other communities already served by Telus, Bell et al.
If they could make the case for such expansions without continually increasing the costs in the home office fly at it, but it would seem that the grand expansion plans have provided for more than a few financial challenges no?
I can’t bring myself to care enough to try and convince them to change. Citywest used to be in the business of providing a quality service for a fair price not anymore. They’re now in the business of screwing their customers for every penny they can to pay for a bunch of bloated salaries for what appears to be incompetent mismanagement.
Citywest is using its artificial monopoly to screw its customers. I know a few dozen people that want to ditch them but there’s no alternative.
be interesting to know how many of you went to school to learn business management , accounting or running a business that spans communities and dealing with multiple types of service. you guys really will never stop complaing about every topic that gets posted on here will you .
"CityWest also has to look at this from a business perspective, and we in the community should be aware that if CityWest isn’t acting to create a sustainable business that dozens of jobs are on the line. The Internet is a resource and a tool, but like anything it has to be worthwhile to the people who offer it. Like any business, if you’re losing money doing it then it may be time to re-examine how you operate." bclocalnews.com/opinion/117205348.html
So is this a well balanced review of the situation, or is it a handy way to keep a valuable advertiser onboard?
Weigh in with your thoughts.[/quote]
Just throwing in my my two cents as the person who wrote the piece. It’s certainly not a handy way to keep a valuable advertiser on board.
I’ve said in my editorials before and I’ll say again, I would never write anything in the editorial space I wouldn’t say on the street. I would never write something I disagreed with to appease advertisers or simply to stir up controversy and as acting publisher I don’t have anyone telling me what opinion they want to see written (not that I’d listen). Nope, it’s all me and what I wrote is what I think. People are certainly welcome to disagree and since these are opinions I always expect some disagreement - which is good for discussion.
As I said, I’m a pretty intermittent internet user and it does seem like things are moving towards having people who are heavier users of a service paying more for that heavy usage. That being said, I do think it’s important for everyone to let CityWest know what your thoughts are on the subject so they hear all sides of the story and have all the info they can available.
Much like elections, in my view, if you don’t make your voice heard it’s tough to complain about decisions made.
I know tone and connotation can get lost in the written word, but rest assured this wasn’t written with any negative tone and wasn’t meant to be super defensive. Not disgruntled, discussion is good, just weighing in.
Well with all due respect and remember I’m saying this with all due respect. Perhaps you shouldn’t advertise your opinion when you appear to not fully understand the issue at hand. Id have no problem as a heavy user paying my fair share but citywest is not concerned with fair, only exercising their monopoly to gouge their customers.
Oh I don’t know, probably “many of us” spent more time in English class than you apparently did.
As for what appears to be your point, so it’s wrong to ask questions of publicly owned companies then I guess?
Feel free to pick up the financial share that belongs to “many of us” then, since you don’t seem to mind how the business is being run.[/quote]
my english ? really that’s what your going to point out? oh yea i forgot it’s the internet and everyone is a english teacher !
i’m not saying it’s wrong to question publicly owned companies . but really what do u think is gonna be accomplished whining about it here i’m sure they have considered everything before raises prices . they are comparable in their rates to the big boys . 75gb of usage is quite a bit if your worried stopped downloading movies it’s illegal anyway.
and yes i don’t mind how the business is run. it is a a hell of a lot cheaper than png or the rising costs of bc hydro.
maybe try sending an email off to them or are you too worried your gonna go over your 75gb usage for the month?
complaining blindly on a site doesnt get you anywhere
you keep saying you are not a citywest customer and you live out of town . you are one of the most negative people i have seen post on a forum i am just telling people to complain in the proper place.
how do u consider that to be ignorant? because i disagree with you? i am sorry i apologize for not knowing you know everything .
I think you’re on to something there, but you’re a bit off. Downloading movies and TV isn’t illegal.
Netflix does it for unlimited movies and TV shows for $10/month. Or you can go to iTunes and download for 99 cents. And there are many other options that are free (CTV, CBC, Global TV all stream free online now).
I think that’s the real threat that Citywest is responding to here. It’s not the cost of bandwidth – the cost of 100 gigs versus 75 gigs is trivial. It’s that the people using 100 or 200 gigs have figured something out: you don’t have to pay Citywest in order to watch TV!
The question is – why would anybody pay for cable? I’m paying for cable right now, and it’s only so I can watch live sports. But even I sometimes stream the sports that aren’t available on cable.
If you’re an MLB fan, for example, you can now stream every single game, no matter what market or what team, for a $14.95 fee. How long before the NHL just bypasses cable companies altogether and streams every game online for a fee?
i understand what you saying about the streaming and i agree . the main people that are making this happen are the heavy downloaders of movies who are getting upwards of a tb a month . probably less than a dozen people ruining it for thousands. i have used netflix yes and i do download movies but i am prepared to pay if i go over it has been ample warning . other companies charge also. times are changing yes in so many years down the road most shows may just be streamed from the internet .
I’ve said in my editorials before and I’ll say again, I would never write anything in the editorial space I wouldn’t say on the street. I would never write something I disagreed with to appease advertisers or simply to stir up controversy and as acting publisher I don’t have anyone telling me what opinion they want to see written (not that I’d listen). Nope, it’s all me and what I wrote is what I think. People are certainly welcome to disagree and since these are opinions I always expect some disagreement - which is good for discussion. [/quote]
I think the last thing you can accuse Mr. Thomas of is being afraid to speak (or write) what he feels. Doesn’t mean you have to agree with him.
Remember the editorial that prompted a “kick in the ass” comment from the mayor? Has the city stopped advertising in his paper because of that?
What are you basing this “less than a dozen people” number on? Five people I work with were over their monthly “limit” last month. How much usage do you think online gaming takes? All the current platforms are sold to be interactive online…you have any kids in your house? Think how many Xbox or PS3 systems are sold in this town to the 5000 kids under 20 (or 30)…not to mention all the pc gaming.
And, entertainment aside, I’ve got two people in my house taking online courses involving Netmeetings and online tutorials; those activities aren’t going to put my account over the top but they certainly will leave less room for any other down- or uploading that should occur in my household. And that’s a big key issue: it’s not just A PERSON who bogarts the bandwidth, it’s an active household account that has many varied and sundry activities that can be pushed over the limit.
I just put MAC restrictions on my home router. The couple downstairs were ‘sharing’ my connection.
Only they were using over 52GB a DAY!!!
They’re going to offer to pay some, but for that amount they can pay $1500 a month or so. That’s fair. If I still had my gov’t subsidized Navigata pipe that would have cost me $8000.00 for the month.