Stop The Meter On Your Internet Use

(I’m sure this will be of interest to people on this thread.)

Even though the federal government appears poised to repeal a CRTC decision that could cause Canadians to lose their unlimited access Internet plans, North Coast residents could be losing theirs even if it is repealed.

CityWest, Prince Rupert’s only Internet service provider (ISP) says that it plans to introduce usage billing in March, unless the federal government expressly forbids ISPs from doing so. … 34039.html

Did you even ASK Citywest any questions?

Seriously bad journalism, if you ask me. Just accepted everything they said without even challenging them on any points. Like I said, copy and pasting their press release?

Why is it every other independent ISP is fighting against this, and Citywest is in favour? The independent ISPs even formed an industry group because of this issue.

Why is Citywest not even considering other measures instead of charging people hundreds of dollars? Why not just throttle heavy users, for example? They’ve done it it in the past. I guess it’s just a money grab?

Who is responsible for that letter that they sent out to all customers? Why didn’t you ask them to clarify that letter? You know the one, that got bits and bytes confused? Yay! Award-winning technology company that doesn’t know the difference between a gigabit and a gigabyte?

What about the timing of the Citywest plan? They promised a “portal” (huh?) to see how much bandwidth we’re using before February. Where is that? Did you ask them that question?

Did you ask them about the timing of announcing this new money-grab (ie: after the CRTC decided it was ok to do)?

Seriously weak, Northernview. What kind of journalist doesn’t ask questions? Does Citywest advertise in NorthernView?

The kind of journalist that either has something to lo$e, or has been told not to by the powers that be. :smiley:

We haven’t had any investigative reporting, or reporters who ask the hard questions since the Daily News was sold to Glacier media. And since the other news sources in town, are also majorly funded by their advertisers, I doubt we will never find out. Unless one of us goes out there and asks.

PS, I’ve seen Citywest ads in the View…

I’m sorry to say this, because I know there are a lot of smart and decent people who work at Citywest. They are our friends and our neighbours.

But this is another decision that shows that Citywest is acting like a corporation that has forgotten that its purpose is to provide a communications infrastructure for the people of Prince Rupert – its owners.

It’s clear that across Canada, everyone is against this practice. So much so that you have all political parties agreeing that it is a bad idea. Yet Citywest isn’t even going to reconsider?

I think that sandimas was right when he wrote that Citywest is fundamentally flawed. It is not politically accountable – its board isn’t elected, and those who do have some executive power over the corporation likely have no idea about technology matters. Certainly not enough to question what is presented to them.

But unlike most corporations, Citywest isn’t really accountable to the free market, is it? It is essentially a monopoly, so it doesn’t matter if it provides bad service or makes strategic errors. For example, who has lost their job over the decisions made with respect to their mobile phone division? If it were a real corporation, you’d bet there would be a heck of a lot of “feedback” (read: people being fired) over the running of the mobile phone division in the last few years.

So now it’s the internet division’s turn to operate with zero accountability and feedback. Who is going to tell Citywest that this is a bad move? The board? No, they likely don’t even know how to use the internet, let alone download a season pass from iTunes or watch a movie on Netflix. The Mayor?

Well, that’s ok, the market will decide, right? If Citywest loses customers over this, then they will fire whoever thought it was a good idea and move on, right? No, because, remember, Citywest really doesn’t have to be accountable to the market either – it is essentially a monopoly.

So I’m sure Citywest is convinced this is the absolute right thing to do. Why? Because neither political nor market feedback really has any influence on this city-owned corporation.

Thanks for making this point, sandimas, I can’t remember where you said it, but it is the best description of the problem with Citywest that I have read. They make what we consider to be bad decisions, because there is no feedback mechanism (market or political) to tell them when they’ve messed up.

The only feedback they really hear is quite literally “We asked around, and nobody seemed to want it.” Or whatever that famous quote was.

Oh well. Here’s hoping they appoint some savvy people to the board, or we get a city council that can at least apply some political feedback to OUR corporation.

They already lost my business over their threat letter and this decision cements it. I will never give citywest another penny.

What are you using for internet?

The very least you could have done, NorthernView, was to reasearch the issue – look up the concerns (linked on the first page of this thread!) and perhaps asked Citywest to address those?

Prove us wrong, NorthernView, go back to Citywest and ask them some tough questions! and do some reading.

I’m sorry you both feel that way about our work. But I will keep the questions you raise in mind for a possible follow-up article.

While I doubt it will change your opinion, I will say that in the five months I have been with the view, I never seen any of the reporters ever simply rewrite a press release, nor is that practice considered acceptable. In this story’s case there was no press release at all.

The Northern View is certainly not an ideal paper, but I strongly disagree with your characterization of it. We always strive to find the information needed to promote the public interest even if we fail to ask the questions some readers believe we should have, or some information gets left out due to word count limitations that some readers think should have been put in.

I too would like to see more investigative reporting, not just at the View but in Canadian media in general.

Well at one time before our City Utility crushed private enterprise competitors, there were private ISP’s operating in Prince Rupert. There are more than a view small villages the size of Rupert that have created community co operatives to deliver internet access and cable television. Perhaps it’s time for a group to explore that in Prince Rupert.

Does anyone know if Telus still has it’s microwave shots into Prince Rupert or are those mothballed now?

Who ya gonna switch to?
Rogers? They have caps.
Telus? They have caps.
Shaw? They have caps.
Xplorenet? They have caps.

None of them require the CRTC’s permission to have them.

I believe that the specific CRTC decision was actually quite limited in scope - it only referred to large ISP as it related to the customers of a smaller ISP that leased bandwidth from the larger ISP.

I think that the bigger issue now needs to be dealt with, that the large providers have their hands into so many facets of communication (phone, TV, internet service, as well as web, TV, and on-demand media content) that they are becoming anti-competitive.

Edit: That first sentence is a bit of a garden-path.

I think the big complaint wasn’t that these big corporations had caps, but that they were also charging caps to their wholesale customers (ie: smaller, independent ISPs, like Citywest). Therefore killing any chance of competition.

Meanwhile: What is a fair price per gigabyte? A couple of cents. … le1890596/

The other issue, of course, is that Citywest isn’t acting like an independent ISP. It isn’t acting like a company that is city-owned, and supposedly accountable to, and exists for the benefit of, the people of Prince Rupert.

It’s acting like it is Bell or Rogers.

Canada ranks 24 out of 30 countries for speed and “bit caps” plus how much we are charged…

[quote]Not only is the Canadian Internet relatively expensive, it is also comparatively slow, ranking 24th out of the 30 OECD countries. Internet users in Japan, Korea, and France enjoy a genuinely different Internet experience, where the far-faster speeds allows for applications and services that have yet to make their mark in Canada. Moreover, the speed gap between Canada and most of the OECD appears to be growing. The fastest consumer speeds often come from fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services that are commonplace in countries like Japan (48 percent of consumers) and Korea (43 percent of consumers), but virtually non-existent in Canada. In fact, the OECD placed Canada’s FTTH penetration at zero percent.

When price and speed are combined, Canada sinks toward the very bottom of the OECD rankings. As measured by price per megabyte - effectively the price for speed - Canada ranks 28th out of 30 countries, ahead of only Mexico and Poland. This may be the most telling metric, since it confirms that Canadians pay more for less.

Canadian consumers also face far less choice with respect to broadband options. Canada was one of only four countries (Australia, New Zealand, and Belgium were the others) where all broadband options included “bit caps” that limit consumer use each month.

Canadian ISPs are quick to claim that they regularly upgrade their networks and the services they provide. For example, Rogers announced new faster speeds for two of its broadband Internet services last week. Although the new speeds were promoted as a free upgrade, the company raised its prices just two months earlier by as much as ten percent.

Most Canadians recognize the critical importance of broadband networks for communication, commerce, education, and access to knowledge. Canada was once a global leader, yet today the marketplace suffers from high prices, slow speeds, and throttled services that have led to an unmistakable decline in comparison with peer countries around the world.[/quote]

I received a response to the emails I’ve been sending Nathan Cullen regarding the Usage Bill Internet…

CityWest, you may find this item of interest. … story.html

I phoned CityWest tech department the other day and left them a lovely message about their portal not being up. I was all 'hey, i searched your website I couldn’t find it what’s up with that?" and they called me back. Unfortunately I was at work at the time and they had to leave a message - the lady was all “Yeah the portal is working and won’t be for a couple of months. We’re not going to start charging until the portal has been up for a month minimum”.

So we got a couple more months of freedom. I suggest we all write strongly worded letters.

This was on Youtube…anyone seen it?

Did anyone catch the statement given by Nathan Cullen on the news regarding Citywest?

And at risk of a Godwin …