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3 February 2011

"A bit is a bit is a bit"–Right? Unless you try to buy it in Canada.

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There has been a lot of hot air coming from the old media about how the issue of UBB is end users wanting to get something for nothing by opposing the big ISP providers rate grabs.

Over at the Legion of Decency – Jim Henshaw puts the case succinctly.

One of our largest ISP's -- Shaw -- charges $47/month for a package that will deliver 100 Gb to your computer before additional charges are applied for downloading additional bits. That would make the Shaw price $0.47 per Gigabyte.

If a Shaw subscriber happens to go over that limit, they're charged $2.00 per additional Gb. The same as Bell but less than one half what Rogers has listed on its rate sheet.

But if "A bit is a bit is a bit" then this seems somewhat out of line.

Just how out of line becomes clear when you learn that it actually costs a Canadian ISP about $0.03 to deliver a Gigabyte to begin with.

Which means -- why is a Shaw subscriber already paying more than a 1000% mark-up on those first 100 Gb? And maybe more importantly, how have they managed to get away with charging for the billions of bits Canadians have been purchasing in advance for years -- but have never used?

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