Gnomie Steve Cossette writes:

Hello, Chris! I’ve got an idea for a subject that might interest you. It’s mostly regarding Canada, but I know you have viewers and readers from all around the world, so I thought it might be interesting for you nonetheless.

First, I will try to give a little bit of a background story. Here in Canada, we have a governmental agency called the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission) that regulates anything regarding telecommunications — it’s the equivalent of your FCC. The CRTC was established in the 1960s from a law called the Telecommunications act. Back then, it only regulated television and telephone (as the Internet did not exist yet).

So to get to the point, a new act was requested by Bell Canada (One of the biggest phone companies in Canada) last year to the CRTC asking to allow Bell to throttle its customers’ BitTorrent consumption during select hours. (If you remember, when Comcast in the US tried to do that, it got blown right out of the water.) This made people angry, but Bell Canada did not stop there.

As in the US, a lot of smaller Internet service providers rely on the phone line architecture to provide service to their own clients by paying a rental fee to the network owner (Bell, in this case).

Now here’s the big problem that I am contacting you about.

Last may, Bell filled another request to the CRTC asking to allow it something called ‘UBB’ (Usage-Based Billing), for its GAS (Gateway Access Service) customers (the little companies using its network). This would mean that, on top of what the little companies are already paying Bell to access its network, they will have to pay for clients’ usage over 60 gigabytes with a 5 Mbps/s service — at a price of 75 cents per GB (up to a maximum of 300 GB, where it reserves the right to shut down the customer). Note that Bell does not impose that rule to its own retail customers.

Many organisations started Web sites that allow people to send letters to their regional representatives, and to the concerned parties:

Competitive Broadband (You can send emails from this Web site to the appropriate governmental agencies.)

Dissolve the CRTC (If it reaches 10,000 signatures, one of the governmental representatives has promised to bring the subject to the parliament.)

Thanks again for helping!