In Canada there is a huge flaw when using the Internet that hold back consumers from using online services such as Netflix. What residents in America are not aware about is that there is a Internet bandwidth cap in Canada. Canadians would choose Netflix as my primary movie and TV streaming provider but the bandwidth caps hold them back. In Canada, ISP”s have put a bandwidth cap on the Internet. The bandwidth cap varies for different Internet service providers but all them have it. This includes Bell Canada, Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed Internet and Sympatico. All of major Internet providers in Canada have bandwidth caps for their services.
In late 2010 the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) ruled in favor of Bell to implement usage-based billing for their Gateway Access Services. Meaning all Internet providers who use Bell’s gateway access services would now have caps on data that is used. Thus usage-based billing was created. Since Rogers and all other Internet service providers use Bell’s Gateway Access Service the usage-based billing would be applied to all customers. All members of Bell, Rogers and Sympatico now have a cap for customers on the data that they use.
Usage-based billing means users will be billed based on how much data is used. There are packages on different ISP’s that allow you to use 100 gigabytes of data per month, however if you go over the 100 GB then there will be fee for every gigabyte of data that is used. An example of this type of billing would be like a cellphone bill. Once you’ve gone over the number of minutes that is allowed in a month, then you will be charged for every minute used afterwards. Not only does this keep you worried about how much data you have used on a daily basis but it changes the way you use the Internet all together.
With this bandwidth cap Canadians will have to be very well aware of what websites and online services they use. Now of days with 1080p videos on YouTube you can expect to use over 100Mb for every video you watch. MP3 tracks from iTunes average on 5Mb per song and by the end of the month you can bet that all those songs add up to be alot. With movies you stream off of Netflix you can expect to use well over 2 gigabyte per movie. Not only does this limit yourself to the number of movies you can watch off Netflix but it also holds you back from feeling free on the Internet.
Here are is how Bell Canada and Rogers bill users that go over their cap:
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From the images above you can see how this would effect how you watch Netflix in Canada. Since each movie that is streamed is roughly 2GB, you can assume that data-usage would add up if you watch a movie a day. If you have high bandwidth cap then this concern would not apply to you, however with a high bandwidth cap comes a higher monthly cost. On average most consumers would like to feel free to use online services such as Netflix and not be worried about if they have watched too many movies in a month. This is the sole reason why Netflix sucks for Canadians. Your thoughts?