Canada to Meter Internet Usage

OTTAWA — The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, the body in charge of regulating electronic media, has decided to allow telecom companies to meter the billing for Internet usage.

This means that service providers such as Bell Canada will be able to charge per byte in addition to their basic access charges.

Some smaller service providers, who use Bell Canada’s infrastructure, said what Bell Canada is charging for overages is well beyond, even many times more, what it really costs to provide the extra bytes to customers.

They say they don’t want to be forced to bill their own customers on a metered basis, but will have to because they will be subject to Bell Canada’s requirements.

“Allowing the Internet service providers to ding you every time you download is a rip-off,” said Charlie Angus, a digital affairs critic.

“Canada is already falling behind other countries in terms of choice, accessibility and pricing for the Internet. We need clear rules that put consumers first.”

So far, thousands of people have signed an online petition called Stop The Meter.

The CRTC still has to make a final decision on the plan.