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    • New note by bobjonkman 3 October 2020
      There's also Megablocks, the precursor to Duplo. And there are also Micro Megablocks, the same size as LEGO. The kits for Micro Megablocks were much better than the LEGO kits, making slightly larger models but using only standard bricks. The LEGO models were smaller, depending on many custom pieces specific to the kit, which were […]
    • Favorite 3 October 2020
      bobjonkman favorited something by clacke: Not only are Duplo blocks *like* Lego blocks, they *are* Lego blocks, and I don't just mean that Duplo is a Lego brand and produced in the same factory, the two systems are actually compatible.A Lego 2x2 block fits and sticks to the underside of a Duplo block, and the […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by clacke 3 October 2020
      RT @clacke Not only are Duplo blocks *like* Lego blocks, they *are* Lego blocks, and I don't just mean that Duplo is a Lego brand and produced in the same factory, the two systems are actually compatible. A Lego 2x2 block fits and sticks to the underside of a Duplo block, and the nob on […]
    • Favorite 27 September 2020
      bobjonkman favorited something by clacke: > At least as far as we’re aware, however, this is the first time that a pirated copy of a movie has actually been shown at a cinema in the United States. And surely, it must be the first instance where a pirated copy has been obtained from a torrent […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by tobias 27 September 2020
      RT @tobias ♲ @frederic: "Starting this Thanksgiving I am going to write a complete Unix-compatible software system called GNU (for Gnu's Not Unix), and give it away free to everyone who can use it." September 27, 1983 - Richard Stallman. www.gnu.org/gnu/initial-announ… Happy birthday to GNU \0/
    • Favorite 27 September 2020
      bobjonkman favorited something by tobias: ♲ @frederic@pouet.couchet.org: "Starting this Thanksgiving I am going to write a complete Unix-compatible software system called GNU (for Gnu's Not Unix), and give it away free to everyone who can use it." September 27, 1983 - Richard Stallman. www.gnu.org/gnu/initial-announ…Happy birthday to GNU \0/
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by lxoliva 27 September 2020
      RT @lxoliva happy original software freedom day! on this day, 37 years ago, Richard Stallman launched the Free Software Movement, and the GNU Project, to build a user-freedom-respecting operating system, so that all users could do their computing in freedom
    • Favorite 27 September 2020
      bobjonkman favorited something by lxoliva: happy original software freedom day! on this day, 37 years ago, Richard Stallman launched the Free Software Movement, and the GNU Project, to build a user-freedom-respecting operating system, so that all users could do their computing in freedom
    • New note by bobjonkman 22 September 2020
      In the Netherlands (which the Dutch call "Nederland") the language is called "Nederlands", so that makes sense. Perhaps English speakers couldn't differentiate between "Nederlands" and "Deutsch", which corrupted to "Dutch". And why do we call the country "Germany" and the inhabitants "Germans" when they call their country "Deutschland" and themselves "die Deutsche"?
    • Favorite 29 August 2020
      bobjonkman favorited something by eloquence: Disturbing reports that Google Play is threatening to kick out Mastodon apps. See:https://mastodon.social/@Gargron/104763960269049818https://toot.fedilab.app/@fedilab/104765191594914330App stores have a track record of acting capriciously & are also easy targets for gov't censors (including Trump). This is why alternatives like @fdroidorg are so important for user freedom.If unfamiliar: F-Droid is a free & open […]

Archive for the 'usage based billing' Category

Stop Usage Based Billing – comment to the CRTC

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 9th December 2010

Stop Usage Based Billing logo

Today is the deadline for submitting comments to the CRTC on the proposed tariff increases for Usage Based Billing. These are the comments I submitted:

I am opposed to the current Usage Based Billing proposal.

 

The cost of Telecom in Canada is already among of the highest in the world. Allowing Usage Based Billing will only increase that cost for both consumers and business, especially the third-party Internet providers. Canadian-based business is already looking for foreign ownership for the telecom sector; don’t price those Canadian businesses out of the market by increasing the rates for telecom services.

 

I understand that the carriers feel the need to increase the capacity of their infrastructure, but they have provided no evidence of the current capacities or bandwidth usage, making me wonder if these extra charges are justified. I do believe that billing based on usage (akin to electricity or water use) is a fair way to charge for Internet use, but only if it is the only charge. Carriers must not charge for bandwidth AND set bandwidth caps with overage fees. It cost no more to deliver the first gigabyte in a billing cycle than it costs to deliver the 60th.

 

Also, there must be a clear separation of bandwidth providers and content providers. To the consumer, it certainly seems like the carriers are raising the cost of providing streaming media such as NetFlix, while at the same time introducing such services themselves. It certainly gives the perception of anti-competitive billing, trying to force NetFlix out of the market by making it too expensive.

 

–Bob Jonkman
6 James St.
Elmira ON Canada
+1-519-635-9413

(CRTC Comment Reference number: 139217 )

Feel free to use any of these comments in your own submission!

Posted in Bell Canada, CRTC, Internet, Rogers, usage based billing | Comments Off on Stop Usage Based Billing – comment to the CRTC

Feedback from Copyright Consultation submission

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 24th September 2009


A few days after I posted my Canadian Copyright Consultation submission I received some e-mail feedback from Robert:

Hello Bob Jonkman,

I’ve read most of your input about U.B.B. and found it surprising that you, a software developer of all people, would oppose the U.B.B. ruling.

I’ve read your blog: [link]

While reading, I’ve stumbled upon this:

“I favour shorter copyright terms, no criminalisation for
non-commercial infringement, no criminalisation of circumvention of technical protection measures, and no media levies.”

Now, as a software developer, someone who uses copyright and programs protections, to what extent that you favour the above sentence?

My reply:

Hi Robert: As a software developer I am especially concerned with Usage Based Billing. I need to access online documentation, I use forums, blogs, and mailing lists to interact with other developers and clients, I run servers both for production and to test Web applications. But what will affect me most is downloading programs, software tools, and complete CD and DVD images with operating system distributions. All this activity puts me well beyond Bell’s proposed limit of 60 GBytes per month. Connection fees will nearly double for me under UBB, and I get nothing for it.

The statement on copyright, that I favour shorter terms and no technical protection measures are completely consistent with my position as a developer. In the first place, I need to use materials that are either freely available, or purchased from commercial sources. Bad licenses that use copyright law to restrict my use of material that I’ve legally purchased are harmful to me. For example, I want to write an addressbook program for a smart phone. But the vendor has restricted my ability to read the phone’s memory, and claims it is infringing that vendor’s copyright for me to reverse engineer the phone. This is harmful to me (I can’t do the work), it is harmful to my client (who can’t get the software he needs), and it is actually harmful to the phone vendor (because neither I or my client will ever buy that phone again).

Reduced copyright and fewer technical protection measures are also good for me, because more people will be able to make use of my software, leading to more work for me. Note that I never use “programs protections” for my software — it’s just not good for business. And while my software is copyrighted, I still grant licenses under GPL to make copies, requiring only that those who use my code give me attribution, and that their code uses the same license.

I don’t sell software, by the way. People pay me to write software. The software that gets written either belongs to the client (“work for hire”, so the client has the copyright), or I retain copyright and release the code under GPL.

Some of the submissions are now posted online. Alarmingly, many of the submissions I read online are not on the site. Hopefully the immense backlog has merely delayed the Copyright Consultation folks, and they’ll appear soon.

[Added 8 October 2009: It seems my copyright submission was posted on the Copyright Consultations web site on 2 October 2009]

Even if you didn’t make a submission, you can still write to your MP and the Honourable Minister of Canadian Heritage, James Moore and the Honourable Minister of Industry, Tony Clement to let them know your views.

You can contact me too. Post a comment, or send me e-mail.

–Bob.

Posted in copyright, copyright consultation, feedback, KWLUG, usage based billing | 1 Comment »

Usage Based Billing Considered Harmful

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 13th August 2009

The CRTC approved Bell’s request to charge the customers of third-party ISPs “Usage Based Billing”, to take effect in 90 days (November 2009).

There’s much discussion on DSL Reports. Rocky Gaudrault, the president of Teksavvy ISP, weighs in with some advice: We’ll all need to make a concerted effort to curb our downloading to ensure we don’t give a dime more to Bell than we need to. We all know this is a cash grab and anti-competitive tactic […]

Teksavvy offers a Premium package for $29.95 with $0.25/GiByte over 200 GiBytes, and an Unlimited package for $39.95, but with the new rates Bell won’t allow Teksavvy to offer an Unlimited package. Customers who use more than 60 GiBytes of bandwidth would be charged an extra $22.50 a month. For Teksavvy’s Premium customers, this is nearly double the current price. Customers who use more than 300 GiBytes in month would be charged an additional $0.75/GiByte. For that extra money you don’t get faster speeds than today. For that extra money you don’t get more downloads than today. For that extra money you don’t get a higher quality Internet. And that extra money goes to Bell, not Teksavvy.

Teksavvy UBB rates chart

Image from the OpenOffice spreadsheet Teksavvy possible UBB pricing.

Disclaimer: This is presented strictly as a comparison between what Teksavvy offers today and what might be the costs after UBB is implemented. This is sheer speculation; there has been no contact with Teksavvy staff on this.

60 GiBytes isn’t much, today:

  • 1 GiByte is about 300 average Flickr photos.
  • 1 GiByte is about 3 hours of watching YouTube videos — if you watch an hour a day you’ll use about 10 GiBytes/month.
  • Using Bittorrent to download Ubuntu (or a movie) uses about 1.5 GiBytes.
  • Downloading one season of a TV show is about 16 GiBytes.
  • Downloading one High-Definition movie is about 40 GiBytes.

Remember that this is charged both coming and going, so you’ll be paying for all the spam that arrives in your mailbox, all the ads on websites, all the automatic Windows updates.

Customers who only use e-mail and do a bit of Web surfing probably won’t be affected by the rate increase. But anyone who uses the Internet more than casually will be paying more.

Even worse are the “Chilling Effects” – who’s going to develop new cool Web 2.0 applications if they’re constantly watching the meter to ensure they don’t exceed the 60 GiByte cap? Who’s going to sign up for online video services if the movies exceed the cap?

Canada has certainly fallen behind the technology curve. Usage Based Billing puts Canada in an even worse position than the OECD reported in 2008.

If you want to protest this, submit a complaint to the CRTC.
For the type of application select Tariff, and as a subject, use File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 – Bell Canada – TN 7181. Thanx to Antonio Cangiano for these instructions!

I sent them this complaint:

I was disappointed to learn that the CRTC has approved Bell’s request to charge Usage Based Billing on connections for independent resellers, despite the CRTC’s own admission that most submissions from Canadians are opposed to such a tariff.

Usage Based Billing adds a significant cost to Internet services supplied by independent operators, reducing their ability to differentiate based on bandwidth and price. Worse, Bell’s proposed rates to its own customers appear to be less than what it is charging to independent ISPs. The obvious conclusion is that Bell is trying to eliminate its competition.

Recent reports on global bandwidth have already placed Canada next-to-last in cost per megabyte of bandwidth. This latest tariff will only increase prices for consumers, without providing any increase in service. Canada will surely be in absolute last place globally when the next report is issued.

The CRTC is mandated to provide telecom regulation to benefit Canadians. With this tariff, the only Canadians to benefit are Bell shareholders.

–Bob.

Posted in Bell Canada, considered harmful, CRTC, dslreports, Net Neutrality, teksavvy, usage based billing | 5 Comments »

 
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