UBB – Usage Based Bull**** – Be aware of it!

How much internet do you use and really…do you care?

Last week, the CRTC passed a ruling that many Canadians barely paid any attention to. It was a ruling that was both good for us as consumers, but also won’t have much impact on our overall internet experience. Usage Based Billing. The CRTC ruled that it couldn’t be forced on third party internet companies…which is nice, except most average users of the internet use one of the big cable or phone companies for their internet. Those companies can do Usage Based Billing and have been for quite some time.

I won’t get into the hypocrisy of UBB by any internet company, but in a nutshell, UBB is restrictive billing on how much data you are allowed to transfer, both in and out, on your internet connection, usually per month. The average user doesn’t really think much of it, but they truly should.

Both Rogers and Bell offer “lite” packages that are fairly economical and advertised as being for light web usage. Each of them offers limits of anywhere from 15-25GB per month. I don’t have stats to prove it, but from our experience, a lot of home users and home based businesses subscribe to these kinds of plans. 25GB sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Think about that for a moment though and then think about just how much you use your internet in your home. Then stop and think about just how big the hard drive on your computer is. 1TB drives are quite common these days, so how far will 25GB really take you?

How many computers do you have? Laptops? Those are obvious users of the net and they’ll use some of that bandwidth. How about smartphones or tablets? They hook into your local WIFI, if you have it set up, and they use data too. If you stream videa or audio to them, you might be surprised just how much of that quota they use up!

Do you have an Xbox or Playstation or Wii? How about a new TV with advertised links to the internet? All of those items use the Internet as well, whether for playing games online, or downloading updates or watching Netflix. Every one of those devices eats away at your quota and you may not even know how much you are truly using until you get a bill in that shocks you with overage fees that can max out at up to $50 more per month!

UBB is something that we’ve written about before and was in the public eye a few months back when the Industry Minister forced the CRTC to take a closer look at the issue. You might want to take a look at it yourself and check your Internet package. Both Rogers and Bell offer services on their websites that will show your data usage, and you should take a moment to check and be sure you aren’t always close to your limit. If you download any media, watch videos, netflix or play games, the minimum packager is really never enough for your needs.

So check your usage, be aware of it…the irony is you have to use your data limits to check on the data you are using.

If you are a Rogers subscriber check out this link and subscribe to check your limits: https://www.rogers.com/web/link/signin

If you are with Bell check here: http://internet.bell.ca/index.cfm?method=content.view&content_id=17735&language=en&CFID=176493337&CFTOKEN=21758603

All companies have this ability, so don’t be afraid to dig into your data.

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