On Usage-Based Billing (UBB)

Distributel's Mel Cohen Talks About Usage-Based Billing from Distributel on Vimeo.

Distributel founder and President Mel Cohen talks about being an independent Internet Service Provider (ISP) and why usage-based billing (UBB) simply doesn’t make sense.

The UBB decision and aftermath

Update: November 15th, 2011
Distributel Communications, one of Canada’s largest independent Internet Service Providers (ISPs), announced today that the decision of the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regarding billing practices for wholesale high-speed access services including usage-based billing (UBB) contains a mixed outcome for consumers. However, Distributel affirmed its intention to continue to offer unlimited high-speed Internet plans across the country.

Today’s CRTC announcement reverses a proposal made by Bell in January 2011, whereby Canada’s big Internet providers would have been free to impose UBB plans on the independent ISPs that lease their bandwidth. If UBB were imposed on small ISPs, the larger service providers could essentially determine how much Canadians could use the Internet. Today’s decision enables independent ISPs like us to continue to offer Canadian consumers unrestricted Internet plans with access to faster speeds.

Our position on UBB

Original post: January 21st, 2011
If you’re a Distributel customer, you’re probably wondering how the implementation of usage-based billing (UBB) could affect you. We’re committed to being open and transparent when it comes to policies that affect our customers. In that spirit, here’s what we know so far:

  • It’s not over until it’s over. Canadians have reacted with outrage at the CRTC decision handed down on January 25th and Distributel continues to lobby vigorously against UBB. The chairman of the CRTC recently advised that the decision to move forward with UBB will be reviewed and delayed until at least May 2011. Distributel remains optimistic that the Commission will find in favour of Canadian consumers and overturn its previous decision. If you'd like to lend your support to the cause, visit the CRTC's website to find out how to voice your opinion, or sign Open Media's petition to stop UBB.

  • We will fight to keep our plans unlimited. There will be a change in our cost structure if UBB is implemented as it’s been proposed. We’re going to fight to keep our plans unlimited but in some cases, that may not be possible. We will do everything in our power to continue to offer unlimited services at affordable prices.

  • No matter what happens, there won’t be any surprises. If changes in our cost structure force us to modify our current plans, we can absolutely guarantee that there won’t be any surprises for our customers. We will provide ample notice of any change, even if we’re penalized financially during that notice period.

If you have any comments or feedback that you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Issues related to UBB

Infrastructure & the last mile

Distributel's Mel Cohen Talks About The Last Mile from Distributel on Vimeo.

Distributel founder and President Mel Cohen talks about the legacy infrastructure that delivers Internet service to Canadian consumers and why it doesn't make sense for independent Internet Service Providers (ISP) like Distributel to reproduce it.

The costs of delivering Internet service

Distributel's Mel Cohen Talks About What It Costs from Distributel on Vimeo.

Distributel founder and President Mel Cohen talks about demand, peak usage periods and why usage-based billing (UBB) simply doesn’t make sense.


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Distributel is a national telecommunications provider offering residential high-speed Internet, Television, Home Phone and Long Distance services at competitive prices in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.


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