Opinion » Cybernaut


Canada’s net neutrality



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As someone who probably falls on the low end of the user spectrum I don't mind that, providing rates reflect more than speed.

For example, ISPs could offer a flat rate for a subscription, plus an additional charge for 5 GB per month accounts, 10 GB accounts, 25 GB accounts and so on up to unlimited, each for a set price. Instead of ranking services by speed this solution would rank packages based on bandwidth use. Naturally, bulk users should get a bulk deal but at least this way I could probably reduce my own costs by opting for one of the smaller packages.

The tricky thing is that people generally don't monitor their accounts so ISPs would have to figure out a system that lets you track your data use in real time, both uploads and downloads - and that will inform you by e-mail when you reach the halfway point, three-quarter point and the end of your plan, at which point you have two options - pay for additional service or wait out the end of the month until your data plan is renewed.

There are still a lot of outstanding issues to resolve on Canada's digital frontiers, like issues of copyright, fair use, what constitutes piracy and how pirates should be dealt with. This latest CRTC ruling gives me hope that the solution will be fair to all, reflect reality and hold both sides accountable.

iPhone loses exclusivity

The days of Rogers and Fido cornering the market on the Apple iPhone in Canada are numbered, which can really only mean good things for consumers. Dates are yet to be announced, but both Telus and Bell have updated their networks to the 3G standard to work with the iPhone, and both will be carrying the phones in the near future.

What that means for consumers is a greater range of packages and choice, and possibly lower-priced phones and packages as well. It also gives the iPhone coast-to-coast coverage, something that no other device can match right now - if all carriers carried all phones then it would be easier for consumers to navigate the smart/cell phone market, because all you would need to look at are the competing plans available. Instead, the current system is confusing because every carrier offers different phones with different features, and different plans that are hard to compare.

Other phone manufacturers are already falling over themselves to create smart phones that offer the same capabilities as the iPhone, and for the most part they're failing. Still, there is no good reason why they can't ditch their own exclusivity deals with carriers and ensure their products are available everywhere.