According to my skimming at this article here, it seems the department that has the jurisdiction to regulate the use of Internet for Canada, CRTC, has decided to allow Canadian ISPs to forgo unlimited Internet plans. Instead of just charging a flat monthly fee for an unlimited Internet connection as in USA, the Canadian ISPs are going to charge their customers a flat monthly fee for a limited Internet connection and to pay extra charges for extra bandwidths. This could spell an Internet disaster for people in Canada, because the joy of streaming videos from YouTube, Netflix, and others are just not possible unless they are willing to pay for extra bandwidths.
Canadian ISPs are lowering the data caps. For an instant, the article suggests that a small ISP has lowered the data cap from 200 GB/month to 25 GB/month. CRTC also mandates customers to pay CAD$1.90 for each GB of extra bandwidth. Talking about one has to pull out a spreadsheet and record how much bandwidth one uses each day so one doesn’t have to face the monster bill at the end of the month.
Future innovations for Canadian Internet industry are going to be hindered by CRTC’s decision, because it’s possible that Canadian ISPs tempt to charge their customers more. Furthermore, innovations/ventures similarly to companies such as Netflix will no longer be that profitable, because the Canadians may less likely to sign up with such services for they have to worry about the lacks of bandwidths. Streaming movies in HD as much as you like isn’t appealing in such environment! People aren’t just streaming movies, they may also download apps for their computers (i.e., Macbook Pro and the likes), play games online, host a website from home, listen to radios over the web (i.e., last.fm), and so on. Any of those activities I had described could cost Internet users a lot of bandwidths and consequently a lot of money for extra bandwidths.
In summary, some Canadians will be jealous of the people who are lucky to have unlimited Internet connection plans. Internet businesses that operate within Canada will have to adapt to the environment where Internet users will be on guard of how much bandwidths they’re spending. If you’re a Canadian, what do you think about this? If you’re living inside USA, do you favor your ISP to charge you more for bandwidths?