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Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission gives Bell Canada a green light to begin billing customers according to bandwidth usage with monthly caps of 2 GB, 20 GB, and 60 GB for the 512 Kbps, 2 Mbps, and 5 Mbps speed options, respectively. The price for additional data usage is $1.875(512Kbps), $1.50(2Mbps), and $1.125(5Mbps) p/GB with a proposed cap of $22.50 p/mo.Millions of Canadian broadband users face a maddening walk towards consumption-based billing with yesterday’s decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that gave Bell Canada, Canada’s largest telephone and telecommunications company, the green light to proceed with the “economic Internet traffic management practice (ITMP).”The plan will apply not only directly to its retail Internet service customers, but also to those ISPs that rent bandwidth from the company, and thereby their customers, as well.Bell would require wholesale Gateway Access Services (GAS) customers to pay, for each of its end‑users, a monthly flat‑rate charge for Internet access and usage up to the usage threshold, as well as a per‑GB overage charge.The only caveat is that the CRTC requires that the plan can only go into affect until after Bell Canada charges UBB rates to all its retail Internet service customers . It wants to ensure a level playing field for those ISPs that rent bandwidth from Bell Canada since many have varying degree of monthly data caps, oftentimes much lower than Bell’s.In approving the plan the CRTC found that, relative to technical ITMPs, economic ITMPs are generally not considered “unjustly discriminatory.”So what type of caps and fees are we looking at?Bell proposed monthly data usage thresholds of 2 GB, 20 GB, and 60 GB for the 512 Kbps, 2 Mbps, and 5 Mbps speed options, respectively. The price for additional data usage is $1.875(512Kbps), $1.50(2Mbps), and $1.125(5Mbps) p/GB with a proposed cap of $22.50 p/mo.Bell will also be able to implement an additional charge of 75 cents p/GB for anything over more than 300GB p/mo.One GAS customer, Ont.-based ISP Teksavvy, blasted the approval of overage fees. “The rates are absolutely atrocious. How the hell are we doing above one dollar for extra usage?” said Rocky Gaudrault, president of Teksavvy. “It’s in the thousands of multiples beyond what the costs are.”Though Bell claims the plan is an “economic ITMP” we all know it’s a simple attempt to squeeze more money out of consumers in a market where there are few competitors.“All of our economics are based on engineering for the peak hour,” noted Tony Werner, the chief technical officer of US ISP Comcast, in a speech to investors last April. “Just because someone consumes more data doesn’t mean they drive more cost.” The cost of the equipment necessary to expand network capacity is decreasing all the time as technology improves. Comcast even told investors at that same meeting that it only costs an average of $6.85 per home to DOUBLE the bandwidth capacity of an entire neighborhood, and that the equipment necessary to provide 50Mbps costs less than paid for the 6Mbps equipment.Now obviously Bell Canada is not Comcast, but you get the picture. Bell Canada is trying to price gouge broadband users and it seems that the CRTC is going to standby and let it happen.