Musings About The Internet

There have been a number of large internet debates here in Canada over the last little while. There is the discussion going on currently about having user caps (as low as 25 gigs a month) and charging $2+ every gig over the cap. There are also continuous debates over throttling, and the monopoly that Rogers has over the market (although it does share that market with Bell Canada). The latest news bit is about how Rogers is throttling World of Warcraft players because WoW uses peer-to-peer to transfer game files. Rogers has throttled peer-to-peer for as long as I can remember, and that was one major reason why I stopped using their service. As not only a gamer, but a gamer writing about games it was next-to impossible for me to download a game (especially a free to play game) in time for an article because I would be throttled every inch of the way. I very literally could not do my job using Rogers internet service. I have since switched, and while my service is actually slower the fact that I’m not throttled is a blessing.

For a country that is considered to be ‘free’ in many aspects (healthcare, etc) we sure do have a lot of issues when it comes to technology. Every time I see a commercial for AT&T High Speed Internet my stomach does flip flops – the prices are noticeably lower for the services provided compared to what I see up here. Jealous? Of course I am – a little bit.

These days just about everything is on the internet, not just my video games. I subscribe and pay to use Netflix to stream tv shows and movies – and they actually had to lower their video quality in order to cater to Canadians who have low internet usage caps put in place by their ISP. It would seem that Netflix is afraid of losing customers who may worry about the rate that their data transfers. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t we be increasing the quality and performance (at a lower cost) of internet usage instead?

I truly love where I live and appreciate the comforts that we’re given on a daily basis, but I hate to see that we’re falling so far behind the curve in this matter.

In other news! My bard has completed her 1.5 epic and it looks amazing. I also spent a little time in Rift last night, participating in the world wide event that has taken over. My cleric is still hanging out at level 21, but it was nice to peek in and see how the server was doing population wise. I hope everyone else has a delightful Thursday (this is my Friday, woohoo for three day weekends) and happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!


5 Responses to Musings About The Internet

  1. Gozad says:

    I live just outside Toronto, and I am really getting fed up with Rogers too, and have been considering switching to DSL. I have Rogers Extreme Plus, which is $80 a month including modem rental and a 125GB/month limit, and costs an additional $1.25 for every GB you go over your cap. After taxes, my last months internet bill was $140. What really makes me crazy is that there are providers in Toronto like TekSavvy who offer 300GB of high speed cable for just $43 a month. I just wish they would expand to my neighbourhood so I could cancel with ‘Robbers’.

  2. Hunter says:

    Whats really disturbing is that they’re backing away from UBB a bit, and offering up Aggregate Volume Pricing. Essentially pushing the costs onto indie providers to drive them out of business.

  3. Brad says:

    Seriously, throttling and other digital rights issues are getting to be a bigger and bigger problem, and not many people with any amount of pull seem to give a crap. I don’t want to turn all political here, but if you have a candidate for the Pirate Party of Canada in your riding, you might wanna consider it. The name aside, their platform is actually pretty solid (if slightly more focused than the super general platforms of the big parties). There’s no chance they’ll get any “real” power, but if they could get a couple voices in Parliament that would be a good start.

  4. Scopique says:

    This is one of those truely headscratching moments. The Internet is NOT new, and it’s only been growing both in size AND potential capability. The catch is that the providers and legislators need to realize AND accept the potential, which doesn’t sound like the case here.

    I HATE to wax political, but I can’t see how it can be otherwise: sounds like this is a case of corporate interests being protected over the desire of the citizens. Sure, other companies like Netflix are hurting at the expense of Rogers’ executive backrubs, but that just means A) Rogers has deeper pockets and/or B) Rogers is willing to spend their cash on politics. The only other explaination is that the politicians don’t understand the Internet, and Rogers is purely corrupt and wants to milk their customers dry.

    This is the kind of BS that really dusts my doilies, because the pure benefits of unrestricted, low cost Internet access are legion, and the only argument against it is pure, unadulterated greed.

  5. pasmith says:

    In Netflix’s defense, they put this less-bandwidth-consuming option in place, but if you’re not worried about hitting your cap you can turn it off and go back to the high quality service.

    Or so they say… since I’m not in Canada I can’t check. But (on paper at least) it seems to me that Netflix is offering options in an attempt to keep as many customers as possible.

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