The UBB Deception – new YT video explains #UBB and some of the real reasons behind it.
The endorsement isn’t justified. Much of the video, appropriately named The UBB Deception, is filled with deceptive statements. For example, at close to the one minute mark, there is the false statement that says:
In fact, the equipment used to relay these signals doesn’t really care how much data is actually passing through the system.
Whenever a statement starts with “In fact,” my antennae get raised.
That “pseudo-fact” is news to any of us who have networks as simple as a home router, let alone managing a regional or national network. Think about your home WiFi router. If you are home alone, the whole home network is yours, including the internet access pipe. When someone else is home with you, both of you may be able to use the equipment without noticing each other, unless both of you are using a data intensive service such as simultaneously streaming HD video. But, if one of you is just casually looking at web pages while the other is into a heavier use application, the local congestion is not noticeable, despite both computers being connected at WiFi speeds of say, 11 Mbps or more, sharing a 10 Mbps internet access line. Clearly, your home network really does care about how much data passes through the system, not just the connection speeds.
Now multiply the number of users by millions and consider the network not being a local area, but instead, a regional access network and you can see how the “In fact” from video is just plain wrong.
The video continues saying:
which is why corporate internet service providers bill their customers based on the speed of their connections.
The real reason that corporate network connections are often not usage sensitive is because the monthly rates assume a heavier usage load than residential connections. The kinds of connections that are used by most corporate networks are presumed to be engaged nearly all the time. The vast majority of residential customers don’t use their internet access service that way today and so the networks haven’t been engineered for that kind of usage. Most residential users don’t want to pay the kind of rates that are paid by corporate networks.
Around the 0:45 mark on the video, it says that data is not a manufactured product and it’s not a consumable product. Come on now. This is a clever semantical word game. ISPs don’t charge for the data; the charges are for transporting the data the same way Canada Post charges to deliver the package, but not the goods inside.
The video continues to promote a scheme where the only pricing options for customers are based on speed. Low speed connections would cost less and high speed connections would cost more with no options for low volume customers to opt for a higher speed connection with a price break that considers their reduced traffic. As I have written before [such as here and here], this is hardly consumer friendly and serves to banish customers with lower internet access budgets from ever tasting higher speed applications.
The video continues to promote the false statement at the 2:10 mark that the CRTC “is staffed by former and future employees of the corporations”. It is not true, it is a cheap shot and it is an unfair slur against the integrity of the staff and commissioners at the CRTC. I trust the endorsement of the video with a statement that it provides “the real reasons behind” the UBB decisions, was meant to exclude the statement about the CRTC’s people.
I had to wonder what was considered to be the “real reason” behind UBB when I watched the video a few times. And then I saw it. At around the 1:33 mark, the video almost inadvertently provides exactly the motivation behind the fairness principle at the heart of usage sensitive pricing:
It is one of the few services in the world which increases in value the more you use it.
Actually, most flat rate priced services increase in value the more you use the service: local phone service, cable TV, health insurance, extended warranties, maintenance contracts, health clubs. In fact, it is hard to think of a service that doesn’t increase in value the more you use it, whether you pay on a flat rate basis or pay based on usage. You are willing to pay more because you are deriving more value. Would people be happier if the billing principle was called Value Based Billing?