Canadian ISPs imposing data caps after CRTC wholesale ruling

A cautionary tale of Internet bandwidth usage is unfolding in Canada, where Internet subscribers are increasingly finding that "unlimited" is no longer part of their data plans. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved a request from Bell Canada to introduced usage-based billing for wholesalers who use their networks and the networks are being forced to impose restrictions on their customers' data use.

Starting Feb. 1 Primus Canada will cap its blanket Internet at 25 gigabytes a month ($34.99) and then charging $2 per GB over that. Shaw Internet will also impose caps starting Feb. 1 and other smaller Internet providers are expected to follow suit.

The caps could impose financial hardships on consumes, said Rocky Gaudrault, chief executive of Teksavvy Solutions, a small Internet provider that's still on the fence about caps. "Four hours a day of viewing, using one television, can consume upwards of 60 GB a month. This means an additional $70 of usage for one TV," he said.

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