Canadians to rethink streaming restrictions

The Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is rethinking its plans to force small ISPs to mimic bigger players in the country with usage-based billing models and overage fees.

Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI) and Shaw Communications (NYSE: SJR) already use the models, which some believe are aimed at slowing down the advance of Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) into Canadian homes. Across-the-board rules were set for March 1 but now the agency is rethinking things, even though its chairman, Konrad von Finckenstein believes that the policy is legally OK. "Internet services are no different than other public utilities and the majority of Internet users should now be asked to subsidize a small minority of heavy uses," he said.

Sound familiar? Worriers south of the Canadian border are cautiously eyeing what the FCC will let Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and other big ISPs to do with metered billing and monthly caps.

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