Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on February 8, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Shaw seeks customer feedback on UBB
Shaw announced Tuesday it will not go ahead with usage-based billing (UBB) until after a customer consultation process is first completed.
“We have been listening to the discussion taking place and determined that we want to hear directly from our own customers before we roll out any kind of program,” Shaw Communications president Peter Bissonnette wrote in a release.
“Bandwidth is not unlimited and that is the crux of the issue. There are many potential solutions to this challenge and we’re asking for our customers’ help to build a solution that works for everyone.”
Customers across Canada will be invited to share their ideas on solutions for Internet usage and billing throughout February and March.
“There’s lots of emotion and confusion around usage-based billing so we thought the right thing to do at this moment was to get together with our customers all across the country and figure out for our customers what the right way to package internet is,” said Jay Mehr, senior vice president of operations with Shaw.
To date, no Shaw Internet customer have received a bill for any usage-based charges.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) also announced Tuesday that it would be launching its own review process asking for public comments on Internet billing services.
They are asking Canadians to comment on:
– How best to implement the following principles with respect to Large Distributors’ wholesale services used by Small ISPs
– Whether the CRTC should set a minimum threshold level for the sale of bandwidth by Large Distributors to the Small ISPs and, if so, what should it be.
– Whether it is appropriate to hold an online consultation as part of its review.
– Whether it is appropriate to hold an oral public hearing as part of its review.
Those comments can be submitted online until April 29.
The requests for feedback comes after the CRTC gave the green light for Internet service providers to hike the fees they charge for Internet bandwidth use.
The decision sparked outrage from Canadians across the country, garnering attention from the federal government and more than 400,000 signatures in an online petition to reverse the decision.
Shaw is the parent company of Global News.