Shaw and usage based billing in Nanaimo.
I’ve promised to offer my impressions of the meeting and here they are:
First of all, there were lots of empty chairs at the meeting and I know who was there; if Shaw implements UBB you’ve forfeit your right to complain too loudly. The silver lining to that situation was that there were a lot of sandwiches left for me to eat.
I’ve had some experience with public consultations like this and, though there was some of the usual BS like people squirming under direct questioning an people who just want to complain about their lives(always a whiner in EVERY meeting), this session was fairly pleasant.
Here are a few quick thoughts an impressions:
- I’ve attended meetings where the decisions were already made and the consultation was just lip service and didn’t get that feeling this time…except when they asked us what ideas we had about a billing scheme that was fair to both Shaw and its customers in light of continuously increasing usage: I assume they’ve considered many options and didn’t feel so much like they wanted our input as that by remaining silent about their own ideas they would force us to spend their time and energy coming up with suggestions rather than criticize.
- Their visual aides indicated that the trend in customer traffic volume has always been upward and when I asked if, over time, they would adjust their standard for what was normal or exceptional use, I didn’t get a definite response.
- While others at the meeting had also noticed a dramatic increase in their internet usage last autumn, the Shaw employees seemed very surprised to hear about it.
- What came out during their presentation was that current congestion issues occur at what they call their nodes; systems that direct traffic to a group of households. When I asked why the discussion of price increases couldn’t focus on node costs, the main source of their cost increase, I was told that it wasn’t a simple matter to throw a few more nodes; attempts to clarify my point were cut short. I realize that the information would come from more than one cost centre but don’t believe that it’s impossible to calculate; my wife thinks they haven’t looked into the node costs.
- They cite the figure of two cents per gigabyte of traffic that everybody is throwing around as their cost only for connecting to networks outside of their own.
- It is likely that in the future Shaw will be offering multiple speed and volume tiers of service with overage charges.
Drop me a line at email@example.com if you want to go into detail.