Will independent internet service providers still be able to afford offering consumers unlimited data plans after tomorrow?
It all boils down to tomorrow's decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. The national regulator will determine the price independent ISPs will have to pay in order to use the networks of major telcos.
The usage-based billing battle became an all-out, consumer-charged war last year. Originally, UBB was poised to be implemented, a system in which major telcos would be able to charge more for their networks, eradicating unlimited plans, stifling competition and innovation, and raising Canada's already high prices for data. The CRTC realized, thanks in large part to extreme public backlash, that such a move may prove fatal to the country. So the CRTC took some time to really think things through before taking the next step. Tomorrow, at long last, a conclusion will be drawn.