Despite a resounding number of Canadians saying that they are against usage-based billing, Shaw Communications is going to forge ahead with a plan to charge its customers via Internet metering.
Vancouver’s News 1130 reports that a conference call that was posted by Open Media, an advocacy group that has petitioned against usage-based billing, has a recording of Shaw’s CEO Bradley Shaw telling shareholders and executives within the company that metered billing plans could be announced as early as later this May. The company had initially put these plans on hold following a public outcry and user complaints.
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Open Media, who posted a petition online that saw half a million Canadians sign in protest against metered billing, posted an article on their website that illustrates that Shaw’s decision may have implications for them in the current election race.
“At this point in Canada’s electoral race, citizens have seen three parties firmly adopt stances against the new fees on Internet use: Green, NDP, and Liberal party leaders have signed on as pro-Internet candidates… thereby agreeing to stop the pay meter on our Internet.”
When Shaw begins to implement usage-based billing, their customers would pay a flat rate for Internet usage, as well as extra charges for going over their monthly limit. Other Internet service providers, such as Rogers, Telus and Bell have either held off or altered their plans in rolling out usage-based billing.
“Our customers have said they are willing to pay more for a higher quality of service,” said the CEO.
The Next Web Canada attempted to reach customers who were willing to pay more for Shaw’s Internet service, but were (strangely) unable to find any to comment.
(We’ve embedded the leaked conference call below. The discussion on usage-based billing begins at about five minutes in, but the arrogance starts right from the beginning.)