For what it's worth, there's a similar sort of situation that already exists in the US, albeit in the opposite direction to the same end. Comcast Cable has a system in place where there's a set maximum one can download in a month with the residential plan, and if you hit that limit twice in a 12 month period, they drop you. The limit IS 150 GB in a month for like $30 per, so you can get down to $0.20/GB there, and I've barely been able to breach 50 GB in a month (though I'm not as torrent-addicted as some of my friends), so it's not that unreasonable for the time being. I can't say I know anything about the CRTC's specifics, but it sounds more like they were going overkill with the prices than initiating some new lock down. If it was $3/GB from the first up? That's some ol' BS. If it was like $20 / 25 GB and $4/GB after? Still sucks, but if you're given tools to monitor usage, most people will have a hard time hitting that cap regularly. Add some rollover and it's probably an alright option.
Some major ISPs here in Sweden have the same cut-off point mechanism in place when it comes to mobile device broadband - laptops, smartphones etc connecfting in the open. If you hit let's say 7 gig within one calendar month, you're reduced to crawling speed, 56 kbit/s (which nobody has these days!) for the rest of the month. That was hidden in the very fine print, while their ads ostensibly say "Surf and download NO LIMITS on a super-fast 12 mbit/second connection, wherever you are!"
. A less than candid way of selling it, badly misleading in fact... And it operates without any previous notice before axing the speed, and the subscription is locked so the end user can't break out of it without having to pay perhaps a thousand bucks in a lump sum.
Downloading traffic in that way doesn't just mean things you've bought, actively chosen and downloaded such as movies, music, games. It means everything
your browser, your antivirus programs, your software updaters pull home too, and that can be quite a bit over a few weeks. If you're watching a Youtube video or reading a picture-heavy news site, the pc doesn't save those materials permanently on the hard drive but it still has to download quite a bit of temporary files to make it work. So ordinary surfing may well mean hundreds of megabyte downloaded a week anyway. same with online gaming, even if you don't install any new stuff the game will still do some downstream traffic to make it run.
Plus these operatives can't really reach the promised broadband speeds in the open, not regularly. When lots of people descend onm a summer resort or an airport and they and they all want to chat and download music, their kids all want to play online games and so on, it regulöarly breaks the spine of the mobile network highways in those places. As a customer, you just land in an endless queue at the support.
With low-speed, pay-as-you-go internet, I too think it's a market failure that they have been alll but pushed out of business. These days you can't really get a 100 kbit/s connection on a cheap basis, or a two-line ISDN subscription - it would be, like, more expensive than I mbit/s broadband. Because 1 mbit and higher is leavened by the efforts of the ISPs to woo customers, so they will give the fees a substantial cut there in order to make the customers come in. With lower speed internet they don't feel any need to do that. So it becomes more
expensive to buy the small chunks than the biggie, but you're supposed to have the infrastructure at home and the money required to make this run smoothly. If one is using the web mainly for e-mail, reading newspapers, text chatting sometimes and some sites you're checking in on for personal and pro interest (not heavy on pics and video), but doesn't download any big things, then 128 kbit is still fully functional and in some situations that kind of pay-only-what-you-use model is still the preferable alternative - except, it doesn't pay under the price range we have now.
But without internet access at home, day-to-day life barely works anymore because the ways you used to do it without the internet are being taken down - you can't manage your bank accounts and your payments over the counter without spending a prohibitve amount of time and money and coming in in the morning when you should be working or studying (many banks here don't even handle cash over the counter after 1 pm, you can't even add funds to your own account if you have some upcoming payments and your wage or sick fees are tardive, and in any case if you do send or cash in a money order or your electricity bill in the bank there's a heavy extra fee, the customer is simply supposed to run all this from one's home pc), you can't order books, travel or hotel tickets at reasonable prices or even look for work in an effective way without having internet access at home, and so on. Without web subscriptions and a pc at home, the ordinary Joe is reduced to a third class citizen.