According to a new report from CBC News, Telus will begin charging customers in British Columbia and Alberta for going over their monthly data limit for their home internet plan. Telus’ decision is drawing criticism from several online critics.
The Canadian carrier says that the new overage charges will be phased in between March and July. The charges will start at $5 per 50GB of data and will increase from there. Telus says that the overage caps have always been in place but they were never enforced. The charges are designed to ensure that heavy internet users pay for the amount of data they consume.
Scott MacLaren, an electrical engineering student at UBC, told CBC News that Telus’ move to start enforcing overage charges in unacceptable. He says that doing this violates the principle of net neutrality. Telus says that this is not a fair comparison and they are not violating any principles of net neutrality by enforcing overage charges.
“MacLaren: If they’re saying I can watch all the TV I want through their internet network, but I can’t go browsing Facebook on this, as much as I want, is that legal through net neutrality?
Telus: It is an apples to oranges comparison. Net neutrality does not apply.”
Shawn Hall, a spokesman for Telus, says the new charges don’t violate any principles of net neutrality because Optik TV is a broadcast service that operates on different regulations from its internet service. Telus claims that their statement still holds even though MacLaren points out that both services run on the same fibre optic network.
Even though Telus may use the same infrastructure to provide their TV and internet services, the CRTC recognizes them as separate networks which are governed by separate rules. The company says that they are investing $2 billion per year in new infrastructure across Canada and the new usage charges will allow them to meet the growing demand for Internet data.
What are your thoughts about Telus’ latest move and do you think it violates any net neutrality principles? Let us know in the comments below.