Internet services are marked up a staggering 6,000 per cent

The Vancouver advocacy group leading the fight against increasing costs for  Internet access in Canada is putting the issue on the election agenda with a “Vote for the Internet” campaign launched today.

And in the first few hours of the campaign launch, more than 10,000 people have signed on. has set up its own version of an online ballot at where voters can send a message to their local candidates calling on them to become “pro-Internet.”
It may be surprising to learn that it costs ISPs only about a penny to deliver a gigabyte of data over a high-speed Internet line, and it costs another 7 cents per month to provide and maintain the physical infrastructure on a DSL telephone line for a residential customer. The numbers were calculated by Michael Geist, a law professor at University of Ottawa who specializes in Internet and e-commerce, in a paper he published this week. Since neither Bell nor Vidéotron has ever made such numbers public, Geist said the cost of about 8 cents roughly includes what it costs to build and maintain the network, but may not include all costs.
Taking Bell’s Essential Plus plan, which provides a two-megabits-per-second speed for $28.95, and a $2.50 charge for every gigabyte used after five gigabytes, you get a 6,452-per-cent markup for using six gigabytes of data in one month – at a cost of $31.45.
Geist calculated the cost of delivering Internet data falls far below what Canadians are paying.
“When combined with the Internet costs of roughly one cent per GB for larger ISPs, a high end estimate of the per gigabyte costs for large Canadian ISPs is approximately 8 cents per GB,” Geist wrote in his report. “…While this is higher than the 3 cents per GB that has been invoked in some discussions, it is far lower than overage costs imposed by some ISPs, which run as high as $10 per GB in Canada.”

Corporate tax cuts: Big costs but no job creation

By David Macdonald
Today the CCPA released a study that I authored which examines and debunks one of the biggest contentions of this campaign, that corporate tax cuts create jobs. One of the key reasons cited by the Conservatives for continued corporate tax cuts is that they are needed to encourage job growth.
To examine this contention, I took Canada’s biggest public companies, those on the S&P/TSX Composite and tracked them over the past decade to see how their taxes and profits changed. At the same time, I also tracked how many employees they had and therefore the number of jobs they created. These are the companies that benefit the most from corporate tax cuts because they declare the largest profits.
There were 198 companies that had data from 2000 through 2009. What readers should find shocking is just how dramatic the transformation in corporate taxation has been in the past decade. The effective tax rate for these successful companies has been cut in half. Imagine if, as an individual, your personal income taxes had been cut in half over the past decade. Well, that’s what happened in corporate Canada.


Helpful Resources

Bring on the election
By Alice Klein
| March 24, 2011
The timing drama is over and the spring election is definitely on. Thank goodness. I am one Canadian who couldn’t be happier to see an end to the Stephen Harper government’s giant fuck-you to the values of the majority of Canadians.
I’m sorry, but strong language is called for. I am not talking about a government that has won a mandate to radically re-engineer the social fabric. That would be terrible, but I couldn’t cry about democracy.
Two-thirds (63 per cent) of all voters voted against Harper and his Conservative party. Election results don’t lie. But the Harper government does. Oh, pardon me — evades, misinforms, denies, twists out of shape…
I’m talking about a political leader who has consciously taken pride in pursuing a path of prejudice, punishment and climate crime at odds with the documented thinking of most of the electorate. And then used deceit and cover-ups to make it happen.
And the stuff he has gotten caught at is so outrageous it steams the brain. I mean, who would make this up? Do you remember the head of Stats Canada, Munir Sheikh, who had to resign rather than shore up Industry Minister Tony Clement’s misstatements about the statistical irrelevance of the long-form census?




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.