A change by Bell Canada (or Rogers) from WiMax Unplugged Internet to a Bell Mobility (or Rogers) Turbohub may have you receiving bills in the hundreds of dollars.
You will have already enjoyed your first few months of ‘worry-free data usage’ and now find yourself faced with bills that are anywhere from $100 to over $700 – a month! Most of you will have been used to paying around $55 a month for what seems to be the same service. Obviously, this is not an affordable option. Please join us as we make our collective plight known to Bell and Rogers.
Most of the people that were on the original WiMax Unplugged are located in rural areas. Some of us are 2 minutes away from subdivisions that enjoy a wired internet package of approximately $30 a month and these come with high speeds and large download allowances. The majority of you that find your way to this site have no other option to the Turbohub as there is no cable, fibre optic or DSL (Direct Subscriber Line) service to our homes, and there are no plans to make it available in our areas for many years, if ever.
This has put us into an internet ghetto.
We are being told that we simply must watch our usage and monitor our actions. No Skype, YouTube, Facebook, or file sharing of any kind. And definitely no Netflix. Ever. Unless you’re very, very good and as one neighbour was told by a Bell representative, “you might then be able to watch one movie a month.” You may now, cautiously, break out the popcorn.
As the rest of the world moves forward into the 21st Century, including rural areas far from towns and cities, as movie rental stores disappear in favour of digital transmissions, as school boards move toward full integration of wireless technology in all their schools and expect children to have access at home, as websites, incuding Bell’s (and Rogers) own, move towards animation and video display, chat, and other megabyte-heavy applications, as suppliers and distributors send invoices and statements exclusively by email, as online banking becomes a necessity (particularly with Bell who now charges a $2.00 fee to receive a mailed statement), we are being pushed back into the days of dial-up internet access or none at all.
This is neither fair nor reasonable.
Martin MacDonald from Halton and Joan Doane from Peel, independently emailed Ellen Roseman, Consumer Affairs Advocate, at the Toronto Star. www.ellenroseman.ca Ms. Roseman put us in touch with each other and advised that “Bell hopes that people won’t get together and make a fuss.”
Please join us in `making a fuss` and in bringing our common plight to the attention of Bell, Rogers, the media and anyone else that you can think of.
We need you to:
TAKE THE SURVEY – Bell Users – Rogers Users
Make sure we know where you are located and how this is affecting you and your family.
SIGN OPEN MEDIA’S ONLINE PETITION
Click on their logo to read about their ‘Stop the Meter’ campaign. Sign the petition online!
ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS TO TAKE THE SURVEY
Talk with your neighbours, leave flyers in mailboxes or on front porches of people that you think may be in the affected area. Take a flyer with you to the church supper, etc.
COMMENT ABOUT YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION
Tell us about your bills, your usage and your experience with Bell or Rogers if you’ve tried to find out why your bill is so high or your data usage is higher than you expected.
TALK TO PEOPLE IN YOUR AREA THAT ARE USING AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD TO ACCESS THE INTERNET. POST ABOUT IT ON THE ALTERNATE SUPPLIERS PAGE FOR DISCUSSION.
If someone is using an alternate system that is affordable, we be able to get discounts on installation, etc, for everyone if we can transition people as a group to other services in an area.
DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THE FLYER AND GET IT OUT TO YOUR COMMUNITY.
We’re planning on going door-to-door – a pain of course, but having no internet access will be more painful than a few hours of driving around talking to neighbours! Take a flyer to your community supper, your church, grocery stores and anywhere you can think of where people will see them. There is a full-page flyer and a full-page flyer with info tear-offs at the bottom. If you would like to mobilize your own community personally we would be happy to provide a personalized tear-off flyer, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Particularly interesting would be to find the demarcation line(s) between a farmer/rural resident paying $50 a month on a rural portable internet plan on one farm or residential acreage and another having to pay $500 a month on the farm or property next door. (Looking at Rogers’ and Bell’s coverage map may be a good place to start for those that have the ‘sleuth’ instinct in them.)
Please spread the word. It would cost Bell (and Rogers) a pittance to give their affected customers a more reasonable download limit. Perhaps Rogers would be interested in offering all of Bell’s customers a much better deal? (And vice versa of course, as we are being democratic.)
United for a cause,
Joan Doane, 2440 Wanless Drive, Brampton, ON 905-846-5450
Karen Laflair & Martin MacDonald, Georgetown, ON 905-702-7590