Canada’s Data Overage Madness

Remember when I wrote that the CRTC needed to regulate data overage fees? This is why the CRTC needs to regulate data overage fees.

The graph above can be found in a tweet from the analytics company tefficient, and bares a little explaining. The vertical axis plots the amount of mobile data used per human per month in various countries. You can clearly see that mobile users in Finland and Taiwan used large amounts of data in 2016. The horizontal axis measures carrier revenue per gigabyte. You’ll notice that Canada is quite literally off the charts. What does this mean? It means that Canadian carriers are making a lot of money providing not a lot of data to their customers.

You want numbers? Dr. Michael Geist has numbers. A recently-published CRTC report has cited that of the carriers who charge data overage fees (ie. not Freedom Mobile) 6% of those revenues come from overages. Given that wireless revenues in 2016 exceeded $23 billion CAD, revenue from data overages alone accounted for more than a billion dollars that same year. There’s clearly little incentive for carriers in this country to reign in data overage charges; in fact, the opposite seems to be happening—according to the CBC data overage rates have increased by as much as 40% this year.

It’s time to stop this madness.

Sources: @tefficient, CBC, Michael Geist

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