Ordinary folks being penalized

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A couple of weeks ago my husband received a notification from the service provider from whom he leases a turbostick to connect to the Internet while he is having twice-weekly treatments at the hospital.

The email said he had exceeded his megabyte allowance and would be obliged to pay one dollar per megabyte for further usage before next month’s bill. Since he has had the turbostick for four years and has never seen such a notice before, this puzzled  us. He only uses the device while on dialysis, when he is on the Internet, to check email or look at an attachment to a message, using the device no more than four hours per week, for which he pays just under $70 per month.

I called our service provider to see if they could explain this. It appears that the notification sent out was a “standard notification” made because of a directive by the federal government that any person using 50 or more megabytes of Internet access would have to pay extra. The employee with the service provider advised that one must log off the device when it is not in use, that unplugging it does not log off, only clicking “log off” will do that.

So, with no previous warning, it appears that John has been logged on all the time, without realizing it, because the device had not been properly shut down. The service provider has promised to correct the bill if one comes in for an excessive amount.

There must be thousands of people who are getting the same message and blaming their service providers. I have read the news and in the last few days, it has been reported in the international news that Canada, the U.S., and the EU want to give corporations the best and fastest access to the Internet, as well as first rights to report news, etc. It seems to me that George Orwell noted that greed would take over the world, and it has done so, 30 years after 1984.

We all ought to be very wary of giving more power to the already-powerful. The Internet highway of information ought to be fully available to every person in the world, with no priorities given to those who intend to use it for profit and more power. They have far too much already.

Judy Gibson

St. John’s

Organizations: EU

Geographic location: Canada, U.S.

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  • Petertwo
    February 06, 2014 - 11:05

    This may be related to the Google philosophy and their response in "Take Action" in January 2013. Some powerful people are against the Net being open for everyone, Governments and business. The newspapers are going to charge users for online use, probably under pressure to do so, rather than discontinuing being online and keeping the net free and open for everyone. The Google philosophy was - " Freedom to participate The Internet was designed to be free and open. But not everyone wants it to stay that way. Internet policy should be like the Internet itself – open and inclusive. We should all have a voice in deciding its future, and that includes you. "