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Global Ontario STORY
Think twice before downloading
Sean O'Shea
Global Television

High speed Internet service. It's a premium priced product with virtually no limits.

Surf as much as you like and download as many files as you want. But change is on the horizon, thanks to something called bit capping.

Chris Weisdorf, of Residential Broadband Users' Association said, "Bit capping means the implementation of limits on uploading and downloading for subscribers every month."

Weisdorf heads up a consumers group that opposes limits imposed by Bell Sympatico this month.

Weisdorf said, "By implementing the bit caps they're in effect raising the price of the service."

Unlimited access? Not any more. Under the new bit capping rules, you can upload or download the equivalent of about eight CDs worth of information every month. After that, you have to pay the Internet company again.

Bell Sympatico charges $44.95 a month for high speed service, which includes five gigabytes worth of uploading and downloading. Under the new rules, if you exceed the limit, you'll pay 7.90 for every extra gigabyte, those new charges could make that monthly charge quite expensive.

But in announcing the new rate structure, Bell described the changes as giving "more personal choice and control for Sympatico Internet Customers."

Ninety per cent of customers use 1.5 gigabytes of less, according to Bell, so only a small percentage of users would get billed extra.

Chris Weisdorft says that number will go up.

Weisdorf said, "It will seriously influence your bill if you take advantage of your connection, even if you do this at four in the morning."

His group has started an online petition to protest against the changes. Unlimited Internet he says, should stay that way.

For more information:

For more Consumer$mart stories, click here.

In Ontario, watch Consumer$mart weekdays on Global News at 5:30. If you have any comments or story ideas, please e-mail Sean O'Shea at

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