Tuesday 7 February 2012

Potential High Cost for Data Hub Usage

I advise all readers and in particular data hub users to look at the comment on my blog entitled New Tbaytel Hub Data Flex Plan – 26 Sep 11 (updated).

An anonymous respondent is reporting a bill of over $1400.00 for a single month data hub usage including the overage charges.

While I have not seen the actual bill, this amount seems to be what one might expect based on the usage pattern described in a previous comment by Anonymous. By reverse calculations, I estimate a total of around 47 GB was used. Readers can use the table in my blog of 30 Jan 12 to calculate the cost of 47 GB by each of the major data hub vendors serving the Algoma District.

I do not buy into the buyer beware approach. A bill of this size gives rise to enough culpability for all concerned:

a. The user should have read and ensured full understanding of the details of the applicable rate plan.

b. The sales staff should have explained the details and ensured the user understood the concept of data caps and the data consumption rate of typical applications.

c. The vendors should have issued warnings as the user approached the data caps and at set intervals when the user exceeded the normal cap limits.

The cost comparison between normal Mobile data hub costs and terrestrial (Cable or DSL) costs are striking. The cost of the same 47 GB data by terrestrial vendors in Algoma District is:

a. Bell – Fibe 16 - $49.00

b. Eastlink – High Speed Ultimate- $55.00

c. Shaw – Hi-speed 10 - $45.00

Note 1: Costs are based on website information and is used for comparison only. Most vendors offer various specials and bundles that vary the actual costs to the user. Users need to contact the vendors for more details. 

Note 2: There are a number of third party vendors such as Ontera, TekSavvy and Vianet which also offer terrestrial based services in the Algoma District.

Finally, if the Governor-in-Council, through Industry Canada ever resolves the Deferral Account issues, the cost of the 47 GB under the Deferral Account tariff would be around $50.00.