How it all began
The World Broadband Foundation's conception happened in July 2010 after I had just moved to Toronto in Canada and was basically expecting it to take about a week at most to get my connection set up and then get working and finish one of many startup projects. Instead two months of my development time was spent fighting the local cable incumbent Rogers virtually full time which did everything that was plausibly deniable to stop us from switching to their competition Teksavvy. The first two weeks were spent getting on, and off DSL very quickly with very miserable results (struggling to get even a consistent 4k/sec in our area),. This began the thought process that there are still many regions of the world with no options other than standard DSL and there should be a map that you can refer to given the location you were considering moving to and the speeds and services available.
After the saga with the DSL, things went from bad to worse. We signed up with Teksavvy but then there were missed appointments at first but eventually because Rogers was also responsible for the last mile installation, our appointments kept getting "cancelled" while they continued to bill us for service that oddly enough we had cancelled already? attempts to sort this out became worse. The modem that I had already owned had apparently been 'retired', even as I made the call I was standing next another Teksavvy customer who was running fine on the exact same model. More time was lost finding another modem. Rogers fought us tooth and nail and kept adding additional services and charges each time that we did not even order, calls to their reps repeatedly staying that we do not want their service fell on virtually deaf ears. We refused to give in, we learned about and attempted to turn to the CRTC but they gave us the same lip service (but really looking out for their ex employer spiel) that many other Canadians have gotten. At this point we were almost a month into this with no internet and we were now facing pressure from our landlord whose online component of his business was now offline and running off the same connection and it was us that convinced him to make the switch.
Eventually Rogers managed to "adjust" the extra charges, but as soon as one month of this ended, another month they would return. By the end of this ordeal we would recieve billing for almost 3 months of internet + overages that we had supposedly 'cancelled'. There were a good 3 weeks where it felt like they were trying to starve us out refusing to give us service, while at the same time we held steadfast that we would not except metered service EVER. During this period, Rogers also dropped the caps on many of their existing plans including the one they were trying to fraudulently bill us for as Netflix was being introduced to Canada literally days after the announcement. We felt trapped, with nowhere to turn to, with a useless CRTC that was working against the consumer interest with still no tech in sight as week after week we would have appointments cancelled or rescheduled mysteriously. Meanwhile Teksavvy's staff were very well meaning but helpless as their calls to Rogers for inquiries into account were pretty much unresponded to for weeks. By the time we were able to get a tech out, he did not know he was supposed to be installing third party internet. While I frantically called Teksavvy again to try and figure out what was going on, to my horror by the time I had reached someone there the tech walked out with a grin on his face, his exact words were "YOU GOT ROGERS!!". This, despite our copiously telling him we did not want Rogers per say, we just wanted our line activated and we were stuck right back where we'd started. The exact same plan, and like the two months prior to that we got billed for service we didn't use (modem unplugged and put away), and TV we never signed up for. Sometime after, we were able to finally port to Teksavvy now that the line was active again but more bills came that we did not deserve which by this point Rogers had promised to take care of. By this time I think they had realized we would never ever be their customer again. Even while on Teksavvy cable finally we had an additional overage charges that were not taken into account from Rogers' credits. It literally took contacting the "Rogers Ombudsman", a former Rogers' executive who is now a company troubleshooter for issues like these to finally resolve things for good. It is a position/option that is effectively impossible to find and not listed on the company website and if it wasn't for a tip from another Teksavvy user, we wouldn't have had any options. He is only vaguely mentioned in news articles that will probably disappear from the web in time. It was at this point that the goal to add company behavioural and pricing histories to the maps's data was added.
Action to finally execute the foundation was spurred by the CRTC's christmas decision to allow usage-based billing at the wholesale level across both DSL (starting with March 1st) and cable (June 1st) prompted my rushed action to get what you see before you up now, at the same time as a national outrage quickly spread across Canada and OpenMedia.ca quickly organized a protest. Which were are now 2 hours away from as I write this...