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As EU publishes strong Net Neutrality rules, Canada cannot afford to fall behind

Canada’s CRTC will soon hold hearings on how best to protect the open Internet: today’s new EU regulations set a positive example.

Europe’s new Net Neutrality regulations set a positive example for Canada, ahead of crucial hearings by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) about how best to protect a free and open Internet.

Notably, European regulators at BEREC rejected demands from giant telecom companies to make certain apps or services exempt from data caps (so-called “zero-rating”) — a key issue under review at the upcoming CRTC hearings. Critics warn that zero-rating schemes effectively create online “toll booths” for services unable to broker deals with giant telecom providers, placing innovative startups at a huge disadvantage.

With strong Net Neutrality rules in Europe and the U.S., Canada cannot afford to fall behind. The EU regulations and the outpouring of support for an open Internet that preceded them, should be a sign to Canadian regulators that citizens across the world demand a genuinely free and open Internet.

We’ve already seen more than 30,000 people put their name on the public record asking for the CRTC to strengthen Net Neutrality, ban zero-rating, and put an end to oppressive data caps and extortionate overage fees.”

Today’s decision comes after more than 500,000 people, including the founder of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, flooded the EU regulator with comments advocating for rules that would ensure one of the founding rules of the Internet — that all content be treated equally — was protected.

The CRTC is asking for input now on how Canada’s Internet should be priced. The regulatory body is accepting comments until September 21, and OpenMedia is hosting a tool for people to submit their thoughts at

More than 5,000 people have written their unique perspectives on why the CRTC must put an end to oppressive data caps, which allow telecoms to hold Canadians hostage to constant overcharges and higher than expected bills.

Canadians experience some of the lowest data caps at some of the highest prices in the industrialized world.

That’s why we need the CRTC to step in and provide relief. We need to bring Canada into line with our global counterparts by ensuring all Canadians have access to an unlimited option at a reasonable price.

The European decision must act as a signpost to regulators that citizens should get to decide how we use the Internet — not powerful telecom gatekeepers with vested interests.

Canadians can add their voice now to ensure that regulators will have no choice but to stand up for the open Internet at

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