Ottawa residents: Tell City Council to support a motion for affordable Internet ASAP
If you’re a resident of Ottawa, tell your Councillor you want faster, more affordable Internet before the February 24 deadline!
If you’ve been following along, the debate about affordable, fibre internet is sweeping the country. Earlier this month, Toronto jumped in, supporting more choice for its residents. Next up: Ottawa.
On February 24, Ottawa City Council will debate a motion to support greater choice and affordability in Internet service providers (ISPs) in their city.
If you’re a resident of Ottawa, and care about the future of Canada’s Internet, you need to let your Councillor know you support this motion ASAP. We’ve posted details for reaching your councillor below.
The motion, tabled by Councillor Jeff Leiper and seconded by Councillor Diane Deans, asks Ottawa City Council to support a significant CRTC ruling forcing major telecom providers to provide smaller, independent Internet providers access to their state-of-the-art fibre Internet networks.
If you’ve followed OpenMedia at all in the past 6 months, you’ll know all about this Internet emergency. We’ve fought very hard for our community and Canadian Internet users on this.
We’ve published op-eds, backgrounders, submitted detailed comments to Cabinet, fought Bell at the CRTC (twice! see the story of the original hearing here), and written letters to Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, amongst others.
As you may recall, Bell is invoking an obscure, rarely-used parliamentary process to play politics with your Internet bill. If successful, this could mean the death of affordable Internet access for Canadian households and businesses. In the process, the telecom giant has managed to get the support of their suppliers, and a gaggle of mayors, including Ottawa’s own Jim Watson.
Mayor Watson is one of the mayors who wrote to federal Cabinet in a personal capacity to support Bell’s appeal. You can find his letter here. However, as the Ottawa Citizen reports, “Watson acknowledged it’s not an issue he spent a lot of time on and he’s willing to have the debate at council.”
City motions supporting greater Internet choice and affordability, such as the one just passed by Toronto City Council, are an excellent way to let residents, businesses, and policymakers know where their constituents stand.
The CRTC ruling, if upheld, will ensure smaller, independent, providers as a means of increasing choice and affordability for high-speed Internet in Canada – a move experts agree will increase ISP choice to help bring prices down, especially for blazing-fast services like fibre
If you’re a resident of Ottawa, know this: putting in next-generation, lightning-fast fibre networks means tearing up streets. And if you’ve ever had your streets and sidewalks ripped up by a company like Bell, then this impacts you, and City Hall needs to speak out on your behalf.
As we see it, if telecom providers are going to have access to municipal rights of way, sidewalks, generally mess-up our communities to build out crucial network infrastructure, then it should be for the maximum benefit of all residents. This means upholding CRTC rules to ensure residents have access to the widest range of Internet providers possible – at affordable prices.
So, don’t delay...
Message Your City Councillor ASAP!
Step 1: Determine Your Ward and Councillor
Use the City of Ottawa’s ward lookup service here to determine who you should send your messages to. If you already know your Councillor, move on to the steps below.
Step 2: Send a Message to Your Councillor
Below are the email addresses for each Ottawa City Councillor. We have added, where possible, direct links to their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
If you’re writing an email, or calling, here’s what you need to say (feel free to copy & paste):
Hi there. My name is __________ and I’m a constituent in your ward. As a pro-Internet supporter, I am asking you to lend your support to Councillor Leiper's motion In Support of Competitive and Affordable Internet, which will be tabled on Wednesday, February 24.
Canadians presently pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for what are widely recognized as “middle of the road” Internet services. I urge you to support Councillor Leiper’s motion so we can change this. Digital innovation is central to the future of our economy and the City of Ottawa has a key role to play in this. Thanks for your time.
Ward 1 Orléans
Ward 2 Innes
Ward 3 Barrhaven
Ward 4 Kanata North
Ward 5 West Carleton-March
Ward 6 Stittsville
Ward 7 Bay
Ward 8 College
Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale
Ward 10 Gloucester-Southgate
Ward 11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville
Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier
Ward 13 Rideau-Rockcliffe
Ward 14 Somerset
Ward 15 Kitchissippi
Ward 16 River
Ward 17 Capital
Ward 18 Alta Vista
Ward 19 Cumberland
Ward 20 Osgoode
Ward 21 Rideau-Goulbourn
Ward 22 Gloucester-South Nepean
Ward 23 Kanata South
Mayor Jim Watson