OpenMedia calls on new chair of CRTC to prioritize competition, affordability, and everyday people’s needs
Canada’s Internet is dangerously adrift. OpenMedia’s letter to new CRTC chair Vicky Eatrides urges her to put us back on track.
Monopolies on the mind? Check out this piece from our friends at CIRA: “Now it’s Ticketmaster and Taylor Swift tickets. Next, it could be the infrastructure of a Big Tech company.”
Minister Champagne’s refusal to revisit the CRTC’s Internet price hikes has hurt independent providers’ efforts to close the digital divide.
Or did he approve it? The truth is: Champagne rubber stamped the affordability-crushing deal. Here’s how he pulled off the sleight of hand.
Our “Minister of Collapse” must undo this affordability disaster of his own making.
What are Antitrust laws, and why should you care? Your questions answered
Your voice, DELIVERED: OpenMedia’s submission to the government’s CRTC policy direction consultation is in!
Nearly 16,000 members of the OpenMedia community have spoken out to shape the future of the CRTC. Thank you for adding your voices!
To date, the OpenMedia community has called on the government a whopping 34,700+ times to block Rogers-Shaw. Talk about a deafening response!
The verdict of the election is here. So what is going to happen to the future of digital policy in Canada?
By lowering wholesale broadband Internet rates, the CRTC is lowering barriers for small Internet providers to enter the market!
The Democratic congressional leadership just introduced a bill that could save Net Neutrality for real.
CRTC acknowledges Big Telecom’s sales practices are problematic, but without any commitment for next steps
CRTC fails to provide any penalties to offending telecoms, or accountability to prevent these behaviours from continuing.
Our submission to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act review is in — thanks for speaking out!
We submitted our views to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act review on behalf of the OpenMedia community to foster an open and innovative Internet in Canada. Thank you for adding your voices!
CRTC is holding week-long hearing on Big Telecom’s bad sales practices — share your stories using #CRTCforum!
Have you had a bad sales practices experience with your Internet or phone provider? Share your personal stories with the CRTC on Twitter using #CRTCforum!
CRTC report reveals low-income Canadians spending up to 8% of monthly income on communications services
Lower cost options are desperately needed to ensure that people are not left behind
9 in 10 Canadians still not at basic Internet speeds called for by CRTC, even as data usage jumps by 25%
Annual CRTC study demonstrates clear need for national broadband strategy, as Canadians face increasingly less affordable prices for home and mobile Internet.
The appointment of a new chairperson with industry ties will be a test as to whether the regulator can remain committed to the goal of Internet as a basic service
Budget 2017 promises review of Canadian Internet policies, but disappoints in lack of investment for infrastructure
Limited funding to support Internet connectivity for low-income families is welcome, but budget will disappoint those hoping for the government to deliver on CRTC’s call for a National Broadband Strategy
This is an incredible, historic moment. The CRTC has just ruled that high-speed Internet is now a basic service, essential to our everyday life.
How OpenMedia brought your call to end data caps and ban zero-rating to Canada’s Internet policymakers
Learn more about the ongoing legal battles between Big Media giant Bell and VMedia, offering an innovative new online TV service. It’s time for the law to catch up with the digital era.
Make their #2016 effort pay off (so they do it again) — weigh in on the online forum now, all while speaking out against differential pricing.
With support from over 42,000 Canadians, we’ve just delivered a 50-page submission against data caps to the CRTC
The CRTC is asking Canadians how we think the Internet should be priced. Join us on the public record in telling them
OpenMedia will be intervening in a landmark case at the Supreme Court of Canada – defending the free expression of Internet users across the globe.
The rules are as strong as digital rights advocates could have hoped for — and now we need to make sure they’re enforced.
You can almost smell the desperation as Bell promises to run fibre Internet to Churchill, Manitoba if the MTS takeover deal goes through
Now is the time to end data caps in Canada – all we need is your help
Werner Herzog made a documentary about the Internet and we’re looking forward to seeing it. Watch the trailer and find decide for yourself: what have the effects of the Internet been on our lives?
We have until July 18 to speak up for Net Neutrality ahead of a landmark European ruling.
Internet users are mobilizing to seek end to data caps, as new report reveals how Canadians are getting a raw deal on both wired and wireless services.
The Internet is coming together for Fast, Affordable, Safe, and Transparent Internet for Africa.
Our own Josh Tabish, Laura Tribe, and consultant David Ellis, are at the CRTC this morning, to call for affordable Internet for all Canadians. Here's what they have to say.
CRTC Chairman calls for national broadband strategy. Is this too good to be true?
Data shows Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for middle of the road service.
Announced investment is a welcome start, but the devil will be in the details.
It is time for the CRTC to recognize that most Canadian households and businesses see broadband Internet as an essential service they cannot live without.
As Canada marks one year since the introduction of Bill C-51, our Laura Tribe examines where we're at, and the prospects for repealing this controversial bill.
2015 was the busiest year in our young organization’s history. Check out what our community achieved together!
It’s that time again! Some of you may not know this already, but Canada’s Internet is democratically governed. The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is a non-profit organization that manages the dot-ca (.ca) registry and addresses many of the day-to-day challenges facing Internet governance in Canada. Now, CIRA holds regular elections and, just like electing a politician to represent you in the current federal election, you can elect the CIRA board of directors to represent your views about how Canada’s Internet should be managed.
Exciting news! Green Party leader Elizabeth May has just announced her endorsement of our crowdsourced pro-Internet action plan. So far Ms. May is the first major party leader to do so - and we’re thrilled to have her waving the flag for Canada’s Internet. This is great news for Canada’s pro-Internet movement and never would have happened without so many people speaking up to support our plan. Now we need to keep up the pressure on all the party leaders, to ensure our action plan can be put into law.
AdWeek: Brazilian Kids Learn English by Video Chatting With Lonely Elderly Americans FCB’s touching work for a language school
When the Internet works for good! Article by Tim Nudd for AdWeek It's such a great, simple idea: Young Brazilians want to learn English. Elderly Americans living in retirement homes just want someone to talk to. Why not connect them? FCB Brazil did just that with its "Speaking Exchange" project for CNA language schools. As seen in the touching case study below, the young Brazilians and older Americans connect via Web chats, and they not only begin to share a language—they develop relationships that enrich both sides culturally and emotionally.
Georgia Straight: OpenMedia encourages voters to consider policies around access, privacy in federal election
Check out this amazing coverage of our pro-Internet election plan on The Georgia Straight! The Internet is something we shouldn’t take for granted. We should take action to have our democratic rights as citizens, to make sure it stays open, accessible and free for everyone. This election, vote for the Internet! OurDigitalFuture.ca Article by Stephen Hui for the Georgia Straight Stephen Harper’s Conservative government represents a “lost 10 years” for the Internet in Canada, according to a digital-rights advocate.
Do we really want to drive our local businesses out of town, by failing to provide the digital infrastructure, security and privacy safeguards that they need to operate in a global market? Our own Laura Tribe analyzes the importance of our digital future in the upcoming election. How do you think parties are faring in on these issues? Let us know in the comments below, your feedback will be used to inform how we rate parties. This article was originally published at Rabble.ca This election, Canadians can't afford to be caught up in the soundbites, quibbles and petty pandering that our politicians are increasingly levelling at each other. Trudeau's hair? Mulcair's smile? Harper's suit?
Last week, one of Canada’s Big Telecom giants announced a controversial new scheme that will give them more power to control how you use the Internet on your mobile devices – and, if we don’t speak up, the Big Three will soon follow suit. Videotron wants the power to hand-choose which mobile streaming apps and services are more expensive than others. How are they doing this? By bundling them into outdated Cable-TV-style packages for mobile phone users. As a result, they’re giving unfair advantage to the services they decide are “worthy” of our attention and discriminating against others – an anti-user practice that positions them as gatekeepers of our mobile networks, and violates Canada’s open Internet (AKA: Net Neutrality) rules.
Tired of Big Telecom f*ckery, or a lack of affordable high-speed options, communities across Canada are taking Internet access into the own hands by building their own world-class networks outside our telecom giants. We can't say too much now, but we'll be launching a major campaign to increase the number of these networks that exist. Stay tuned for updates after the election 😉 Article by Zach Dubinsky for CBC
DEBATE! Is the Internet a human right? What do Canadians stand to gain from the CRTC's basic services hearing? (faster, cheaper Internet, maybe?) Our own Josh Tabish went on CBC's 'The 180' to argue YES! against Roslyn Layton, Ph.D. fellow in Internet economics at the Center for Communication, Media and Information Technologies at Aalborg University in Denmark. Check out this article to hear the full 15 minute debate recording and read a summary of the discussion: Article by the CBC
We Won! As you may have heard, a major ruling on Wednesday from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ensures a significant step forward for Canadians’ ability to access affordable Internet options independent of Canada’s large telecom providers. In short, the ruling creates fair rules forcing Big Telecom to make their digital infrastructure available to small independent ISPs (i.e., outside of Big Telecom) at a reasonable rate, so they are empowered to sell ultra-fast fibre Internet services to Canadians. This means faster, cheaper fibre connections could be coming to your household soon!
This week the the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is expected to announce a major decision that will significantly impact whether or not Canadians have access to a variety of affordable Internet services independent of Big Telecom, including next-generation fibre. Back in December, your OpenMedia team presented your views on the future of Canada’s Internet to key decision-makers at CRTC headquarters in Gatineau, Quebec (be sure to check out the video, report-back, and full transcript). At the time, we outlined three major demands on behalf of Internet users across the country:
Over the past couple months, our small team at OpenMedia has been helping get the word out on a big project designed to measure the health of Canada’s Internet: CIRA’s Internet Performance Tool. But today, our friends at CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) have partnered with NCIX, a major Canadian retailer of computer components, to bring you an awesome contest – and we thought you might want to know about it.
Article by Christine Dobby for The Globe and Mail A coalition of groups representing consumers, seniors and anti-poverty activists is calling on Canada’s telecom regulator to force industry players to expand access to high-speed Internet for low-income households and those living in rural areas.
Only 24 Hours Remain We have less than 24 hours to tell decision-makers at the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to stop Big Telecom’s plan to keep us locked into some of the slowest, most expensive Internet services in the industrialized world. There’s never been a better time to demand that the government hit the “reset button” on Canada’s lacklustre digital strategy.
Ensure Canadians get faster, cheaper Interner while there's still time! Speak out at UnblockCanada.ca Article by Stefania Seccia for Vancouver 24hs. This Tuesday is the deadline to submit initial comments on the fast-approaching hearings for cheaper, faster Internet — and so far 25,000 people have signed a petition and scores of others intend to hold a Vancouver rally in support of it.
ICANN plans to end online anonymity could undermine the privacy of almost anyone who purchases a domain name. At OpenMedia we believe privacy is a fundamental human right, and one that the Internet should safeguard and protect, rather than undermine. Article by Carly Page for The Inquirer DIGITAL RIGHTS ADVOCATES have written a scathing open letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), describing its plan to end online anonymity as harmful to privacy and safety.
Canadians deserve faster, cheaper Internet choices independent of Big Telecom. Even U.S. Bourbon makers at Jim Beam have figured this out, and are calling on THEIR leaders in the U.S. to increase ISP choice. Read about their call below and call on our leaders to do the same in Canada at UnblockCanada.ca/ Article by Brian Fung for the Washington Post What does a centuries-old whiskey company have to do with the Internet?
A Q&A About the Future of Canada’s Internet Today we have assembled an all-star cast of Canadian Internet experts and innovators (see below) to answer your questions about Canada’s Internet! A new tool has just launched to take the pulse of Canada’s Internet and we want to talk about the future of the net. Our Town Hall starts at 1PM ET / 10AM PST, but feel free to start asking questions now! Today, you can ask us anything…
In response to pressure from our community, OpenMedia launched a new campaign called No Fake Internet, inviting people from around the world to stand with open Internet advocates in places like India, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Paraguay, Panama, and others, who are demanding access to the full, real, open Internet. As many of you are already aware, their pleas come in response to growing outrage over Internet.org, a controversial new platform from Facebook and large telecom providers where selected services are prioritized over others. This is, of course, a move by Zuckerberg to make Facebook a gatekeeper of the Web that currently knows no boundaries.
This week, experts at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) – the body that oversees Canada’s .ca domain – released their 2014 Factbook, which chronicles Canada’s advancement on Internet issues over the past year. The Factbook investigates how well-positioned Canadians are in the areas of access, cost, and usage. The report shows Canada continues to slip further behind our global counterparts. For example, Canada has crashed from 2nd place in 2001 on broadband penetration amongst industrialized nations to 16th place in 2014.
Rogers hit this B.C. senior with a whopping $800 bill for Internet she never even used. It seems not a week goes by without another story of Big Telecom price-gouging. Tell us yours in the comments below. Article from CBC News A senior citizen in Chilliwack, B.C., is angry about an $800 wireless internet access bill from Rogers — a bill she claims she's not responsible for. Darlene Davies, 65, usually pays $60 a month for her Rogers internet service, which she accesses with an unsecured Rocket hub Wi-Fi hotspot access point. When she received a bill for more than $600 instead, she was stunned. Rogers customer service told her the charges stemmed from data used to download movies, stream TV shows and play online games. But Davies says she doesn't even know how to do any of those things.
Imagine a world in which your favorite indie comedy troupe can no longer afford the bandwidth to stream the sketches you love onto your desktop. Or a world in which the small e-shopping website you love shuts down as a result of an outrageous jump in bandwidth costs. Now, while you’re at it, imagine your shock when you discover your Internet bill has skyrocketed because your ISP is now charging extra to ensure your Netflix stream doesn’t come a grinding halt, or that you’re able to connect with friends on Facebook. Unfortunately, this is what a world without net neutrality rules could look like – rules that hang in the balance for our neighbours to the south.
Big Telecom is running scared of cord-cutters - and is doing what it takes to block them from watching their favourite shows online. It looks like Rogers is even planning to block Canadians from watching Hockey Night online. They want to trap Canadians in expensive and outdated service plans - and they’re using their power and control to do so. It’s not too late to push back by telling decision-makers at the CRTC to put Canadians first when it comes to our digital future. Have you cut the cord from your television service recently - or are you considering it? If so, you’ve probably noticed it’s getting more difficult to watch the content you want online. The reason is clear - Big Telecom is terrified of cord-cutters and is determined to do what it takes to trap Canadians in their expensive TV service plans.
Our small team at OpenMedia would like to take a moment to thank you - all of you - who have used the Internet to help create a roadmap forward for a fair digital future. It was in October 2013 that we asked our community - Internet users who are invested in driving the Internet, creating and sharing online, and collaborating without borders - to help shape our collective digital future. Our call was in response to continued backdoor negotiations of a massive agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will threaten our ability to innovate online, create excessive copyright terms, and criminalize your online activity.
"Outright theft." That's what Canadians are calling this latest alleged attempt by Big Telecom to price-gouge us. Speak out against Big Telecom price-gouging at https://openmedia.ca/deadweight Article by Daniel Tencer for the Huffington Post Canada Rogers Communications is denying online accusations that it charges its internet customers for internal traffic on their routers, even if that traffic doesn’t use the Rogers network.
Over 125,000 people - including tens of thousands of Canadians - have now spoken out about the damaging Internet censorship proposals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We know from leaked drafts all about how the TPP would make your Internet more expensive, censored, and policed. Now, our friends in Australia are sounding the alarm about how the TPP could wreak havoc on Canada’s economy. Australians know well the economic damage that unbalanced and extreme Internet censorship rules can cause. Australia was forced to adopt extreme copyright rules as part of the Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) - rules which caused over $80 million dollars worth of damage to the Australian economy.
We're making progress in having a transparent review of Big Telecom's pricing practices for independent providers, but Canadian citizens are still being overcharged for everyday services. Let's move forward together and put Big Telecom's price-gouging behind us. Make the pledge to switch to an independent provider using our online tool at OpenMedia.ca/Switch. Article by Hugh Thompson for The Globe and Mail An Angus Reid study conducted last year found that almost half of all Canadians would give up watching television before they would ditch their Internet or telephone service. High-speed Internet, like telephone service, has become an essential service. Unfortunately for Internet users, Canadian cable and telecommunications companies know this and have spent the last few years jacking up Internet pricing at rates well in excess of inflation.
Canadian citizens are paying for Internet access, but Big Telecom isn't being completely open about the restrictions that they've been imposing. With new data just published by the Measurement Lab, Canadian service providers such as Bell and Rogers have been exposed as interfering with over 75% of torrent transfers and download speeds. The CRTC confronted Rogers about bandwidth throttling late last year, to which Rogers responded with a promise that they would end interference by the end of this year. Although Bell has made a similar promise to their consumers as well, it doesn't seem like we're seeing any changes just yet. If you've experienced any throttling issues with your provider, tell us about it in the comments below. To make the switch from Big Telecom to an independent ISP, visit our campaign page at http://openmedia.ca/switch. Article by Ernesto at TorrentFreak.com New data published by the Google-backed Measurement Lab gives a unique insight into the BitTorrent throttling practices of ISPs all over the world. In the U.S. and Australia most large ISPs limit less than 10 percent of BitTorrent transfers. In the UK and Canada on the other hand, some providers interfere with up to three-quarters of all BitTorrent traffic.
This blog post comes courtesy of Mike Fujimoto, a summer intern of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC). I hope to add occasional pieces on the open Internet from a telecom-regulatory-consumer-advocate perspective and not to make them too dull. Thanks, John Lawford, Counsel, PIAC Rogers LTE and 4G: Beyond Sales Puffery? In July 2011, Rogers announced the launch of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network providing the Ottawa-area with access to the fastest wireless internet in Canada, eclipsing the performance of their competitors' HSPA+ networks. Although estimates vary significantly, Rob Bruce (President of Rogers' communications division), pegged the new network at four to five times faster than existing networks in an interview quoted by The Globe and Mail's Iain Marlow. However, the launch of their new network has presented a marketing problem for Rogers since they had already followed the lead of their rivals in labelling their HSPA+ network as a '4G' (fourth-generation) network. In order to "differentiate" their new LTE service, Rogers has opted to market it as "Beyond 4G" in their web advertising and on their website although their LTE network is incapable of reaching speeds 'beyond' the upper limits of what can be considered '4G' (speeds which are currently only being reached in laboratory-settings).