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Independent ISP TekSavvy has been granted additional time to notify Canadians that they could soon be implicated as part of an ongoing copyright crackdown. Although TekSavvy is not a defendant in the ongoing court case, it's re-assuring to see efforts made by a service provider to help Canadians understand and prepare for any charges filed. Learn more about these latest developments at The Huffington Post and read about the copyright laws that are infringing upon Canadian privacy in our blog post. Article by J. David Ellis for The Huffington Post Heading down to court Monday morning, I was concerned I might be late to get a seat for the Voltage hearing. I had my iPhone ready to record protestors and general ruckus. But Guy Fawkes was a no-show. I arrived to find the courtroom eerily quiet and half-empty. What has TekSavvy been required to do for its customers up to now? Short answer: absolutely nothing. As you read on, keep in mind this case is Voltage vs John Doe and Jane Doe -- not vs TekSavvy.
Independent Internet Service Provider TekSavvy has announced that an American film studio is demanding personal information of its Canadian customers – a motion that follows recent changes to Canadian copyright law. In response, TekSavvy is taking a stance that aims to protect Canadian privacy – stating that it will not provide personal information without a court order. Help encourage this protection of Canadians' privacy in making the switch to an independent ISP at OpenMedia.ca/Switch. Join us in becoming a monthly contributor to OpenMedia at OpenMedia.ca/Allies. Article by Daniel Tencer for Huffington Post An independent internet service provider popular with tech geeks in central Canada is warning that it has been asked to hand over personal information about customers in advance of a potential file-sharing lawsuit, and it’s telling its customers they may want to lawyer up. Chatham, Ont.-based TekSavvy says it has received a request from Hollywood production company Voltage Pictures to identify the people behind 2,000 IP addresses which the company presumably suspects of unauthorized file-sharing.
This week, Canadians learned that big telecom company Telus will be further limiting how much its customers can use the Internet. Soon after, we learned that big telecom company Bell will be jacking up their prices for Internet. After fighting for Internet openness and affordability for years, the pro-Internet community knows: this is price-gouging, pure and simple. It’s no secret that when it comes to the Internet, Canadians pay higher prices for worse services than people in most countries in the industrialized world. This is largely because a small handful of Big Telecom companies control upwards of 94% of the Internet service market in Canada, meaning that Canadians don’t have much real choice.
Telus has announced plans to cut back on user bandwidth for its Internet service starting early next year. This Internet disservice comes after Telus met with OpenMedia to state that they were wanting to make amends with Canadians. Now is the time for Canadians to take action in making the switch to Distributel, TekSavvy or another independent ISP at OpenMedia.ca/Switch. Help us keep Big Telecom on their toes by making a contribution to OpenMedia at OpenMedia.ca/Allies. Article by Daniel Tencer for The Huffington Post Some Telus customers are upset after the phone and internet service company started sending out notifications that it is reducing upload and download limits on its home internet service. The change, which comes into effect on Feb. 1, 2013, affects only Telus customers who use the company’s land-line internet service, which is available in Alberta and British Columbia. Users of the Telus High-Speed service will see their upload and download cap reduced to 100 gigabytes per month from the current 150 gigabytes. Users of its highest-level service — Telus High Speed Turbo 25 — will see their download caps halved, to 250 gB from the current 500 gB. (A complete list of the new bandwidth caps is available at the Telus website.)
Rogers is being accused of anti-competitive tactics by independent ISPs who are using its network. The dispute surrounds Rogers 'speed-boosting' without changes in price to customers – but not allowing independent providers to access the same speeds without first paying additional costs. These costs aren't just being payed by indie ISPs, they're being passed down to Canadians. Let Big Telecom know that Canadians won't stand for their Internet tampering; make the switch to an indie ISP at OpenMedia.ca/Switch. Article by Pete Nowak After a period of relative public calm, the internet access wars are ratcheting up once again with the CRTC being asked to intervene in a dispute between independent service providers and Rogers. This time it’s the Canadian Network Operators Consortium, an affiliation of indie ISPs, accusing Rogers of trying to unfairly charge more for higher-speed services. CNOC says Rogers recently boosted download and upload speeds for its own retail customers without any price increases, a move that is supposed to automatically result in those same speeds being made available to independent ISPs who use parts of its network. CNOC says Rogers is offering its members those higher speeds, but only at an additional cost.
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.
A CRTC decision came down on Friday for more transparency to how Big Telecom assigns wholesale rates and pricing. This is another sign of progress for the +500,000 Canadian citizens who spoke out through StopTheMeter.ca. Use our online tool at OpenMedia.ca/Switch to find independent providers in your area and read more about the CRTC transparency decision.
Two of Canada's biggest media conglomerates, Bell and Rogers, are partnering up. Their goal? To take control of the iconic Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment group. The CRTC approved the deal yesterday, which includes three TV channels, several sports teams, and even some real estate holdings. With the CRTC giving Big Telecom their blessing for the purchase by saying that 'consumer safeguards' are in place, attention now turns to the impending Bell takeover of Astral to be reviewed next month. Let the CRTC know that Big Telecom's power grab needs to be stopped. Share our Action Plan for a Connected Canada at http://openmedia.ca/plan/action-plan and stay tuned for future updates. Article by Rita Trichur for The Globe & Mail Canada’s broadcast regulator has given its blessing to a $1.3-billion agreement by BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. to purchase a majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. While that paves the way for the two rivals to take control of the iconic sports company, the real test of consumer safeguards will come next month, when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission scrutinizes BCE’s $3.38-billion proposed takeover of Astral Media Inc.
Last week we shared how Rogers is trying to seek court approval for using false advertising in their campaigns. By claiming 'fewer dropped calls' without the requisite data and testing, Rogers is now faced with a $10M fine by the Competition Bureau. In opening remarks to the trial made late last week, Rogers' lead lawyer issued a bold statement in saying that their case is a 'slam dunk'. With the Competition Bureau countering that testing was limited to a few select cities, conducted internally and produced a marginal difference in results to their competitors – it doesn't seem like the case is closed just yet. Article by Jeff Gray for The Globe & Mail Rogers Communications Inc. came out swinging in a Toronto courtroom on Thursday, saying the false advertising allegations from the federal Competition Bureau over the company’s “fewer dropped calls” claims are “completely without merit.”
Big Telecoms Rogers and Shaw are lobbying against the so-called 'a la carte' model that would allow customers to pick and pay for individual channels. The CRTC also expressed concern over the pick-and-pay system saying that a lack of choice and flexibility could lead to consumers leaving the broadcasting system. Wait - isn't Canadians dropping TV for the more participatory medium of the open Internet a good thing? Why does the CRTC see it as it's job to protect old business models and top-down culture? On the flip side: In the 21st century shouldn't the CRTC's priority be to increase open and affordable access to the Internet? Article by Jamie Sturgeon for Financial Post: TORONTO — BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., and Shaw Communications Inc. which together control two-thirds of the $8.3-billion broadcast distribution market, are lobbying against the so-called “a la carte” model that would allow customers to pick and pay for individual networks, arguing the change would have disastrous consequences for programmers, such as Bell Media and Shaw Media.