As Big Three aim to consolidate telecom dominance, Canadians come together to discuss new solutions to build a more ‘Connected Canada’
January 15, 2014
OpenMedia.ca is launching this new initiative called “Building a Connected Canada” to enable citizens to take part in local events across the country to discuss what a Connected Canada should look like. Citizens are being invited to find a local event in their area - and are also being encouraged to organize a local event themselves, with support from the OpenMedia.ca team. The events will take place on Saturday January 25.
The move comes against the backdrop of worrying attempts by giant telecom conglomerates to control the future of how Canadians communicate with each other. These citizen-led discussions will play a crucial role as part of a broader CRTC consultation on the future of TV, as growing numbers of Canadians cut the cord and make the switch from TV to Internet.
“We’re at a decisive moment, where citizens should lead in shaping a Connected Canada that works for all of us,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Big telecom conglomerates are holding our whole country back - resulting in a growing digital divide and a national digital deficit. Whether it’s affordability, speed, or access to diverse digital content, we are falling behind our global counterparts – but we can fix this. Crucial decisions will be made over coming months that will affect all Canadians.”
Anderson continued: “It’s essential that decisions that affect the daily lives of virtually everyone across the country be made with a Canadian-first not a lobbyist-first approach. That’s why today we’re asking Canadians to join us in building the citizen-led alternative to big telecom conglomerates’ high-cost, locked-down vision for Canada’s future. We know from experience that when Canadians work together there’s nothing we can’t achieve.”
OpenMedia.ca led the successful Stop the Meter campaign, the largest online campaign in Canadian history, which rallied over half-a-million Canadians to stop Big Telecom companies from forcing a pay meter on all Internet users in Canada.
Canadians can find an event in their local area - or sign-up to organize an event themselves - at https://OpenMedia.ca/ConnectedCanada
OpenMedia.ca is a network of people and organizations working to safeguard the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy.
The Demand Choice campaign was launched to pressure decision-makers to take action for greater choice and lower prices in Canada’s cell phone market. Early in 2012 OpenMedia.ca launched a campaign decrying the price-gouging poor customer service and lack of choice in the cell phone market at StopTheSqueeze.ca.
OpenMedia.ca then highlighted Canadians’ Cell Phone Horror Stories in a crowdsourced submission to the CRTC, and released a citizen-driven report entitled ‘Time for an Upgrade’ detailing their findings and recommendations.
This citizen pressure resulted in a broadly positive new set of customer-friendly rules for wireless companies – national rules that reign in punitive three-year contracts, make it easier to switch to a new affordable provider, and impose caps on data roaming fees.
The Big Three cell phone providers recently unleashed an expensive PR campaign to mislead cell phone users. Canadians took to the Internet to ridicule and debunk the Big Three’s claims in a wide variety of ways - speaking out on reddit and on Facebook, and even creating parody websites, parody videos on YouTube and parody accounts on Twitter. We’ve also seen citizen-produced op-eds appear in newspapers across the country, taking the Big Three to task for their years of terrible customer service.
Over 60,000 Canadians have now participated in the Demand Choice campaign, with more standing up for wireless choice and affordability every day.
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
- Ben Klass complaint to CRTC (PDF)
- Crossing the Line - Ben Klass explains why he's taking Bell to the CRTC
- See the infographic showing how half-a-million Canadians spoke out against telecom price-gouging: https://openmedia.ca/sites/openmedia.ca/files/Tariffs_Timeline_111212_0.png
- OpenMedia fought for and won Open Internet rules that should prevent Big Telecom discriminating against competing services. We even flew in some of the original architects of the Internet to the CRTC hearing.
- CRTC report shows Internet openness complaints went up in 2012 - see this media advisory.
- OpenMedia.ca’s crowdsourced Casting an Open Net Plan calls for net neutrality audits and penalties for companies in breach of net neutrality.
- CRTC will rescind ‘unlimited use’ Internet decision – or Ottawa will overturn it. Source: The Globe and Mail
- OpenMedia.ca: Regulators pull back from usage-based billing after half-a-million Canadians speak out
- "If using the Rogers 3G or LTE network, for only $5/month, customers can enjoy 10 hours of viewing on their device" (This means non-Rogers content is unfairly more expensive than Rogers-owned content.) Source: Google Play
OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.
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