As the future of affordable Internet hangs in the balance, Canadians tell CRTC to ditch the deadweight of Big Telecom giants
January 9, 2014
The CRTC is currently holding a consultation that will cover whether Canadians can access fibre Internet through independent Internet providers. Members of the public can take part in the consultation until January 31st, and OpenMedia.ca is encouraging Canadians to make sure the CRTC knows where citizens stand.
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.
“We’re at a fork in the road for affordable access to the Internet in Canada; either the CRTC will help Canadians finally ditch Big Telecom comglomerates that act as a deadweight on our economy, or our country will fall further behind our global counterparts,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Big Telecom giants are trying to block our access to affordable fibre Internet - if they’re successful this will mean even higher bills for Canadian families. Canada can no longer afford the economic deadweight of Big Telecom price-gouging.”
Anderson continued: “Over half-a-million Canadians fought for and won open Internet rules to stop a metered Internet from being imposed on all Internet users. Now the same Big Telecom giants behind that plan are hoping to set themselves up to control Internet pricing. It’s past time and common sense to split Internet infrastructure off from big telecom companies and ensure digital networks are open for a range of providers to service residents of Canada unencumbered.”
Canadians already pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for Internet access. These already sky-high monthly bills will rise yet further if Big Telecom is allowed to monopolize access to the future of the Internet.
Canadians have until January 31st to make sure their voice is heard in this crucial CRTC consultation via https://OpenMedia.ca/deadweight
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 telecom 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
- Telecom Notice of Consultation 2013-551-1 - Source: CRTC
- OpenMedia.ca: Concerned Canadian reveals Bell’s anti-competitive practices: https://openmedia.ca/news/concerned-canadian-reveals-bell%E2%80%99s-anti-competitive-practices-1
- 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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