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As EU publishes strong Net Neutrality rules, Canada cannot afford to fall behind

Canada’s CRTC will soon hold hearings on how best to protect the open Internet: today’s new EU regulations set a positive example

August 30, 2016Europe’s new Net Neutrality regulations, published today, set a positive example for Canada ahead of crucial hearings by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) about how best to protect a free and open Internet.

Notably, European regulators at BEREC rejected demands from giant telecom companies to make certain apps or services exempt from data caps (so-called “zero-rating”) — a key issue under review at the upcoming CRTC hearings. Critics warn that zero-rating schemes effectively create online “toll booths” for services unable to broker deals with giant telecom providers, placing innovative startups at a huge disadvantage.

“With strong Net Neutrality rules in Europe and the U.S., Canada cannot afford to fall behind. The EU regulations — and the outpouring of support for an open Internet that preceded them —  should be a sign to Canadian regulators that citizens across the world demand a genuinely free and open Internet,” said OpenMedia Digital Rights Specialist Katy Anderson.

“In Canada we’ve already seen more than 30,000 people put their name on the public record asking for the CRTC to strengthen Net Neutrality, ban zero-rating, and put an end to oppressive data caps and extortionate overage fees.”

Today’s decision comes after more than 500,000 people, including the founder of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, flooded the EU regulator with comments in support of strong Net Neutrality rules, with the help of the SaveTheInternet.eu campaign.

The CRTC is now asking for input on how Canada’s Internet should be priced. The regulatory body is accepting comments until September 21, and OpenMedia is hosting a tool for people to submit their thoughts.

So far, over 5,000 people have submitted their unique perspectives on why the CRTC must put an end to oppressive data caps, which allow telecoms to hold Canadians hostage to constant overcharges and higher than expected bills. A report recently published by OpenMedia revealed that Canadians experience some of the lowest data caps at some of the highest prices in the industrialized world.

“That’s why we need the CRTC to step in and provide relief. We need to bring Canada into line with our global counterparts by ensuring all Canadians have access to an unlimited option at a reasonable price,” said OpenMedia’s Katy Anderson.

Canadians can add their voice now to put an end to data caps and stand up for the open Internet at act.openmedia.org/datacaps/comment.

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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