Litmus test for new government as Big Telecom threatens future of affordable Internet service in Canada
Bell Canada is calling on the new federal Cabinet to overturn pro-customer CRTC requirements to ensure Canadians can access high-speed independent providers
“How the incoming government responds to this will be an important litmus test for Canada’s digital future. The timing of Bell’s announcement so soon after the election suggests a cynical attempt to see if the new government will cave to requests that the previous government would have rejected,” said OpenMedia campaigns manager Josh Tabish. “Mr. Trudeau faces a choice: he can either listen to the 30,000 Canadians who went on the official record demanding greater ISP choice and affordability in Canada’s Internet market, or he can cave to Big Telecom’s temper tantrum.”
The federal government stepping in to undo any part of the CRTC’s pro-customer ruling would go against the best interest of Canadians. There is no evidence that fair rules to encourage greater ISP choice leads to decreased investment; Bell’s claims amount to little more than empty threats. This appeal comes down to a decision between increasing choice and affordability, or letting telecom giants regulate our digital economy with astonishingly high prices and slow speeds.
Canada currently has less than 3% of Canadians on fibre Internet, compared with nearly 70% in Japan or 10% in the United States. OpenMedia and its community will continue to watch this appeal closely and plans to intervene on behalf of Canadians if necessary.
OpenMedia is an award-winning community-based organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of people in protecting our online rights.
Campaigns Manager, OpenMedia.ca
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