Ottawa City Council to vote on key Internet Choice and Affordability motion tomorrow, OpenMedia available to comment
Crucial vote could see Ottawa join Calgary and Toronto councils in opposing Bell's move to crush competition
Ottawa City Council will vote tomorrow on an important Internet Choice and Affordability motion.
Councillors Jeff Leiper and Diane Deans are calling on Council to support a key CRTC decision designed to ensure all Canadians can obtain blazing-fast fibre Internet services from affordable, independent Internet providers. Telecom giant Bell is currently appealing the CRTC decision to the federal Cabinet.
Calgary and Toronto City Councils are also backing the CRTC decision, with Toronto Council recently voting by 28 votes to 5 on the issue.
Ottawa City Council meets at 10am ET, Wednesday Feb 24. The full text of the motion is available on the Council’s agenda.
The meeting takes place in Council Chambers at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa.
The CRTC ruling requires large telecom incumbents to provide wholesale access to optical fibre networks to their smaller competitors. For years, the CRTC has mandated wholesale access to broadband networks, and their July 2015 decision updated this for fibre, which is seen as the future of the Internet due to its blazing-fast speeds.
Telecom giant Bell has invoked an obscure parliamentary procedure to ask the federal Cabinet to reverse the CRTC ruling. If Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains rules in Bell’s favour, then Canadians will be blocked from accessing fibre Internet through more affordable, independent providers, and forced to pay Bell’s high prices instead.
Calgary City Council, Toronto City Council, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, consumer groups, and independent experts, along with nearly 65,000 individual Canadians are calling on Minister Bains to back the CRTC decision and refuse Bell’s appeal.
“Tomorrow’s vote at Ottawa Council is a crucial opportunity for our nation’s capital to show its support for Internet choice and affordability. Canada’s digital economy depends on robust competition for next-generation fibre services. That’s why Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains should listen to Canadians and put a stop to Bell’s attempt to unfairly crush their smaller competitors.” - David Christopher, Communications Manager, OpenMedia