We Must Continue | Weekly News Update from OpenMedia.ca


Here's Lindsey with your update:

Another week, another win! A CRTC decision concerning Big Telecom transparency has brought us one step closer to affordability and accountability in our telecom market. Read on for more. 

For the Internet, 

- The OpenMedia.ca Team

Recent News

This Halloween, Canadians use social media campaign to speak out about scary cell phone service

October 31, 2012 – OpenMedia.ca knows that Canadians find their cell phone providers ghoulish; now the grassroots group is trying to determine which type of cell phone horror haunts our nation the most. Is it long-term contracts with terrifying termination fees? Ghastly customer service? Or is it blood-sucking, price-gouging practices?

As a special Halloween extension of their popular CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca campaign (see below), the group has created a new social media action page at http://openmedia.ca/halloween.

The Halloween campaign calls on Canadians to use social media to vote on what scares them the most about Canadian cell phone service by sharing one of three images (see below). The action page also encourages citizens to contribute to the development of a code of conduct for wireless companies. Read more »


Epoch Times: Wireless complaints are on the rise

In a report released last week, Canada's cell phone services received the notable dishonour of having the most complaints out of any telecommunications service.

It's time for these concerns with our broken telecom market to be addressed by the CRTC. Share your story through our online tool CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca and let's work towards a wireless code that benefits Canadians.

Article by Omid Ghoreishi for The Epoch Times

Complaints about telecom services rose again this year, with wireless services topping the list of complaints for the fourth consecutive time, according to Canada’s Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS).

“Nearly 11,000 consumer complaints were filed with us. That represents an increase of 35 percent over last year,” said commissioner Howard Maker in a statement announcing the release of the CCTS’s annual report for 2011/2012. Read more »


Law enforcement chiefs call for return of Online Spying Bill

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has called on the government to revive the invasive Online Spying Bill C-30, granting warrantless access to the private data of citizens. Law-abiding Canadians shouldn't have to compromise their online security and privacy. If our police chiefs and government want to target criminals, they need to start over in crafting legislation for that purpose.

Speak out against the intrusive Online Spying Bill C-30 at StopSpying.ca and read more about this push by police chiefs to resurrect Bill C-30 at MichaelGeist.ca.


Take local action against online spying through our SOS Challenge by encouraging friends and family to join the campaign! Read more »

The Globe and Mail: CRTC chief aims to gain the trust of Canadians

In the wake of Canadians speaking out to StopTheTakeover.ca, CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais is emphasizing the importance of earning Canadians' trust and input in future decision-making.

Let's ensure that this pledge to serving the public interest stands. Show the CRTC that Canadians are stuck in an unfair and expensive cell phone market by sharing your story at CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca.

Article by Rita Trichur for The Globe and Mail

The federal broadcast and telecommunications regulator is on a mission to “rebuild” the trust of Canadians by renewing its focus on consumers, creators and citizens.

Jean-Pierre Blais, the newly minted chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, gave that frank assessment as he outlined his vision for the regulatory body at an industry conference on Monday. After spending roughly four months on the job, Mr. Blais is already making strides to define his legacy for when his term ends in 2017. At that time, he wants the CRTC to be an institution that is “trusted” by Canadians, noting many are skeptical about the regulator and its mandate in the digital era. Read more »


The Globe and Mail: How to cut your Internet-phone bill

We're making progress in having a transparent review of Big Telecom's pricing practices for independent providers, but Canadian citizens are still being overcharged for everyday services.

Let's move forward together and put Big Telecom's price-gouging behind us. Make the pledge to switch to an independent provider using our online tool at OpenMedia.ca/Switch.

Article by Hugh Thompson for The Globe and Mail

An Angus Reid study conducted last year found that almost half of all Canadians would give up watching television before they would ditch their Internet or telephone service. High-speed Internet, like telephone service, has become an essential service.

Unfortunately for Internet users, Canadian cable and telecommunications companies know this and have spent the last few years jacking up Internet pricing at rates well in excess of inflation. Read more »


Another victory for Canadians as CRTC calls for increased transparency

A CRTC decision came down on Friday for more transparency to how Big Telecom assigns wholesale rates and pricing. This is another sign of progress for the +500,000 Canadian citizens who spoke out through StopTheMeter.ca.

Use our online tool at OpenMedia.ca/Switch to find independent providers in your area and read more about the CRTC transparency decision. Read more »


The Gazette: Big Telecom ordered to open their books

After thousands of Canadians spoke out against Big Telecom's price-gouging through StopTheMeter.ca, the CRTC has announced a decision that will lead to more transparency in Internet service costs.

As Canadians get closer to finding out the true costs behind our Internet services, we're also getting closer to a levelled playing field between telecom choices. Use our online tool at OpenMedia.ca/Switch to discover independent telecom choices in your area.

Article by Jason Magder for The Gazette

It’s the second pro-consumer decision in a week for the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission. Last week, the CRTC rejected the Bell-Astral deal, saying it was bad for Canada.

Today, the CRTC announced that if telecom companies want to offer wholesale services to third-party competitors, they must disclose what those services cost them. Read more »


Update: Controversial CETA Negotiations Hurtling Towards Conclusion

We’ve been keeping you updated on the developing concerns over the Canada- EU Trade Agreement (CETA), and today is the last day of what may well be its final round of negotiations. We still know very little about what is actually in this agreement, and whether the restrictive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement provisions that were so loudly protested against, are indeed being reproduced word for word in CETA. La Quadrature du Net and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have both asserted that ACTA provisions are still in CETA, while negotiators promise that this is not the case. The only way to know for sure is if negotiators end the secrecy around this trade agreement and make the documents publicly available.

We recently reported that trade minister Ed Fast is hoping for the agreement to be signed and sealed by year end, and that the current negotiations in Brussels may be the final word on the matter. Fast is overseeing what Macleans has referred to as “the Conservative government’s aggressive trade agenda”, which includes CETA, the equally secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the almost unheard-of Canada-China trade agreement, FIPA. Read more »


CRTC pushes Big Telecom to be more transparent, to set the stage for more choice for Canadians

Pro-Internet community lauds CRTC decision to open up Big Telecom’s costing process

October 26, 2012 – The CRTC announced today that Big Telecom will have to reveal more of its costing process to the public. Now, much of the “confidential” information submitted by Big Telecom to establish wholesale rates will be put on public record.

Today’s decision addresses some of the concerns expressed by independent ISPs during the fight against usage-based billing (see the StopTheMeter.ca campaign). These small providers have argued that Big Telecom arbitrarily hikes wholesale prices and that this price-hiking has led to increasingly limited competition and subsequent price increases for their customers. With these price hikes in mind, Canadians have been calling on the CRTC for a "stop to backdoor Internet price hikes and a transparent review of Big Telecom’s rates.”

Though this decision will contribute to preventing Big Telecom from limiting choice in the Internet service market, Canada still has a long way to go before its telecommunications industry is truly competitive. Read more »


Thanks for asking us anything!

What do you get when you round up an enthusiastic group of digital rights experts, online innovators and advocates of Net Freedom – all with the purpose of taking any and all questions from members of the Internet community?

If yesterday’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit is to be any indication, this arrangement of opinions creates an engaging, provoking and open-ended conversation. It was a discussion that worked to unite the Internet Freedom movement and invoke action to be taken against the counter-intuitive Internet restrictions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Along with OpenMedia.ca’s Steve Anderson and Reilly Yeo answering questions from the Reddit community, we were joined by our StopTheTrap.net coalition partners at EFF, Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Public Citizen and InternetNZ. Read more »

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