For Whom Does Bell Toll?: Weekly Update from OpenMedia.ca

Hello!

Here's Reilly, replacing Lindsey, with your (slightly lower-tech!) update:

It's undeniable: Bell is avoiding their dues in their takeover of Astral Media, so we're pushing the CRTC to take action. Help share our Action Plan for a Big Telecom reshuffling here and stay tuned for news regarding an upcoming campaign.

For the Internet, 

- The OpenMedia.ca Team


Recent News

Hey TPP, don't mess with our Internet!

We're making our message heard loud and clear. Add your voice at StopTheTrap.net or make a contribution to the ongoing campaign by clicking here. Read more »

 

Financial Post - Canada's telecom giants face $18-billion class action suit over system access fees

An $18-billion class-action suit has received the go-ahead to proceed against Canada's Big Telecom companies. What’s the contested litigation? The long-imposed – but often vague – system access fees. Late last month, The Supreme Court of Canada rejected an appeal issued by Bell, Rogers and Telus (among others) that argued against the case.

Let's not give them time to regroup and regulate new sets of costs for Canadians. Sign the Stop the Squeeze petition today »

Article by Jamie Sturgeon for Financial Post

An old fee that’s made untold millions for the country’s big cellphone providers may now end up costing them billions, while wireless users everywhere could find a few bucks put back in their pocket.

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused an appeal by Rogers Communications Inc., BCE’s Bell Mobility and Telus Corp. and others, who were asking the top court to throw out a case over controversial “system access fees.” Read more »

 

Why CETA is bad for Canadian Internet Users

As many of you know big media lobbyists have lost several battles to impose severe Internet restrictions at the national level in bill C-11 here in Canada, and in SOPA/PIPA in the US. You also may know they are increasingly looking to impose these restrictions through secretive International trade agreements that route around our democratic processes and blanket these restrictions on many countries at once. One such agreement was the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which recently saw a major setback in the EU.

Another trade agreement acting as a vehicle for Internet censorship, and one that looks to be the front line in the fight for Internet freedom is one we’ve raised the alarm about: the TPP Internet Trap trade agreement. But alas, there’s another undemocratic trade agreement for the Internet community to worry about called the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA). Read more »

 

The TPP isn't just a Trap, it's a Cat-astrophe

The cat's got their tongue, but let's make them talk. Make a contribution to the StopTheTrap.net campaign by clicking here. Read more »

 

Huffington Post: Broadband Data Caps Could Get Review from U.S. Lawmakers

The US Justice Department is investigating whether cable operators are improperly suppressing competition through data caps (or metered billing). The data caps are being labeled as 'anticompetitive', suggesting that their motives could be to dissuade consumers from cheaper Internet-based viewing options instead of pricier content distributed through cable.

Here in Canada we stopped metered billing from being imposed on indie ISPs and every Canadian (http://bit.ly/wTkiuq), but data caps are still in place and seem to be getting worse. We're continuing to push the CRTC to fix this (more on this soon), but do you think our government should also investigate whether metered billing is anti-competitive? Do you think big telecom are imposing data caps as a way of making online video more expensive so we continue to subscribe to uneccessary TV services?

Article by Jasmin Melvin

Two Democratic lawmakers said Congress should examine whether major wireless carriers and cable companies are stifling the growth of online video services like Netflix Inc and Hulu by limiting the amount of content Internet subscribers can download each month.

Online video providers have argued that data caps are keeping more Americans from accessing their programming as they worry bandwidth-heavy shows and movies could interrupt their Internet service. Read more »

 

The TPP Negotiating Table is Missing a Seat: Ours

Help put an end to the TPP secrecy. Make a contribution to the StopTheTrap.net campaign by clicking here. Read more »

 

The Globe and Mail: Where are Bell's 'tangible benefits'?

For whom does Bell toll? The Canadian consumer, apparently. More details have emerged on Bell's avoidance of paying obligatory 'tangible benefits' in their takeover of Astral. These tangible benefits are intended to be a key source of funding for Canadian programming, helping to support Canadian Music Week and the hiring of new teachers at the National Theatre School.

Bell wants to use $40M of the tangible benefits they owe to fund expansion and modernization of their subsidiary NorthwesTel into Canada's North. Having unsuccessfully argued against paying into tangible benefits in their acquisition of CTV last year, let's hope that the CRTC catches onto their scheme.

Join us in urging a restructuring of Big Telecom by sharing our citizen-centered action plan with your MP at http://openmedia.ca/plan/action-plan.

Article by Simon Houpt for The Globe & Mail:

Do business people intentionally give really boring names to really important things so that regular folk won’t notice when they’re being screwed? For years, nobody outside the finance community cared about abstract investment tools like derivatives and mortgage-backed securities – until we all ended up on the edge of apocalypse. Smart people have told me that whenever they hear the term “regulatory framework,” their brains automatically toggle to something else to prevent a bout of narcolepsy. Read more »