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Geist: Can the CRTC act to promote competition and diversity?

By Michael Geist

The CRTC's usage based billing oral hearing concluded yesterday with a final decision expected some time in the fall. This long post focuses on the shift in CRTC thinking on the state of broadband competition in Canada but wonders whether it comes too late to make a difference. For many years, the CRTC has steadfastly maintained that the Canadian ISP market is competitive. For example, in the net neutrality decision from October 2009 it stated: Read more »

UBB Hearing Media Round-Up

To help keep you up to date on the CRTC's usage-based billing (Internet metering) hearing running from Monday, July 11th - Friday, July 22nd, we're using this page to summarize what's going on, and round up all relevant media coverage, documents, and transcripts for the hearing.

Learn more checking out the transcript of Live Chat debrief, which took place at http://openmedia.ca/chat on Thursday, July 21. Read more »

OpenMedia.ca Meets With Another MP: Don Davies, Vancouver-Kingsway

Don Davies Stop the MeterLast Thursday, I sat down with MP Don Davies to talk about four of the key recommendations from Casting an Open Net. These are the four main things OpenMedia.ca is calling for, in order to address the underlying problems that have led to price gouging by Big Telecom:

1. Transparency Audits - Finding out what Big Telecom is doing by mandating the CRTC to get information from them about what traffic they slow down (throttle), what the true cost of providing Internet service is, and what speeds they are really able to offer.

2. Open the CRTC - Create a new process for appointments to the CRTC, so that commissioners must have served the public interest.

3. Digital Endowment - When Big Telecom buys more wireless signals next year (in what is called the spectrum auction), set aside $2.2 billion for necessary Internet infrastructure. Australia is spending $40 billion - we feel like $2.2 is a small request.

4. Functional Separation - Separate Big Telecom's ownership of the Internet infrastructure from its services to you, the consumer - this way, every company - both large and small - will have to buy access to the infrastructure at a fair price. The UK has just done this, and it has been a big success in lowering costs and introducing more competition. Read more »

CBC covers the usage-based billing (UBB) hearing

Monday, July 11, marked the beginning of a two-week-long CRTC hearing on Internet metering. This is the result of Canadians signing our online petition, their engagement with Internet openness and affordability issues, and their ongoing efforts to spread the word.

Read more »

Mark Coatsworth on the Usage-Based Billing Hearing

Taking on Big Telecom: A Trip to the CRTC's UBB Hearings

by Mark Coatsworth for The Torontoist

The CRTC began hearings this week to help it decide whether to uphold or reverse its controversial January decision on usage-based billing. Mark Coatsworth, owner of a small business in Toronto that relies heavily on high-speed internet access, gave a presentation at those hearings in Gatineau. He wrote about that experience, and why he felt it was important to be there, for Torontoist.

It was an evil January night when I got the news that internet prices were about to go way, way up. Many years ago the Big Telecom providers like Bell and Rogers had imposed brutal, expensive usage rate caps into their internet service plans. Now the CRTC had passed a ruling allowing them to impose these usage-based billing (UBB) caps onto independent ISPs across the country. Read more »

In response to Bissonnette: Shaw's movie service is still problematic, and Bell's isn't better

The net neutrality violation that never was

OpenMedia.ca put out a press release this morning in response to comments Shaw president Peter Bissonnette provided to the Calgary Herald last night. The cable giant's head announced a new online movie service, which, he initially stated, would not count against Shaw customers' data caps. Read more »

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