For example, where $60 a month purchased a 25 Mbps service in 2014, it will purchase just a 15 Mbps service in 2015 - a drop in speed of 40%. Existing customers will also experience steep 10% price hikes - or five times the rate of inflation. Responding to the news, OpenMedia’s Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say:
“Canadians hoping to keep a lid on their household expenses as one of their New Year’s resolutions are in for a shock. When the rumour first broke, Shaw assured us that that this was all a big misunderstanding. Well the proof is in the pudding – and today Shaw served up some pretty expensive pudding. And, if history is any indication, others like Bell, Rogers, and Telus will soon follow. ”
In response to outcry for Canadians, Industry Canada has taken steps to ensure Canadians have greater access to affordable, independent wireless providers
December 18, 2014 – Industry Minister James Moore has announced new measures aimed at improving wireless service for Canadians. OpenMedia welcomes the announcement, which will reserve a larger section of valuable wireless spectrum for new, independent, affordable providers than ever before. The changes aim to increase the amount of spectrum available to independent providers from around 15% currently to nearly 25% by May 2015.
Following years-long campaign, CRTC is now empowered to levy financial penalties against telecom providers who mistreat customers
December 17, 2014 –This morning’s announcement of new powers allowing the CRTC to impose financial penalties against companies caught violating the Telecommunications Act comes in response to a key request made by OpenMedia in its crowdsourced Casting An Open Internet action plan. The plan called on government to “permit the CRTC to levy administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) that can be used to enforce transparency requirements and regulations.”
OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say about the announcement:
“We are pleased to see the government has granted overseers at the CRTC enforcement powers to ensure telecom companies who break the rules are penalized. We’re thrilled that James Moore has responded to another of the ten major policy asks we put forward when he first became Industry Minister. These new powers are a great response to hundreds of thousands of Canadians who participated in our crowdsourced policy plans for wired and mobile Internet in Canada.”
“Canadian Internet users everywhere ought to be outraged that Big Telecom giants like Shaw are trying to charge customers more money for slower Internet. Make no mistake: if Shaw gets away with this, others like Bell, Rogers, and Telus will soon follow. Canadians are already paying some of the highest prices in the world for what many know is horrible service. Shaw should stop being such a grinch and immediately reverse these service cuts and price-hikes.”
Fundraising drive challenges tech community to step up and defend the free and open Internet with matching donations up to $50,000
December 11, 2014: Leaders from the Vancouver tech community have launched a year-end fundraising #StepUp4Net campaign challenging people from the tech and business community to donate to non-profit digital rights organization OpenMedia.
Several organizations have agreed to provide matching funds of up to $50,000.
“Everyone has benefited from the expression, innovation, and business opportunities enabled by the open Internet,” said OpenMedia.org Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Sadly, the Internet as we know it is increasingly under threat. I'm grateful that leaders in the tech community have been generous enough to encourage support for our non-profit work.”
December 11, 2014: This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled narrowly that police are permitted to conduct warrantless cell phone searches of people they arrest. Community-based OpenMedia, which has rallied a large pro-privacy coalition of over 60 organizations, says the ruling reinforces the need for much stronger legal protections to safeguard the privacy of Canadians.
“Sadly, today’s ruling looks like a real setback for the privacy of Canadians,” said OpenMedia.ca’s communications manager David Christopher. “Our cell phones often store huge amounts of deeply revealing information about our private lives. Cell phone searches can be even more revealing than a police officer coming into somebody’s home and searching through their personal materials, which has long required a warrant. It’s very disappointing that the Supreme Court, albeit narrowly, decided to permit such intrusive warrantless searches.”