Press release

Canadian group hosts international platform for massive Internet Slowdown Day to show what Internet would be like if we lost net neutrality rules

OpenMedia.ca joins with major websites Netflix, reddit, and huge coalition as experts warn of damaging consequences for Canada if net neutrality is undermined in U.S. or here in Canada

September 10, 2014 – Vancouver-based digital rights group OpenMedia.ca is joining with Netflix, reddit, Vimeo, and a huge international coalition to support Internet Slowdown Day. Dozens of major websites have agreed to show their users a perpetual ‘loading’ icon, to symbolize how the loss of net neutrality rules could slow many favourite websites to a crawl. To support the day of action OpenMedia.ca is hosting an action platform at http://StopTheSlowdown.net and encouraging Canadian websites to embed the web action widget found here.

The move comes against the backdrop of a crucial U.S. FCC hearing which could decide the future of net neutrality in the U.S. Large telecom conglomerates are pushing the FCC to do away with net neutrality, a move that would have major implications for Canadians and others around the world. Earlier this week, OpenMedia joined with over 60 organizations from over 25 nations to launch Big Telecom -v- The World, a week of action aimed at sounding a loud global call in defence of net neutrality. Over 120,000 people from around the world have signed on to the campaign in just 24 hours, making it OpenMedia’s most successful campaign launch of 2014. Read more »


World comes together for week of action against Big Telecom attempts to make Internet slower and more expensive

Grassroots Week of Action organized by Canadian Internet freedom group OpenMedia is launched against a backdrop of crucial upcoming decisions that could force hundreds of millions into an Internet slow lane

September 8, 2014 – Millions of Internet users from across the globe are standing together to defend the open Internet, and push back against attempts by large telecom conglomerates to undermine net neutrality and consign millions to an Internet slow lane. That’s the message of a huge new international campaign led by Canadian Internet freedom group OpenMedia, launching this morning.

OpenMedia is collaborating with over 50 organizations from over 20 countries on a Week of Action which will rally Internet users, digital rights groups, and tech companies across the globe to show a united voice for net neutrality. Supporters of the campaign include BitTorrent, Boing Boing, Daily Kos, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Fundación Vía Libre, Greenpeace, reddit, SumOfUs, and many others.

“This is a crucially important time that could shape the future of the Internet for generations to come,” said OpenMedia Executive Director Steve Anderson. “What’s at stake is whether we’ll have an Internet that is shaped by users and innovators or one that is dominated by a handful of telecom giants who want to make the Internet slower, more expensive, and more like cable TV. It's time for policy makers to take a firm stand for our access to a fast and open Internet.” Read more »


Fresh revelations that CSEC retained private communications of Canadians underline need for much stronger transparency, oversight, and accountability, says OpenMedia.ca

Report will do little to assure law-abiding Canadians who simply want to communicate online without being spied on by their own government

The government’s spy agency CSEC intercepted and deliberately retained the private communications of 66 Canadian citizens last year. The interceptions were made without a warrant and without judicial oversight. These revelations were contained in an official report by CSEC’s Commissioner Jean-Pierre Plouffe. The report did not reveal how many Canadians in total had their private communications spied on by CSEC before being discarded as irrelevant.

According to OpenMedia.ca, a community-based group working to safeguard Canadians’ privacy, the report raises more questions than it answers, and underlines the need for much greater transparency, independent oversight, and accountability for CSEC. Read more »

Topics: Online Spying

Government proposals on wireless broadband are positive step forward for rural Canadians

OpenMedia.ca is welcoming Industry Canada’s announcement that it will speed up the process of issuing 3500 MHz spectrum licences for wireless broadband services in rural areas. The community-based organization says this is positive news for Canadians living in regions typically underserved by Big Telecom conglomerates. The government also announced it will not renew the spectrum licences of providers who fail to deliver services.

“Every Canadian should be able to access reliable, affordable broadband Internet,” said OpenMedia.ca spokesperson David Christopher. “It’s good news that the government plans to crack down on telecom companies that hoard valuable wireless resources instead of deploying much-needed services to Canadians. This use-it-or-lose-it rule is a common sense measure that Internet users have been speaking out in favour of for years. However the government should listen to concerns expressed by independent Internet providers that some rural Canadians could lose out as a result of proposals to redesignate spectrum for use with mobile devices.” Read more »


Regulators find that Telecoms have engaged in systematic “unjust discrimination” to stifle indie providers and keep prices high

CRTC decision exposes how Big Telecom giant Rogers engaged in “unjust discrimination” aimed at blocking Canadians from accessing affordable, independent wireless options

July 31, 2014 – A landmark decision from the CRTC today has confirmed that telecom giant Rogers has engaged in “unjust discrimination” toward independent cell phone providers, such as Mobilicity and Wind Mobile. Responding to the CRTC’s decision, OpenMedia.ca warns that Industry Minister James Moore’s recent measures to cap wholesale wireless rates do not go far enough, and bold action is required to rein in Canada’s Big Three giants from abusing their market power.

The CRTC decision stated that it had “found clear instances of unjust discrimination by Rogers”. They found that Rogers imposed “significantly higher” roaming costs on small, independent wireless companies compared to rates it charged other providers. The CRTC has now prohibited big telecom companies from imposing exclusivity provisions that prevent smaller providers from using a range of networks to provide services to Canadians. They are also conducting a longer-term proceeding looking at whether further measures are required to improve wireless choice. Read more »


Industry Canada’s broadband plan will still leave rural Canadians struggling to catch up

This morning’s Industry Canada rural broadband announcement will still leave many Canadians struggling to catch up with our global counterparts when it comes to broadband access, reliability, and speed. That’s according to community-based OpenMedia.ca, which is campaigning for every Canadian to have quality, affordable broadband.

“Once again we see Industry Canada reheating previous announcements rather than making the dedicated investments and policy changes other countries are making,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “The government continues to flog their unambitious digital policy, while avoiding the bold action needed to connect Canadians to the cutting-edge digital services that our global counterparts are already working towards. The worst part of today’s announcement is that the strategy to get access to rural and remote communities relies on Big Telecom giants who have a track record of failing to deliver services to the communities they promised to connect.” Read more »


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