Press release

Obama Administration to provide citizens with faster, cheaper Internet while Canada falls behind

Internet advocates celebrate Obama’s move, and point to it as the type of action required to get Canada’s Internet rates and speeds on par with global counterparts.

January 14, 2015Internet advocates are celebrating this afternoon’s announcement from the Obama Administration pushing for common-sense steps to stop U.S. telecom giants from blocking American Internet users from more affordable Internet services. The news comes on the heels of the U.S. FCC increasing minimum Internet speeds over six times from 4Mbps to 25Mbps.

President Obama urged the FCC to override outdated laws in 19 states preventing independent options for Internet services, and called for new funding for municipal and rural broadband. Community-backed digital rights organization OpenMedia.ca says Canadian decision-makers should be embarrassed when comparing today’s announcement with Canada’s widely criticized and unambitious digital strategy, which set out minimum speeds of just 5 Mbps by 2019.

Read more »

Topics: Affordability

Canadians demanding James Moore take action to end media conglomerates’ $150,000 copyright shakedown

U.S. media giants are sending Canadians threatening notices telling them they could face $150,000 lawsuits and get kicked kicked off the Internet – neither of which are possible under Canadian law

January 13, 2015 – U.S. media giants are taking advantage of a loophole in Canada’s new copyright law to threaten Canadians with $150,000 lawsuits and even being kicked offline, and Internet users have had enough. Canadians and experts like Michael Geist are calling on Industry Minister James Moore to close the loophole and take action to end the copyright shakedown.

Within days of new copyright rules coming into force, U.S. copyright trolls started asking ISPs to pass on threatening and misleading messages to their customers. Copyright expert Michael Geist posted samples on his blog that threatened a $150,000 lawsuit and disconnection from the Internet – neither of which are possible under Canadian law.

Read more »

Topics: Copyright

Shaw is trying to force indie Internet providers to artificially raise prices for Canadians

New move blocks Canadians from affordable Internet alternatives, in attempt to force independent providers to raise prices in line with Shaw’s recent steep price hike

January 8, 2015Reports indicate that Shaw is attempting to abuse their control of key Internet infrastructure to artificially increase Internet prices for Canadians. Teksavvy CEO Marc Gaudrault posted on DSL Reports that Shaw is trying to force independent ISPs to pay a whopping 87.9% increase to access Canada’s Internet networks. The move comes right on the heels of Shaw’s unpopular Internet price hikes which forces Shaw subscribers to pay higher rates or accept slower speeds.  

The pricing changes could make access costs nearly double for smaller ISPs. Community-backed OpenMedia.ca sees this as an attempt to block Canadians from the few affordable alternatives they have. Right now, large incumbent telecom providers like Shaw control 90% of the residential broadband market. However, Shaw’s proposed 87.9% rate hike still needs to be approved by the CRTC.

Read more »

Topics: Affordability

New copyright law is already being abused to threaten Canadian Internet users with ridiculous penalties for downloading

Government needs to take action to prevent foreign Big Media companies from sending misleading notices that threaten $150,000 lawsuits and disconnection from the Internet 

January 8, 2015 Less than a week after new copyright rules went into effect in Canada, ISPs are already receiving notices from Big Media giants that contain misleading and threatening statements, according to top copyright expert Professor Michael Geist. In a blog this morning, Geist included a copy of one such notice that was forwarded to him by a Canadian ISP.  

Read more »

Topics: Copyright

Confirmed: Shaw rings in 2015 by charging higher prices for slower Internet

January 6, 2015 – Shaw today confirmed that it will be charging higher prices for slower Internet in 2015. Concerned Internet users warned of these price hikes back in December and confirmation today has sparked outrage online. The changes mean that new customers will need to choose between getting slower Internet speeds, or paying more for a faster service.

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. ”  

Read more »


James Moore spectrum announcement hailed as a positive step forward to enable greater wireless choice and lower prices

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.

The decision comes in response to OpenMedia’s crowdsourced set of recommendations (here and here) in the Time For an Upgrade report. Over 60,000 Canadians, along with leading businesses, innovators, and entrepreneurs, have joined a call for more affordable cell phone service and for spectrum to liberated from the big three in the Demand Choice campaign. Canadians currently pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for wireless service.

Read more »


Syndicate content