Canadian Citizens Celebrate NDP Condemnation of New Internet Fees

New Democrats warn about Internet metering and its impact on consumers and competition

January 20, 2011 – The New Democratic Party (NDP) issued a press release today declaring they are officially opposed to the new fees Canadians will soon see on their Internet bills.

The release, spearheaded by MP Charlie Angus, cited a recent CRTC decision that paved the way for new Internet usage-based fees to be introduced. The implications of the decision were brought to light by public participation in an online petition organized by civic engagement group OpenMedia.ca. The NDP recognized the public outcry against the CRTC ruling, which allows Bell and other major Internet service providers (ISPs) to more freely impose usage-based billing on Canadians.

The NDP’s vehement opposition to these new fees reflects the position of Canadian citizens, industry groups, and online innovators, who believe that Internet metering is an impediment to the free telecommunications market and a slap in the face to consumers. Angus holds that usage-based billing benefits only larger ISPs, many of which are also broadcasters and content providers, looking to “snuff out competition”.

OpenMedia.ca’s National Coordinator, Steve Anderson, celebrated the NDP’s statement: “This is a tangible step in the right direction for the fight for an open and affordable Internet,” he said today.

“At first we were surprise by the traction of Stop The Meter campaign when thousands of Canadians flooded our website and social media with signatures and stories. We were later delighted when Councillor Andrea Reimer led the City of Vancouver to adopt a motion critical of the CRTC’s usage-based billing ruling. And now, as dissenting citizens number in tens of thousands, it’s great to see that Charlie Angus and the NDP have taken on a leadership role responding to public sentiment on this issue. We hope the other parties will follow suit.”

Read the NDP’s press release here: http://www.ndp.ca/press/canadians-lose-out-with-internet-metered-billing

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Contact

Lindsey Pinto
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
778-238-7710
lindsey@openmedia.ca

About OpenMedia.ca

OpenMedia.ca is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization working to advance and support an open and innovative communications system in Canada. Our primary goal is to increase public awareness and informed participation in Canadian media, cultural, information, and telecommunication policy formation.

About Stop The Meter

In October, Canadians were outraged by the news that the CRTC had decided to allow Bell and other big Internet service providers (ISPs) to impose new fees on independent ISPs – usage-based billing. Now every Internet user in Canada is likely to feel the sting of a less affordable Internet, and a less competitive Internet service market. Recognizing the importance of this issue, OpenMedia.ca launched the Stop The Meter campaign.

Since its inception, this multi-platform petition, based at http://www.StopTheMeter.ca and in French at http://openmedia.ca/compteur, become a record breaker and a game changer. Over 35,000 names have now been added to the website, Facebook, Twitter, and in print.