OpenMedia.ca Calls on Federal Parties to Address Structural Issues Surrounding Usage-Based Billing

March 3, 2011 – This morning, OpenMedia.ca sent letters to the federal Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats and Green Party requesting that they join OpenMedia.ca's call for the CRTC to broaden the scope of its upcoming usage-based billing (Internet metering) hearing. The pro-Internet group seeks to use the proceeding to address some of the key structural issues that led to the wildly unpopular decision to allow Big Telecom to impose new Internet usage fees.

OpenMedia.ca believes that these political parties, all of which have come out in opposition to usage-based billing, understand that there are fundamental structural problems with the Internet service market that must be fixed in order to protect Canada’s digital future. It is now a matter of convincing the CRTC that, in order to be useful, their review of usage-based billing must address the root cause of price gouging.

Canadians recognize the deeper problems, and have begun to send their own comments to the CRTC about them via http://openmedia.ca/crtc. So far 68,000 Canadians, many of whom signed the viral Stop The Meter petition, have asked for a complete overhaul of the regulatory framework for broadband competition in Canada.

Steve Anderson, executive director of OpenMedia.ca, said: “These federal parties pledged their support for the fight against usage-based billing after nearly half-a-million Canadians signed the petition at http://stopthemeter.ca, and now it's time for them to follow through.

“After the huge public outcry about these new fees, both online and on-the-ground on the National Day of Action on Saturday, the Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP and Green Party ought to be falling over themselves to become the first to endorse the broadening of the upcoming CRTC proceeding.”

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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 public engagement 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 470,000 names have now been added to the website, Facebook, Twitter, and in print.