Pro-Internet Group Comes Out Against “Back Door Rate Hikes” as ISP raises prices

OpenMedia.ca says Big Telecom companies snuck pricing hikes into CRTC decision

January 4, 2012 – OpenMedia.ca is asking the CRTC to conduct a transparent audit and review of Internet infrastructure costs. The group’s campaign against usage-based billing this year resulted in a reexamination of the policy, structure, and costs associated with access to Internet infrastructure. OpenMedia.ca is now reporting that big telecom companies appear to have convinced the CRTC to include punitive and greatly inflated cost in the new Internet pricing model.

In response to these costs, indie ISP Teksavvy just announced that they will have to raise most of their rates between $3 and $4. Teksavvy also wrote, however, that they would be still be able to offer unlimited packages, and more flexible usage-based packages due to the recent CRTC decision on Internet metering.

OpenMedia.ca’s supporters, known collectively as the pro-Internet community, have expressed concerns about the “back door rate hikes” that relate to the issues that Teksavvy is facing. OpenMedia.ca’s is encouraging Canadians to voice their concerns to CRTC and government at www.openmedia.ca/hike.

OpenMedia.ca believes the CRTC should conduct a transparent review of Big Telecom rates before these fees come to our homes.

“We want to give Canadians an avenue to take action,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “Independent ISPs are now telling us that Big Telecom’s complex policy submissions to the CRTC have led to outrageously high rates on Internet infrastructure. Our telecom market is broken and it’s past time we got to work fixing it.”

Last month, the pro-Internet community celebrated the CRTC’s decision in question, stating that the policy and structure it created were “a step forward” for Internet affordability in Canada. The decision, however, completely changed how costing is done, which made it difficult to compare whether it would cost an indie ISP more or less to provide the same service.

“Big phone and cable companies lost the debate on Internet metering,” adds Anderson, “and now it looks like they’re trying to sneak pricing hikes in through the backdoor!”

Even with the model that OpenMedia.ca pushed for, higher prices for infrastructure access will force many small, independent ISPs to either pass new costs onto their customers or go out of business.

Canadians can participate in the new OpenMedia.ca campaign here: http://openmedia.ca/hike

About OpenMedia.ca

OpenMedia.ca is a non-profit organization that safeguards the open and affordable Internet. The group works towards informed & participatory digital policy.

OpenMedia.ca empowers people to participate in Internet governance through fresh & engaging citizens’ campaigns. They are known for coordinating Stop The Meter, the largest online campaign in Canadian history, involving over half-a-million people.

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Contact

Steve Anderson
Executive Director, OpenMedia.ca
604-837-5730
steve@openmedia.ca

Background: Links

OpenMedia.ca: Regulators pull back from usage-based billing after half-a-million Canadians speak out
http://openmedia.ca/news/regulators-pull-back-usage-based-billing-after-...

Globe and Mail: CRTC will rescind ‘unlimited use’ Internet decision – or Ottawa will overturn it http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/crtc-will-rescind-unlimited...

OpenMedia.ca: Wireless service complaints on the rise in Canada... but so are Big Telecom profits
http://openmedia.ca/blog/wireless-service-complaints-rise-canada-so-are-...

OpenMedia.ca: A step forward: CRTC to look into competition in Internet metering proceedings
http://openmedia.ca/blog/step-forward-crtc-look-competition-internet-met...

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