in the News

Art Threat: Myth-busting the Internet

By Michael Lithgow for Art Threat

A new report challenges claims made by Canada’s largest telecommunication companies in recent disputes over Internet billing and governance. Casting An Open Net: A Leading-Edge Approach to Canada’s Digital Future, offers an at times scathing critique of telecom positions on Internet congestion, BiTorrent use, billing strategies and throttling and backs its criticisms with topnotch research and analysis. Read more »

Huffington Post: Canada falls behind on strategic cyber security

By Ron Deibert for Huffington Post

Cyberspace has become an all-immersive domain, and the global communications environment in which all of society, economics, and politics are now embedded. Its constituent parts are widely conceived of as critical national infrastructure.

But the domain of cyberspace is entering a potentially chaotic and very dangerous phase of its evolution, which is why it has become a key issue for consideration at today's G8 summit in Deauville, France. Read more »

Power and Politics Puts Internet Questions to Candidates

Great to see the media respond when Canadians loudly proclaim they want the Internet to be an issue in this election.

Pledge to Vote 4 the Internet

To watch the original full-length version go to the CBC:

CBC News: What will OpenMedia do with its legion almost half a million angry Canadian telecom customers?

By Dan Misener for CBC News

Remember all that ruckus earlier this year about usage-based billing? Remember how a bunch of Canadians were really upset about how we pay for internet service in this country? I know, it seems like forever ago, so let me refresh your memory (and mine). Read more »

Vancouver Sun: 10,000 people have signed on to Vote for the Internet

By Gillian Shaw for The Vancouver Sun

The Vancouver advocacy group leading the fight against increasing costs for Internet access in Canada is putting the issue on the election agenda with a "Vote for the Internet" campaign launched today.

And in the first few hours of the campaign launch, more than 10,000 people have signed on. Read more »

Update: Greens first out of the gate

Great news! The Green Party of Canada is the first party to announce support for our Vote For the Internet campaign. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has already registered her support on our site. Read more »

Calling "shenanigans" on UBB:

By Jeromie Williams for

Whether you are surfing the web from your phone, watching kittens on Youtube, or taking in a movie on Net Flix, the possibility is very real that you could be paying higher rates to do so in Canada very soon. Depending on who you ask of course. Read more »

Liberals call for expanded UBB scope in light of public scrutiny (Financial Post)

By Jameson Berkow for the Financial Post:

Simply reviewing the decision to impose an industry-wide usage-based billing (UBB) regime for Canadian Internet service does not go far enough, two federal opposition parties said Monday. Read more »

CBC cites's letter to supporters in their report on closed-door CRTC meeting

From CBC News:

The CRTC is seeking input on regulating digital services at a time when companies like Netflix are blurring the line between telecommunications and broadcasting. Read more »

Ars Technica: Canadians demand that the CRTC protect citizen interests

By Matthew Lasar for Ars Technica

The dust has at least temporarily settled on Canada's controversial decision to let its biggest ISPs charge smaller, competitive ISPs on a metered, or Usage-Based Billing (UBB) schedule, a decision later suspended by The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. Judging from a sample of the surly comments coming into the CRTC's new public proceeding on broadband billing issues, it's going to take a while before Canadians trust their telecommunications regulator again. Read more »

Liberals come out in support of Stop The Meter

A huge stride has been made today for Canadians who want to Stop The Meter. Liberal technology critic Marc Garneau has announced that his party opposes Internet metering, and called on the Conservative government to reverse the CRTC ruling that allows it.

This morning we asked you for help in bringing the Liberals on-side, and you delivered. We asked for 200,000 signatures, and as I write these words I see that we have well exceeded that goal. Read more »

Strombo Talks Internet Metering

The impending metered Internet (Usage-based billing) was the topic of this George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight segment. Stombo does a great job introducing the issue and noting how it will affect Canadians (Montréal) | La facturation à l'utilisation s'impose

Écrit par Marie-Eve Morasse pour

Les petits fournisseurs d'accès à internet s'indignent d'une décision du CRTC, qui exige qu'ils fassent désormais payer aux consommateurs chaque gigaoctet de données téléchargé. Read more »

CBC News Pays a Visit

We recently had the privilege of having CBC News join us in our office - take a look. Read more »

Ars Technica | Netflix: ISPs who charge by the gigabyte are ridiculous

By Nate Anderson for Ars Technica

Some ISPs want to start charging customers by the gigabyte, or they want to set low data caps and charge overage fees. Netflix has a word for this idea: ripoff.

In the company's most recent financial report (PDF), released today, Netflix made clear its view that the move to usage-based billing is about ISP profit, not actual costs. Read more »

Words By Nowak | Metered internet a colossal failure

By Peter Nowak

The final word on usage-based internet billing in Canada came down yesterday and it’s pretty much as everyone expected: so long unlimited internet, it was good knowing you. Read more »

The Tyee | Mediacheck: Canadians Just Became World's Biggest Internet Losers

Only here, big telecoms get to say you use 'too much' internet and whack on more charges, the CRTC affirmed yesterday.

By David Beers for The Tyee

YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, iPad. . . and whatever else is about to take the world by storm, making all of those digital breakthroughs seem old news. Surely it's obvious by now that Canadians are going to be better off if we foster digital media creativity, rather than leaving it to people in other countries. Read more »

Montreal Gazette | Capping Net usage is step backward, CRTC told

By Jason Magder for The Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - A growing group of vocal Canadians is asking the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to review the decision to allow telecommunications companies to charge smaller Internet service providers for data usage.

Many of the smaller ISPs currently offer unlimited plans or high data limits to differentiate themselves from the large providers. Read more »

Ars Technica | Canada wages YouTube war against metered Internet billing

By Matthew Lasar for Ars Technica

Canadians can't stand going without coffee. Even worse? Not having a team in the FIFA World Cup event for 2014. Absolutely unthinkable, say eight of ten Canadians.

But you know what they really hate? Metered Internet pricing, or Usage Based Billing (UBB) as they call it—letting the dominant Internet Service Providers charge broadband subscribers and smaller competitive ISPs by the quantity of data use. Read more »

Vancouver Sun | Consumer backlash over usage-based Internet billing goes viral

By Gillian Shaw for The Vancouver Sun

Internet service providers are facing a backlash from angry consumers who face increasing charges on their Internet bills for data downloads that exceed the ISP’s cap. Read more »

Georgia Straight | CRTC ruling on usage-based billing threatens affordable Internet access, critics say

By Yolande Cole for the Georgia Straight

A decision by the country’s telecom regulator could lead to higher broadband costs for Canadians, according to an open-Internet advocacy group.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission gave a continued green light today (January 25) for large, incumbent Internet service providers to bill independent ISPs for wholesale broadband on a usage-based system. Read more »

Financial Post | CRTC gives small ISPs a break on usage-based billing

By Jameson Berkow for Financial Post

Shortly after imposing a controversial new pricing regime for Internet service, Canada’s national telecom regulator provided a small reprieve for smaller Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on Tuesday. Read more »

CBC News | Internet groups criticize CRTC bandwidth ruling

From CBC News:

The CRTC's decision to allow large internet providers to charge for excessive bandwidth use, while granting the independent internet dervice providers a small discount, fails to safeguard affordable access to the internet, an internet advocacy group said Tuesday.

Internet advocacy groups are disappointed with the CRTC's decision to allow the large providers to set the rate for bandwidth usage. (CBC) Read more »

The Globe And Mail | CRTC issues small ISPs discount on usage-based billing fees

By Iain Marlow for The Globe And Mail

The CRTC, navigating consumer and political backlash to its regulation of Internet pricing, has decided to cut small Internet service providers a little bit of slack, even as it implements a new pricing regime that has been condemned by citizens' groups and independent providers. Read more »

The Globe And Mail | A metered Internet is a regulatory failure

By David Beers for The Globe And Mail

YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, iPad … and whatever else is about to take the world by storm, making all of those digital breakthroughs seem old news. Surely it’s obvious by now that Canadians are going to be better off if we foster digital media creativity, rather than leaving it to people in other countries. Read more »

TechVibes | How usage based billing will affect you

By Kole McRae for TechVibes

A couple of weeks ago the CRTC made a valiant proclamation:

“From hereon in, the company known as Bell may (by royal decree) charge people more money when they use more bandwidth.” Read more »

Vancouver Sun | Consumers get angry over extra Internet charges

By Gillian Shaw for the Vancouver Sun

Internet service providers are facing a backlash from angry consumers who face extra charges on their Internet bills for data downloads that exceed the ISP’s cap. Read more »

Michael Geist | Public and Political Concern Over Usage Based Billing Gathers Steam

By Michael Geist

The increasing use of bandwidth caps and usage based billing models among Canadian ISPs may enjoy support from the CRTC, but the practice has begun to attract increasing critical attention in both the media and at the political level. Read more »

Georgia Straight | NDP slams CRTC's approval of usage-based billing for Internet service

By Stephen Hui for the Georgia Straight

The NDP’s digital-issues critic says a decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to allow usage-based billing threatens access to the Internet.

According to Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus, usage-based billing is unfair to consumers and could be used by large Internet service providers to limit competition from third-party ISPs and online media sources, such as Netflix. Read more »