Today, the CRTC turned down an opportunity to address the framework that led to the installation of fees for Internet use. The national media regulator denied the requests of independent service providers, public interest groups, and over 90,000 citizens who asked that the upcoming hearing on usage-based billing (UBB) address key structural issues.
Vancouver's OpenMedia is "dismayed" that the CRTC has "fully ignored the need for Big Telecom to provide evidence of network congestion and to demonstrate the relationship between usage-based pricing and the reduction of that supposed congestion."
However, OpenMedia is still "pleased" that the CRTC "has chosen to conduct a public hearing and an online consultation to discuss usage-based billing as an Internet traffic management practice."
“The CRTC has positioned themselves to offer no more than a Band-Aid solution to an endemic problem,” said OpenMedia executive director Steve Anderson. “Without a meaningful, evidence-based examination of the Internet service market, the CRTC has set the stage for Big Telecom to continue to hogtie their competition, and to impose usage-based billing on Canadians. It's moments like these that the CRTC should act boldly, but all we saw today was a regulator bending at the knees. We will continue to force citizens’ interests into this important process, as we now look to the government to fix some of the broader telecom problems and reform the CRTC in their upcoming digital economy strategy”.
On Tuesday, Steve met with Industry Minister Tony Clement to discuss these very issues.
Check out OpenMedia's "Stop the Meter" campaign here.