Today a decision was made by the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) will end up costing Canadians more money for internet usage.
Apparently, the CRTC thought Canadians weren’t paying enough in Internet overage fees from independent ISP’s so it renewed the rules to allow major ISP’s such as Bell, Rogers and Shaw to determine the “excessive bandwidth” rates charged by the smaller ISPs using its bandwidth.
The Commission notes that carriers’ retail UBB rates are market-based and are not subject to prior Commission approval – that is, they are forborne from regulation. -CRTC
The smaller ISPs often attract Canadian consumers with discount rates however its pricing will now be directly set by the big players aside from a 15 percent discount that the CRTC threw the indie ISP’s in today’s ruling. Bell, Rogers and Shaw have all been mandated to allow these smaller competitors to use its bandwidth in Canada, something we’d assume the giants would have never allowed without the CRTC stepping in.
OpenMedia.ca, the non-profit organization that aims to advance innovative communications is Canada, was able to obtain 41,000 signatures on its petition to stop internet metering but it wasn’t enough to sway the CRTC. The group has posted its thoughts on its site stating that it’s disappointed by the decision made by Canada’s media regulator, CRTC and it will continue to encourage citizens for the next phase of its campaign.
The CRTC has once again left the wolves in charge of the henhouse. Canadians have come out in unprecedented numbers and demanded an affordable internet, and while there is evidence that this has moved the CRTC, they have not gone nearly far enough,” Steve Anderson of OpenMedia.ca.
This decision is bad news for Canadians and has forced independent ISP competitors to charge a lot more from users who actively use bandwidth to do things like stream Netflix . How could a smaller ISP compete with its hands tied on pricing? And what happens when Bell and Rogers decide to raise the rates to unaffordable prices? Based on the set-up today, everyone would follow suit regardless as to whether they chose to or not.
Streaming Netflix in Canada may be something Canadians just can’t afford to do and that would be truly ideal for both Bell and Rogers. After all, Netflix directly affects the sales of Bell and Rogers satellite packages and pay-per-view movies.