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This article was published on February 1, 2011

    Over 160,000 Canadians ask government for affordable Internet

    Over 160,000 Canadians ask government for affordable Internet
    Brodie Beta
    Story by

    Brodie Beta

    Brodie Beta is a technology enthusiast with a passion for gadgets, media and anything related to the Web. She has worked in communications Brodie Beta is a technology enthusiast with a passion for gadgets, media and anything related to the Web. She has worked in communications and media for the past nine years. Follow her on twitter here .

    Last week we told you about the CRTC’s (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) decision that allowed the major ISP’s in Canada (Bell, Rogers and Shaw) to force the independent ISPs to charge customers for usage-based billing.

    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

    For Canadians, this meant the end of unlimited internet in Canada. Giant ISPs had already begun hitting customers with “overuse” charges and the new ruling forced the indie ISPs to follow suit.

    Aside from a small 15% discount (in fees) that was thrown to the smaller ISPs, with this ruling, the smaller ISP really had no way to differentiate itself in the market. For customers and internet junkies it meant the party was over –Canadians were outraged.

    OpenMedia, the non-profit organization that has been cleverly organizing citizens on the internet to rally against the CRTC’s lame-o decision, posted the latest results of its petition today on its blog.

    You responded to the CRTC’s weak-kneed decision by helping the Stop The Meter petition reach unprecedented numbers – 160,000+ signatures! -Open Media.ca

    The Stop The Meter petition, referring to the term “Internet Metering” begs Canadian legislators for an affordable internet and to stop the expensive usage based billing that would possibly make services like Netflix too costly to stream. And it’s the opinion of many Canadians that by giving the major players (Bell, Rogers) the power to dictate what everyone in the country charges, the overage fees will continue to climb as the bandwidth caps will get smaller.

    As OpenMedia.ca mentioned today, citizens need to tell the government they they want demand that the CRTC’s decision is overturned. Canadians currently have one government party on their side, the NDP (New Democratic Party). And if the signatures continue to rapidly grow (tell your friends!) Canadians may be able to sway the Liberals.

    George Stroumboulopoulos aka @strombo, posted a video explaining the CRTC’s decision which collected over 81,000 views on YouTube.

    Don’t want a pay-per-use Internet? Sign the petition.