Overturn the CRTC Ruling
Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on October 29, 2010
This ruling means that Canadian Internet rates will rise dramatically.
Funny thing is, since I’ve been with TekSavvy for a long time, the grandfather clause it may very well make UBB a non-issue for my family. At least at first.
Even so, Usage Based Billing will impact on all of Canada.
It doesn’t matter if you can afford it or not. It will affect Canada’s use of the Internet.
Usage Based Billing will change how Canadians use the Internet.
Canada is composed of a wildly dispersed and diverse group of citizens. Our country has maintained a mosaic culture in spite of the fact that our American Cousins opted for a melting pot approach.
Instead of one large shared American Dream, Canadians have as many dreams as we need. That may well be a big part of why Canadians have so enthusiastically embraced the Internet. The ease of Internet access has allowed Canadians to share, celebrate and embrace our differences. The past decade has brought us the beginnings of a golden age of Canadian culture undreamt of in the era when I grew up. Back in those dark days Canadians were searching in vain for the “Canadian Identity”. The fact that it no longer even comes up is a sign of cultural health. The Internet allows Canadian artists to distribute their work both at home and abroad with an ease never before possible. This is a priceless benefit to all Canadians, rich, poor, strong, weak, new immigrants, old immigrants, and first nations… we’re all in this together.
Right now, at this moment, Canada is uniquely placed to continue as we have been, leading the world in making use of the Internet to the great benefit of Canadian Culture and Economy.
This isn’t to say there aren’t problems. There are.
The backbone Internet carriers have chosen not to reinvest much if any in the infrastructure, so what was once cutting edge technology fifteen years ago is now 15 year old technology. Canadians are faced with mediocre Internet service. Our premium priced fastest speeds are laughable in most of the rest of the world. The prices Canadians pay for connectivity are cutting edge, but what we get in return is mediocre service.
And that’s BEFORE implementation of Usage Based Billing.
Usage Based Billing will make the price Canadians pay for Internet access unquestionably the highest in the world.
This is unacceptable.
The CRTC reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
The CRTC’s mandate is to ensure that both the broadcasting and telecommunications systems serve the Canadian public. The CRTC uses the objectives in the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act to guide its policy decisions.
More than a year ago I wrote letters to the Prime Minister and The Honourables Moore and Clement. The eventual response I received from the PMO was:
“We have taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your correspondence to the office of the Hon. Tony Clement, Minister of Industry. His office is in the best position to respond to the issues you have raised. ”
The CRTC is supposed to regulate according to laws under the purview of Industry Canada, placing it back in Industry Minister Tony Clement’s hands. And we have seen Tony Clement show that bad CRTC decisions can be overturned by the Government, as he demonstrated when he had Cabinet overule the CRTC so WindMobile could set up shop in Canada.
The response I got from Tony Clement in respect of Usage Based Billing was quite promising:
Under the Telecommunications Act, Cabinet can decide to take action in response to a petition by varying (changing) the decision, referring it back to the CRTC for reconsideration or rescinding the decision. Cabinet can also decide not to intervene and let the CRTC decision remain in place. The government’s powers to intervene expire one year from the date of the decision in question. Given that the matter is still under consideration by Cabinet, it would not be appropriate for me to comment at this time.
—Tony Clement, email excerpt We Interrupt this Prorogue…. January 2010
They can do it again.
Tell Tony Clement that UBB will be bad for Canada. Postal mail, phone, write, email, tweet… Mr. Clement can be reached in a variety of ways. Tell him what you think about UBB. Tell him this bad ruling needs to be overturned.
It seems many Canadians have been asking Tony Clement about this on Twitter today.
It sounds as though the Honourable Tony Clement was saying that the Indie ISPs have another 90 day appeal period, after which time Bell would have to give 90 day notice to customers. I’ll try to confirm that.
For more information on how and who to write to, this article has a guidelines, tips and addresses for wrote a whole lot of letter writing: Write Letters to Stop UBB The time to write is now.