With Internet providers recently being given the regulatory go-ahead to charge customers based on how much bandwidth they use, things are beginning to look slightly grimmer for net neutrality being properly implemented in Canada. However, a glimmer of hope still exists in the form of Industry Minister Tony Clement, who may soon have the power to undo this damage. As always, your simple and non-intensive participation is vital.
The CRTC’s recent announcement allowing all Canada’s oligopoly of Internet providers to offer usage-based billing for their services has not been taken well, especially since this will also apply to providers who simply rent and resell space from larger companies. The news is particularly detrimental to anyone who dares partake in an online service that competes with the sub par offerings of the streaming and on-demand services of Rogers and Bell, which incidentally do not factor into the monthly bandwidth usage of subscribers. Those who use any unsanctioned service can be expected to pay a hefty toll, even those who subscribe to Shaw which has quietly implemented new bandwidth overage charges.
While it is fair to assume that this decision was made not so much by the regulator but rather by the telecom companies who have the organization conveniently gagged and bound, it is still possible for the federal government to overturn this action 90 days after its implementation. The idea of usage-based billing being completely nerfed in this manner is far from outlandish, at least assuming the current government can overcome the foolish idea that net neutrality is a partisan issue. This misconception alone has made it a constant area of contention in both Canada and the United States for years.
Reaching through to Industry Minister Tony Clement may be the only way to resolve this issue. You can sign OpenMedia.ca‘s “Stop The Meter On Your Internet Use” petition. You can sign either through this page, on Facebook, or through Twitter.