[bestbits] Fwd: Blame Canada: Big win as Net Neutrality is preserved on mobile networks above the 49th parallel

Steve Anderson steve at openmedia.ca
Fri Jan 30 14:16:11 EST 2015

Just wanted to share some good news.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Josh Tabish" <josh at openmedia.ca>
Date: 30 Jan 2015 11:09
Subject: Blame Canada: Big win as Net Neutrality is preserved on mobile

> Hi all – Big news coming out of Canada yesterday. Our federal regulator,
the CRTC, made a landmark decision to ensure that content is treated
equally across mobile Internet networks. The ruling sets a precedent for
mobile providers across Canada.
> Over a year ago, a handful of mobile providers in Canada were caught
exempting their own services from monthly data caps, and were marking up
competing services by 800%. OpenMedia intervened and tried to stop this
alongside a coalition of other public interest groups in Canada, and,
yesterday, our regulator directed the telecom giants to cease this unlawful
> Back around 2009, Canadians and OpenMedia fought for and won open
Internet rules to prevent Big Telecom restricting our access to online
services. Today’s announcement shows our regulator upholding the spirit of
the net neutrality rules Canadians worked so hard for.
> Just wanted to share with everyone in the fight, as this be useful
context as we march towards a final decision in the U.S., and the question
of mobile parity remains a rather fraught one. If other jurisdictions are
taking positive steps forward, why can't others? Could be useful leverage
in press outreach.
> Keep up the good work everyone. We're doing awesome together :)
> You can see our full release here (and copy/pasted below):
> Globe & Mail overview here:
> For Immediate Release
> In big win for Internet users, CRTC finds Bell Mobility unlawfully made
competing mobile video apps and services more expensive
> Following case taken by concerned Canadians and public interest groups,
CRTC says mobile providers cannot markup independent services like Netflix
to give their own content an unfair advantage
> January 29, 2015 – A landmark decision from the CRTC today has determined
that Bell Mobility unlawfully made competing mobile apps and services more
expensive for Canadians by unfairly exempting their own services from
monthly data caps. The CRTC directed Bell to stop their unlawful practice
in the next 90 days. The ruling sets a precedent for mobile providers
across Canada.
> This morning’s decision comes just over a year after then Manitoba
resident Ben Klass filed a complaint with the CRTC accusing Bell Mobility
of discriminating against independent services like Netflix. Mr. Klass’
complaint revealed that Bell was marking up access to competing video
services by up to 800%. Thousands spoke out to support Mr Klass through the
Save Our Net campaign organized by OpenMedia.ca.
> Ben Klass, telecom researcher and filer of the original complaint, had
this to say: “Ensuring that all content is treated equally is crucial to
ensuring that the Internet remains a level playing field for innovators,
entrepreneurs, and everyday Internet users. In a world where Bell could
charge 800% more for competing services it seemed unlikely that innovation
could thrive. It’s heartening to see the CRTC side with Canadians and
strike down this unfair practice.”
> Responding to the news, Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish of OpenMedia.ca
said: “This is a big win for wireless users across Canada. We’re very happy
to see the CRTC taking steps to stop Big Telecom unfairly charging people
more to access alternative content and services. Let’s be clear on one
thing: the telecom companies were fighting for new tools to squeeze even
more money out of mobile users in Canada – but today, they lost that power.”
> Tabish continued: “In 2009, Canadians fought for and won open Internet
rules to prevent Big Telecom restricting our access to online services.
Today’s announcement shows the CRTC is upholding the net neutrality rules
Canadians worked so hard for. However, with telecom giants controlling over
90 per cent of the market, Canadians will continue to be mistreated and pay
some of the highest prices in the industrialized world. The CRTC now needs
to remain vigilant in ensuring that all content flowing across our networks
is treated equally.”
> In January 2014, OpenMedia and legal experts at The Samuelson-Glushko
Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) supported Mr.
Klass’ complaint by filing an official intervention into the proceeding.
> Canadians can tell the CRTC that Canada’s mobile phone and Internet
providers giants should have to treat all apps and services equally, and
not be allowed to unfairly push people to use content and services they own
at https://UnblockCanada.ca
> About OpenMedia.ca
> OpenMedia.ca is an award-winning community-based organization that
safeguards the possibilities of the open Internet. We work toward informed
and participatory digital policy by engaging hundreds of thousands of
people in protecting our online rights.
> Through campaigns such as StopTheMeter.ca and StopSpying.ca, OpenMedia.ca
has engaged over half-a-million Canadians, and has influenced public policy
and federal law.
> -30-
> Contact
> Josh Tabish
> Campaigns Manager, OpenMedia.ca
> 1-778-990-1218
> josh at openmedia.ca
> --
> --
> Josh Tabish
> Campaigns Manager, OpenMedia
> 778-990-1218
> http://openmedia.ca
> josh at openmedia.ca
> Follow me on Twitter
> Friend me on Facebook
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