Taking it in stride: Weekly Update from OpenMedia.ca
Here's Lindsey with your update:
This week, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on how far we've come. Earlier this year, things looked pretty bleak for the pro-Internet community. From online spying, to the Internet lockdown, to an increasing lack of competition in the cell phone market, we knew we were up for a fight. But over the last few months, together, in historic proportions, we reached hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and changed key government decisions. See our letter to supporters this week for more. We can see these changes with two examples at the CRTC this week—the commission has announced a proceeding to examine transparency in Big Telecom reporting, and it has announced the creation of the Broadcast Participation Fund, which will allow for Canadians to have a larger say in broadcast decision making. We're making huge strides! And it's because of people like you.
For the Internet,
- The OpenMedia.ca Team
Earlier this year, things looked pretty bleak for supporters of online privacy, affordability, and openness. From costly and warrantless online spying, to scary new Internet lockdown restrictions, to a hike in cell phone fees, it looked like those in government and Big Telecom had finally had enough of the Internet.
But together, in historic proportions, we reached hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and changed key government decisions. All thanks to you who signed petitions, reached out onFacebook and Twitter, donated to support our work and tools, and joined our group of crucial Allies. Most importantly we’ve built an inspiring grassroots community—a community that has come together to successfully safeguard the possibilities of the Internet. Read more »
Canadians pay the highest roaming fees in the industrialized world (study: http://bit.ly/lY5vcB), on top of some of the highest prices for cell phone and Internet service in general.
As part of the pro-Internet community, you've stood up for access and affordability through petitions like the one at Stop The Squeeze, which has forced policymakers to think about how their decisions affect our digital future, and to act accordingly. But we want results, and we're staying vigilant until we get them.
As politics move, it's more important than ever that we continue to push back against Big Telecom price-gouging and show that an open and affordable communications system is important to Canadians. Keep spreading the word. Every single one of you has helped get us this far—let's keep it up.
Article by Jason Magder for the Ottawa Citizen
For most Canadians, this text message serves not as a greeting, but rather a warning they have roamed into dangerous--and expensive--territory if they continue to use their phones as normal. Read more »
High media concentration means that Canadians will be evermore impacted by the decisions that Big Telecom makes. When Bell bought CTV, the CRTC made them promise to put money aside for a Broadcast Participation Fund, to help pay for public interest research, representation, and advocacy in Broadcast hearings. Yesterday, the CRTC approved a plan to launch that fund.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the Fund but generally it looks like the CRTC is taking a step to push back against the Big Telecom takeover, and give a voice to Canadians. As the pro-Internet community grows, the CRTC is under more and more pressure to make these kinds of moves—keep spreading the word.
Article by Steve Ladurantaye for the Globe and Mail:
Public interest and consumer groups will soon find it more affordable to take part in the regulatory hearings that shape Canada’s broadcast world, with BCE Inc contributing $3-million to establish the Canadian Broadcasting Participation Fund. Read more »
The CRTC has been the site of some major changes as the pro-Internet community has gotten more and more active. From being a very industry-centric and closed-off regulator, they are slowly shifting toward a model that keeps the public interest in mind (though it's still not first and foremost yet) and seems to be working toward transparency. The article we're posting now has the latest.
This is huge—the best guarantee of an open Internet is a policy-making process that is open, citizen-centered, and public-interest oriented. Let's stay active as a community until we get there. It's worth it.
Article by Rita Trichur for the Globe and Mail:
Canada’s telecom regulator is considering whether to force big companies such as BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. to open their books and face more scrutiny about the costs they charge independent Internet service providers to lease space on their networks. Read more »