The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

January 27, 2011

Those Nerds in Ottawa, Bell and the CRTC


Surprise, suprise.. not really

Consumer backlash grows over usage billing Vancouver Sun – The CRTC’s decision this week to give small Internet service providers a slight break on pricing has failed to quell a growing consumer backlash over usage-based billing.
Usage-based Internet ruling draws fire Globe and Mail

Internet usage fees draw anger Montreal Gazette

Reuters – The Wire Report – National Post (registration) – Ars Technica

The CRTC’s decision to allow large internet providers to charge for excessive bandwidth use, while granting independent internet service providers a small discount, fails to safeguard affordable access to the internet, an internet advocacy group said Tuesday.

The first thing we Canadians need to do is get rid of the CRTC . They serve no purpose at all for us Canadians , its tell to get rid of them . As a Unix systems developer for many years I can attest to how much expensive bandwidth has hurt individual Canadian developers. These companies are making billions of dollars in profits every quarter, and nickel and diming, and overcharging their customers to boot! When will we get these fat cats out of the CRTC and get someone in there that cares about ordinary Canadians instead of big business. This is a terrible decision and will cement Canada’s position among the most expensive and inferior serviced internet in the world. For us ordinary Canadians, let the milking begin. This country used to be one of the best-connected in the world; thanks to a CRTC which is owned by Bell and Rogers, we are now near the bottom of the list, with some of the slowest, most expensive Internet access on Earth — and still falling. Rather than invest in infrastructure, Bell and Rogers have simply pocketed their profits and let the infrastructure wither.This is so disappointing. Once again, the CRTC is ensuring that Canada comes dead LAST in the development of the information age.
I am disappointed at CRTC, they have failed in this country miserably, they don’t like to have open market and allow better service and pricing , rather they help monopoly to strive , I am going to call every government to abolish CRTC and remove it from power , it is useless company that helps only rich.
Now is the time to let our voices heard by those that we elect, they are supposed to serve the people and not theit interests. Please take action email your mps right away, sign the petition on face book and

I have just emailed my letter to all the mps in the list:

letter is in this format:

I’m writing to you because I am rather concerned about many of the recent rulings made by the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission. From my understanding, the CRTC was set up to regulate the market and provide at least some protection to consumers. Now, however, it appears as though they exist solely to shill for the consortium of large ISP’s such as Rogers, Bell and Cogeco, especially in the province of Ontario. Rulings such as allowing smaller ISPs to be subject to overuse fees and the more recent one regarding metered internet further demonstrate that the CRTC has no interest in consumer protection, especially when referring to internet usage.

Myself and many others believe that it is time something be done about this problem. You might have noticed a recent article by the Globe and Mail among other newspapers focusing on such issues, and Michael Geist frequently comments on such topics in his column in the Toronto Star and other newspapers as well. What I have yet to see, however, is any uproar about this in the House of Commons. Where is the intervention from our elected representatives? I assure you that many have rather strong opinions on this issue, and acting (or failing to act) on such an issue will not be forgotten come election time.


The CRTC should exist to PROTECT Canadians from big, greedy, money-hungry telecom companies, not pander to them.

 This immoral price gouging internet download billing demand by Bell, Rogers, Telus exceeds all decency and it is time that the Government kills it and the governments should not subsidize at all these greedy telecommunications corporations ..       

“Only one in 20 Canadian Internet users would be affected by the CRTC’s decision to impose usage-based billing on independent Internet service providers, yet Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted his reservations as soon as controversy erupted.“We’re very concerned about CRTC’s decision on usage-based billing and its impact on consumers. I’ve asked for a review of the decision,” Harper tweeted Tuesday.It’s easy to see why Harper jumped into this flap with both thumbs blazing. He saw a chance to tap into widespread public anger at the country’s major telecommunications companies, which charge top-of-the-world prices in return for bottom-of-the-barrel service.

Telecommunications guru Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa told a Senate committee two years ago that Canada’s “relatively expensive” broadband-Internet plans provided “slow” Internet service, with Canada ranking near the bottom of developed countries for Internet speed. When price and speed were evaluated together, Canada ranked 28th out of 30 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in price per megabyte. “As consumers, we pay more for less,”

Canadians are right to worry that as they continue to use more bandwidth for such purposes as downloading Netflix movies, they’ll pay higher and higher prices. The Harper government has promised to quash the CRTC ruling  Usage-based pricing isn’t itself the problem. The problem is how much money major telecommunications companies are sucking from their customers. Telus, for instance, usually pulls in around $1 billion in profit per year, and in 2009 four of its executives made more than $2 million each, including $6.9 million for CEO Darren Entwhistle, according to the Vancouver Sun’s report on executive pay. Shaw Communications made about a half-billion dollars in profit in each of the past two years, and its top three executives pulled in a total of more than $32 million in compensation in 2009, the Calgary Herald reported. Outrageous corporate profiteering and executive pay are ALSO significant issues for average Canadians than usage-based Internet billing.  ”  

How B.C. activists fought off the Internet billing plan Vancouver Sun –  Steve Anderson reflects on his battle with the CRTC over Internet billing. The CRTC has announced it will review plans. A little over a week ago, most Canadians had never heard of usage-based BILLING As the campaign spread from Vancouver to Halifax, it garnered thousands of hits on YouTube, millions of posts on everything from Twitter, to Facebook, to blogs, and it’s attracting the attention of international Internet commentators. And while its proponents were cheering Friday, the CRTC only announced it will delay implementing its decision while it conducts its own review.

Gov’t won’t accept CRTC’s Internet billing stance Edmonton Journal

CRTC vows to reassess ruling on user-based billing National Post –  CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein agreed Thursday to give a controversial ruling on user-based Internet billing a fresh look, but told a committee of MPs he stands by the underlying principle that ordinary Canadians shouldn’t subsidize heavy downloaders…  The Conservative government, however, said it would ignore any improvements the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission has to offer unless the regulator abandons attempts to put caps on Internet use.

Bits, bytes, bills and Bell (and Rogers and Shaw and Telus …) Globe and Mail


Assurances demanded in BCE takeover of CTV Toronto Sun – QMI Agency Stakeholders in Canada’s television industry voiced their concerns of BCE Inc.’s proposed takeover of CTV to the country’s telecommunications regulator for a third day Thursday.

Industry quarrel continues over BCE’s use of benefits for satellite TV upgrade The Wire Report

 The CRTC must reverse its decision that ends unlimited internet access plans offered by smaller internet providers or the federal government will intervene, Industry Minister Tony Clement says. Clement told reporters Thursday that he and Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent a clear signal Wednesday night “that we do expect the CRTC to reverse its decision and to basically go back to the drawing board on this issue, and if they do not do this, we wanted to make it clear cabinet would take its responsiblites to do the same.” Clement said he heard from Canadians on the issue. It’s a huge issue for a country that wants to move forward on the internet for jobs, for creativity, for innovation,” he said. “[We] felt the CRTC ruling would have a huge impact on consumers and would hurt small businesses, would hurt innovators and creators.”

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