Oct 26 2012
Posted by CHLY News as BC, Campbell River, Chemainus, Courtenay / Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Gabriola Island, Government, Internet, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Nanaimo, Nanoose, News & Updates, Parksville, Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, Victoria |
For Immediate Release
CRTC pushes Big Telecom to be more transparent, to set the stage for more choice for Canadians
Pro-Internet community lauds CRTC decision to open up Big Telecom’s costing process
October 26, 2012 – The CRTC announced today that Big Telecom will have to make more of its costing process public. Much of the “confidential” information submitted by Big Telecom to establish wholesale rates will now be put on the public record.
Today’s decision addresses some of the concerns expressed by independent ISPs during the fight against usage-based billing (see the StopTheMeter.ca campaign). These small providers argued that wholesale prices have been artificially hiked, and that that has led to increasingly limited competition, and price increases for their customers. Acknowledging this, Canadians have been calling on the CRTC “for a stop to backdoor Internet price hikes and a transparent review of Big Telecom’s rates.”
Though this decision will go a ways in preventing Big Telecom from limiting choice in the Internet service market, however, Canada still has a long way to go before citizens have a truly competitive telecommunications industry.
“This represents a key part of a huge shift,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “The CRTC has been the site of some major changes—from being very industry-centric and closed-off to increasingly public-interest oriented—as the pro-Internet community has gotten more and more active. We’re pleased to see this, and to see the Commission working toward transparency. We hope this continues.”
In announcing the consultation preceding this decision earlier this year, the CRTC was also sure to mention the role that Big Telecom transparency would play in serving the public interest:
The Commission considers that it is in the public interest to obtain as full and complete a record as possible on which to base its decisions with respect to rates for wholesale services. It further considers that it is in the public interest that this information should be obtained on as timely a basis as possible.
The CRTC has made two other public interest -oriented decisions this month: one to develop national rules to protect cell phone users, and another that blocked Bell’s takeover of Astral Media.
OpenMedia.ca is a grassroots organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open and affordable Internet. The group works towards informed and participatory digital policy.