For Immediate Release

OpenMedia.ca Supports Review of New Internet Infrastructure Costs

500,000-strong group behind Stop The Meter campaign supports a reexamination of the costing in the usage-based billing decision

March 2, 2012 – Today a group of independent ISPs, the Canadian Network Operators Consortium (CNOC), filed an appeal with the telecom regulator. Grassroots group OpenMedia.ca is glad to see support for the call for the CRTC to conduct a transparent review of Internet infrastructure costs. OpenMedia.ca and Canadians from across country have been calling for such a review since early January.

OpenMedia.ca’s campaign against usage-based billing—the over 500,000-strong Stop The Meter campaign—resulted in a reexamination of the policy, structure, and costs associated with access to Internet infrastructure. In December, Canadians celebrated the CRTC’s resulting decision, stating that the policy and structure it created were “a step forward” for Internet affordability in Canada. The decision, however, completely changed how costing is done, which made it difficult to compare whether it would cost an indie ISP more or less to provide the same service.

Over the past months, independent ISPs have come forward and demonstrated their issues with the new costing; OpenMedia.ca supports their call for a review of it.

“Big telecom companies appear to have convinced the CRTC to include punitive and greatly inflated costs in the new Internet pricing model,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson.
“Even with the model that we—Canadians, small businesses, and public interest groups—pushed for, higher prices for infrastructure access will force many small, independent ISPs to either pass new costs onto their customers or go out of business.”

Through OpenMedia.ca’s online tool, which can be found at http://openmedia.ca/hike, Canadians are asking for “a transparent review of Big Telecom’s rates.”

Many reports state that Canadians already pay some of the highest prices for Internet access in the industrialized world. Government and the CRTC have come under pressure to improve the nation’s standing.

About OpenMedia.ca

OpenMedia.ca is a grassroots organization that safeguards the open and affordable Internet. The group works towards informed & participatory digital policy.

OpenMedia.ca empowers people to participate in Internet governance through fresh & engaging citizens’ campaigns. They are known for coordinating Stop The Meter, the largest online campaign in Canadian history, involving over half-a-million people.

-30-