NEW DEMOCRATS CALL FOR FULL HEARINGS ON INTERNET CAPS

Consumers must have a chance to bring their perspective forward

[WINDSOR, ON]– The public backlash against the usage based billing has been unprecedented. Unfortunately, despite promising to revisit the issue, the CRTC’s current review – taking into account only four percent of Canada’s internet market - is clearly inadequate.

“Given that a small group of giant telecom companies control 96 percent of the consumer market, the CRTC must play a strong role in ensuring that consumers aren’t gouged and that anti-competitive practices are not allowed,” said New Democrat Digital Affairs Critic Charlie Angus. “I am asking for a comprehensive review of the entire regulatory framework for wholesale high-speed access services.”
In a letter sent to the CRTC Friday Angus called for full hearings and public consultation on speed, pricing and accessibility. Angus noted that the Commission has a fundamental obligation to protect the innovative potential of the internet.

New Democrat Industry Critic Brian Masse commented on the review process to this point: “With the testimony and information presented at Industry Committee thus far it is clear that we need much greater input from consumers and the general public, otherwise the review process runs the risk of becoming a whitewash for big business. The incumbent telecom firms claim there is an issue with internet traffic but have yet to provide a credible and coherent argument to that effect. Big business is trumping up this crisis in order to introduce gouging billing practices against internet consumers in Canada.”

Over 470,000 people have signed the online petition at www.openmedia.ca