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Old February 3, 2011, 05:36 AM
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Exclamation Ottawa to reverse CRTC Internet billing decision

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OTTAWA—A controversial CRTC decision that effectively imposed usage-based Internet billing on small service providers will be reversed, the Toronto Star has learned.

“The CRTC should be under no illusion — the Prime Minister and minister of Industry will reverse this decision unless the CRTC does it itself,” a senior Conservative government official said Wednesday.

“If they don’t reconsider we will reverse their decision.”

The promise to reverse the ruling comes as CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein is scheduled to explain the decision Thursday before the House of Commons industry committee.

While the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is an independent agency, its decision can be overturned by cabinet. The Star was told that could happen as early as next week.

The CRTC decision has sparked outrage across the country with Canadians rushing to sign petitions asking the Conservative government to reverse it. Industry Minister Tony Clement has received tens of thousands of emails requesting that it be struck down.

“Frankly, a decision like this is clearly not in the best interest of consumers,” the senior official said.

“This is a bread-and-butter issue.”

The CRTC’s ruling affects the wholesale business of the major Internet service providers, who sell capacity to smaller resellers. To encourage competition, major telecom operators that have spent heavily on infrastructure are required to lease bandwidth on their networks to small providers.

Major providers charge customers extra if they download more than the monthly limits they set, typically between 20 and 60 gigabytes. Small providers, however, offer plans with 200 gigabyte ceilings and even unlimited use.

The issue came to a head last week, when the CRTC denied independent service providers the right to continue offering unlimited Internet plans.

Although critics say the CRTC ruling will lead to lower download limits and higher rates, major Internet service providers say usage-based billing based is fair because it means heavy users pay more than those who just surf the web and use email.

As it invests billions in new broadband capacity, Bell says old pricing structures need to be brought in line with the huge amount of growth in Internet usage. Businesses and consumers are increasingly relying on the Internet to download videos, documents and even software. Rogers says its customers are using about 40 per cent more data each year.

Consumers’ Association of Canada president Bruce Cran said the CRTC decision is nothing but corporate gouging by Canada’s monopolistic communications companies.

John Reid, president of CATA Alliance, a group that advocates for innovation in Canada, said, “This has to be a decision that Canada makes — that it wants to be the best in the world in the provision of high-speed Internet.”

He added, however, that usage-based billing is not the answer.

“You don’t want to stifle the sort of richness that comes from using high-speed Internet,” says Reid.
Ottawa to reverse CRTC Internet billing decision - thestar.com
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Old February 3, 2011, 06:26 AM
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Soooo.... 1080p porn is not dead in Canada then?
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Old February 3, 2011, 09:31 AM
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wow, sudden outbreak of common sense! election time must be coming up soon
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Old February 3, 2011, 09:57 AM
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I knew my good old gouv wouldn't let us down :) Just sad that 1% of the people in canada ever knew this descision XD
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Old February 3, 2011, 10:34 AM
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ha funny, turn something into a political issue that will affect votes and it get addressed fast.
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Old February 3, 2011, 10:45 AM
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ha funny, turn something into a political issue that will affect votes and it get addressed fast.
The same thought I came up with after reading the same news from Globe and Mail last night.
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Old February 3, 2011, 10:46 AM
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I still won't vote for Harper....
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Old February 3, 2011, 10:48 AM
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How fast can a gov't backpeddle... I smell a cabinet shuffle in the future.
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Old February 3, 2011, 10:49 AM
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... next tactic tripple our rates ...
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Old February 3, 2011, 11:12 AM
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I still won't vote for Harper....
me too...


most of time, government system/politician and private companies are corrupted (they abused our tax money) ;[
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