Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream Our crowdsourced policy became government policy. The CRTC heard your call, Canada.

We Won!

As you may have heard, a major ruling on Thursday from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ensures a significant step forward for Canadians’ ability to access affordable Internet options independent of Canada’s large telecom providers.

In short, the ruling creates fair rules forcing Big Telecom to make their digital infrastructure available to small independent ISPs (i.e., outside of Big Telecom) at a reasonable rate, so they are empowered to sell ultra-fast fibre Internet services to Canadians. This means faster, cheaper fibre connections could be coming to your household soon!

read more Only 24 hours left to demand faster, cheaper Internet for all Canadians

Only 24 Hours Remain

We have less than 24 hours to tell decision-makers at the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to stop Big Telecom’s plan to keep us locked into some of the slowest, most expensive Internet services in the industrialized world. There’s never been a better time to demand that the government hit the “reset button” on Canada’s lacklustre digital strategy.

read more Tell the CRTC in Your Own Words Why We Need Faster, Cheaper Internet

Bad news: Big Telecom giants are throwing every lawyer and lobbyist they have at a rapidly-approaching government hearing so they can block you from faster, cheaper Internet services.

If they get their way, Canadians will be continue to be stuck with embarrassingly slow Internet speeds speeds and fall even further behind the rest of the world. And we’re already living with what the CEO of Netflix called “third world” Internet access.

read more Not so fast Bell, Canadians are not thieves

New Bell Media chief Mary Ann Tucke started with the wrong foot with Netflix ‘stealing’ comment.

Article by Michael Geist

Bell Media president Mary Ann Turcke sparked an uproar last week when she told a telecom conference that Canadians who use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access the U.S. version of Netflix are stealing. Turcke is not the first Canadian broadcast executive to raise the issue – her predecessor Kevin Crull and Rogers executive David Purdy expressed similar frustration with VPN use earlier this year – but her characterization of paying customers as thieves was bound to garner attention.

read more Bell shouldn’t punish Canadians with 3-year contracts for watching U.S. Netflix

Funny but true. Why do Big Telecoms insist on finding ways to punish Canadians?

Article by David Horrowitz

OTTAWA — At the Canadian Telecom Summit on Friday, the CRTC announced new laws that will punish Canadians illegally accessing American Netflix with a restrictive 3-year Bell TV+Internet+Home Phone bundle package.

read more June 3 is Cell Phone Freedom Day!

Good news Canada! June 3, 2015 is Cell Phone Freedom Day. Starting next Wednesday, three year contracts which have run for 24 months or more can be cancelled without any penalties. For example, if you entered into a 3-year cell phone contract on June 3, 2013, you now have the option of ending that contract on June 3, 2015, without penalty.

read more Cellphone Freedom Day! On June 3 you’ll be able to end your 3-year-contract for free

Starting June 3, three year contracts which have run or 24 months or more can be cancelled without any penalties. Together, we helped make this code of conduct happen by developing our crowdsourced action plan for the future of our wireless market.

read more Digital Endowment

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Highlight Link: Ben Klass on wireless carriers’ high prices

As cell phone customers reel from yet another Big Telecom price hike, it seems like our wireless market is moving backwards not forwards. Telecom expert and OpenMedia community member Ben Klass asks what will it take for Canadians to get the greater choice and lower prices we deserve.

Article from Ben Klass’ blog

read more New report: Canada falling further behind global counterparts on Internet access

This week, experts at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) – the body that oversees Canada’s .ca domain – released their 2014 Factbook, which chronicles Canada’s advancement on Internet issues over the past year. The Factbook investigates how well-positioned Canadians are in the areas of access, cost, and usage.

read more Should Rogers be allowed to block us from watching Hockey Night online?

Big Telecom is running scared of cord-cutters – and is doing what it takes to block them from watching their favourite shows online. It looks like Rogers is even planning to block Canadians from watching Hockey Night online. They want to trap Canadians in expensive and outdated service plans – and they’re using their power and control to do so. It’s not too late to push back by telling decision-makers at the CRTC to put Canadians first when it comes to our digital future.

Have you cut the cord from your television service recently – or are you considering it? (Read more…) Financial Post: Industry Minister Moore blocks Bell and Rogers from obtaining Nextwave’s wireless spectrum

Ottawa has blocked telecom giants Bell and Rogers from gobbling up even more scarce and valuable wireless spectrum. Let’s keep up the pressure on Industry Minister Moore to rein in Big Telecom at

Article by Christine Dobby for Financial Post

TORONTO – Ottawa has blocked a bid by two of Canada’s largest wireless carriers to scoop up more cellular airwaves, taking the opportunity again to drive home its policy on the industry.

read more As Big Telecom ramps up lobbying, will government cave?

It looks like Big Three telecom giants are fighting hard to maintain their stranglehold over our wireless market, and over Canadians’ wallets. The Big Three have been on the back foot since pressure from tens of thousands of Canadians won positive new customer protection rules last year, along with a clear government commitment to increase choice and lower prices.

Now Big Telecom is pushing back. They’re sitting on huge piles of cash after years of price-gouging Canadians with some of the highest prices in the industrialized world. It seems they’ve been using that money to hire expensive Ottawa lobbyists to (Read more…) National Post: Christine Dobby looks back at Canada’s telecom war of 2013

The National Post’s Christine Dobby looks back at Big Telecom’s efforts last year to limit your telecom choice. We know Big Telecom are gearing up for a huge fight in 2014 as they try to keep your bills sky-high.

Article by Christine Dobby for the National Post

Last summer a simmering dispute over obscure regulations boiled over into all-out war as the country’s cellphone titans took on the federal government and its efforts to entice a U.S. giant north.

The dialogue got heated as the three largest wireless carriers – ostensible rivals – joined forces to target Ottawa’s policy (Read more…) Minister Moore: Rein in Big Telecom

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Highlight Link: We need a more competitive cell phone market.

With three big telecom companies controlling 92% of the Canadian mobile market, Canadians have been dissatisfied long enough for a separate group, the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services, to have been created a few years ago.

This lack of choice is unacceptable and harmful for users. Demand more choice, better prices, and more opportunities at

Article by Nelson Bennett for Business in Vancouver:

read more We’re working for you

With your support we’ve been able to share your cell phone horror stories with decision-makers at the CRTC, bring your messages directly to officials behind the TPP, and continue in amplifying Canadian voices on an international level.

Cory Doctorow, co-editor of Boing Boing and digital rights activist, had this to say:

“At a time when Canada’s regulators are asleep at the wheel, when giant telcos and the US Trade Representative’s interests are getting more play than the Canadian public’s desperate need for open, fair, and fast networks, OpenMedia is an indispensable and tireless fighter for justice and balance.” Huffington Post: TekSavvy warns Canadians it has received requests for personal info

Independent Internet Service Provider TekSavvy has announced that an American film studio is demanding personal information of its Canadian customers – a motion that follows recent changes to Canadian copyright law.

In response, TekSavvy is taking a stance that aims to protect Canadian privacy – stating that it will not provide personal information without a court order.

Help encourage this protection of Canadians’ privacy in making the switch to an independent ISP at Join us in becoming a monthly contributor to OpenMedia at

Article by Daniel Tencer for Huffington Post

An independent internet service provider popular

. . . → Read More: Huffington Post: TekSavvy warns Canadians it has received requests for personal info How Canada’s online costs stack up worldwide

It’s no secret that when it comes to the Internet, Canadians pay higher prices for worse services than most countries in the industrialized world. This is largely because a handful of Big Telecom companies control upwards of 94% of the Internet service market in Canada, meaning that Canadians don’t have much real choice.

Big Telecom’s grip on Canadian communications needs to come to an end, and our policy-makers need to set the stage for real choice. Read and share our Action Plan for an open and affordable Internet at

Help us continue to amplify Canadians’ voices by joining Bell raises prices, Telus furthers usage limits: Big Telecom is hurting the Internet

This week, Canadians learned that big telecom company Telus will be further limiting how much its customers can use the Internet. Soon after, we learned that big telecom company Bell will be jacking up their prices for Internet. After fighting for Internet openness and affordability for years, the pro-Internet community knows: this is price-gouging, pure and simple.

It’s no secret that when it comes to the Internet, Canadians pay higher prices for worse services than people in most countries in the industrialized world. This is largely because a small handful of Big Telecom companies control upwards of 94% of the Huffington Post: Telus introduces new Internet disservice

Telus has announced plans to cut back on user bandwidth for its Internet service starting early next year. This Internet disservice comes after Telus met with OpenMedia to state that they were wanting to make amends with Canadians.

Now is the time for Canadians to take action in making the switch to Distributel, TekSavvy or another independent ISP at Help us keep Big Telecom on their toes by making a contribution to OpenMedia at

Article by Daniel Tencer for The Huffington Post

Some Telus customers are upset after the phone and internet service company started sending

. . . → Read More: Huffington Post: Telus introduces new Internet disservice You told us, we told them: A report-back from our meeting with Telus

When several senior representatives from Telus asked us to meet with them we knew immediately what we wanted the meeting to include: direct citizen stories about disrespectful and expensive cell… . . . → Read More: You told us, we told them: A report-back from our meeting with Telus Nowak: Is the CRTC really citizen-friendly?

Canadians have been speaking out and decision-makers at the CRTC have been listening. We’ve been heard in gathering feedback for a new wireless code, stopping the initial takeover bid from Big T… . . . → Read More: Nowak: Is the CRTC really citizen-friendly? Telling Your Cell Phone Horror Stories: Adam

As decision-makers at the CRTC continue to invite citizen input in developing a new wireless code, we’re continuing to share some of the stories that Canadians have sent in through We’re making progress with having digital pol… . . . → Read More: Telling Your Cell Phone Horror Stories: Adam Bell makes second attempt at Astral Media takeover

Big telecom company Bell is once again trying to take over Astral Media and gain more control over Canada’s media system. This comes only one month after the CRTC listened to Canadians decrying the deal and shot down the merger, saying that this conc… . . . → Read More: Bell makes second attempt at Astral Media takeover