Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream CBC: CRTC starts tackling the thorny issue of paper billing fees

Telcos have been making huge profits off of paper bill fees – the practice tellingly known as “pay-to-pay”. These fees are charged disproportionately to low income people and seniors. Do you think Big Telecom should have the power to price gouge like this?

Article by the CBC

Canadians are paying from $495 million to $734 million annually to receive paper bills they received free prior to 2010, according to a study by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

read more TelClarity: Wind Mobile cuts roaming rates by %95. Here’s how they could cut them more

A recent CRTC ruling brought the roaming rates that Big Telecom charges smaller companies like Wind Mobile down from the stratosphere. Here’s why they still need to go further

Article by Andrew Seipp for TelClarity

In a previous article we found out Wind was being charged $1000/GB by Rogers for domestic roaming. This forced Wind forced to pass on a cost of $1/mb to their retail customers; essentially their wholesale cost. Furthermore, they were being charged for incoming texts without the ability to pass that cost on to their customers.

But change is in the airwaves.

read more Globe and Mail: Are mobile TV apps the next battlefield in the fight against Internet slow lanes?

In response to a filing by our community member @Ben Klass, the CRTC is asking Big Telecom some tough questions about whether they give preferential treatment to their own data on their mobile networks. It’s a big step towards preventing Internet slow lanes on Canada’s wireless networks and preserving real net neutrality. You can add your voice at

Article by Christine Dobby for the Globe and Mail

Canada’s telecom regulator is asking a series of tough new questions about the way three cellphone providers charge for live and on-demand television programming on mobile applications.

read more Government proposals on wireless broadband are positive step forward for rural Canadians

eblast_indieISP_sidebar.png is welcoming Industry Canada’s announcement that it will speed up the process of issuing 3500 MHz spectrum licences for wireless broadband services in rural areas. The community-based organization says this is positive news for Canadians living in regions typically underserved by Big Telecom conglomerates. The government also announced it will not renew the spectrum licences of providers who fail to deliver services.

“Every Canadian should be able to access reliable, affordable broadband Internet,” said spokesperson David Christopher. “It’s good news that the government plans to crack down on telecom companies that hoard valuable wireless (Read more…) Globe and Mail: Shaw may have to hold on to their wireless spectrum, for now

Under pressure from tens of thousands of Canadians, it looks like Ottawa could be about to block one of the Big Three wireless providers from getting even bigger.

Article by Christine Dobby for Globe and Mail

After abandoning its plans to enter the wireless business, Shaw Communications Inc. looked as if it had found a way to soften the financial blow by selling a valuable chunk of wireless spectrum. Now, that plan is in jeopardy, as Ottawa is expected to block its estimated $300-million deal to sell unused wireless spectrum to Rogers Communications Inc.

read more AlphaBeatic: That free paperless bill? It’s probably a bait and switch

Look out for wireless prices to increase as paperless bills become the norm. Think that’s ridiculous? Rein in Big Telecom at AlphaBeatic: Can Rogers expect worse than a finger wagging?

Recently, the CRTC issued a stern ruling against Rogers for colluding against independent mobile providers on roaming rates. But will they impose penalties or force Rogers to atone for its actions?

Article by Peter Nowak for AlphaBeatic

Last year, Apple was found guilty by a U.S. court of colluding with publishers to raise e-book prices. The company found itself facing up to $840 million in claims with the various state and class-action lawsuits that followed, which is why it opted to settle for just over half of that – $450 million. The settlement amount was approved last week.

read (Read more…) Mobilesyrup: Travelling to the U.S. this long weekend? You’ll want to check this out

Roam Mobility is hitting Big Telecom where it hurts, offering packages for Canadians who want to travel to the U.S. without paying exorbitant roaming rates. Want to turn the screws a little? Go to right now!

Article by Daniel Bader for Mobilesyrup

Roaming is for suckers, according to Roam Mobility. The Canadian company has staked its reputation on providing better service and significantly cheaper rates for customers travelling to the United States, and today is announcing a new range of plans, bundles and add-ons to undercut Canadian carriers even further.

read more Calgary Herald: What do roaming rates really cost?

This is a big step forward and validation of what Canadians have been saying for years! The CRTC have just ruled that telecom giant Rogers discriminates against affordable indie providers – crushing choice and keeping your wireless prices high. If you’re tired of getting gouged on roaming rates, speak out at

Article by the Calgary Herald

Wireless carriers in Canada have been banned from imposing exclusivity conditions in contracts that forced smaller firms to use more expensive roaming networks.

read more Regulators find that Telecoms have engaged in systematic “unjust discrimination” to stifle indie providers and keep prices high


CRTC decision exposes how Big Telecom giant Rogers engaged in “unjust discrimination” aimed at blocking Canadians from accessing affordable, independent wireless options

July 31, 2014 – A landmark decision from the CRTC today has confirmed that telecom giant Rogers has engaged in “unjust discrimination” toward independent cell phone providers, such as Mobilicity and Wind Mobile. Responding to the CRTC’s decision, warns that Industry Minister James Moore’s recent measures to cap wholesale wireless rates do not go far enough, and bold action is required to rein in Canada’s Big Three giants from abusing their market power.

The (Read more…) AlphaBeatic: Anyone else feel like they have too much of that pesky Internet hanging around?

“We have too much Internet here in Canada” said literally no one ever.

Article by Peter Nowak for AlphaBeatic

If you’re looking for some good summer reading, check out a recently released report from the Organization for Economic Development and Co-operation titled “The Development of Fixed Broadband Networks.” It’s page-turning stuff that’s as addictive as any trashy novel. If you’re a nerd for telecom policy stuff, of course.

read more AlphaBeatic: How both Canada and the U.S. are lagging behind

Why Canadians need to look farther than the U.S. for sensible cell phone policy.

Article by Peter Nowak for AlphaBeatic

When discussing the state of telecommunications services and their respective prices in Canada, industry defenders often point to the United States in their rationalizations.

read more AlphaBeatic: Canadians want lower prices and greater choice

Tens of thousands of Canadians are speaking out for lower cell phone bills – and this report suggests our pressure could be starting to deliver results. Keep up the pressure at

Article by Peter Nowak for AlphaBeatic

Something very unusual is happening in Canadian wireless services: for the first time in a long time, the average bill might actually be set to go down.

read more Canadaland: Rogers has some ‘splaining to do

This telecom giant is showing a disturbing lack of transparency when it comes to how it shared Canadians’ private information with government and what they received in exchange for that information. If this gets you as riled up as we are, go to right now and demand better.

Article by Jesse Brown for Canadaland

Last week, Rogers announced that they were getting out of the snitch business. Until then, the company ratted out its own customers to government agencies hundreds of thousands of times every year. Without asking for a warrant, Rogers provided subscriber data to authorities that (Read more…) Michael Geist: 2 out of 3 ain’t enough

Two of Canada’s biggest telecoms have done the right thing and publicly announced that they will not share subscribers’ private information without a warrant any more. It doesn’t seem like much to ask for, but Bell is still holding back. Add to the pressure at

Article by Michael Geist

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Spencer decision, several leading Canadian ISPs have publicly announced that they have changed their practices on the disclosure of subscriber information (including basic subscriber information such as name and address) to law enforcement. For example, Rogers announced that it will (Read more…) Michael Geist: Come Back With a Warrant: How Will the Canadian Government Respond to the Supreme Court?

Tens of thousands of Canadians have spoken out about how the government is obtaining our private information without a warrant. Following a recent pro-privacy Supreme Court ruling, the ball is in the government’s court. How do you think Peter MacKay will respond?

Article by Michael Geist

Canadian Internet and telecom providers have, for many years, disclosed basic subscriber information, including identifiers such as name, address, and IP address, to law enforcement without a warrant. The government has not only supported the practice, but actively encouraged it with legislative proposals designed to grant full civil and criminal immunity for voluntary disclosures (Read more…) City News: Rogers, Telus will no longer hand customer info to police without a warrant

Under pressure from thousands of Canadians, two of Canada’s telecom giants have announced they’ll no longer hand your private information over to the government without a warrant. Way to go, Canada and thanks for speaking out at!

Article by Jim Bronskill for City News

Two major telecommunications firms — Rogers and Telus — say they will no longer routinely give basic customer information to police and security agencies without first seeing a warrant.

read more Alphabeatic: Wireless data prices and the collective cost to our intelligence

Is your wireless bill making you dumber towards the end of the month?

Article by Peter Nowak for Alphabeatic

It dawned on me recently that I tend to be dumber at the end of the month than at the beginning. It actually has nothing to do with lunar cycles, but everything to do with billing cycles. Specifically, my cellphone bill.

read more Government’s own report confirms Canadian wireless prices still amongst highest in industrialized world, while more affordable new entrants starting to have positive impact on costs


New entrants hugely outperform the Big Three when it comes to wireless costs – but the Big Three is still blocking many Canadians from these affordable alternatives

July 14, 2014 – A new government report released this morning has confirmed that Canadians are still paying some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for wireless service. The Wall Report, which was commissioned by the CRTC, also confirms that new entrants like Wind and Mobilicity offer Canadians a far better deal than the Big Three, especially when it comes to mobile data and roaming in the U. (Read more…) Global: Mother of dead student hounded for 3 years by Bell for $215

Stay classy, Big Telecom.

Article by Sean O’Shea for Global

Christine West of Lindsay, Ontario has grown frustrated with opening up the mailbox on her front porch.

She’s worried she’ll find another collection letter addressed to her middle daughter, Katie.

read more Measures to improve Canadians’ access to independent wireless services hailed as a positive step forward, although more will be needed to lower prices and boost choice


Industry Minister James Moore has announced that vital digital assets will be set aside for affordable new entrants in upcoming auction of AWS-3 wireless spectrum. Canadians have been calling for this type of set-aside for years.

July 7, 2014 – Industry Minister James Moore has announced new measures aimed at improving wireless choice for Canadians. This morning’s announcement comes in response to a sustained years-long campaign led by with the support of over 70,000 Canadians. The citizen-backed group is welcoming the news as a positive step forward for wireless choice, but says more action will be (Read more…) TelClarity: The outrageous markup on wireless roaming costs.

CONFIRMED: Canadians are getting the shake down on wireless roaming rates, which average between a 50,000 – 200,000% markup. Think that’s ridiculous?

Article by Andrew Seipp for TelClarity

The wholesale cost of roaming is a closely guarded secret, but recent revelations by Wind have shed light on shockingly high margins.

read more Mobilesyrup: OpenMedia’s Access My Info tool requests the data your ISP has shared with the government

Are your Internet or cell phone services provided by the Big Three? Are you concerned about what private information they store about you? Then you should give our Access My Info tool a try at:

Article by Daniel Barder for Mobilesyrup

It recently came to light that in 2011 alone, the Canadian government issued requests from various internet service providers for data on more than 785,000 citizens. Thanks to a Freedom of Information request, this data is legally obtainable for individuals, but the process has heretofore been onerous.

read more Wired: Researchers Find and Decode the Spy Tools Governments Use to Hijack Phones

Our friends at Citizen Lab have succeeded in reverse engineering spyware that is infecting people’s cellphones in democracies and dictatorships alike.

Article by Kim Zetter for Wired

Newly uncovered components of a digital surveillance tool used by more than 60 governments worldwide provide a rare glimpse at the extensive ways law enforcement and intelligence agencies use the tool to surreptitiously record and steal data from mobile phones.

read more Globe and Mail: Quebecor ‘ready, willing and able’ for wireless expansion: CEO

Greater wireless choice may be on the horizon if the government can get roaming rates under control. Would you switch providers if you had a different option?

Article by Christine Dobby for The Globe and Mail

Quebecor Inc. gave its strongest hint yet that it will expand its wireless business across Canada, but the company’s chief executive once again sent a pointed message to Ottawa on the urgency of creating “a level playing field.”

read more