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Letter to supporters: You and half-a-million Canadians changed the Internet

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This is what we've been waiting for. Together we've stopped Big Telecom's plan to impose usage-based billing (Internet metering) on all Canadians. Big phone and cable companies tried to rig the market but they were caught red-handed.

A year ago the CRTC decided that big telecom giants could force their small competitors to adopt metered billing. This would have killed Big Telecom's independent competitors, and it would have meant a more expensive and controlled Internet for all Canadians. It was this outrageous move that led OpenMedia.ca to launch the now half-a-million strong Stop The Meter petition that forced the CRTC to reconsider their plan.

Yesterday, finally, the CRTC pulled back from its mandatory metered billing decision. This decision won't stop all big telecom metering, but it could provide a much needed unlimited, independent option for many Canadians. It is truly rare for people to outmanoeuvre Big Telecom lobbyists, but together, we did it. Thank you for playing a crucial part in safeguarding the affordable Internet.

We changed the foundation of Internet billing in Canada -- that's a game changer-but we're concerned that uncompetitive pricing may be buried in the pages of the policy that the CRTC released yesterday. We'll study the details of this decision closely in the coming days and, with your help, take whatever action is necessary to push for fair pricing.

What's next?

We held the line on Internet affordability and prevented Big Telecom from taking complete control, but they still dominate about 94% of the Internet service market. This is why Canada is still falling behind the rest of the world on speed, pricing, and (as we all know) customer service.

Big Telecom makes record profits while Canadians are overcharged and disrespected. Those profits are then used to lobby for more control and price-gouging. Now more than ever we need to break this cycle.

The only thing Big Telecom companies understand is their bottom line, so let's hit them where it hurts. Let's get as many Canadians as possible to switch to an independent provider.

Here's what you can do now:

-- We know it's not possible for everyone to switch to an independent provider right now, but let's all please pledge to use an independent provider when it is possible.

-- If possible, switch to an independent provider that has supported our public engagement campaign, or other indie ISPs that you can find through the "Make the Switch" resource page we started here: http://openmedia.ca/switch

By pledging to make the switch, you'll send a clear message to policy-makers that all Canadians want independent choices for Internet service.

We'll let Prime Minister Harper and Industry Minister Paradis know how many Canadians have made this pledge.

As an active member of the pro-Internet community, your participation is key.

For our digital future,

Steve, Lindsey, and the OpenMedia.ca Team

P.S. The CRTC's decision yesterday is likely to meet an aggressive reaction from Big Telecom. Let's push forward for Internet openness and affordability now, while they're still reeling from our success. Let's get moving! Pledge to switch today.

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