rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Opportunity is knocking: Let's end data caps in Canada

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Normally when you're told: "you have an exciting opportunity!" you imagine that time your neighbour tried to rope you into a pyramid scheme, or an as-seen-on-TV offer for a set of kitchen knives -- but wait, there's more!

Well, my friends, I'm here to tell you that right now you genuinely have an exciting opportunity to end data caps, the most punitive tool in the telecom giants' price-gouging toolbox.

Here in Canada, none of the Big Three wireless providers even offer unlimited data as an option -- and that's simply not fair. It's why we're deploying one of our most effective tools, directed right at the Canadian Radio and Telecommunication Commission's (CRTC) ongoing consultation process, making enough noise that the CRTC will have to step up and axe data caps.

Adding your input is crucial. Please take a few minutes now and tell the CRTC in your own words what data caps mean to you, and why you think we should scrap them. We don't have much time before an important deadline for public input.

The ongoing CRTC process is designed to examine controversial data-shaping policies like "zero rating" when telecoms effectively make websites they don't like slower and more expensive to access. This practice allow telecom giants to sneakily mark up the cost of competing app's and services that they'd rather you not use, only counting those items towards your data cap, when other services -- of their choosing -- don't.

The CRTC will only be collecting input until September 21 -- so it's important that you add your comment now, and our tool will do the rest to deliver your voices directly to lawmakers who have the power to end Big Telecom's needless, price-gouging ways.

We'll also be appearing at the hearing in Ottawa on October 31 (seriously, is there anything spookier than data caps?) and representing the thousands of Canadians who rely on us to bring the message that we're sick of our broken telecom market. Real momentum is starting to build around this idea -- already more than 31,000 Canadians have endorsed our letter to the CRTC to end data caps. Even the Financial Post is reporting that Canadians are looking for unlimited options

And in the U.S. we're starting to see major companies announce they're done with data caps. Just last week T-Mobile made the announcement, followed by Sprint.

The CRTC knows we have a problem. A report commissioned by the CRTC themselves came back this month confirming that Canadians still pay some of the most expensive Internet bills in the G7.

And when it comes to "the most affordable" data packages? We're Number one...when it comes to price gouging.

Here at home, there's easy proof ISPs are making "stunning" margins off the backs of regular Canadians: In provinces where even additional one player takes on The Big Three and offers residents an alternative to their abusive pricing, we see bills drop by up to half. 

You can read more about how we're getting fleeced in this report we put together on data caps in Canada and our "options" province-by-province.

This is the best opportunity we have to end this predatory practice once and for all — and you can have impact by telling decision-makers at the CRTC, in your own words, why ISPs should scrap data caps.  

The excitement is palpable here at OpenMedia HQ, but we still need people like you to help us knock this out of the park.

And we promise, there's definitely more where this came from.

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.