CRTC

Shaw Discusses Video Service

It appears that Shaw customer will not be able to rent films online from this company’s Movie Club service without it counting against their monthly allotment of data unless they rent this content via their set top box.

The video on demand service, which is currently available in Standard Definition, costs $12 per month and a high definition service will be made available shortly, for $5 more per month according to this press release.

Netflix users have been complaining that the cable companies are imposing limitations on this popular service, giving their own movie rental services a competitive advantage by removing or reducing their own service’s impact to their customer’s allocated monthly transfers.

CRTC Refuses To Expand Internet Review

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has denied a request from The Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Consumers’ Association of Canada to expand their review of internet billing in Canada.

On February 12th, 2011, these associations had requested that the CRTC investigate the pricing of internet access and accept comments on this subject during their public consultation on usage based billing. But the CRTC denied this request, claiming that “There is no evidence that market forces are not working properly in this unregulated market” in an email published today.

Minister of Industry Tony Clements had stated in a tweet that a “door must still be open to Canadians’ broader concerns re pricing & competition” and in another tweet hinted that he would expand debate on the issue.

Liberal Party Proposal on UBB

The Liberal Party of Canada has submited a proposal to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission in regards to Usage Based Billing.

This five page submission was authored by Industry, Science and Technology Critic and former Astronaut Mark Garneau and includes a statement against the throttling of VOIP telephone service to “preferentially advantage home phone lines“. It also includes a statement against UBB fees that would “disadvantage live-streaming from Netflix while leaving Internet Protocol television such as IPTV exempt from caps“.

According to this document, the Liberal Party of Canada believes that network congestion should be addressed with further investment in infrastructure and location specific measures that are limited to peak periods.

For example, if congestion persists in Toronto they believe that people in Saskatoon should not be forced to pay for it, especially those who use the internet off peek from 10pm to 7am.

I’m guessing that most of the political parties in Canada agree with the major points of this document. But those that agree may co-sign this submission here.

Teksavvy Suspends Usage Based Billing

Teksavvy has decided to suspend their plans to implement usage based billing in response to the customer revolt that resulted in nearly half a million signatures on the openmedia.ca online petition.

Usage based billing was to be implemented at Teksavvy on March 1st, 2011. But the consumer complaints had flooded in so quickly that even Bell has decided to look for alternatives to usage based billing, according to The Wire Report.

Public Consultations on UBB

Both the CRTC and Shaw are holding public consultations on Usage Based Billing :

The Other Major Political Parties on UBB

Here are the links to their press releases :