Industry Minister Tony Clement has confirmed that the government intends to overturn the CRTC’s usage based billing decision. In a twitter exchange with CBC reporter Rosemary Barton, Clement was asked “is it true you will overturn internet decision if CRTC does not back down?”. Clement responded “True. CRTC must go […]
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With Clement indicating that a decision will be forthcoming by March 1st, there is just one month for cabinet to address the issue. So what comes next?
The Stop the Meter Internet petition now has over 200,000 signatories and is growing fast, which may help explain why UBB has emerged as a political hot potato. The NDP was the first to raise it as a political issue, followed yesterday by a response from Industry Minister Tony Clement (who promised to study the decision carefully “to ensure that competition, innovation, and consumers were all fairly considered”) and the Liberals, who called on the government to reverse the CRTC decision.
Yet despite the obvious anger over the issue, there remains a considerable amount of misinformation about what has happened and uncertainty about just what to do about it. This post attempts to unpack the issue, by discussing two related but not identical concerns – the recent CRTC UBB decision and the broader use of bandwidth caps by virtually all large Canadian ISPs.
Earlier today I walked a few blocks from my office to Ottawa’s Rideau Centre to attend a press conference with Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, who promised an important announcement. The two ministers stood in front of an HMV and a group of students wearing t-shirts with No iPod tax logos on the back to declare that they were firmly set against a massive new tax on technology for all the holiday shoppers in the mall. The Ministers claimed that all three opposition parties supported a tax of up to $75, which (reminiscent of the Dion “tax on everything” campaign) would apply to all technology devices and even cars.
The press conference suggests that opposition to extending the private copying levy may be the key positioning point for the government in support of Bill C-32. Rather than focusing on the bill’s actual provisions, the government will argue that the bill deserves support from the public because of what isn’t there – the levy extension. However, an alternate press conference might have featured the following script (the actual script is here):