Student Who Took on Bell’s TV App Fears Financial Ruin If Forced to Pay Legal Costs

Yesterday it was reported Bell had turned to the Federal Court of Appeal to challenge the CRTC’s decision regarding its mobile TV app, which was alleged to not play fair with net neutrality rules.

Now, the University of Manitoba grad student who initially took on Bell, Benjamin Klass, fears he could be financially “ruined” if forced to pay for Bell’s legal costs should the latter win their appeal.

According to the The Star, Klass said “This is quite intimidating to a private citizen,” noting how “it might make someone think twice” about fighting for something in the public interest against the large corporate legal coffers of a company like Bell Canada.

On top of requesting Klass pay its legal bills, Bell is also asking other individuals and consumer groups to pay costs as well:

The unit of Montreal’s BCE Inc. said if it is able to win on appeal, legal costs should be applied against Klass and other interveners in the case, which include consumers’ groups and a council of seniors’ organizations.

Meanwhile, OpenMedia.ca has started a campaign today to spread the word about Bell and their pursuit of legal costs with the following graphic:

Screenshot 2015 02 24 10 56 57

The CRTC’s ruling said Bell’s Mobile TV app “cannot provide undue preferences or advantages” compared to other apps that use the same data, but were charged higher rates, up to to 800% more.

Rogers similarly had a mobile TV model like Bell, but ended their Anyplace TV subscription during the CRTC’s inquiry.

What do you think about Bell’s request to have legal costs paid for by the individuals and organizations that made the mobile TV challenge to the CRTC?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • iw

    do you realize how silly ben’s complaint is? he’s complaining that netflix costs more than bell tv for the same amount of usage over bell network (not wifi); however, bell tv is subsidized. therefore, even if he wings..he’s still paying the same for netflix and more for bell tv. so how does that benefit him as a user? lol

  • Dontknow

    He is an idiot. I lost my $5 a month for 10 hrs of Rogers anyplace tv cause of this non sense.

  • Nigleet

    He isn’t using Netflix as a basis. I understand the concern you and others have. Here’s how it’s laid out. Bell values 5GB of data at about 50 dollars. Bell mobile TV was offering 10 hours of Strictly Bell content. They equate about each hour of streaming to about 500MB. So roughly the math adds up to about 5GB of Data, though they don’t value this data as 50 dollars. They say it’s a 5 dollar addon. They are limiting your data usage and subsidizing it to promote strictly Bell content which is illegal. Another argument that will come up is the fact that this Directly opposes net neutrality. They are creating an express route to their content at cheaper pricing. I’d love to see them offer 5GB of data for 5 dollars a month to be freely used with any type of web surfing.

    Not going to happen.

  • Salinger

    I can’t believe, on a tech forum, people are arguing AGAINST net neutrality just because it puts a couple of extra dollars in their pocket. There are greater issues at play here folks.

  • It’s Me

    So, you’d prefer that Bell and Rogers be allowed to use their control of the networks to kill off competitors. By using their networks to give their other services an advantage over competitors, they gain an unfair advantage. Which means less investment in those services by competitors in Canada.

    You really want Bell/Rogers to be the gatekeepers of your content? Because that’s what they are fighting for.

  • Lakh Jhajj

    All these guys who are going against what Ben Klass did are forgetting the greater good this is gonna bring to our wireless data scenario and how the data is used.

    I am with Ben on this. These corporations and their evil plans to suck every blood out of us.