CRTC Expected to Release Ruling Today on Differential Pricing

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is expected to release a decision on whether or not packages with unlimited video or music streaming services are bad for consumers (via CBC News).

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The practice, called differential pricing or zero-rating, allows telcos to charge different prices for different types of data traffic or exempt certain data, such as music streaming – think Spotify or Apple Music – from charges altogether.

After turning to Reddit last fall, the CRTC’s first online session with Canadians on the platform was deemed a success, according to reports. The CRTC then asked Canadians on Reddit if they agreed with differential pricing. More than 1,180 users commented, calling for an end to data caps.

A public hearing of more than two-dozen testimonials meant to answer the simple question, “Why do Telus, Rogers and Bell want or need differential pricing?” followed later last fall. Telus says differential pricing helps carriers distinguish themselves from each other.

The CRTC review of differential pricing was originally ignited by complaints against Videotron. The carrier offers Unlimited Music, allowing its subscribers to stream music from certain third-party services without the data traffic counting towards their monthly data cap.

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