Bell Mobility will potentially be allowed to seek legal costs from Ben Klass, a university student, a single mother, and the Council of Senior Citizen’s Organization of British Columbia among others, the Federal Court of Appeal announced yesterday (via OpenMedia).
Ben Klass’ name became known when the Manitoba resident and OpenMedia community member filed a complaint with Canada’s telecom regulator revealing that Bell was giving an unfair advantage to certain types of mobile content over their wireless network, prompting the CRTC to review the rules of net neutrality.
The regulator issued a ruling which didn’t favour Bell, so the carrier has turned to the court to challenge the Mobile TV ruling that bans favouritism.
Now, the Court of Appeal has given the green light to the carrier to challenge the regulator and others like Ben Klass over its Mobile TV ruling, which is disappointing, as it could mean that the incumbent may seek legal costs from “the little guy”, says OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish.
“After over a year of unpaid hard work from citizens to convince policy-makers that Bell should not be allowed to tilt the playing field in their favour, the company is dragging ‘the little guy’ to court for years so they can regain the power to make the Internet more like cable TV,” he wrote.
“If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that, in the years it could take to resolve the case, the Court has banned Bell from being able to mark up competing services by up to 800%. In the end, Canadians everywhere are hoping that Bell is confirmed to be in the wrong, and that a strong precedent is set to safeguard Net Neutrality in Canada.”
Bell certainly feels the need to keep its lawyers busy . . .