Last week, Vancouver-based non-profit and consumer advocate, OpenMedia, launched new mobile billboards to drive around Ottawa and Toronto, to share what it calls is ‘betrayal’ by the federal government when it comes to affordable internet.
“Betrayed! The government just made internet more expensive” reads the digital billboard.
Betrayed! Last month, Minister Bains chose to side with Big Telecom and undermine affordable Internet – at a time when we need it more than ever. Our mobile billboards are out on the streets – join here https://t.co/u0DK6gILPl pic.twitter.com/RTAM06BCkr
— OpenMedia (@OpenMediaOrg) September 18, 2020
Mobile billboard trucks have also been driving around the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) sites as well.
— OpenMedia (@OpenMediaOrg) September 19, 2020
OpenMedia’s latest campaign explains, “Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains wants to raise your Internet bill to protect Big Telecom.”
“On August 15, the federal cabinet announced that it thinks the CRTC’s lower Internet rates set last year are TOO LOW, repeating talking points straight from Big Telecom,” says the campaign website.
“This government has been promising us more affordable Internet for years. But when he finally gets a chance to make that happen, Minister Bains has caved to the temper tantrums and high priced lobbyists of Big Telecom, and their threats to withhold rural Internet if he doesn’t raise Internet prices,” continued OpenMedia.
OpenMedia’s campaign asks Canadians to send a message Minister Bains and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, using a pre-populated form.
“We need action. You say you care about investment. But if investment is actually what matters to you, then why won’t you do something about it? Open and expand the Universal Broadband Fund we’ve been waiting over 16 months for, that Minister Maryam Monsef claimed was coming over 70 days ago,” details the pre-filled form.
Recently, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal sided with independent internet service providers, dropping the appeal by big telcos, a decision applauded by smaller ISPs such as TekSavvy.