CRTC Urged to End Internet Data Caps as They Price Gouge Says OpenMedia

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Data caps have been nothing more than pricing tools disguised as network resource management, and this practice needs to end now, according to OpenMedia, which has looked deeply into the matter underpinning this statement with hard facts in the Canadian Data Caps Summary Report released in June.

The timing is important: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) upcoming consultation on Net Neutrality and Zero Rating represents a great opportunity for Canadians to urge the regulator to end this practice and ban telecom providers from capping customer’s Internet usage. The CRTC has already set a deadline for June 28 to collect comments from Canadians.

“Canadians need relief from oppressively low data caps, and the punitive overage charges associated with them,” said Katy Anderson, OpenMedia’s digital rights specialist. “There should be no such thing as ‘too much Internet’, given how essential affordable online access has become to our everyday lives. If we don’t tackle this now, Canada will fall even further behind.”

The OpenMedia report examines the factors that play a part in the adoption of restrictive data-cap policies. As it turns out, “the argument for data caps as traffic management practice simply don’t stand up to scrutiny”, the report concludes. As an example, when Bell bundles Internet services with TV, its monthly Internet data caps vanish, making third-party streaming services less attractive.

In the light of the upcoming CRTC consultation, OpenMedia urges Canadians to endorse an open letter asking the regulator to end Internet data caps, ban zero-rating, develop a strong transparent mechanism which ensures service providers comply with the rules, and, finally, to uphold net neutrality.