Consumer Group Refiles Complaint Against Rogers and Shaw’s Shomi Service

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has refiled a complaint to the CRTC against Rogers and Shaw’s shomi streaming service. In a filing made yesterday, one area of concern the consumer group alleges is both companies:

…are conferring an undue preference on their affiliated internet service, and unjustly discriminating against independents internet service providers and their subscribers, in violation of subsection 27(2) of the Telecommunications Act;

John Lawford, Executive Director and Counsel to PIAC said in a statement, “Shomi cannot tie internet access to Shaw or Rogers without hurting other internet providers and their customers,” following up with “We have called on the CRTC to stop this unduly preferential offering.”

The new complaint was made by the PIAC as it “had to address lingering problems with the shomi service that likely would not be addressed in the CRTC’s HVOD hearing.”

The CRTC’s recent Let’s Talk TV decision investigated a potential fix for “hybrid video on demand” (HVOD) services that are integrated with “over-the-top” (OTT) programming tied to regular broadcast subscription.

Geoff White, Legal Counsel to PIAC noted “Canadian consumers watch more and more over-the-top programming,” adding “We want the rules to be clear so that all internet users can benefit equally from new offerings in this market.”

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Back in February, the PIAC filed their first complaint to the CRTC regarding Shomi and Bell’s similar CraveTV service. The commission asked the consumer group to refile their complaints “in the event that the proposals made by the CRTC were not adequate to address any perceived problems of undue preference.”

Shomi launched last November and costs $8.99 per month.