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Prevented Telus/Mobilicity takeover is welcome news, but more govt action needed to level playing field and ensure wireless choice

Wed, 21 May 2014 19:12:08 +0000

Affordable, independent providers are struggling because of years of a history of regulatory coddling of Big Telecom, says OpenMedia.ca

May 21, 2014 - The withdrawal of Telus’ bid to take over Mobilicity is welcome news for Canadian wireless users, but more government action needed to level the playing field for struggling independent providers. That’s according to OpenMedia.ca, which is running a sustained campaign for greater choice and lower prices in Canada’s wireless market. The group says every Canadian deserves affordable, independent options outside the Big Three for their wireless service.

Canadians pay some of the highest wireless prices in the industrialized world due to a broken wireless market in which just three giant conglomerates (Bell, Telus, Rogers) control over 85% of spectrum and 92% of wireless revenues.

Responding to this morning’s news, OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson said: “Today’s announcement is welcome news for long-suffering wireless users. Our already sky high prices could have increased even further if Big Telecom succeeded in grabbing yet more scarce wireless resources. Canadians desperately need affordable independent providers, but right now those providers are struggling due to a tilted playing field and years of regulatory coddling of Big Telecom.”

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Wireless price-hikes! OK who’s running the show here: Big Telecom or the government?

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:14:08 +0000

In February, Industry Minister James Moore announced that the government has heard our voices, and promised that everyday Canadians would soon experience lower costs and greater choice in our broken mobile phone and Internet market.

In March, less than a month later, Canada’s Big Telecom cartel jacks up prices across all providers, with little difference between the prices and services they offer.

Umm… WTF?

Canadians everywhere might be wondering: who’s running the show here? Big Telecom? Or the government?

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Strahl resignation underlines need for total overhaul of spy agency oversight

Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:38:15 +0000

Independent online news publication the Vancouver Observer has today revealed that Chuck Strahl has resigned as Chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee. Responding to the news, OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson said:

“Today’s news is welcome, because all of us can agree that publicly funded government watchdogs should not be employed by those connected to the agencies they are overseeing. In this case, there was a clear conflict of interest given that CSIS has been asked to aid the oil industry in monitoring environmentalists.”

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OpenMedia.ca concerned “cyberbullying” legislation will unnecessarily erode the privacy of law-abiding Canadians

Thu, 21 Nov 2013 00:18:00 +0000

Legislation includes invasive elements of the government’s discredited online spying Bill C-30 that was canned earlier this year after 150,000 Canadians spoke out

November 20, 2013 – Today Justice Minister Peter MacKay introduced legislation that many hoped would focus on tackling the serious issue of cyberbullying. It appears that the vast majority of the legislation was simply lifted from part of the government’s failed online spying (“Lawful Access”) Bill C-30. That’s according to citizen-backed OpenMedia.ca, which led the successful campaign that defeated Bill C-30 earlier this year.

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Their secret revealed

Thu, 14 Nov 2013 03:47:42 +0000

It’s worse - much worse - than we thought. A bombshell leak by Wikileaks just revealed how giant U.S. conglomerates are about to impose an extreme Internet censorship plan that will wreck Canada’s digital future. They’re trying to wrap this up -- we have to stop this right now. Tell Stephen Harper not to let American interests break Canada’s digital future.

Unelected lobbyists and government bureaucrats have taken extreme measures to keep the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a secret.1

Now we know why.

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BREAKING: Leaked documents reveal Canadian government being pressured by US to accept extreme Internet censorship proposals in the TPP

Wed, 13 Nov 2013 19:06:57 +0000

Proposed secret transnational Internet censorship courts would override Canadian law and restrict freedom of expression online.

November 13, 2013 – This morning WikiLeaks released secret documents that have confirmed an extreme Internet censorship plan is being pushed behind closed doors as part of the International Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Over 100,000 people from around the world have already spoken through an online campaign at http://openmedia.org/censorship

Internet freedom group OpenMedia reviewed the nearly 100 pages of highly classified documents released to the public to discover extreme Internet censorship provisions, including secret transnational censorship courts that would override national laws.

According to Internet law expert Michael Geist the US, "is demanding that Canada rollback its recent copyright reform legislation with a long list of draconian proposals. "

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Telecom complaints soar by 31% in just twelve months, OpenMedia.ca available for comment

Wed, 06 Nov 2013 19:36:25 +0000

Canadians still waiting to see whether government lives up to promise to secure more choice and lower prices in broken telecom market

Steve Anderson, Executive Director, OpenMedia.ca
David Christopher, Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca. (778-232-1858, david@openmedia.ca)

The Annual Report of Canada’s Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services have revealed that complaints about telecom service in Canada increased by over 31%.

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Big Telecom is actually taking you to court

Wed, 03 Jul 2013 20:30:00 +0000

Last night as I was wrapping up my day, I took one last glance at my email and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

It was our public interest lawyer notifying me that Canada’s cell phone giants have just quietly put forward a motion in Federal Court to overturn parts of our new cell phone Code of Conduct – that was put in place just weeks ago to protect us against price-gouging.

The Big Telecom motion specifically mentions “members of the public”. It’s you. It’s all Canadians that are now being attacked using a federal court.

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OpenMedia.ca calls new Industry Canada framework a welcome step, but clear action required to give Canadians access to affordable mobile service

Fri, 28 Jun 2013 18:34:56 +0000

New rules may help address past government policy failures, but much more needs to be done to fix Canada’s broken cell phone market

June 28, 2013 – OpenMedia.ca is saying that Industry Canada’s new rules on supporting affordable wireless options for Canadians are a welcome step forward, but more action is required to ensure choice and affordability in Canada’s broken wireless market. The new rules come in response to an OpenMedia.ca campaign calling for mobile choice that can be found at http://demandchoice.ca.

The new rules set out today by Industry Canada are designed to stop highly valuable wireless spectrum assets—which are crucial resources for mobile devices—from being hoarded by Big Telecom. OpenMedia.ca believes this is a welcome step, but that Canadians will never get the choice and affordability they deserve without clear action to ensure that new, affordable firms can compete on a level playing field with Big Telecom.

Canadians pay some of the highest prices for some of the worst cell phone service in the industrialized world – a direct result of the lack of competition in a market that is 94% dominated by just three giant Big Telecom conglomerates. More affordable, independent providers need spectrum to offer real choice.

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Canadians disappointed in CRTC decision to approve Big Media Bell’s power-grab of Astral Media

Thu, 27 Jun 2013 20:32:12 +0000

Takeover will mean lost jobs, higher prices, and less media choice – it’s time for government to take clear action to tackle Big Media dominance, says OpenMedia.ca

JUNE 27, 2013 – OpenMedia.ca is condemning today’s CRTC decision to allow big media giant Bell to take over Astral Media. Thousands of Canadians have spoken out against the takeover, because it will lead to lost jobs, fewer media and telecom choices, higher prices, and less opportunity for free expression.

Just four large, unaccountable Big Media conglomerates (Bell, Quebecor, Rogers, and Shaw) control over 86% of Canadian cable and satellite distribution, 70% of wireless revenues, and 54% of Internet service revenues – making Canada the most concentrated media market out of all G8 countries. Today’s decision means Canada falling even further behind the rest of the G8. Canadians pay high prices for poor content and services because of this lack of real choice.

OpenMedia.ca has already been hearing from citizens who are disappointed that their telecom, news, and media choices will be restricted yet further, while Big Media gains more and more power and control.

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