News of the backlash has at last reached Stephen Harper.
Canada’s Prime Minister today echoed Industry Minister Tony Clement’s earlier sentiments that the CRTC’s decision to implement usage-based billing for internet service provders in March will be under scrutiny after a staggering 200,000 people signed a petition on Vancouver-based OpenMedia’s site. The site has gained signatures rapidly, accumulating 25,000 users since just this morning, tipping it past the 250,000 mark.
Quoth the Globe and Mail:
“What we’re concerned with and what the Prime Minister is concerned with is the impact on consumers and that is why we’re going to be reviewing this thoroughly,” PMO director of communications Dimitri Soudas said.
In recent days, businesses have voiced criticism of the CRTC’s decision, saying it will clamp down on their ability to harness new technologies to make their operations more productive. New services, such as backing up servers using cloud-computing and hosting explanatory videos on Websites, are eating up increasing amounts of bandwidth.
Other problems are also present, including home-based business owners and telecommuters, who rely on extensive home internet usage for their living. Many ISPs have already slashed their download caps immediately after the decision was announced, and some internet users have faced the wrath of overage fees with markups on data consumption exceeding 10,000 percent. So the situation is already poor, but it as least tolerable: come March, this country’s internet regulations will be utterly ridiculous in both concept and execution.
The NDP and Liberals have already taken a stance, both agreeing that the UBB decision is anti-competitive on multiple levels.
Stephen and his government have exactly one month to save Canadian consumers from financial devastation.