NDP Joins Calls to Overturn CRTC Rate Increase Decision

The chorus of people disapproving of the CRTC rate hike decision is growing. The NDP have joined calls to have the decision overturned.

With Canadians already paying some of the highest Internet and cell phone rates in the developed world, news that the CRTC has decided to send those prices further into the stratosphere isn’t exactly going over very well.

To be sure, what Canadians pay for Internet and cell phones makes what American’s pay look like a bargain by comparison. As a result, the push to bring in affordable Internet and cell phone rates has been, at best, lost in the shuffle. If you want proof that affordability has become a non-priority, look no further than the threat to reduce ISP competition and turn it into an even more consolidated monopoly.

Because of this, it’s not surprise that the decision has sparked backlash in the digital rights community. OpenMedia blasted the decision while independent ISP, Teksavvy, called for the CRTC chair to be fired, saying that this latest decision should be the last straw.

The chorus to overturn the decision is growing with the NDP joining in. From CP24:

The federal New Democratic Party is adding its voice to calls for the government to overrule a recent decision on wholesale internet rates by Canada’s telecommunications regulator.

NDP telecom critic Brian Masse says consumers will pay the cost of last week’s CRTC decision, which reversed its own 2019 decision that substantially lowered the wholesale internet prices larger companies charge for access to their networks.

Masse says the Liberal government undermined the CRTC last year when cabinet said the regulator had made errors in the 2019 decision — a message that was widely seen as favourable to the bigger phone and cable carriers.

He told reporters in a virtual press conference that New Democrats want the Trudeau government to restore the 2019 wholesale price cuts and to compensate the smaller internet carriers.

The call is certainly a welcome sight – especially after the party flushed their, at least, 15 year track record down the toilet on digital rights by voting against free speech during the Bill C-10 committee debate. It’s unclear how successful these calls are going to be with the anti-Internet Liberal government, but one hopes that this price rate hike decision can be reversed. After all, Canadians pay enough for cell phones and Internet as it is.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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