Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has long regulated most communications technologies in Canada. Somehow, however, the internet has been selectively left outside its domain. I would argue that must now change.
The North has benefited immensely from CRTC regulations, primarily in the form of affordable telecommunications. For example, the price of a standard fixed landline is comparable to what southern Canadians pay.
Compare that to what we pay for internet access. As I pointed out when I briefly reviewed my new cable internet connection, Northerners pay at least 225% more than southern Canadians for what are inferior internet services. If we applied that calculation to our phone services, a basic landline would cost in excess of $78 per month, without any additional services. The extra cost of northern internet services puts a significant constraint on the growth of our economy.
That alone should bring some attention to a need for internet regulation in Canada. However, when you couple it with the fact that Bell and Rogers engage in extreme internet traffic sniffing and shaping activities, it’s clearly time for the CRTC to act in the interests of Canadians.