Rural Wireless Internet
- D Sweetnam
- Minister Paradis, Industry Canada
As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, $225 million was provided to Industry Canada over three years to develop and implement a strategy to extend broadband coverage to as many unserved and underserved households as possible, beginning in 2009–2010. By far the biggest component of this strategy was the Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians program.
Broadband internet access is viewed as essential infrastructure for participating in today's economy, as it enables citizens, businesses and institutions to access information, services and opportunities that could otherwise be out of reach.
Bell and Rogers have recently both undertaken a forced transition costing their rural wireless clients hundreds of dollars per month to receive services comparable to those enjoyed by their urban clients at a fraction of the cost.
Clients happy with previously available technologies are now being forced to transition to metered billing in numerous markets previously served by unmetered wireless service.
This transition was implemented by both companies simultaneously. No high speed alternative technologies have been offered to rural clients and there is no plan to install optical fibre cable or perform other needed infrastructure upgrades.
We, the undersigned, call on the Minister of Industry to protect consumers who exist as "captive consumers" of the dominant carriers of internet services in Canada and further to disallow the practice of metered billing since it: inhibits fair commerce; inhibits innovation; results in real price increases to rural families of anywhere from 200% up to more than 1600%. In light of the recognition of the essential nature of broadband internet access expressed by the ministry, we call upon the Minister to declare all telecommunications infrastructure as an essential service and to force cost-recovery based pricing to eliminate gouging to facilitate the free flow of communications, goods and services across the internet.
The Rural Wireless Internet petition to Minister Paradis, Industry Canada was written by D Sweetnam and is in the category Miscellaneous at GoPetition.