Now that I live in Winnipeg (not really) it’s time to give some major props to forums member and fellow Manitoban (winky face) Ben Klass. I’m waaayyy behind the curve on this, but better late than never, right?
Back in November of 2013 I posted about Ben’s 26-page complaint to the CRTC, making a fairly compelling argument that Bell’s mobile TV service was in violation of Canada’s Telecommunications Act. To wit:
Bell charges you $5 a month to watch 5GB worth of their own content. If you want to watch 5GB worth of Netflix on the Bell network, on the other hand, they charge you $40. That’s a markup of 800%.
In other words, this is very much a net neutrality issue, similar to T-Mobile USA’s Music Freedom but actually worse—unlike T-Mobile, Bell has been giving its mobile network undue preference to its own content.
On January 29th of this year the CRTC decision finally came down: Bell was indeed in violation of The Act. A quote from CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais:
At its core, this decision isn’t so much about Bell or Vidéotron. It’s about all of us and our ability to access content equally and fairly, in an open market that favours innovation and choice… It may be tempting for large vertically integrated companies to offer certain perks to their customers, and innovation in its purest form is to be applauded… But when the impetus to innovate steps on the toes of the principle of fair and open access to content, we will intervene. [drops mic]
As big as this news was, it got relatively scant coverage in the mainstream press. Thankfully, here on the Internet all voices are equal—see what I did there? To further celebrate the noble work of one of our very own, I present to you two links—a text Q&A with Peter Nowak and a special episode of Syrupcast, the Mobile Syrup podcast. Enjoy… and congrats, Ben!