Landing : Athabascau University

Affordable Internet for Canada - Virtual Day of Action today (March 16)

https://affordable-internet.ca/

This is a timely event, running today via Zoom, as Rogers unexpectedly announce an attempted takeover of Shaw, thereby not only acquiring Shaw's extensive cable Internet and TV business, but also one of the last remaining serious competitors to the big mobile companies, Freedom Mobile (my cellular provider of choice). The takeover of Freedom by Shaw was in itself a serious matter for concern, especially as it allowed them to sneak in an anti-competitive way to undercut small Internet service providers like Teksavvy (my Internet provider of choice), who use its infrastructure to offer better value options, and who have already been royally screwed by Shaw in every way legal loopholes allow. This would be a disaster for consumers.

Thanks to the power of the big three (Telus, Bell, and Rogers) Canada is already among the most expensive places for mobile and Internet plans in the world. This is bad news in countless ways, not least of which being the extra tax it adds for online learners, nor the fact that those most in need (outside large, mostly Southern urban areas) are the least well served. Destroying the competition does not seem like the best way to deal with this already serious problem. Successive governments have failed to curb the power of big telcos to do pretty much what they like, at best achieving small temporary victories, eventually being out-manoeuvred every time. More serious legislative action is needed, especially to support those in outlying areas.

Add your voice to the protest!

Comments

  • Thanks for this Prof. Dron! For anyone that would also like to sign a petition against this buyout by Rogers, can do so at the following link:

    https://openmedia.org/StopTheBuy-em

    Nicolosus March 24, 2021 - 3:40pm

  • Thanks for that, Nicolosus - I've added my voice and got my thank-you email!

    The recording of the day of action is available at the original URL. Highlights for me were Michael Geist (around the 50 minute mark) and Cory Doctorow (around 1:58), both of whom are incredibly smart people and excellent communicators to whom I always pay a lot of attention, but the stories from less eminent folk, especially from those struggling on the periphery and choosing between Internet access and food, were often quite moving. There was a lot of really good information from very diverse stakeholders throughout - some really interesting stats from UoT researcher Sam Andre from Ryerson U on the digital divide in Toronto compared with Canada as a whole, for instance, just after the 38 minute mark.

    Jon Dron March 24, 2021 - 4:05pm

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