Why you should care about data caps

Image credit: OpenMedia

30-Day Writing Challenge- Day 2

If mentions of data caps or the CRTC send you to snoozeville, you may want to wake up.

Tomorrow Canadian digital rights activists from OpenMedia are heading to the CRTC – the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission –  to bring Canadians’ arguments before a live, televised hearing.

What’s at issue

According to OpenMedia, “Canadians already pay some of the highest rates for some of the worst service in the G8 and options for affordable, unlimited Internet remain very limited.”

Data caps mean Canadians pay fees if they exceed data limits on Internet usage and it’s difficult to find unlimited home Internet or wireless plans at reasonable rates, where you don’t find yourself worrying if you didn’t stream too many Netflix shows or download too much or if you have enough data left on your wireless plan to Google something.

As OpenMedia explains it, this has everything to do with big telecom companies controlling Internet and wireless rates for Canadians.

As Katy and the OpenMedia team point out in an email:

On the side of Big Telecom, there is Rogers’ outgoing CEO Guy Laurence, who, when asked earlier this month about offering unlimited data to solve overage issues responded “we’re not a charity.”

We’ve heard from Canadians time and time again that affordable Internet — ensuring that everyone is able to access this essential service — is not charitable, it’s just good business.

Another concern? According to OpenMedia, the big telecom companies are asking the CRTC for new powers ” to privilege certain apps and services over others (through controversial “zero-rating” schemes) and to weaken our Net Neutrality rules.”

What you can do

OpenMedia is urging Canadians to sign a petition calling for an end to these ripoff data caps and keep the web open.

Do sign and add your name to this important cause. You’ll find the petition here.

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