Will Clement be lenient on CRTC’s usage-based internet ruling?

3 Feb 2011

Canada’s industry minister Tony Clement is reviewing the country’s telecoms regulator’s recent decision on usage-based wholesale and retail internet access billing, and will make a recommendation ‘in days’, reports Dow Jones Newswires. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a ruling late last month which gives a 15% discount on usage-based internet billing to large network operators’ wholesale ISP customers, which the ISPs and other lobby groups say is inadequate. Clement said he’s ‘very concerned’ about the ruling, effective 1 March, which also limits the smaller internet providers’ ability to offer larger or unlimited monthly data caps, effectively bringing them in line with a recent trend amongst the telcos and cablecos to phase out unlimited use packages. The minister added that the regulator’s decision will have ‘pretty severe impacts’ on consumers and small businesses, and did not rule out reversing it. If he did, it would be another in a series of defeats for the CRTC at the hands of the minister, who in 2009 overturned a judgement by the watchdog to disallow the ownership structure of Egyptian-backed newcomer Globalive Wireless (Wind Mobile).

Canada,

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