Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

CRTC Declares Broadband Internet Access a Basic Service

Matthew Kupfer, CBC News:

Until now, local landline telephone service was the only service deemed “basic” or essential by the CRTC, although Blais has previously called internet service “vital” and essential to life and success.

With today’s ruling, the CRTC has set new targets for internet service providers to offer customers in all parts of the country download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps, and to also offer the option of unlimited data.

This is an important step for ensuring the protection of internet access for all Canadians, and for treating it more like a utility than a privately-controlled service. But, without direct involvement in pricing, I worry that this will push prices up overall. Canadians already pay some of the highest bills for internet service anywhere in the world and we have little choice for providers. My internet bill goes up like clockwork as it is, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my ISP chooses to use this decision as an excuse to pad their quarterly report.