Canadian metered Internet bill likely to be overturned

metered InternetCanadian industry minister Tony Clement announced that “CRTC must go back to the drawing board,” on his Twitter today, indicating that the recent metered Internet ruling will be undergoing some changes. Clement expressed concern over “how it would impact consumers, how it would impact Canadians generally, how it would impact small business, how it would impact on small business on our economy, on innovation.”

Earlier this week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decided that large ISPs could begin charging wholesale customers for their bandwidth use, which in turn would force smaller and independent carriers to drastically increase prices for their customers, as well as possibly eliminate their ability to offer pay-per-month options. Customers would be subjected to higher prices, and find downloading, gaming, and video streaming all but impossible.

A week after the ruling, prime minister Stephen Harper demanded its be reviewed after members of Parliament, other governing officials, and the public raised their opposition. The collective outrage worked: According to the Toronto Star, the ruling will be reversed. “The CRTC should be under no illusion – the prime minister and minister of industry will reserve this decision unless the CRTC does it itself,” a senior conservative government official told the paper.

So it’s back to the drawing board for the CRTC. Either the regulations die, or the commission must seriously revamp the idea. The ruling was originally slated to go into effect on March 1, so it seems a matter of weeks until we hear about any alterations to the proposal.

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