Courage ~ The key to happiness is freedom, the key to freedom is courage.

Email sent to subscribers of OpenMedia.ca – Did We Stop Usage-Based Billing Yesterday?‏

You helped move one of Canada’s largest and most entrenched conglomerates. Yesterday, Bell Canada finally weaseled its way out of its request to impose a punitive pricing model onto its independent competitors. Bell has now put forward a new scheme called “Aggregated Volume Pricing.”

You’d be hard-pressed to find another instance in recent history when a Big Telecom conglomerate backed down from something it had fought for so unrelentingly. The Stop The Meter petition is working.

But will this new scheme stop usage fees, expensive rates, and overall horrible telecom service? No, we’re afraid not.

Here’s what we know:

1. Bell and other big telecom companies continue to impose usage fees on Canadians and they control 94% of the Internet access market.
2. Sources tell us the scheme was crafted between major industry players behind closed doors.
3. Big phone and cable companies do not want telecom price gouging to be an election issue.

Big telecom companies know that during an election, we have the ears of our representatives. They know that we have a unique opportunity to tell candidates that we want digital policy that will remove the Internet from the stranglehold of Big Telecom and stop price gouging, once and for all.

Here’s where your investment in OpenMedia.ca will go:

* Digital Future Survey – we’ll put transformative digital policy questions to the parties and report the results, so you can make an informed voting decision.
* We’ll build an online tool that will let you easily ask your local candidates to stand up for the Internet this election (and we’ll let you know where they stand).
* We’ll launch a campaign to make Big Telecom price gouging an election issue.

To do this effectively we need your help.

Donate HERE to join citizens across Canada in making a special investment to ramp up the pressure this election.

With your help, we’ve already convinced the major political parties to come out against usage-based billing. We’ve also forced the CRTC to reconsider its past billing decisions, forced Bell Canada to backtrack, and opened the CRTC’s closed-door meetings to the public. Just imagine what we can accomplish during the election season. Please help us get there.

For the Internet,

Steve Anderson, on behalf of the OpenMedia.ca Team
P.S. Bell hopes to pull the wool over our eyes, right as we’re on the precipice of significant change. If that bothers you as much as it does me, please support our election strategy by visiting http://openmedia.ca/drive.

For more on Big Telecom’s gouging, read my op-ed in the National Post today, Fairness: Good for Hockey, Good for the Internet.

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