A landmark decision from the CRTC today has determined that Bell Mobility unlawfully made competing mobile apps and services more expensive for Canadians by unfairly exempting their own services from monthly data caps.
The CRTC directed Bell to stop their unlawful practice in the next 90 days. The ruling sets a precedent for mobile providers across Canada, experts say.
The decision comes a year after Ben Klass filed a complaint with the CRTC accusing Bell Mobility of discriminating against independent services like Netflix. Klass’ complaint revealed that Bell was marking up access to competing video services by up to 800%.
“Ensuring that all content is treated equally is crucial to ensuring that the Internet remains a level playing field for innovators, entrepreneurs, and everyday Internet users,” says Klass now. “It’s heartening to see the CRTC side with Canadians and strike down this unfair practice.”
“Let’s be clear on one thing: the telecom companies were fighting for new tools to squeeze even more money out of mobile users in Canada – but today, they lost that power,” says Josh Tabish of OpenMedia, a pro-Internet organization based in Vancouver.