Building on the success of a 480,000 signature petition launched earlier this year, award-winning public engagement organization OpenMedia.ca today released a citizen-powered report that exposes the weaknesses of closed communications models. Titled Casting An Open Net, the report counters popular arguments by major telecom companies that want to impose punitive pricing schemes, in which Canadians pay more for Internet and get less. The findings are clear: there is no technical or economic justification for restricting access to legal online content.
The report is the first of its kind: a comprehensive look at economic, technical, cultural aspects of Internet openness, as well as Canadian views on net neutrality and international comparisons. It shows that the Internet’s open architecture has become central to the success of our economy, our culture and our society, but that it is under threat by large, vertically-integrated telecom companies that seek to control, and even to discourage, use of the Internet.
OpenMedia.ca will deliver Casting An Open Net to the CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, new Industry Minister Christian Paradis, and other key decision makers. The group is also pushing the envelope on political tactics by empowering citizens to send the report to Stephen Harper themselves, as well as to their local MP, using an online tool.
“The current industry-centric approach is totally unacceptable. Digital policy has clearly not been made in the public interest,” said report’s editor, OpenMedia.ca Managing Director Reilly Yeo. “This is just wrong. Canadians in historic numbers – nearly half-a-million – have told policy makers that digital policy matters to them, that they’re paying attention, and that they want to see changes made.”
Yeo continued: “With this clear, concise, well-researched plan, our representatives have no excuse for inaction. This report lays the groundwork, and now it’s time to move forward.”