ACORN Canada's tireless efforts to keep the high cost of internet in the public eye led members being invited to the CRTC's public hearing on internet access and affordability. On April 14, 10 ACORN members told personal stories about how not having access to home internet has impeded their - and their childrens' - success in the digital economy.
The compelling stories told by these leaders to CRTC officials led to the CRTC Chair to make a strong call for a national broadband strategy. Jean-Pierre Blais expressed how presentations by representatives from remote and northern communities and consumer and anti-poverty groups made it clear that broadband is “vital” to Canadians.
In a forceful and unusual statement delivered in the middle of a public hearing, the chairman of Canada’s telecom regulator called on governments as well as the telecom industry itself to contribute to the development of a “coherent national broadband strategy.”
Expressing disappointment that Internet access and affordability received little attention in the country’s fall election, Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), noted that funding announced in the Liberals’ recent budget “doesn’t appear to be tied to a clear policy on broadband and its deployment in Canada.”
Would you pay an extra 72 cents a month on your own telecom bill to support Internet access for low-income Canadians and those living in remote, hard-to-serve areas?
This question formed part of a wide-ranging discussion around affordability and access to high-speed Internet on Thursday as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) continued its review of “basic telecom services.”
Toronto ACORN member Alejandra Ruiz spoke to AMI about our Internet for All campaign: