OTTAWA | Mobile Internet providers will no longer be able to offer packages that allow certain services to be used without consuming mobile data, such as Spotify or YouTube, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
According to the regulator of telecommunications in Canada, any package that allows unlimited use of an application without affecting the total amount of monthly customer data is a form of unfair competition.
The source of the dispute is Vidéotron’s Unlimited Music service, launched in August 2015, which allowed subscribers to listen to music continuously without breaking into their monthly data limit.
However, this offer still only applies to 19 specific applications, depending on the company’s site. The CRTC therefore ruled that this offer contravenes the principle of “net neutrality”, which stipulates that all Internet traffic should be treated equally by Internet service providers (ISPs).
“It is important that all Canadians have access to choice, innovation and free exchange of ideas.
If ISPs set different prices depending on the content, they are, in a way, influencing Canadians in their choice of content, “the organization said in a media presentation on Thursday.
In the judgment, the CRTC ordered Vidéotron to terminate this package within the next 90 days.
End of data limits?
In its decision, the CRTC also applied to all telecom companies that still impose a data limit on Canadians, or often charge up to $ 100 per month for unlimited access.
“Rather than offering subscribers specific content at variable rates for data use, Internet service providers should instead offer more data at reduced rates,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, And Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC.
The agency said it expects prices for mobile Internet plans to fall as a result of this decision and the new net neutrality standards attached to it.
“The CRTC expects vendors to invest in their networks to provide better data packages that are better suited to consumers’ changing expectations of price, speed and capacity,” the organization said in a statement. His judgment.
Videotron was “very disappointed” with this decision and intends to analyze the CRTC’s conclusions in depth before ending or not its Unlimited Music service.
“For us, Unlimited Music was a perfect example of innovation and diversification, put forward by a new entrant who sought to differentiate themselves from dominant wireless service providers for the benefit of Canadian consumers, Manon Brouillette, President and Chief Executive Officer of Videotron, said.