Bell Mobility Needs to Include Streaming TV in Data Charges says Federal Court of Appeal

This Monday, the Federal Court of Appeal took steps that those seeking to keep the Internet a neutral space in terms of traffic are hailing as a “big win”.

The “Win” unrolled like this: previously, Bell appealed a decision made by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in connection with net neutrality. The CRTC had stopped Bell from letting customers stream its mobile TV services without charging them for data, stating that doing so violated the Telecommunications Act, as not all broadband providers are able to provide such services at a negligible cost.

img_tile_FibeTVapp_v1_enAccording to reports, Bell let consumers watch 10 hours of mobile TV for a measly $5. The company charged viewers for screen time, and not the amount of data they used, stating that what they were doing fell beneath the umbrella of the Broadcasting Act and not the Telecommunications Act.

The Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed Bell’s appeal of the CRTC’s decision, agreeing that the service did in fact fall under the Telecommunications Act, and did violate it.

The CRTC will be holding a hearing on net neutrality this coming fall. Differential pricing tactics and how they affect the playing field for broadband providers in Canada will be examined.

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