OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 31, 2011) - Today, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, issued the following statement regarding usage-based billing:
"On Tuesday, January 25, 2011, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced the latest in a series of decisions allowing Internet service providers to charge their wholesale customers for exceeding the monthly usage of data transfer permitted with their broadband Internet service. This will mean, for the first time, that many smaller and regional Internet service providers will be required to move to a system of usage-based billing for their customers.
"I am aware that an appeal has been initiated by a market participant. As Canada's Industry Minister, it is my job to encourage an innovative and competitive marketplace and to ensure that Canadian consumers have real choices in the services they purchase. I can assure that, as with any ruling, these decisions will be studied carefully to ensure that competition, innovation and consumers were all fairly considered.
"The Harper Government is committed to encouraging choice and competition in the wireless and Internet markets. Increased competition can lead to more choice, lower prices and better quality services for Canadians. We have always been clear on our policies in this regard and will continue on this path.
"Our government is focused on the economy and creating a positive environment for job creators and businesses to flourish. Canadians can count on us to do what is in the best interest of consumers."