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CRTC to hear arguments for, against "zero rate" Internet data price plans

FILE PHOTO - Lights are illuminated on a modem in Chelsea, Que., on July 11, 2011.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
October 30, 2016 - 11:35 AM

OTTAWA - The country's telecom giants go head-to-head this week at hearings that could result in a dramatic change to the way Internet is delivered in Canada.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission review stems from a complaint about Quebecor-owned Videotron over the way it bills customers for the data they use.

The company launched an unlimited music streaming service in August 2015, allowing its customers to stream music from specific third-party services without it counting toward their monthly data cap, a practice dubbed as zero rating, also known as differential pricing.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre complained that the new service allowed Videotron to discriminate against other music-streaming services that were still subject to data usage fees.

Major service providers including BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. are in favour of the practice, arguing it results in more choice.

Rogers Inc., on the other hand, calls zero rating discriminatory, saying it limits competition by favouring certain content.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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