February 20: Bell Mobility asks the Federal Court to toss out the CRTC’s Mobile TV decision, the one described by Chairman Blais as favoring “innovation and choice.” In what might be seen as an attempt at intimidation, Bell also asks for costs to be awarded against Ben Klass and several other intervenors.*
Update 2, Feb 23. The Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) has now listed the Bell appeal on its site. The start page to query the FCA database is here. In “Party name” field, insert “Bell” and submit. That brings up a long table, with the first record being Court Number 15-A-3, now identified as “BELL MOBILITY INC. v. BENJAMIN KLASS ET AL.” Clicking the “Re” link brings up this window (as of 2:20 pm Monday):
Update, Feb 23. Our friends at OpenMedia are on this case in a big way. The press release is here. My favorite part is the message summed up in this piece of signage:
That’s an effective way to capture the worst aspects of the incumbents’ goal: turning an open platform into a completely closed, one-way system that’s like nothing so much as cable TV.
Some US and Canadian net neutrality highlights…
- Nov 10 – Barack Obama stuns Washington advocating “the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.”
- Jan 29 – Ben Klass wins CRTC decision against Bell for the “unlawful practice” associated with the pricing of its Mobile TV service.
- Feb 4 – FCC Chairman Wheeler provides a glimpse of his unprecedented and highly controversial net neutrality rules.
- Feb 16 – Openmedia.ca joins a huge campaign to feed pro-Internet messages to the FCC from a Jumbotron placed right outside the agency’s DC offices.
- Feb 20 – Bell Mobility asks the Federal Court for leave to appeal the CRTC’s Klass decision, asking in its filing that several intervenors be obliged to pay legal costs.
- Feb 26 – FCC to vote on Wheeler’s proposed rules to regulate Internet access providers like common carriers.
(*Disclaimer: As an intervenor of record, I’m named as a Respondent in the action.)
Vancouver’s Openmedia gang reach out to DC: join here
Important lessons from Ben’s win and Bell’s appeal
The open Internet community was thrilled by the CRTC’s decision to find in favor of Ben Klass in the matter of his complaint against Bell Mobility TV. In its decision, announced January 29, the CRTC ordered Bell to stop playing favorites with the way it prices its own mobile TV content, at the expense of competing content (the decision, CRTC 2015-26, is in pdf here).
I was one of the witnesses to Ben’s devotion and unpaid hard work on behalf of the public interest. His victory was a long time coming. He made the original complaint on November 20, 2013, and the research needed to support the complaint began weeks before that. (I wrote a number of posts on the matter, starting in November 2013: Ben Klass asks CRTC to stop Bell’s deliquency on Mobile TV.) Continue reading