As Canada begins to re-open this summer, we’re getting a better look at what our lives will look like for the foreseeable future—and it’s not a return to normal. COVID-19 physical distancing is here to stay, and with it, our increasingly digital world.
Many people are finding their current Internet plans insufficient to support a whole family needing WiFi all day long. The cheapest Internet plans, especially those from the Big Three, are the most likely to have restrictive monthly data limits. Go over your tiny cap? Get hit with a nasty overage bill. That’s Big Telecom’s gouging formula. It’s unfair, and designed to take advantage of poor people with no other options.1-4
In response to the ask from customers & OpenMedia supporters, many ISPs chose to hit pause this spring on their data caps, among other supportive policies. The problem: most of these policies are set to expire at the end of the month. Meanwhile, people’s need for unrestricted and affordable Internet hasn’t diminished at all. Check out the chart below for a comparison of different providers' timelines.
However, on May 28, Distributel shook things up by permanently extending their COVID-19 data cap policy! Effective immediately, their 90-day pause on Internet overage charges became permanent for all capped plans. This is huge. It means that, despite what ISPs have been saying for years, data caps are not a necessary evil.5
While this is a systemic issue that requires government intervention, other ISPs should step up immediately to follow Distributel’s lead. All Internet providers should end data caps permanently. Distributel has demonstrated that this kind of action is possible. And with data caps currently on pause, the other ISPs are already halfway there.
You can see what different ISPs have done to date in the chart below. Make sure you send a tweet to the ISPs in your region, calling on them to act now to end data caps forever!