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Feds order CRTC to reverse net metering decision

The federal government has told the CRTC it must reverse it's decision to allow usage-based billing for Internet service.

Yesterday, a senior Conservatives government official reportedly told the Toronto Star that "The CRTC should be under no illusion -- the Prime Minister and minister of Industry will reverse this decision unless the CRTC does it itself."

Industry Minister Tony Clement confirmed this information yesterday in a tweet.

Usage-based billing, or net metering, would allow Internet service providers to cap how much data users can download, and charge per byte beyond that.

The decision prompted a groundswell of public protest, led by a group called whose petition, Stop The Meter, garnered more than 200,000 signatures. A Jan. 25 Globe and Mail op-ed by Tyee editor David Beers was the website's most Facebooked article, and earlier this week the Liberal Party announced its opposition to the decision.

A statement on OpenMedia's website says the organization "is reacting positively to Government's confirmation that they will enforce a reversal of at least one of the CRTC's decisions regarding Internet metering. Considering the lack of details, and a huge spectrum of possible actions before the Government, vows to increase the pressure until we see an end to unreasonable Internet usage fees, and big telecom is held accountable to the public."

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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