Vidéotron says it wants to work with CRTC on ‘smooth transition’ for Unlimited Music


After Canada’s telecom regulator disallowed Vidéotron’s Unlimited Music feature as part of its new zero-rating regulations, the Quebec-based operator was given until July 19th, 2017 to stop offering the feature.

In a press release sent out today, the carrier notes that in accordance with that date, it stopped marketing the service on May 10th, but says it has now filed a review application with the CRTC to “minimize the impact on customers who are already using the service.” The application suggests the service should be grandfathered.

The press release adds that “Vidéotron is asking the CRTC to permit measures that would allow customers who are enjoying the service launched two years ago a smooth and advantageous transition. Vidéotron shares the CRTC’s commitment to putting Canadian consumers first.”

The CRTC handed down its verdict on Vidéotron’s zero-rated service on April 20th, judging that it was unfair that the carrier allowed for unlimited music streaming without touching the consumer’s data allotment for only customers on certain plans and for certain music platforms.

Many Canadian consumer advocacy groups lauded the decision as a strong step forward for net neutrality, while financial analysts and a former FCC Trump advisor saw the move as anti-consumer.

MobileSyrup has reached out to Vidéotron for further comment as to what in particular the carrier has in mind for minimizing the impact of losing Unlimited Music for current users.

Update 25/05/17: In its application to the commission, Vidéotron states the decision should be reviewed because the CRTC did not provide evidence on the impacts of  imposing a short deadline on terminating the program, and that the July 19th deadline is not feasible.

From a “purely technical perspective,” says Vidéotron, it would require at least 27 weeks to withdraw Unlimited Music and develop and implement new benefits. When factoring in “legal and privacy-based factors,” that timeline gets longer, according to the carrier, citing giving notice to affected subscribers.

The operator requests that CRTC decides on the request for the stay by June 9th, and that if the request for review is accepted, the CRTC consider grandfathering current Unlimited Music users until they’ve reached the end of their handset subsidy or has otherwise renewed their contract.

Source: CNW