Twitter and Government

While I was drinking my coffee this morning, waiting for my partner to get out of bed so we could go to work, I flipped open my newest issue of Maclean’s magazine. This week’s letter from the editors is commenting on our federal government’s use of Twitter (specifically, our Prime Minister), to make a decision on a very controversial issue in Canada – usage based billing for the internet.

To give you some context, the CRTC, our regulatory group for all things radio, television, and I guess, internet, agreed with some of our major internet providers that people should start being billed for going over their monthly bandwidth allowance on their internet services, and that “unlimited” packages (mostly offered by the smaller players) should no longer be allowed.

You can probably understand why so many Canadians were upset about this. With Netflix finally coming north of the border, and online television watching growing in popularity, people could only imagine what this would do to our internet bills!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper agreed with the dissenters, tweeting “We’re very concerned about CRTC’s decision on usage-based billing and its impact on consumers. I’ve asked for a review of the decision.”

So why are the editors of Maclean’s so up in arms about the tweet? They think it’s wrong that there was no formal press release, Harper didn’t stand up in parliament and state that the CRTC ruling is unacceptable, he didn’t give a speech.

Sure, it does seem a little odd. But given the subject (usage-based billing for the internet), I think it’s totally appropriate.

What are your thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “Twitter and Government

  1. Time Warner s reported experimentation with usage-based billing UBB for Internet services comes as a result of the fact that five percent of its users consume half of its bandwidth. They will have to bill for usage in a transparent manner if they are to convince users UBB is a positive for the majority as opposed to an invasion of privacy intended to improve the bottomline…..Time Warner Cable which has 7.4 million residential Internet subscribers will no doubt attempt to approach UBB in a way that will not confuse or disenchant consumers.

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