It's finally passed. Private Members Bill C-288, demanding clarity on what you're actually purchasing for Internet Service, is now Law. 

Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa Shadow Minister for Rural Economic Development and Connectivity Dan Mazier has succeeded in developing new Canadian legislation.

"I've heard from all across Canada what the need was for Internet service to be improved. So, we decided to develop a Bill. We're looking at the practices of how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) sell you their services. So, right now, the ISPs can sell you theoretical, or, in the contract it says, 'Up to speeds;' that's 10 and 50. In other words, this is the same thing as going to fill up your car to get up to 50 litres of fuel, only receiving 10, but then paying for 50. The telecommunications industry is the only industry in Canada that can sell you a product like this."

Mazier adds he felt it's not right and had to be addressed. 

"Internet Service Providers now will have to be more transparent to what kind of service you can expect while using the Internet," continues Mazier. "The CRTC actually has been legislated to follow certain thing, call together industry and consumers, and come up with a solution of how they would advertise the services that they're selling.  The net result is they're much more transparent and it gives the consumer a lot more information and accurate information of what service they are actually purchasing. That increases competition, as well, because really, if you knew that when you were going to go use the Internet at 7:00 at night, all they could offer you was 30 or 10 megabytes, that would make you think differently about what kind of service you want."

The law goes into effect when it receives Royal Assent any time now. 

"Then it gets sent over to the Governor General. You're going to hear the government of the day send in guidelines or different criteria to send signals to the CRTC to look at this approach. The difference between legislation and guidelines, we'll say, or regulation changes, is that legislation gets a priority of what the department has to deal with. The CRTC goes to the top of the pile as far as what they have to work on, and that's the biggest advantage to all this. The CRTC has a clear mandate which they've asked for. That's why they like the actual Bill, as well."

Mazier says the whole process was taxing to him, personally, noting he was initially busy in the Environment Committee while this was going through the Senate.

"I was told that my Bill's getting getting debated in the third reading, and then it passed unanimously. I got back to the office here in Ottawa at 9:00, and I was just closing the door for the night, when it hit me. I just passed a Private Members Bill in Canada in Legislation! I often said, here's a farm kid who, at Justice Manitoba, got a piece of Legislation in for consumers, and for this thing called the Internet that we all use and need, and making it fair."

He notes he was basically a democratically voted-in person from Justice Manitoba who came in and made this law up, and it's going to be very valuable. 

"It's surreal and it's very rewarding, I have to say. This is a good day. While I feel good about it, I know in my heart and I know all Canadians feel this is a good day. For everybody who uses the Internet and every one of those consumers, it'll be definitely a good piece of legislation, and will be used into many years to come."

Mazier adds Australia, the UK, and now the US have just shifted over to this type of advertising. 

"It's around the parameters, and we call it quality or metrics. There's upload/download speeds in which they have to be more accurate. That's just one aspect of what they sell you. There are also packets in the different little nomenclatures inside of that. The bottom line is everybody just wants it to work, and they want to know what they're buying. That is what this legislation is going to clarify. What the US has come up with is sort of a nutrition label, and it can be expanded. It's the same type of format. Everybody understands there are calories, and they put different metrics inside of those categories. But it's the same box of text that you saw on a box of Cheerios. It can be that simple. Then the different criteria is noted; here's what you can expect for different qualities while you're using the Internet."

He notes other modern nations can be sources of learning for Canada which is to Canada's advantage when it comes to talking about it with the CRTC and industry. Australia found that prices came down, but more importantly, complaints went down. He adds expectations were better understood when people bought the service.

"Unfortunately, it has to come from legislation because the companies didn't do this right. Some people have asked if their methodology was actually legal. It is. The government never addressed it. And that's why this Private Members Bill is so important."

He adds it shows how our democracy can work if someone pays attention to what is not right.

Mazier says he plans on keeping the public updated so they can comment.

"Stay tuned on that and we'll see what happens in the future."