Ticket protest takes to the streets

If you were parked downtown this week, and got a strange looking violation ticket on your windshield, chances are you shouldn’t have to worry about paying the piper.

If you were parked downtown Saturday, and got a strange looking violation ticket on your windshield, chances are you shouldn’t have to worry about paying the piper.

Not yet anyway. 

A Kelowna group concerned about the CRTC’s recent decision to allow large Internet providers to charge for excessive bandwidth use, while granting independent Internet service providers a small discount, planned to gather at the Sails Saturday. 

From there they planned to disperse tickets that warn locals about a new financial burden that could soon be levied.

“The tickets offer a cheeky representation of what’s going on with the CRTC putting a meter on the Internet,” said event organizer Laura Mark, Friday afternoon.

“It pokes some fun at what’s happening, while bringing awareness.”

The tickets explain that big telecom companies can now freely impose usage-based billing and that could “crush” innovative services. 

“This is a big issue for small businesses,” she said. “I have a design company, and I am sending large files to print, receiving large file and hosting other websites—that’s going to cost a lot.” 

The group hopes that they, along with counterparts in other cities across Canada, can get the general public in the know in the issue, so they can collectively lobby against the change in policy. 

“At the Sails we’ll have a petition for everyone to sign, and we’ll get their thoughts and words on video,” she said. There will be some people dressing up as meter maids, to deliver the message in person.

“Hopefully we’ll get a good turnout,” she said. “Everyone is going to be affected, from personal users to home based businesses.  In this day and age, the Internet is everything.”

For more information go to www.stopthemeter.ca.