National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la capitale nationale

Pricing Updates

Pricing updates and changes March 4, 2020

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Pricing updates and changes

March 4, 2020

Hope this finds you well as Winter (slowly) turns to Spring.

I’m writing because we are increasing our DSL rates starting April 1st. You can finda complete list of current and new prices here: help.ncf.ca/Pricing

As a not-for-profit committed to universal digital access, we take our commitment to affordability seriously. This is why our prices have been the same since 2017, when we dropped all our rates and made all our plans unlimited use.

Because our mandate includes helping people understand how to use the internetand feel safe online, we work hard to go above and beyond the service you can expect from a commercial ISP, running an operation that is as lean as possible while maintaining high quality services.

This includes offsetting a lot of our administrative overhead costs with grant funding and member donations, recruiting and training volunteers as part of our award-winning HelpDesk support and offering additional services like email and community workshops. (In fact we have a number of new workshops to announce soon!)

Here’s the issue: as we have mentioned before, in August 2019 the CRTC (the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission) decided that big telecom companies like Bell had to drop some of the wholesale rates they charge us. They also decided that independent Internet Service Providers like NCF had been overpaying for years, and made the rate drop retroactive to March 2016.

This was great news for us and NCF members as our costs and usage have been going up every year and we had been planning to increase our rates to adjust for these increased costs. The CRTC decision meant we wouldn’t have to.

Then, in September 2019, Bell and some other telecom giants like Rogers and Telus appealed the rate drop to the Federal Court of Appeal. The decision is still pending and rates have been frozen at the old, higher rates in the meantime. Later they also appealed the rate drop to the CRTC directly, as well as the federal government.

At the same time, some of the incentives Bell had offered that helped offset their high line rates have ended, intensifying the financial squeeze we’re facing. These incentives are a significant part of what enabled us to keep our prices the same for so long in the face of other increased costs.

We are hopeful the CRTC’s decision to make rates affordable will be upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal. If and when that happens, we will happily review our rates — as we have in the past.

We will also be increasing our advocacy around these issues: we’re a small team, but we believe we can make a real difference if we harness the power of NCF members and our collective passion for digital access.

Thank you for being an NCF member.

Please feel free to write me if you have any questions or concerns by writing shelley@ncf.ca.

If you’re experiencing any service issues, please contact the HelpDesk by emailing support@ncf.ca or calling 613-7221-1773 ext. 0 and leaving a voicemail or speaking to one of our HelpDesk Analysts.

Take care,
Shelley

Shelley Robinson
Executive Director
National Capital FreeNet
206-1305 Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7Y4
(613) 721-1773 ext. 1001