CRTC puts the nails in Canadian Net Neutrality
Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on October 22, 2009
The CRTC decision doesn’t have a silver lining I can find, in fact they essentially said that usage based billing and caps are good tools to use to fight congestion. All Bell Canada has to do is warn us first, then they can gouge as they please. They’ve deferred making a decision on UBB until after the court challenges are dismissed, but I’m not holding my breath.
Particularly since Bell has never proven internet congestion even exists, this is absurd. CRTC accepts everything Bell says as truth.
Which obviously internet customers do not.
Some new links found in today’s flurry:
“The CRTC has said in this decision that ISPs own your content and own your Internet connection” said Lawford,counsel for a coalition of consumer groups, “You just got owned.”
Much has been made of the Internet Carrier’s “rights”. The only reason that their wire has value, is because it is crosses OUR land to deliver internet service. Governments at the municipal level have given easements to phone and cable providers so that they may cross our land and put their wires and equipment there. This was not done for the corporate benefit but for the public good.
“It approves all of the throttling practices that ISPs currently engage in,” said John Lawford, counsel for the centre. “It requires consumers to prove something funny is going on and consumers don’t have the means to figure out what ISPs are doing and they don’t have the resources to bring that to the commission’s attention.”
The CRTC says that Canadians have the right to bring “credible complaints” of throttling. And just how are we supposed to do that? How can you tell?
Will a pop-up appear on my screen telling me that Bell is throttling my internet connection?
Somehow I doubt that. All the average user knows is that it is slower or faster. (In Canada slower or sloooower.) We have no idea of why. Nor do we have any means to find out that I’ve ever heard of.
“Basically the CRTC has left the wolves in charge of the henhouse. “ISPs have been given the green light to shape the traffic on the internet toward their corporate interest. This decision is a huge blow to the future competitiveness of the internet.
“Canada has fallen to the back of the pack in internet service provision and pricing after leading the way for years. This is the direct result of a small band of ISP giants blocking out competition. This decision clears the way for ISPs to squeeze out third-party players who are attempting to provide better price and service options.”
–New Democrat Digital Affairs Critic Charlie Angus, CRTC drops the ball on internet freedom
The Independent ISP’s who have set up Internet Service Provider businesses were just getting established enough to prove a threat to carriers Bell/Telus/Sasktel/Rogers/Shaw. The bad CRTC rulings in favor of Bell Canada “throttling” and Usage Based Billing have put the Independent ISPs in the position of fighting for their corporate lives. These ISPs purchase blocks of bandwidth, which they then redistribute to their own retail customers in packages of their own design. The CRTC rulings have allowed the carriers to interfere with the service received by Independent ISP customers, and when they are allowed to apply additional Usage Based Billing charges to the Independent ISPs retail customers it will likely force them out of business.
Liberal consumer affairs critic Dan McTeague told CBCNews.ca that alternative broadband business models, from a stronger wholesale regime to the splitting off of networks from the companies that own them, need to be examined.
The government and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission have allowed phone and cable companies to call the shots, he said, which has resulted in the country slipping.
“Canada has an abysmal record that reflects absolute neglect,” he said. “We’re looking after a handful that really don’t deserve to have this much power.”
Much to my frustration, when I was reading the comments on the CBC throttling story, I was on page 24 when it froze up. I was able to get back in and scroll through to page 20 before it froze. I’ve just spent a couple of hours trying to finish (312 comments… I’m maybe half way through… except for a few obvious plants, the comments are overwhelmingly negative.) Maybe I’ll be able to read that and some other stuff tomorrow, but my connectivity hasn’t been this bad since dial-up, so I’m pretty frustrated today. I’m probably not even going to try to log in here tomorrow, so much of my regular life has been disrupted by all of these nasty things coming to a head at once, and I need to do some serious catching up. I’m probably taking a day or two and hopefully I’ll be able to get the next installment of the alphabet series out.
One of the cool things that WordPress does is it gives bloggers access to some statistics. If someone clicks a link on another site to get here, it may show up in the stats. It also tells me what links people click here. This way, if I get delusions of grandeur I can see that fully half my traffic is really only coming here to watch the IT crowd “this is the internet” clip. (On the other hand when I see people clicking on the disolve the crtc site, or one of the other excellent links in the sidebars, that encourages me.) This is helpful because if someone’s website links here, they may have information I could use, so I’ll go check them out if I can. Today I got an referral from a really enigmatic site, but there’s no way to find out what they’re about from the page i go to. If anyone from https://endoftheinter.net/ is listening, I’m terribly curious. If you can tell me who you are and what you’re about without having to kill me afterward, I’d love to know. Send me email if you want to keep it quiet, but if you want publicity you can either let me know or make a public comment on this. I confess if I hear nothing, I’ll just let it go.
A few more links:
Tom Low-Shang: CRTC Calls This A Decision
Excess Copyright: CRTC Indecision on Net Neutrality
dissolvethecrtc: Summary and analysis of latest CRTC decisions: Traffic management practices and Usage Based Billing
So: speak out, pass the word, do whatever you can to fight this.
The only good thing to come out of this is that we have a whole new whack of people who have noticed this is happening, and as a result, the petition has had a new bunch of signatures.