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Net Neutrality

This Net is My Net. This Net is ...

There was recently a extremely large hearing with regards to net neutrality. With the sounds of soft guitar in the background the CRTC is surely writing their decision feverishly.

This issue is far from dead regardless of the outcome of the hearing. There is pressure on parliament from both sides of the debate asking them to act. There could be appeals or even "orders in council" (essentially the minister stepping in and telling the CRTC what they should have said). There has also been a recent push for a new nation digital strategy from a whack of federal agencies.

CRTC Allows Bell to Apply Per Usage Pricing to Wholesale Customers

The CRTC released a decision allowing Bell to impose user based pricing on its wholesale customers. This is problematic for a number of reasons.

First, it exacerbates the lack of competition already present in the wireline Internet industry by effectively making usage based pricing a non-competitive issue. Second, it is unfair as much of the bandwidth in question will be in off-peak hours and so would cost Bell nothing in provisioning. Third, it allows incumbents such as Bell to further abuse their gatekeeper position, leading to a diminshed internet experience for Canadians.

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US Introduces NetNeutrality Legislation

While the CRTC grapples with issues of ISP discrimination against applications, services and users, the US has introduced legislation intended to guarantee Americans will not face such discrimination unless it is justified. Specifically, the proposed Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 will prevent ISPs from degrading bandwidth based on application unless such degradation is justified.

The CRTC has the power now to institute similar protections for Canadians and the Internet. Hopefully it will take some guidance from this new Bill.

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Welcome and Some Net Neutrality

Welcome to Digital Agenda (.ca) this site is part of CIPPIC's plan to have a more active online presence. The site is still under a bit of construction and will be fleshed out in the coming weeks. If you find anything that is not working quite right, you would like to get involved, or if you have any ideas about the site.

I am a third year law student at the University of Ottawa and I suppose I am also the site administrator. Much of my time this summer was spent on the CRTC Net Neutrality hearing, so I wanted to have a post updating folks on what happens now.

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