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CRTC Issues Net Neutrality Decision

Submitted without comment.

Submitted without comment.

The CRTC has issued their net neutrality decision. Personally, I’m a little dissapointed in the ruling. Michael Geist points out a couple of areas to feel good about the ruling, but I tend to agree with this quote given to the CBC by Public Interest Advisory Committee legal counsel John Lawford:

“It approves all of the throttling practices that ISPs currently engage in. 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,”

Where Geist is absolutely correct that this is a win, is that people are clearly talking about the issue now – and on the heels of Canada’s dismal showing in the recent FCC sponsored Berkman Center report (22nd out of the 30 countries studied) hopefully digital issues will continue to gain momentum as a high profile political issue.

Also positive is the clear statement that the same guidelines should apply to wireless and wireline services – a clear signal that differentiations between the two categories of data service are increasingly negligible.

The CRTC has clearly left the door open to reevaluate this decision going forward, so we certainly haven’t heard the last on the neutrality front – no doubt with lots more challenges and counter-challenges and political bickering to come (political opinion will be especially interesting given the likely net neutrality legislation being brought forth in the US in coming weeks). All that is true, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for more hard and fast guidelines to restrict ISP’s traffic management practices going forward.