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Hill Times on Net Neutrality

The Hill Times covers the growing lobbying effort in Canada around the net neutrality issue with news that Amazon.com has regularly visited Ottawa to discuss the issue, Rogers claims it doesn't block packets (it might have noted that it limits bandwidth for applications though) and Bell Canada implausibly claims that net neutrality advocates want less consumer choice, not more.

4 Comments

  1. Dwight Williams says:

    Bell Canada’s People Are Wrong
    I want to preserve my choices as a consumer, not reduce them. That’s why I disagree with their claims on net neutrality.

  2. Why don\t the Telcos get it?
    Why can the Telco\’s and Cable companies not understand Net Neutrality? I love the quote from Lawson Hunter, executive VP at Bell Canada, that net neutrality advocates are advocating for less consumer choice, not more.

    \”We\’re distributors, and what they would say is tantamount to saying that all grocery stores should look exactly the same. That, of course, isn\’t really in the consumer interest because you really don\’t have differentiated products in the marketplace,\” he said.

    He does not understand the issue. It is not that every grocery store should look the same, but rather, we should be able to go to any grocery store we want, not just the superstore in the one mall that Bell owns. These are two different points, and Mr. Hunter clearly does not see the difference.

  3. No one is going to keep you from going t
    It is one thing to say that you want to be able to go to any grocery store you want. No one disputes that aspect – as long as it is legal. Can we agree on that point?

    If you want to use a store/shopping mall metaphor, let\’s. Do all stores have the same sized doorway? Are they all the same size? Don\’t some stores pay more to be located near the entrance and others pay less and are tucked away down other corridors? Some are big and bright and pay for their own leasehold improvements. Some are kiosks provided by the mall. You have access to all of them that will let you in (some have security systems to keep people out).

    It isn\’t equal, but it also isn\’t unfair.

    That is what is meant by providing choice.

  4. Kevin McArthur says:

    Tell it to telus
    “It is one thing to say that you want to be able to go to any grocery store you want. No one disputes that aspect – as long as it is legal. Can we agree on that point? ”

    Tell that to telus. We run our own SMTP services but funny, telus wont let any of their residential subscribers use them on default ports. In fact, to use them, we have to change our service and _instruct_ every customer on how to use a different port. Does this seem like they agree? Seems pretty much like anti-competitive, outright blocking, to me.

    What about Epifora — they got turfed by MCI for hosting ‘controversial speech’ which was perfectly legal. Did MCI agree?

    What the ISPs want is not to pick where stores go in a mall. They have that, they’re called portal sites. They want to pick who can drive to the other malls by putting up toll booths around neighbourhoods; and yes, you can take the telus road, or the shaw road to get to the other mall, but if they both have tolls, or worse roadblocks, well, then you’re just screwed.

    I mean yes, we could all be happy that this week Shaw’s having a sale, and we could all go there, it’d definitely increase competition between the toll booths. But that increased toll booth competition presumes that they have the right to be there at all and that we want toll booths on our road.

    Can you imagine if one day, we just took the public road system, and decided we were going to privatize it. That RoadCo corp and Highwaymen Inc were going to have the roads divided up equally between them, because they agreed to do the maintenance. I mean it’d save a lot of public dollars right and two choices is more than enough competition.

    So then you want to go to the local MomAndPop, but theres a toll booth on that exit and the lines a mile long. But look over there, theres a MegloMart [a subsidiary of Highwaymen Inc] who doesnt have a toll and doesn’t have a line. It sucks to shop there, the guys are rude, they tell you what you can do with the stuff you buy, and just try getting a refund or canceling that 3 yr membership they made you sign on for; but you’ll do it anyway because you can’t afford to wait all day in the MomAndPop line.

    Wouldn’t you feel lucky that you got the extra ‘choice’ to visit the MegloMart without a line? Isn’t that just more competitive for MomAndPop?

    We’re not idiots eh. Net Neutrality guarantees that every business can be accessed equally and fairly and that consumers have the right to choose who they want to do business with. It means the ISPs can’t act like gangsters and they can’t keep people out of your store with artificial tolls and roadblocks.

    It’s not a hard concept to understand, but ISPs make for very very powerful ‘organizations’ don’t they.