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The Meaning of the CRTC Decision

Mirko Bibic, Chief Regulatory Officer, Bell:

"With this decision, the Commission has rightly confirmed that network operators are in the best position to determine how to operate their networks effectively and efficiently, to allow fair and proportionate use of the Internet by all users."

Len Katz, Vice-Chair, CRTC:

"Someone told me Bell put out a press release that said the commission upheld its position that network management practices are a fundamental right of theirs. That's not what we said at all."

21 Comments

  1. The politics of framing.
    Its deeply shameful that the CRTC did not review P2P live content streaming in this context. Swarmcasts and other forms of bittorrent live streaming, immediate playback, etc, are all extremely influenced, as they simply don’t work anymore. To claim that a delay on a live stream doesn’t alter its meaning or purpose is beyond ludicrous. To claim this isn’t blocking, or that they wouldn’t have ruled this way if they found blocking, is nonsense. Live bittorrent streams require consistent, high-availability bandwidth to play and they are not delay tolerant, and they are throttled by these ISPs. This _is_ blocking and only by narrowly framing this as a P2P ‘file’ transfer issue have they avoided the issue.

    That the opposition submissions got the commission to narrowly focus on only on the context of P2P large file transfers of non-time-sensitive data just shows how poorly the commission understands the technologies they are ruling against. Bittorrent live streaming, swarmcasting, buffered-p2p-playback… they’re all now dead in Canada — thanks CRTC.

    Hopefully moving forward, we wont see this type of regulatory capture going on.

  2. Dwight Williams says:

    What you think you said in your actual ruling…
    …will be rendered irrelevant by Bell spin doctoring if you allow it to go unchallenged. And we of the Canadian public have to view as win-lose out in the real world.

  3. Bell was not shaping P2P live content streaming, so there was nothing to review

  4. Dwight Williams says:

    Oh?
    How’s that so?

  5. Jason “Throttle-icious” Lazslo and Mirko “Five Percent” Bibic
    Since Jason Lazslo’s Facebook page was made public (where he named journalists lemmings – search Google), the communication with the media is being handled by Mirko Bibic.

  6. tstream torrent streaming
    Apparantly ‘confused’ [or the crtc for that matter] has never heard of a .tstream file. They use bittorrent P2P technology, slightly modified and don’t work when throttled. You have to maintain about 600KBits a second (about 75KB/Sec)… more info is at http://www.p2p-next.org/ (the BBC is one of the legitimate sources pushing this transmission method, but as usual the questionable sites are first to put the technology to test eg. http://eztv.it/tstream/tstreamhowto.html)

    Since it _is_ bittorrent, its not exactly possible for a carrier to tell the difference between it and a normal bittorrent file download. You throttle one, you’re going to get the other.

    When the BBC (or maybe the CBC *knock on wood*) use this for live news and sportscasting its impossible to say that the meaning isn’t altered by throttling… its blocked, it doesn’t work, and it goes away in favor of client-server distribution. The service requires a minimum of 75KB/s to work, which is almost a factor of 10 slower than the posted speed rates for most broadband connections — yet wont work with throttling involved.

  7. Pollyanna?
    I may be hopelessly optimistic, but I think there’s a possibility that the CRTC is laying the groundwork for more positive (in my view) decisions down the road. The issue at hand was actually quite limited in its scope, and by over-reaching, the Commission would have complicated things for itself a great deal. At the very least, this establishes the principle that everyone downstream from Bell (and presumably from other top-level providers) – everyone – must be treated equally.

    If the underlying policy changes at some point, then, this becomes a positive thing in that Bell will have less wiggle room to discriminate in odd ways or to make other ‘interesting’ decisions.

  8. Even though this decision lays down frame work for more action down the road, there are some stifling accusations in some of the submissions the CAIP have filed with regards to DPI technology affecting legitimate business communications and applications. Interfering with business communications at a time when business is critical to the economy I think strikes a more serious and immediate tone then the big issue of users vs net neutrality. This decision comes at a time when businesses can not afford highly skilled techs to come in and determine what’s being effected by DPI and what’s not.

    Quite clearly the ISP’s and the CRTC have the ownus to provide a list of business applications effected by this and provide a more in depth information on protocols used, so that consultants can properly inform their clients on what to use, and what not to use and how to let legitimate business communications through to not just business – business, but business – consumer without any impeding slow down.

    While I agree that there is more study needed in the area of “throttling” businesses should not have to wait 1 year for critical information with regards to internet business communications. The CRTC has overlooked a very big and very connected part of this argument, and the business community has a right to know from these ISP’s what’s being effected so that appropriate decisions can be made in the interim.

    The CRTC needs to make a very public list compiled by the ISP’s on what applications and services will be effected by this decision. Communications are a very big part of any business. Impeding those communications at a time of consumer uncertainty, will most likely contribute to the down fall of Canadian markets in the months ahead. What a shame.

  9. “CBCNews.ca: Some critics have personally attacked you as you spent 17 years working for Rogers and 11 for Bell. How do you respond to those critics?”

    After I am done at the CRTC, I’ll be going back to my jobs at Rogers and Bell.
    hahahahaha

  10. WHY the SYSTEM IS BROKEN
    THEY OUGHT TO LOOK UP WHAT THEY TRULY SAID ABOUT COMCAST BLOCKING

    to block is to also IMPEDE or RETARD and action

    not to sound un symptathetic
    a retarded human is not blocked from thinking
    he is impeded or slowed, and may still come to the same conclusion as you or I, only will do so slower
    in bells case 95% block when everyone would use somehting is near as bad as 100% all the time.
    ALSO comcast used an exploit that with linux patch you could then get back your net.
    BELL has fortified with hardware that has firmware patch ability.

  11. Ms
    How do we go about dismantling the CRTC? Who would you send a petition to, and is it the right thing to do?

    Three fairly big questions but I think that they are becoming relevant quickly.

  12. intepretation?
    So, is this how PR and the CRTC interpret a document?

    No matter how you see it, it will always be see on your good side, which is sad, you know, miss-representation, wrongful statement and other are common practice in a corporation, and bell is a Corporation.

    Again, who can we trust?

  13. Actions Speak Louder Than Words!
    That may not be what the CRTC said, but that’s exactly what they did.

    Why in gods heveans would they rule us back into the “17th centrury of internet”?

    Canada used to lead. In the 90′s, we were second only to Japan for wired population. Where are we now… just below Zimbabwe or something for quality of that connection?

  14. Bend over time.
    This comes as no surprise and the fact that it was made a moth ago and only bell was told was just a added slap in the face for us.
    Yes the crtc has layed the ground work for a further ruling next year but its not the one anyone wants.

    Also as most already know we shall shortly have pay per usage billing forced on all caip members and on too us.

    Add this to the fact that the copyright bill is shortly going to be back and we are truly in it deep.

    At this point there is basically nothing we can do to stop this unless someone gets caught in a huge scandal.

    Big business does what it wants now and Internet in Canada is now something of a joke.

  15. i think its time we all went analog again, f*ck em.

  16. Ottawa Cynic says:

    No wonder that the CRTC went on the defense and sent out its VP Telecom, Len Katz, who according to CBC has “spent 17 years working for Rogers and 11 for Bell” to defend its decision. Methinks he doth protest too much. See:

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/11/20/tech-crtcqna.html#socialcomments-submit

    Administrative tribunals shouldn’t have to defend themselves or explain their decisions and very rarely do. And certainly not this defensively.

    If the CRTC and the Competition Bureau are going to do nothing about the lamentable lack of competition in ISP and wireless service in Canada and the self evidently too high prices and too poor service, then this should become a political issue for Parliament to deal with. Along with drastic reform of these two comatose agencies.

  17. Ottawa Cynic said: “Administrative tribunals shouldn’t have to defend themselves or explain their decisions and very rarely do. And certainly not this defensively.”

    My gods man, do you not want transparency in government? Every decision should be explained.

    Ottawa Cynic said: “If the CRTC and the Competition Bureau are going to do nothing about the lamentable lack of competition in ISP and wireless service in Canada and the self evidently too high prices and too poor service, then this should become a political issue for Parliament to deal with.”

    It was tried, in part this last election, the Conservatives didn’t even respond.

    Canadian elections for the last 30 years have always, always been two topic issues – taxes and the economy. Anyone asking anything different is on a “fringe topic” and irellevent.

  18. Administrative tribunals
    Of course CRTC would have to explain all their decisions if they don’t do they are useless as I see the CRTC going since a couple years they don’t understand what they try to manage and surely not in the benefits of canadians disbanding the CRTC to me is the only option my taxes are going anywhere

  19. CRTC IS NOT WORKING FOR CANADIANS. PERIOD!
    CBCNews.ca: Some of the key data detailing the level of congestion on Bell’s network was filed privately. Why was this done confidentially and will this information ever be released publicly?

    Katz: If it’s filed in confidence, it’s never released. Usually what happens when a party files something is confidence is they put out an abridged version with the numbers or whatever redacted from it. I’m sure that was done, I can’t recall the specifics of it. Will it ever be released? No. If it’s private, it’s private. If it’s competitively sensitive information with regards to the load of the network and time of day and statistics and everything else, we certainly would respect any company’s confidentiality. Obviously upon looking at it, we felt it was justified.

    Unless of course they filed it electronically and and it was “inspected” using the same technology Bell claims is harmless.

    What a complete ASSHOLE. Sound like a stunt from the Bush administration. “Sorry we can’t show you the evidence because it’s too important”. Bah! These idiots give me a headache.

  20. Merry Christmas

  21. garrett geist says:

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    my last name is geist 2 :)