Archive for July 11th, 2011

Why Net Neutrality and Usage Based Billing Are Two Sides of the Same Coin

The CRTC hearing on usage based billing opens this morning with two of the big players – Bell and Open Media – both slated to appear. Since the CRTC refused to extend the hearing to retail usage based billing issues, I suspect the outcome will be anti-climatic. There may be some new rules for wholesale UBB (which will only serve to demonstrate how badly the CRTC has bungled this issue), but the broader data cap issues will remain unchanged for now.

The UBB hearing comes immediately on the heels of my report last week on two years of failed enforcement of the net neutrality guidelines, known as Internet Traffic Management practices. My report has received wide media coverage (Montreal Gazette, CBC, Wire Report, GeekTown) as well as responses from both the NDP and Liberal parties. While net neutrality and UBB are ostensibly separate issues, it is important to recognize the clear linkage between them. As the title of this post suggest, they are two sides of the same coin. 

The numerous violations of net neutrality (and make no mistake, over one complaint per month when the burden is exclusively on the shoulders of individual Canadians is significant) and the near-universal use of UBB are both a function of the lack of competition within the Canadian market and the inability (or unwillingness) of the CRTC to play a more proactive regulatory function in the absence of robust competition. For the dominant ISPs, they jointly provide the means to erect barriers to competitive services by rendering such services either unusable (throttling speeds) or more costly (data caps).

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July 11, 2011 12 comments News

Government Releases Anti-Spam Law Regulations

Following on the CRTC’s release of its draft anti-spam regulations, Industry Canada has posted its anti-spam regulations. The regulations cover the scope of personal and family relationship within the Act and the conditions for use of consent. There is a 60 day window for comment.

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July 11, 2011 2 comments Must Reads

CRIA Re-Brands Itself: Now MusicCanada.com

The Canadian Recording Industry Association has changed its name to Music Canada. Howard Knopf provides his view and context for the organization.

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July 11, 2011 3 comments Must Reads

Canadian Government Changes Open Data Licence Terms

David Eaves notes that the federal government has amended its standard open data license terms, addressing some of the concerns raised with the open data launch earlier this year.

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July 11, 2011 Comments are Disabled Must Reads