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CRTC Investigation Finds Rogers Violated Net Neutrality Rules

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The CRTC has written to Rogers Communications to advise that its investigation has concluded that the company violated the Internet traffic management rules (better known as net neutrality rules).  The letter notes:

Based on the preliminary results of our ongoing investigation, Commission staff is of the belief that Rogers Communications Inc. (“Rogers”) applies a technical ITMP to unidentified traffic using default peer-to-peer (“P2P”) ports. On the basis of our evidence to date, any traffic from an unidentified time-sensitive application making use of P2P ports will be throttled resulting in noticeable degradation of such traffic.

The CRTC notes that prior approval is required for degradation of time sensitive traffic and gives Rogers two weeks to rebut the evidence or become compliant with the law. The case highlights a newfound willingness by the CRTC to investigate and enforce the net neutrality rules with full research into the effect of Rogers' traffic shaping practices.  This represents a major step forward as it sends a clear message - after several years of doubt - that the CRTC is prepared to enforce the net neutrality rules.  Given the recent announcement that Bell is abandoning traffic shaping, the question is whether Rogers will follow suit or drag out the process by facing CRTC enforcement and further user complaints.

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Copyright and the Right

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Last night's Republican presidential candidate debate featured a question on SOPA, leading all four remaining candidates to register their opposition to the bill. Their positions are consistent with the growing trend on the right in the United States as it the Republicans that are increasingly opposed to SOPA and PIPA with Democratic supporters left to wonder why their representatives remain so out-of-touch with the popular view of the public (this morning Democrat Senator Reid announced a delay in the vote on PIPA). In fact, it isn't just Republican politicians who are opposed to overbroad copyright reforms: the right-leaning press and conservative think-tanks are expressing the same views. None of these groups or politicians can be accused of being soft on crime or weak on intellectual property. Rather, they recognize the need for government to tread carefully and to ensure that legislative initiatives do not undermine basic freedoms and personal property rights.

The opposition to SOPA is not limited to the right in the United States. In Canada, Blogging Tories, which aggregates dozens of right-leaning blogs, went dark in support of the SOPA protest and the National Post was the only major Canadian paper to publish an editorial on the issue, concluding:

On Wednesday, Wikipedia and a handful of other sites will shut down in protest of SOPA and PIPA. They have our full support. Governments should not be in the business of propping up outdated business models, nor of blocking legitimate speech. This draft legislation would do both.

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