The CBC recently released its submission to the CRTC as part of the examination of the future of broadcast in Canada. The submission interestingly raises network neutrality concerns, though it does not use that specific term. Rather, as part of a discussion on Internet video at page 19, the CBC says:
The business case analysis for Internet video is complicated by the fact that suppliers of broadband connections may also have incentives to control the bandwidth available for Internet video. Canadian cable companies engage in "bandwidth shaping" which allocates different levels of transmission capacity to different services according to the operational preferences of the cable company. This type of bandwidth shaping can ensure efficient use of transmission capacity. It can also ensure that Internet video by third parties does not become a threat to the business of the cable company, whether it be the delivery of traditional television programming to cable subscribers, VOD or the distribution of cable company-owned Internet video services. In light of this complex mix of issues, it remains unclear whether Internet video will become a primary means of distributing video content on a commercial basis.
This is network neutrality in action.
Canada's national public broadcaster recognizes the benefits of Internet distribution, yet expresses concern that broadband providers will intentionally interfere with its Internet video transmission for their own economic benefit. This position suggests that the network neutrality concern is already having an impact as the mere threat may lead broadcasters to view the opportunities presented by the Internet as too risky. The government should not adopt a "wait and see" approach on this issue – bringing certainty to the market by establishing a network neutrality principle in law (as recommended by the Telecommunications Policy Review Panel) should be an essential part of any telecommunications law reform.