The Canadian Press is out this evening with an important story that reveals the government's true view on net neutrality. Based on documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, they provide a clear picture of an Industry Minister and policy makers content to leave the issue alone, despite acknowledging that major telcos such as Bell and Telus are "determined to play a greater role in how Internet content is delivered" and that "they [Bell and Telus] believe they should be the gatekeepers of content, with the freedom to impose fees for their role."
The documents were prepared for the Minister in anticipation of questions that might arise after Videotron President Robert Depatie mused publicly about a new tariff or fee for carrying content. The departmental response as contained in a Question Period Card:
"The Internet is not regulated in Canada. There is no regulation of the relationship between Internet service providers and the providers of Internet content. There is currently considerable discussion in the industry about the implications of telecommunications companies who provide network and Interent service taking a greater role in determining how Internet content will be delivered and at what cost, if any. The Telecommunications Policy Review Panel reviewed this issue in its March 2006 report. My department is continuing to examine and assess the recommendations, including the issue of net neutrality, that were made in this report."
While that may be the official line, the documents reveal very different thinking behind the scenes.