CRTC Decision Not the Final Word On Net Neutrality

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) discusses last week's CRTC decision in the CAIP v. Bell case.  Echoing my remarks immediately after the decision, I argue in the column that the decision is not the final word on net neutrality in Canada, but rather the first word on it. 


  1. webterractive says:

    I mean since has any Canadian “regulator” ruled against business? That’s what these people are for, this is why Canada’s consumer,banking, and many other systems are in shambles. There is no real regulation it’s just people from the industry helping their friends.

  2. To the industry and the government, add Oprahmoms too

    Now you know.

  3. Martin Chochinov says:

    Interesting US Article on Net Neutrality
    For reference:

  4. Jean-François Mezei says:

    (3rd attempt at posting a comment)

    Stating that the CRTC deicsion is not the final word is very naive in my opinion. Conside that in its decision, the CRTC did not consider arguments made by 3rd parties and did not really consider the arguments made by CAIP. Instead, it used “boilerplate” arguments provided by Bell to justify the decision.

    This is a legal decision which give Bell legal right to deploy its DPI equipment the way it wants. The CRTC isn’t about to reverse that decision after some token public hearings. Reversing a decision months after it was taken would confirm that the CRTC’s decision are flawed. And CRTC isn’t about to admit that it does not polay the role canadians need it to play.

    This decision, viua its timing and text, was clearly political. And since Harper is in place for some time (since Liberals are without a leader), the “pulic hearing” sham will be held during Harper’s watch and this means that government policy will not change and CRTC will find a way to ignore pulic comments to re-enforce Bell’s right to screw customers, inspect their data and not provide the bandwidth customer are paying for.

  5. Innovation thwarting policies
    I did not see any clause in the ruling that would state that the ruling could not be repealed. Personally speaking, I doubt that anyone at CRTC has thought about the wider implications of such a ruling. Supporting moves and procedures like these are like enacting laws that invariably support “Monopolies”. Would it be taboo to state that this is a classic case of Lil’ Big Government (No affliction to Little Big Planet) supporting each and every action taken by the Big Businesses?.
    This is going to hurt us in the long term. An anti-competitive move that is now supported by the government that will curb competition and new competitors and invariably hinder and thwart innovation. And if anyone is wondering what could harm could an anti-competitive, innovation-killer, competition-thwarting-business model could do? Well you have only got to look at the BIG 3 (automakers) and the state that they are in right now.

    While 20 megabit per second connections are the norm in Asia and broadband rates are dirt cheap. We here in North America (Canada particularly) are still stuck in a quagmire where we pay upwards of 50$ for a 5 megabit connection. Which we can only use to check our email and perhaps watch an occasional youtube video. Whatever happened to the idea of paying for a service and using it to however you like. If bandwidth is a concern, then enact a limit and charge customers for over usage (Specially if it is only less than 5% of the users!). Why enact procedures that affect everyone and thwart new ways and methods of sharing information?

    This will hurt us. In a relatively short time frame, other nations will create entire (sustainable) economies around relatively faster, cheaper broadband connections with the capability of delivering any kind of content. Just imagine the prospect of 100 megabit connections, the hardware upgrade required to support these networks ($$) and entire economies being spun off it (In terms of the various startups and actual sales for hardware/software ). In less than 10 years of a time frame all these nations that are investing in these networks now, they will invariably be conducting a major subset of their day to day work on these networks. From education being delivered through the network via the means of virtual worlds (Second Life partnering up with Universities and Colleges) to advanced video conferencing over VOIP and evertything in between. Heck it will even be good for the environment as folks will be able to lessen their carbon footprint.

    We are shooting ourselves in the foot with these policies.

  6. btw
    I dont think…the captcha application if fucntioning the way it is supposed to. I was only able to post the comment after my 8th attempt…