The CRTC's net neutrality hearings (aka "review of Internet traffic management practices by ISPs") is still months away, but a critically important deadline arrives in only a matter of days. The hearings themselves begin on July 6th, but the deadline for public comment submissions is
Monday, February 16th. UPDATE: The CRTC has just agreed to an extension for comment to Monday, February 23rd. The CRTC has set out a series of questions in its public notice, some of which may be too technical or legal for many Canadians. However, there are some key questions that anyone with an interest in net neutrality can address including questions about how network management could result in unjust discrimination or undue preferences as well as how network management could result in controlling content or influencing telecommunications. Moreover, the CRTC asks about net neutrality developments in other jurisdictions and how they might apply in a Canadian context.
There will no doubt be many players on both sides of the issue who will respond, but it is very important for the broader public to make their voices heard. Indeed, a strong response will send a signal to the CRTC about the public concern with net neutrality and serve as a warning to Canada's politicians that they will have to step up to address the issue if the CRTC is unwilling to do so. To learn more, you can read my columns on the issue (here, here, here, and here), see what the ISPs say they are doing, listen to a great podcast on the issue from CBC's Search Engine, read about the Angus net neutrality bill, or check out saveournet.ca or neutrality.ca.
How to respond? SaveOurNet.ca has a form that people can use along with some other action items. Alternatively, send your comment on net neutrality directly to the CRTC. Go to the CRTC's Intervention page, scroll to the very bottom where you will find pt2008-19, the number of the net neutrality proceeding. Click on the bottom on the left and the CRTC will give you the opportunity to file comments within your browser or as an attachment. Either way, time is limited so make your voice heard today.