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Canadian Government Rejects Net Neutrality Rules

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the never-ending-struggles dept.

The Internet 287

An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian Press reports that the Canadian government appears ready to reject net neutrality legislation, instead heeding the arguments of large telecommunications companies . Michael Geist has posted transcripts of the documents which can be summarized as the government thinks that blocking or prioritizing content is acceptable, it knows that this runs counter to recommended policy, and it doesn't care because it plans to the leave the issue to the dominant telecommunications providers."

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Oh no! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924274)

Oh no!

Re:Oh no! (4, Funny)

hammarlund (568027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924330)

Q: Know why Canadians do it doggie style? A: So they can watch the hockey game.

Re:Oh no! (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924362)

Hell, some of us in the States do it for the same reason.

Re:Oh no! (1)

Poltras (680608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924816)

Except most yankees do it to watch foossball.

Re:Oh no! (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924888)

Well, I pride myself on not being "most yankees". Football, at least the USian version, used to just be one day a week in the afternoons. I could hold out through that. This season it was what, 4 days a week, with some in the evenings? Don't know. Now, hockey can be seen almost every evening during prime "not at work and not asleep" hours, so... Sometimes you just HAVE to multitask.

Re:Oh no! (1)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924472)

Seems like a "blamecanada" tag actually is appropriate, at least if this sets a precedent...

No. (2, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924550)

Don't blame Canada. Blame The Tory Government, of Canada.

Re:No. (1, Flamebait)

Curtman (556920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925216)

Blame The Tory Government, of Canada.

There's one thing worse than the republican party. That's the Tory party that wishes it was republican.

North of the border (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924562)

A bunch of hosers, eh?

What I'm waiting for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924500)

Are the "That's it! I'm moving to the US!" comments :-)

Blame Canada: +1, True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924666)


And I thought that the United Gulags Of America was the only FASCIST [whitehouse.org] country.

Regards,
Kilgore Trout

Conservative government in charge.. NOT FOR LONG (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924294)

Canada is unfortunetly under the minority rule of a conservative government that doesn't want to intervene too much in the economy etc. so it's normal that they reject net neutrality rules since they love big telco lobbying as well. This won't last too long. It's been a year since they've been in power and already the canadian population has become sick of this goverment. I predict elections this spring and with the result of a minority liberal government that will pay more attention to these netneutrality rules when time will come.

Adi

Re:Conservative government in charge.. NOT FOR LON (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924544)

It's been a year since they've been in power and already the canadian population has become sick of this goverment.

Let's hope. I can't wait to see Bush-lite in the unemployment line.

Re:Conservative government in charge.. NOT FOR LON (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924586)

Agreed. Anyone, telcos included, who thinks they've accomplished something by getting this government to agree is just blowing smoke. The Conservatives aren't going to last more than a few more months, and the polls indicate that their chances of returning are pretty low.

Of course, the odds are that whoever wins, it will be a minority government, and the Liberals are every bit as much the ass-whores of big business as the Conservatives.

Re:Conservative government in charge.. NOT FOR LON (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924716)

Of course, the odds are that whoever wins, it will be a minority government, and the Liberals are every bit as much the ass-whores of big business as the Conservatives.

I don't know about Canada, but here in the USA the so-called conservatives and liberals are both populists. From your comment, it sounds like it's true up there, too.

Re:Conservative government in charge.. NOT FOR LON (4, Funny)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924858)

If by "populists", you mean "lying assholes", then yes, you're right.

Re:Conservative government in charge.. NOT FOR LON (0, Redundant)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924896)

Yeap. All sorts of us lined up to elect back in a Liberal Government that got caught blatantly stealing. Where do I sign up?

You're new here aren't you? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17925192)

The way it works is as follows:

We elect Liberal 'the natural ruling party' governments. After some years they get arrogant and lose touch with the electorate. We punish them by electing the Conservatives. The Conservatives do something stupid/rotten/illegal/immoral during their first term but the electorate doesn't figure out how bad they got screwed until the second term. 'The natural ruling party' is elected for a few terms until they get arrogant and the cycle repeats.

As in all things there are good politicians and rotten ones. The actual thieves (there were only one or two) in the Liberal party are gone and the really arrogant morons are mostly gone. Things should be good for a few years but power does corrupt. Bev Ota (Conservative minister in charge of bringing in evil copyright legislation; if she can get away with it) ... never mind, I don't want to get sued for slander.

Re:Conservative government in charge.. NOT FOR LON (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17925344)

Yeah and all the lame ass CRTC pandering NEVER happened before one year ago...

Father knows best... (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924306)

Well, at least Ma Bell knows best. They know what's best for their customers. Riiiight.

Indeed. FCC net neutrality ring a bell? (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924636)

Ma Bell had to swear to uphold net neutrality for a certain duration of time (two years?) when they merged with Bell South. If they didn't agree to that, the merger would've been shot down.

I'm willing to bet that that time frame was set because it would give the dems enough time to pass Net Neutrality legislation. Yay for the FCC.

Re:Indeed. FCC net neutrality ring a bell? (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924808)

But that only applies to Ma Bell in the USA not to the Bells in Canada.

Re:Indeed. FCC net neutrality ring a bell? (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925196)

I know.

Eh? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924314)

It's a series of tubes, ya hoser.

Re:Eh? (1)

creepynut (933825) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925064)

We know that, but it's all about giving the biggest pipes to the people with the deepest pockets!

A Common Problem (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924316)

"it knows that this runs counter to recommended policy, and it doesn't care"

Yeah! Screw the people! It's not like we work for them anyhow.

Re:A Common Problem (4, Funny)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924394)

Just like when they recently voted on whether they should all get a 30% salary raise. We didn't get to vote, oh no, that wouldn't be fair.

I wish I was allowed to vote for my own raises. All in favor of a 5000% raise? ME! Well that's settled.

Re:A Common Problem (3, Insightful)

Markus_UW (892365) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924436)

Wasn't that the ontario provincial parliament? or did i miss the feds doing it too?

Re:A Common Problem (4, Insightful)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924516)

This was the Liberal party of the Ontario Provincial Parliament. They also did it just before the Christmas break, to minimise debate on the subject when people were preoccupied with the holidays.

I am a bit disappointed in the federal government now though...the Conservatives aren't changing the policies of the previous Liberals in terms of media consolidation and copyright law. The more things change, the more they stay the same. We have more 3rd parties in Canadian politics than the US, but they serve more to offset the balance of power and have no real chance at governing (NDP, Greens, Bloc Quebecois).

Re:A Common Problem (1)

Cyraan (840132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924654)

Indeed, sure would be nice. Here in the US, Congress gets an automatic 2% "cost of living" raise each year unless they vote to block it, last time they did in in June 06, it went up to $168k/year.

As a BC resident... (3, Insightful)

js92647 (917218) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924320)

are we fucked? I actually had hopes in the Canadian government but it seems all they are capable of is causing shit. And what kind of a government would leave a thing such as THE WORLD WIDE WEB in the hands of business'?

Re:As a BC resident... (3, Insightful)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924486)

We are not fucked yet! Spread the word, we need to get Harper and his pack of hell-hounds of office.

Re:As a BC resident... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17925016)

Yes.. and replace him with thieves and separatists.

Re:As a BC resident... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17925294)

I'll take minor corruption among officials any day, over a bunch of righteous fucks like Harper's government who don't really represent the people. Shit like that happens, but when you get caught it's armageddon.

I don't think I've ever worked anywhere that some employees (even management in some cases) weren't a bit corrupt. Theft of supplies, product, taking liberties not entitled to, even fudging data to misdirect money (not always embezzlement, but sometimes to hide serious losses that they are at least in part responsible for). Other than that these people serve their companies well :-)

Re:As a BC resident... (1)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924578)

Errr... isn't it already in the hands of business? It seems to have grown fine as it is.

Re:As a BC resident... (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924836)

what kind of a government would leave a thing such as THE WORLD WIDE WEB in the hands of business'?

It's been in their hands for over ten years now, and seems to be thriving. Why do we expect that to change anytime in the future?

Re:As a BC resident... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924996)

are we fucked? I actually had hopes in the Canadian government but it seems all they are capable of is causing shit. And what kind of a government would leave a thing such as THE WORLD WIDE WEB in the hands of business'?
A government who believes everything needs to be in the hands of business, that's who.

See, if you advocate that there are certain things the government (and only they) should be in control of, people think you're left leaning. If you advocate that the government should stand back and allow business to do as they please, and the 'guiding hand' of the economy will keep it on track, people think you lean to the right.(*)

This government want to look like they're reducing the cost and size of government, so they're perfectly willing to feed us the lie that businesses are capable or interested in doing what is right for all of us, instead of just right for their bottom line. Basically, from my pespective, they keep trying to shove their own unpopular agenda down our throats under the pretext that, even though we all disagree with them, that they really do know the right thing to do for us.

So, yes, if the government is going to do that, I think we're fucked.

Cheers

(*) Grossly simplified for purposes of discussion.

Conservatives (0, Flamebait)

SeeManRun (1040704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924396)

Once again our government sticks to the free market fantasy that their platform is based on. Let the market figure it out. What a terrible idea. A free market only works in an absolutely free market, as in, government pays for nothing, which obviously won't work, so why try and have it half assed like they are trying to do. Regulation is best for consumers, while also is good for small players. The only companies regulation is bad for is the large dominant companies like Bell and Telus. Lack of regulation would let them monopolize the market (as if that isn't the case already) which is always bad for consumers... Time for a revolution!

Re:Conservatives (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924566)

Government regulation is not incompatible with a free market. In a free-market society, government exists to enforce agreements between people. It is itself an agreement between the people to create a set of rules by which other disagreements can be resolved.

For example, if the people say, "Dumping pollution into the rivers is bad", in a free market they get together to define "pollution" and enforce the rule. Government is only the mechanism by which that happens. The market is still entirely free.

Of course, actual governments are composed of people who can be persuaded not to do their jobs properly. And the final results are always far more complicated than "don't pollute". That's why conservatives (confusingly also called "classic liberals" by economists) tend to prefer less government rather than more: the less there is the easier it is to see where it's going wrong. Just like in code.

So I'm reluctant to let the government enshrine net neutrality rules before we see what the big companies actually do. It restricts the ability to innovate, not just by big companies but also by small ones. Once the big companies actually start engaging in nightmare scenarios (e.g. forcing you to use their own download services rather than a competitor's), then regulation will be in order.

Re:Conservatives (0, Offtopic)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925050)

Government regulation is not incompatible with a free market.

Bull crap. Government regulation is necessary. Free market's don't work where natural monopolies exist. Even with oligopolies.

Look what's happening today. What do YOU think exxon is doing with all their excess profits? How much is "enough" profits?

Re:Conservatives (2, Insightful)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925172)

I completely agree that shouldn't fix a problem that doesn't exist yet, and may never exist.

I'd like to remind people that Rogers (an enormous cable internet provider in Ontario, and elsewhere) are using traffic shaping with Bit Torrent traffic. Would net neutrality fix that problem? If so, I'd say the problem is already here!

Correction to the article (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924398)

[Net neutrality] stops telecom giants from ensuring that pages of companies that pay them load faster than any others.
No, it stops telecom giants from ensuring that pages of companies that *don't* pay them load *slower* than any others.

Net Neutrality? (5, Interesting)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924452)

I haven't thought much about Net Neutrality until Comcast disconnected my HSI service and terminated the account because I used the internet too much. Now I'm finding people all over the country who have had similar problems including a journalist for the Deseret Spectacle [blogspot.com] .

I've found other people throughout Utah who are dealing with this problem. My search has lead me to other states with people asking the same questions I have been asking [youtube.com] .

This is just a couple of instances where Comcast has demonstrated unfair business practices. I'm wondering if Net Neutrality would curb this sort of abuse from companies. I'm ok with following the rules (don't get me wrong). But to be expected to minimize Internet usage without knowing what the rules are is pure B.S.

Heck, I've had people on my blog accuse me of all sorts of stuff. Unfortunately, it's not even close to the truth.

If I'm misunderstanding what Net Neutrality [wikipedia.org] is please enlighten me.

BTW, if you are from Utah and have been disconnected by Comcast please contact me by posting on the blog. I receive all messages. I'm compiling a list and plan on passing it along to Bill Gephart. We've been working for the last few weeks to resolve this. He's already begun interviewing people I've found. Thanks!

Re:Net Neutrality? (2, Informative)

Annirak (181684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924686)

Telecom companies are implementing things like traffic shaping--that thing which squashes your bittorrent traffic while still allowing VOIP and google access to run at full speed. Lately, the telecom companies have started hinting that they might start charging for optimal delivery. That is that CNN's website, having paid for premium delivery with your ISP, will have 8x the bandwidth available to you as, for instance, youtube.

Net neutrality is the opposite of that. It dictates that all traffic must be treated equally.

Re:Net Neutrality? (2, Informative)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924848)

Telecom companies are implementing things like traffic shaping--that thing which squashes your bittorrent traffic while still allowing VOIP and google access to run at full speed.

I'm ok with that. I pull down Linux ISO's occasionally, the WoW patches I believe are all through p2p plus I'm a big fan of Zudeo (reign of the fallen DVD rocks!). If it took longer to download I'm not terribly worried about it. Disconnecting customers on the other hand... :-)

Lately, the telecom companies have started hinting that they might start charging for optimal delivery. That is that CNN's website, having paid for premium delivery with your ISP, will have 8x the bandwidth available to you as, for instance, youtube.

Net neutrality is the opposite of that. It dictates that all traffic must be treated equally.


Ok I get it. That's not terribly great for the consumer especially since we're the ones paying for everything already. To charge us again is double dipping.

Re:Net Neutrality? (1)

Annirak (181684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924928)

Ok I get it. That's not terribly great for the consumer especially since we're the ones paying for everything already. To charge us again is double dipping.
The point is that it would be CNN paying your ISP for delivery. It's double dipping, certainly, but not from the same source. They charge both the content provider and the recipient.

Re:Net Neutrality? (4, Insightful)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925126)

Be sort of akin to triple dipping wouldn't it? Considering that CNN is also paying (an absolutely atrociously high!) amount for their bandwidth already... charging them again just so their customers can take advantage of their expensive bandwidth and pipe is ridiculous.

Re:Net Neutrality? (2, Insightful)

Annirak (181684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925348)

True enough. I'm not opposed to traffic shaping in the pursuit of low latency for games/voip/other time sensitive apps, but when the telecom companies decide that it's a good plan to charge me for bandwidth, the provider for bandwidth, and then cahrge the provider for delivery to me, it's starting to get ridiculous.

Next thing, they'll charge me extra for high speed delivery of certain content. It'll be just like a satellite TV company... you pay $4/mo for youtube, $4/mo for google... etc. etc. etc.

Traffic shaping is ok for QoS purposes, but source-based delivery restrictions are, frankly, just plain bad for everyone but the telecoms.

Re:Net Neutrality? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924952)

Lately, the telecom companies have started hinting that they might start charging for optimal delivery. That is that CNN's website, having paid for premium delivery with your ISP, will have 8x the bandwidth available to you as, for instance, youtube.

I don't see anything wrong with that.

What I would find troubling would be if my ISP throttled YouTube down to 1/8x the effective bandwidth they previously had available, because they DIDN'T pony up a "premium delivery fee". That's protection money, and would surely run the ISP afoul of existing racketeering laws.

[Net neutrality] dictates that all traffic must be treated equally.

Which, knowing the way laws get written, would make it illegal for the ISP to traffic-shape so that your VOIP packets get priority over some kid's warez torrents, too.

Re:Net Neutrality? (1)

Annirak (181684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925370)

If I had the option of implementing QoS at the ISP end on my connection, that would be3 my own choice, and should keep them safe. They could just make it part of the sign up process. "Check this box if you want us not to run QoS on your connection."

Re:Net Neutrality? (4, Insightful)

Zenaku (821866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925386)

You seem to be missing the point that charging providers for "optimal delivery" IS throttling down the bandwidth for anyone who doesn't pony up. The two ways of phrasing it are just different ways of saying the same thing. The "optimal delivery" given to those who pay isn't the result of some magic bandwidth that appears out of nowhere, it comes from prioritizing those packets over all the other packets.

Metaphor: If the network was like a system of roads, "optimal delivery" would describe what we give to emergency vehicles with their sirens and flashing lights on -- they get through, everyone else has to pull over and stop to let them by.

So if you haven't paid for optimal delivery, your packets are being slowed down. And the more providers who shell out for optimal delivery, the more it slows down the traffic of everyone who doesn't. And when at last EVERYONE is paying for optimal delivery, then what? We're back to where we started, except that now everyone is paying, and they can introduce super-duper-optimal-delivery, where your packets are prioritized over those from providers who merely paid for "regular-optimal" delivery.

Fun!

Re:Net Neutrality? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924790)

Yes, you are misunderstanding net netrality.

Net Neutrality does not mean that your ISP cannot impose caps. If you use too much bandwidth and they cut you off, there may be other laws or policies that your ISP violates, but not net neutrality. Net Neutrality means treating all packets the same, irrespective of origin or type. If your ISP cuts off all packets, they are treating all packets the same.

Now, if your ISP cut you off for using Vonage, or they imposed traffic shaping so that Vonage did not work well, those would be examples of violating net neutrality principles.

Re:Net Neutrality? (1)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924846)

Pete Ashdown (a democrat and owner of an ISP of all things) posted a nice write up on net neutrality [peteashdown.org] and the issues involved.

Net neutrality is hard to talk about because it has so many facets, one of them is passing traffic on. When we talk about ISPs allowing traffic to pass through their network because thats the fastest route thats net neutrality that I fight for. But when we talk about prioritizing traffic it's hard to argue that network owners shouldn't be able to regulate their traffic.

Ashdown points at spam as a big example, without being able to throttle down the connections being sent from spam networks the whole network would run slower. Plus X-Mission(Ashdown's ISP) focuses on gaming and so they pass on higher priority to gaming connections. The advantage to gamers is obvious.

Finally, if ISPs try to minimize bittorrent traffic, change the port you're using! The ISP will be none the wiser because bittorrent doesn't travel from a central network they have not other way of tracking it. Lots of clients do this. Or use your money to vote and change ISP for a less facist one.

It is complicated (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925206)

I agree that if an ISP has the ability to prioritize traffic there could be benefits to the users. However not all ISPs may be as good intentioned as the one in your example. I could see an ISP not wanting a lot of gamers using up their bandwidth and throttling their rates back instead.

What about big telecoms who have a vested interest in not allowing VOIP to cut into their profits?

It does worry me that spammers may use net neutrality laws to prevent their networks from being black holed.

Re:Net Neutrality? (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924874)

Destroying Net Neutrality will destroy the Internet as we know it.

Right now, everyone gets treated equally among ISP's and such.

What telecoms and major ISP's want to do is throttle sites and force them to pay to have optimal delivery of their data.

That is, my news site will be sent to you very slowly because I can't afford to pay the ISP's and telecoms lots of money to prioritize my site. Meanwhile, another news source will go through their pipes rather quickly because they pay for it.

Right now they are using the excuse that they want to be able to bill sites that generate a lot of traffic.

But in truth they want to sell the ability to crush competition on the open Net to the highest bidder.

Also, it allows for corporate censorship.

If I run a site speaking out against Time Warner for instance, they could essentially turn me off to anyone who uses them as a provider.

The Net MUST remain neutral. It's the whole point of it in the first place.

Destroying net neutrality will ruin the Internet as we know it and the days of freedom are gone. Once again it's a corporate takeover with victory going to the biggest spender.

In short, ISP's and such want the ability to legally throttle sites so they can sell premium bandwidth to the highest bidder, even though users already pay forthis service every month! They are spitting in the face of their customers.

easy solution (4, Insightful)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924454)

Let companies prioritize their delivery, but when they advertise performance, they're only allowed to use the lowest common denominator. Time Warner can then stream HD stuff just for their customers, but when they advertise 4 megabits down, they aren't allowed to throttle anyone below it.

Re:easy solution (1)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924564)

Ah yes. "Truth in Advertising." Not. Don't expect any company to lobby for that kind of bill. Remember, if something can be accomplished cheaper by smearing congressmen or "donating to a good cause," then that's gonna happen. And no, I'm not being sarcastic or joking.

Re:easy solution (2, Interesting)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924626)

Ok. You get your 4Mb/s pipe to your house. No throttling. Too bad none of your content providers paid us for the privledge of communicating with you across our network. We're not throttling your bandwidth. Hell, if you want we can send you 4Mb/s of random 1s and 0s if you want to prove you are getting the bandwidth to your house your paying for. Now tell your deadbeat content providers to pony up so they can help you use that bandwidth for something besides exercising our PRNGs.

Free market, QoS (1)

Annirak (181684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924736)

I agree completely. It makes perfect sense to throttle large http transfers in order to provide low latency on VOIP packets, for instance. That's what QoS is all about.

If an ISP is providing stupid service, people will move away from it eventually. That's what the free market is about. If an ISP is too oppressive about their traffic shaping, people can find another ISP.

Re:Free market, QoS (2, Insightful)

pitdingo (649676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924926)

Sure because according to the FCC, i have seven ISP's to choose from, right? So i have Verizon, Comcast and .... (sure wish i knew who the other five broadband providers were)

Re:Free market, QoS (2, Insightful)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924948)

Yeah, because there are soooo many Canadian ISPs to pick from in any given city.

Re:easy solution (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924866)

Let companies prioritize their delivery, but when they advertise performance, they're only allowed to use the lowest common denominator. Time Warner can then stream HD stuff just for their customers, but when they advertise 4 megabits down, they aren't allowed to throttle anyone below it.

Conceptually, this might make sense, but practically, it won't work. Can Time Warner guarantee that every service over the Web will be able to send them 4 mb? Look at it this way Time Warner Advertises 4mb and delivers it. AT&T, who happens to be sitting in between Time Warner and NetFlix, calls up NetFlix and says, "give us 10 million bucks or we slow down all packets from your servers that transit our network." If Netflix complies, maybe the end user will get 4mb through their network and all the way through Time Warner's as well. If Netflix does not comply and AT&T slows them all down, Netflix download at half that, but Time Warner hasn't done anything about it.

Theoretically, this probably violates AT&T and Time Warner's peering agreement and Time Warner can complain. Realistically, however, This isn't just Netflix, AT&T and Time Warner, but a dozen different networks in between, any of which might be the one degrading service because Netflix did not pay up. How much chance is their that Time Warner will be able to influence their peer's, peer's peer's peer's peer in getting them not violate a peering agreement they have with someone six contract negotiations removed from them?

On top of all that, even if it is Time Warner doing the extortion directly, they can advertise 4mb down, but still mess with latency or other traffic aspects that they don't advertise. Even if customers are smart enough to know what is up, in many localities they may be the only service provider and the law in that locality makes it illegal for anyone else to run lines to people's houses, even if they could afford to without the huge government subsidies given to Time Warner out of our tax dollars. Realistically speaking, I think legislation or free, government run internet access is the only way to solve this.

what's the problem? (0, Troll)

boxlight (928484) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924488)

I don't understand the problem here. ISPs should be free to provide what they want, right?

I mean, if I want to set up a "family friendly" ISP that blocks all pornographic content, that might be an attractive product for families with young children.

Why should the government decide what content the ISPs provide?

Re:what's the problem? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924596)

Since the government controls and often forbids people laying fiber or cable across public land they have a responsibility to make sure the companies they granted rights to are controlled to meet the needs of the people or they should authorize everyone and we can have a rat's nest of fiber all over. I like the rat's nest idea, because it's better than being a slave to Telus.

Re:what's the problem? (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924606)

Um, freedom of information? Or do you like the idea of living in a world where there are "great firewalls" everywhere a la China?

Haven't you heard of net neutrality before? This also have NOTHING to do with blocking content. Please look up what it actually is before you comment further.

Re:what's the problem? (2, Insightful)

Despero (918907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924614)

ISPs are not the ones "providing" any content in the first place. What they provide is a means by which to reach content provided by other sources, regardless of ISP. So by going against net neutrality in any small way, ISPs are simply restricting content, not providing it.

I would be glad to have my country (1)

ALimoges (870872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924764)

These situations make me embrace the idea of Québec's independance from Canada. The companies have much less influence on the Québec government than Canada's.

Re:what's the problem? (1)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924986)

ISP use to only provide a conection. Now almost all ISPs, especially broadband, have their own services that they want to provide. Mostly either VOIP or video downloads. To clarify, the DSL providers want to provide streaming video, and the cable providers want to provide VOIP. This has created a turf war. To add to the problem, most local goverments have different laws and regulations for phone companies and cable companies, which each is using to push the other out of their turf. A hypothetical example would be phone companies being required to give 30 days notice to the city to install phone lines on an easment, and the cable company needing a permit. This is compounded by the two fighting over things like, is streaming video over the phone regulated by FCC guidelins for broadcasting or telecomunication. Many companies have already started loosing packets or slowing them down for competitors services. As they fight over these things, they are keeping an eye on sites like google and seeing dollar signs. As they gain more control, and the regulations are straitened out to give them a level playing field, they will start providing more services as well as connections so that they can maintain some monopoly status. Net neutrality is about what the internet will be like in 10 years, not next year.

Re:what's the problem? (3, Informative)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924676)

Yes, you don't understand the problem. The issue is not what content the ISP provides; the issue is that they will require companies to pay them in order to get preferential treatment. So Joe Blow's - who likely can't afford to pay extra - weblog that I like may take 10 minutes to load, while Kraft or Molson's sites - who will write off the extra cost as advertising or marketing expense - load in seconds.

Put another way, companies that can afford to pay the extra fees will be high-speed, while companies that can't will be on dial-up speed. Wanna go surfing at 1200 bps again?

Re:what's the problem? (4, Interesting)

bigmaddog (184845) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924738)

Yay flamebait... but I'm cold, so what the hell.

The internet is a marketplace and the ISPs are at the doors. If you're, say, Youtube, and have a really swell stand at the market selling refrigerators, they can in theory extort money out of Youtube by not letting people in to see the refrigerators at all, or by only letting people pass through turnstiles, thereby precluidng the purchase of refrigerators.

At the same time, they can fool people coming into the market by advertising having a really big gate that funnels down to turnstiles that you can't see from the outside. You pay to pass through the big gate and are later screwed at the turnstiles because you realize there's no way you can leave with a refrigerator. All this would be fine if the number of doors was large as market forces would dictate price and availability of access, but doors are few in any one area and it's hard to build new ones.

In the long run, the market may die from this, but it may not, and at any rate I don't like the situation.

How's my analogy meter?

On the upside, if there is an upside, the days of the current Canadian government are numbered. We have what you might call a multi-party system (multi > 2) and the current party rules only on account of tentative support from other parties, and that ought to run out on one issue or another sometime this calendar year. We can only hope they don't pass any legislation regarding this (or any other) matter in the meantime.

Re:what's the problem? (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924768)

We are talking carriers. Bandwidth providers. They want the privilege of being allowed monopolies for laying cables on public lands and other functions, and then they want to be able to tell the people how they can use said monopoly granted resources that the customers are paying them for. They get to provide monopoly services for the good of the public, and then they also get to define "good of the public". Seems a bit fishy to most.

Re:what's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924796)

I think that many of these laws they are trying to enact regarding net neutrality are aimed at the huge ISPs, not some company who is trying to start their own "mom and pop" ISP. I know there are a lot of scenarios and ideas regarding net neutrality, but here's an example of why there might be some reason for legislation:

You live in an area where you are only able to get Phone and Internet access from one ISP (i.e. a telecom monopoly). They offer Voice service and/or VoIP for $75 a month (not including your Internet service costs). This seems a bit pricy, right? But you see commercials where you can get service from companies such as Vonage for $25! You sign up for the Vonage service, but it is higly degraded and unusable because your ISP manipulates the QoS, so you have to switch back to your telecoms phone service. The telecom is basically using their local monopoly control in order to force you to use their telephone service and pay more.

I'm not advocating complete control, since it seems that when government steps in, they can really screw things up. Because of this, I feel that there must be some type of oversight when it comes to telecom companies and their stranglehold on service in certain many areas.

different levels of ISPs (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924898)

I wish the moderators hadn't marked this as a troll

The problem is that there are local ISPs, and then there are the 'Tier 1' folks who have the big networks where data flows through ... think of it as the local neighborhoods vs. the interstate.

I haven't looked at the wording of this bill, but many of the 'net neutrality' bills that I've seen would cause exactly the problems you're talking about. So, suddenly, as if 'CAN-SPAM' wasn't bad enough in legitimizing spam, we'd end up with the spammers calling 'net neutrality' when some ISP tries to filter out their crap. (same with any other mass filtering done at the ISP level).

I'm okay with ISPs filtering or doing rate limiting on traffic that starts or ends in their network. I _am_not_ okay with them doing the same for traffic that passes through their network. (even for spam -- I want to judge what is or isn't content that i want).

We're in a free market -- if an ISP gets a rep for censoring / traffic shaping / etc, it opens up the market for an ISP that doesn't do that, and can offer its customers better service. I don't know of any way to police the big guys, except contractually through peering agreements. (let's see if brand 'X' continues to shape traffic, when no other Tier1 ISP will talk to 'em)

Re:different levels of ISPs (1)

jayayeem (247877) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925154)

I'd love to be able to pay less for an internet connection that is subsidized by MicroYahGooMazon payments my ISP and delivers fast performance to their sites, and vastly worse performance to other sites. Net Neutrality would prevent any carrier from offering such a plan.

phone your mp... stupid pm... (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924548)

ok. so. FUCK. i can't vote, but that wont stop me from bugging my mp. everyone else, please do the same. remember, it's only a minority government. liberals plus anyone else is a majority.

AT&T Vowed never to do this (1)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924624)

And Charter doesn't seem like it will do this either. it sucks that other companies that want this are getting their way.

Re:AT&T Vowed never to do this (1)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925240)

As I understand it, AT&T didn't vow never to do it but conceded not to for 30 months in order to get their merger with BellSouth approved. They also conceded to offer "naked DSL" for those 30 months, but I doubt either of these concessions will last long beyond the required 30 months.

Politicians and power (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924628)

Funny after all the complaining and ranting about US being a bunch of sick bastards for not wanting to surrender the internet, the complainers ended up being none other than more politicians who wanted the power for themselves. What power hungry leader is a US hater to idolize?

Harper's at it again (5, Interesting)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924684)

I all honesty, what hasn't the Harper gov /not/ fucked up. In fact, every decision they've made, everything they've done, ONLY benefits the rich. Anyone surprised by this hasn't been paying attention.

Also, there's absolutely nothing that can be done. They'll just "go it alone" and do whatever they want to do anyway. All that without communicating at all with the media because they want our journalists to write down the question before press conferences and our journalists refused (yes we have real journalists here).

Hey, US people. We now have an un-government too! Now all of North America is fucked!

Re:Harper's at it again (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924908)

Yeah!

I was actually pretty pissed when they cut the GST.

That doesn't really affect me (seriously, a penny on a Tim's, who cares?) -- but it DOES affect our national debt AND poor people (I'll bet they get smaller GST cheques now).

Re:Harper's at it again (2, Informative)

Markus_UW (892365) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925038)

My GST cheque's the same, as far as I can tell... though it prob. wouldn't be till next year tat that changes. Anyways, this and the comment above it are pretty troll-y... like sure this government hasn't done a lot in the last year, but the government before it, you know the one that was in offics with a majority for 12 years or so? what all did they do? NOTHING. And i'm pretty sure that they (the liberals) were discussing doing this too, when they got knocked out of power.

Harper is anti-Canada (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924932)

Is anyone really surprised? This is the same guy who undermined our national interests by widely circulating calls for action against Canada for our smart decision to stay out of Iraq in 2003. His buddies at the US based "National Review" even called for bombing Canada for our decision to stay out of that idiotic war. This is the same guy who has regularly called Canada and Canadians "stupid" and refers to us as a "northern european welfare state". The guy hates Canada, he wants us to imitate every policy of the US government, and would probably be happiest as "state governor of Alberta" rather than a Prime Minister of Canada.

QoS Argument Provides a Talking point (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924696)

Once again it seems that large corporations have managed to win the day because people are stupid and/or lazy. Whenever a remotely complex topic arises, they manage to confuse the issue by making claims that the topic being discussed is really something else and they're against that something else. In this way, they and politicians lobbied by them can argue against that something else, while voting against the topic at hand. People with party loyalty can simply choose to believe them, and most everyone else is confused enough by the disconnect so that the big boys get their way.

In this instance, the issue is net neutrality. Basically, it was asserted that since much of the infrastructure was funded by the government and since many of the last-mile providers have government enforced monopolies, maybe it would be wise to ensure that companies are forbidden by law from discriminating against traffic on their network based upon who sent that traffic. For example, this would mean AT&T cannot intentionally slow down or lose VoIP packets from some company unless they treat their own VoIP traffic the same way. Let me repeat the important part here. Net neutrality is about stopping discrimination based upon who sends something, not what is being sent.

So the big companies hire some PR firms to make up a new issue, which they can claim is what the net neutrality laws are really about, and which the average person might conceivably be against (since no one in their right mind could argue that net neutrality as described above is a bad idea). So they claim that Net Neutrality is about stopping telecos from discriminating based upon the type of traffic. They use the example of file sharing networks as "bad" traffic they want to be able to run slower. They use VoIP as traffic they want to ensure runs faster. All the while they make sure to outright lie and claim that the proposed net neutrality legislation would stop Quality of Service traffic shaping.

Every time an expert looks into it, this is shown to be false. How many evaluations have we had now that say QoS is not restricted by proposed net neutrality legislation? And what about encryption? Widespread deployment of encrypted tunnels makes discriminating based upon the type of traffic useless anyway, and would certainly be adopted (and has been) to foil and attempt to use QoS to discriminate. So the entire argument is bull crap.

The net result of all of this is most people who have heard of net neutrality being completely misinformed about what it is, or scratching their heads in confusion while the large network operators laugh their asses off and prepare to discriminate against competitors and start extorting money from certain Web services providers who don't have anything to do with them other than the fact that some of their traffic ends up transiting their network, providing an opportunity to waylay it like some sort of internet highwayman. Hey Canadian government, I hope you're proud of yourselves for helping to undermine the most important innovation in the last 20 years.

Re:QoS Argument Provides a Talking point (2, Insightful)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924784)

Stupid or lazy? How about capitalism. Later you nail it when you mention lobby groups... Government creates policy based on commerce, not for the popular good.

Doesn't matter, election comming, all gonna change.

Re:QoS Argument Provides a Talking point (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924910)

Stupid or lazy?

People are too lazy or stupid to read the proposed legislation and understand it themselves. As a result, government officials and company spokespersons can happily lie about the issue without everyone voting them out of office.

Doesn't matter, election comming, all gonna change.

I doubt it, since no one knows what the issue is, why should any politician do anything but what lobbyists are willing to pay them for?

Same old same old... (4, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924774)

The arguments made by the legislators are the same arguments we always hear, with the same misunderstandings on how this stuff works. It's like a broken record. All of the following is from a US-centric viewpoint, so please correct me for any differences that apply in Canada:

The Internet is not regulated in Canada. There is no regulation of the relationship between Internet service providers and the providers of Internet content.
I don't know about Canada. But in the US, this is not true - there are common carrier laws and FCC's weakened neutrality rules. Is there really nothing equivalent at all in Canada?

First, the Internet has never been truly neutral or equitable with respect to data transmission...preferential content arrangements, filtering and blocking to control network abuse, as well as 'traffic shaping' in order to ensure an acceptable service level for all subscribers, despite the bandwidth-demanding activities of some users.
I know of no preferential content arrangements done by any ISP. Is this happening somewhere and I don't know it? This guy implies that it is common. Traffic shaping is done on local networks by businesses, but it is currently not done by ISPs. When it is (Trying to throttle P2P, for example) it is met with outrage. And it certainly isn't necessary to ensure acceptable service. The only reason the service might not be sufficient is if the ISP advertised more bandwidth than they really have.

... impeding competitive market outcomes....rigid net neutrality legislation may prevent such innovation.
Except that user's don't have choices in ISPs. There are usually only 2: the local telecom and the local cable company. That's not enough to allow market forces to kick-in. Hence the need for regulation.

...previous business models that attempted to limit consumer access to content (e.g., AOL, Compuserve, otherwise known as 'walled gardens'), have failed...
This is completely different. AOL and CompuServe were not ISPs, and they didn't advertise that they were ISPs. That was pre-internet and doesn't apply. Besides, we are talking about subtyle slowing-down internet traffic, not walling it off.

...without differentiated treatment, there may be no incentive to pay for the actual costs, resulting in under investment.
The usual FUD about how Google gets a free ride, which isn't true. People think it makes sense if they don't know about peering.

I wrote a quick-and-dirty anti-FUD article [mobydisk.com] in an attempt to correct these misunderstandings. If anyone is fooled by the above arguemnts, point them there.

co3k (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17924798)

lagged b3hind, it wa@s fun. If I'm

Proving Once Again... (4, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924830)

That our government - like most Western governments - is firmly in the grasp of big business, and no longer really represents the will or interests of the people. Welcome to the "Illusion of Democracy". Government seems to consistently represent the interests of corporations over the interests of the people, at least at the Federal level.

Unfortunately, the Conservatives got in based on support of a lot of the older demographic, mostly in reaction to the horrid Liberal Government we had for years. The only thing I can't believe is that they were willing to elect Stephen Harper. The guy seems so insincere, so slimey, I wouldn't buy a used car from him. I can't believe hes head of the country at the moment. Its a sad period for Canada.

Time to contact your MP and protest I suppose, although I no longer have much hope that can accomplish anything. Our country seems to have the best politicians money can buy :(

Re:Proving Once Again... (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924992)

That our government - like most Western governments - is firmly in the grasp of big business, and no longer really represents the will or interests of the people. Welcome to the "Illusion of Democracy". Government seems to consistently represent the interests of corporations over the interests of the people, at least at the Federal level.

Oh great. Now my country is exporting good old-fashioned American Passive Fatalism to our northern neighbor, too.

Not surprising... (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924852)

it knows that this runs counter to recommended policy, and it doesn't care because it plans to the leave the issue to the dominant telecommunications providers.
Otherwise known as we pay experts to tell us things, but we get paid by telcos to ignore them. Different government - same corruption.

Cost? (4, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17924912)

I wonder how much a canadian MP costs. Love to buy a couple. Sad to see that Canada is for sale.

Tom

Re:Cost? (1)

Astin (177479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925134)

Just ask Bev Oda. I'm sure they're cheap, and in Canadian dollars.

Remind me Again... (2, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925124)

Remind me again what makes Canada so superior to the USA. I seem to have forgotten at the moment.

Re:Remind me Again... (1)

ChunkyLoverYYZ (1030246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925226)

No kidding. We Canadians have a nasty habit of poking fun at the stereotypical American. In actuality, we are more alike than different. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. :-/ God Bless Beer.

A Different Approach (2, Interesting)

AppleButter (1061188) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925142)

It seems clear that some Internet providers (large and small) have some interest in limiting, censoring, or otherwise filtering their customers' content. Likewise, governments appear to have little interest in banning those same providers from doing just that (not to mention little ability in drafting legislation actually aimed at banning it). Companies have all kinds of reason to limit content (which they consider a benefit to their customers), and governments have little incentive to stand in the way of what could possibly be a better system.

If providers are going to do it, and governments aren't going to stop it, what can those of us who aren't convinced this will be better do? The obvious solution is to prove the providers wrong: new providers specifically targetting customers who don't want this service. The problem is that many of the providers who want to limit content control a disproportionate amount of the Internet itself. So how about instead of trying to force providers not to limit content, governments and consumers aim to force them to provide uncensored content to other, smaller, providers?

I'm moving! (3, Funny)

Astin (177479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925168)

That's it. First this right-wing government gets in, then Bev Oda starts pushing RIAA-like rules, and DMCA crap comes along.. and now anti-net-neutrality! I'm done. I'm moving to The USA where they don't have these prob.... oh... hrmm... Engla... no.. France? ehhh... Russia, here I come!

NO TOLLS (2, Insightful)

rosesuchak (951518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925174)

We do not need tolls on the information highway. Imagine applying the non-neutrality logic to our road systems. Cars restricted to only the inside lanes or the local roads while the big fleets dominate the middle and passing lanes because they pay a fee to get such access. No thanks. If the telcos want more revenue then they should focus on infrastructure and greater bandwidth. Whatever happened to fiber? If the Canadian government cows under then they are toast.

The big fish will rule the ocean (3, Insightful)

LordofTruth (1061200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925202)

Without net neutrality Slashdot's parent company could have blocked any attempts by Digg to prosper. Microsoft could have blocked Google. YouTube wouldn't have amounted to much compared to Google Video. Net Neutrality helps great ideas become reality. We would never even know about many of the little startups that have become the great sites that they are today.

Cdn Content? (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925274)

How long will it be before the Culture Nazis in Ottawa start requiring ISPs, etc, to prioritize their notion of "Canadian Content" over other traffic on the net?

What's next: Every 4th byte of traffic passed by an ISP has to originate in Canada?

        dave

Sad, sad day... (1)

Shaltenn (1031884) | more than 7 years ago | (#17925346)

It's a sad, sad day... :(
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