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Net Neutrality In Canada – The Debate Starts Now

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You can now add Rogers to the list of ISP’s who do stupid things. This morning they announced that so called “bandwidth hogs” who exceed their allotted limits on Rogers’s networks will face service-fee penalties of up to $5 a gigabyte, to a maximum of $25 a month. That on top of the fact that they screw with certain types of Internet traffic (read: BitTorrent). So that’s the bad news…. What’s the good news you ask? The stupidity of Rogers and Bell (who not only screw with traffic on their Sympatico Internet service, but they screw with the traffic on the parts of their network that their resellers use) has gotten the attention of the Canadian Parliament. Here’s a quote from from Charlie Angus of the New Democratic Party who speaks on copyright and digital issues via an article posted on Globeandmail.com today:

“[Industry Minister] Jim Prentice cannot turn a blind eye while the telecommunication companies decide which lanes of digital traffic will be deliberately filled with potholes,” he said in a statement. “Protecting Net neutrality is a fundamental cornerstone in encouraging the development of a true knowledge economy.”

I’m glad to see someone is paying attention.

Given that Canada has a minority parliament, there is an opportunity to effect some real change here. If you’re a Canadian who reads my blog, you need to call your MP and tell them that what companies like Bell and Rogers are doing is harming not helping the Internet, and counterproductive to Canada as a whole. If you need help finding your MP, click here and search by postal code. If your MP needs a primer on net neutrality, you can send them this link. Besides telling your MP what they need to do, you also need to vote with your dollars. If you’re a Rogers or Bell customer, you should switch to an independent ISP such as Teksavvy or Acanac. While they still resell Bell DSL, at least Bell gets less dollars from you. If enough people did that, it would get Bell’s attention.

The bottom line is this: The net neutrality debate in Canada starts now. If we engage in this debate and express how fundamentally wrong this is, we can make Bell and Rogers cave the way Comcast did. Which would be good for Internet users in Canada and perhaps beyond.

The clock is ticking.

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