CRTC Hears Two Ways To Deal With Bandwidth Management Issues [UPDATED]

So let’s assume that you want to solve the problem of ISPs who employ Bandwidth Management. You’ve got two options according to those who testified in front of the CRTC hearings yesterday. If you’re the Canadian Association Of Internet Providers, competition is the answer:

“When you increase competition in the market, the whole [internet traffic management], net neutrality debate will go away,” said Christian Tacit, counsel for the Canadian Association of Internet Providers. “I really do think this will take care of itself, as will the congestion issues.”

But if you’re University of Ottawa’s Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Research Centre (CIPPIC) or the Campaign for Democratic Media, that may not be enough. Strict rules are the answer. Here’s what CIPPIC had to say:

Competition is necessary, said David Fewer, acting director of CIPPIC, “but it’s not sufficient to address the problem.”

The Campaign for Democratic Media went further:

Steve Anderson, co-founder of the Campaign for Democratic Media and the Save our Net Coalition, said more competition will certainly help, but is something that could take years to happen.

“We need rules now,” he added.

I must admit that I have to agree with Anderson and Fewer. The way things are right now, the smaller ISPs like Teksavvy and Execulink buy their services from Bell. So unless another large telco sets up shop in Canada and has the ability to run “last mile” connections to customers, or these ISPs find a way to bypass Bell, there will be no true competition and these ISPs will be screwed by Bell. So the CRTC needs to lay down the law and make this sort of behavior verboten. That’s the only way this problem will be solved in the long term.

Day 5 of the hearings should be underway now. You can listen in live via this audio feed.

UPDATE: Recordings from the previous days in MP3 format can be found here.

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