Archive for Net Neutrality

Infographic: New Map Shows #StopTheFCC Support By State

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 15, 2017 by itnerd

Sperling’s BestPlaces collected 145,000 #StopTheFCC tweets from November 24 to December 14 and analyzed them.

Each of the geolocated tweets was mapped to determine the number of tweets per state.  Using this data, the research firm generated a choropleth map showing the number of tweets per capita (100,000 people).


Full rankings and data:

#StopTheFCC Tweets Per Capita
Rank State Tweets per Capita Tweet Count Population
1 District of Columbia 320.33 1872 584,400
2 West Virginia 72.52 1335 1,840,802
3 Oregon 56.83 2138 3,761,925
4 Massachusetts 50.36 3262 6,477,096
5 New York 49.28 9477 19,229,752
6 Colorado 44.91 2195 4,887,061
7 Nevada 43.03 1133 2,633,331
8 Washington 42.70 2802 6,561,297
9 California 41.95 15370 36,637,290
10 Vermont 38.13 238 624,258
11 Illinois 37.54 4785 12,745,359
12 New Jersey 37.53 3273 8,721,577
13 Florida 36.36 6731 18,511,620
14 Rhode Island 35.97 380 1,056,389
15 Maryland 35.34 2013 5,696,423
16 Maine 34.65 460 1,327,665
17 Alaska 32.99 228 691,189
18 Arizona 32.77 2047 6,246,816
19 Missouri 32.30 1913 5,922,314
20 New Mexico 30.45 613 2,013,122
21 Texas 30.45 7402 24,311,891
22 Pennsylvania 30.11 3798 12,612,705
23 Minnesota 30.05 1575 5,241,914
24 Michigan 29.95 2981 9,952,687
25 Tennessee 29.25 1824 6,234,968
26 Utah 28.79 765 2,657,236
27 Ohio 28.73 3308 11,512,431
28 Iowa 28.55 861 3,016,267
29 Connecticut 26.43 937 3,545,837
30 Wyoming 25.84 141 545,579
31 North Carolina 25.36 2351 9,271,178
32 Wisconsin 25.13 1417 5,637,947
33 Indiana 25.10 1611 6,417,398
34 Hawaii 24.60 328 1,333,591
35 Montana 23.41 228 973,739
36 Nebraska 22.23 400 1,799,125
37 New Hampshire 22.22 292 1,313,939
38 Delaware 21.11 186 881,278
39 Kentucky 20.98 899 4,285,828
40 Virginia 19.48 1526 7,835,577
41 Idaho 19.39 296 1,526,797
42 South Carolina 18.93 854 4,511,428
43 Georgia 18.38 1740 9,468,815
44 Oklahoma 17.88 657 3,675,339
45 North Dakota 16.97 112 659,858
46 Alabama 16.23 765 4,712,651
47 Arkansas 14.83 426 2,872,684
48 Louisiana 14.38 637 4,429,940
49 Kansas 14.35 403 2,809,329
50 South Dakota 14.01 112 799,462
51 Mississippi 8.57 252 2,941,991

Source: Sperling’s BestPlaces –

Rogers Now Supports Net Neutrality…… After Doing The Opposite For So Long

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on October 15, 2015 by itnerd

Here’s the deal. Rogers hasn’t exactly been the best ISP in Canada from a net neutrality standpoint. They have been nailed numerous times for doing things that they shouldn’t be on that front. Now it seems they’ve become the champion of net neutrality.


Rogers filed a complaint with Canadian regulators because competitor Videotron has unveiled the Unlimited Music program. This program exempts the biggest and most popular music services from Videotron’s usage caps. And to nobody’s surprise, Rogers who owns a ton of radio stations that have streaming options are not part of Videotron’s program. Thus Videotron is appearing to favor one service over another. Something that’s kind of a no-no in this part of the world. Rogers had this to say:

“The Unlimited Music service offered by Videotron is fundamentally at odds with the objective of ensuring that there is an open and non-discriminatory marketplace for mobile audio services,” the company’s CRTC filing says.“Videotron is, in effect, picking winners and losers by adopting a business model that would require an online audio service provider (including Canadian radio stations that stream content online) to accept Videotron’s contractual requirements in order to receive the benefit of having its content zero-rated.”

So, what does Videotron think of Rogers complaint” Not much based on this statement:

Videotron said in its filing that a range of “ulterior motives” have been ascribed to what it insists is simply an effort to “make its services more attractive to customers.”

“In the present case, Videotron is being accused of everything from blocking competition in the music streaming business, to trying to control access to music content, to creating a two-tiered Internet, to trying to marginalize a part of its own customer base,” the company said, adding, “The truth is much less conspiratorial.

“Videotron has observed that the appeal of its wireless services to the key 14-to-34-year-old demographic could be better than it is and the company has found an attractive and innovative way to broaden that appeal.”

Other groups are joining Rogers party on both sides of the argument. So this will get sorted by the CRTC at some point. But you have to note the irony. A Canadian ISP known for not exactly playing nice with the concept of net neutrality has radically changed its tune when they are suddenly the victim.

Wow. I should check the temperature of hell as it might have frozen over.

FCC Sued Over Net Neutrality…… Shock. Not.

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 24, 2015 by itnerd

The FCC knew this would come the second they decided that the Internet should be regulated which would ensure net neutrality. So I am pretty sure that they were not shocked when news of two lawsuits being filed to stop the FCC from going ahead with this according to

The USTelecom Association, a trade group that represents some of the nation’s largest Internet service providers, filed a complaint Monday in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that claims the FCC’s action is a violation of federal law and was “arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion.” Texas-based ISP Alamo Broadband made similar arguments against the FCC’s action Monday in a federal appeals court in New Orleans. The lawsuits represent the first legal challenges to the new rules in what is expected to be a lengthy court fight.

I fully expect that there will be more challenges to what the FCC has proposed. Thus you can fully expect this to be long, drawn out and ugly. And another one of those situations where only the lawyers win.

FCC Votes For Net Neutrality…. But Don’t Celebrate Just Yet

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on February 27, 2015 by itnerd

Here’s the good news. If you’re in the US, the FCC has voted 3-2 in terms of regulating the Internet like a utility such as your phone service. In effect, it is enforcing net neutrality. This is a very good thing as there will be no Internet “slow lanes” or “fast lanes” based on the content you consume. The new rules replace regulations that had been thrown out by a federal court last year.

ISPs, Telcos and the like are freaking out. Exhibit A is AT&T’s top legislative executive, Jim Cicconi, sharing his thoughts in a blog post. But their basic gripe is this: Applying these sorts of regulations to the broadband industry will stifle innovation by hurting investment opportunities in networks. It could also allow the government to impose new taxes and tariffs, which would increase consumer bills. And they say it could even allow the government to force network operators to share their infrastructure with competitors. Personally, I don’t see that happening. But they’re so upset about this that they are sure to file suit against the FCC. The FCC for its part claims that it is ready to fight this out in court. Thus, I would not pop the champagne just yet. The fight for net neutrality is not yet over.

So, when is something like this coming to Canada?

UPDATE: Upon further reflection, if you read the press release from the FCC in greater detail, it appears that they’ve copied and pasted a lot of it from the efforts of the CRTC. Though it is still a work in progress as highlighted by this decision against Bell and Videotron and Bell’s decision to appeal that decision.

CRTC Actually Does Something Right By Slapping Bell & Videotron Over Their “Unlawful” Practices

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on January 29, 2015 by itnerd

Frequent readers of this blog will know that I an no fan of the CRTC. But today, I will actually say that they’ve done something right. In the last couple of hours, they’ve come out with a ruling that Bell and Videotron cannot exempt their own apps from data charges:

The Commission finds that Bell Mobility Inc. (Bell Mobility) and Quebecor Media Inc., Videotron Ltd. and Videotron G.P. (collectively, Videotron), violated subsection 27(2) of the Telecommunications Act by exempting their mobile TV services Bell Mobile TV and from data charges. Subsection 27(2) prohibits Canadian carriers from conferring an undue disadvantage to others, or an undue preference to itself or others. Bell Mobility and Videotron have given an undue preference in favour of subscribers of their respective mobile TV services, as well as in favour of their own services, and have subjected consumers of other audiovisual content services, and other services, to a corresponding undue disadvantage.

In light of the above, the Commission directs Bell Mobility to eliminate its unlawful practice with respect to data charges for its mobile TV service by no later than 29 April 2015.

Further, the Commission directs Videotron to confirm by 31 March 2015 that it completed its planned withdrawal of its app for Blackberry- and Android-based phones by 31 December 2014, thereby removing any undue preference for its mobile TV service, and ensure that any new mobile TV service complies with the determinations set out in this decision.

This decision will favour an open and non-discriminatory marketplace for mobile TV services, enabling innovation and choice for Canadians. The Commission is very supportive of the development of new means by which Canadians can access both Canadian-made and foreign audiovisual content. However, mobile service providers cannot do so in a manner contrary to the Telecommunications Act.

Wow. The CRTC stands up for net neutrality. Imagine that. I’m pretty sure that this decision is going to get a lot of attention from advocates of net neutrality as well as other teclos who might have been thinking about doing the same thing, or are doing the same thing. I’ll be interested in seeing if the CRTC will do the same thing to others who engage in similar behaviors. If they do, I’ll may even start to say I like the CRTC.

John Chen Gets A Lot Of Attention From His Most Recent Blog Post

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 22, 2015 by itnerd

If BlackBerry CEO John Chen wanted to get some attention and make news, he’s succeeded. In a blog post that went up yesterday, he has some interesting things to say. Starting with his view on Net Neutrality. Chen calls on U.S. government officials to support not only net neutrality but also “application/content neutrality” :

BlackBerry believes policymakers should focus on more than just the carriers, who play only one role in the overall broadband internet ecosystem. The carriers are like the railways of the last century, building the tracks to carry traffic to all points throughout the country. But the railway cars travelling on those tracks are, in today’s internet world, controlled not by the carriers but by content and applications providers. Therefore, if we are truly to have an open internet, policymakers should demand openness not just at the traffic/transport layer, but also at the content/applications layer of the ecosystem. Banning carriers from discriminating but allowing content and applications providers to continue doing so will solve nothing.

Therefore, any net neutrality legislation must take a holistic view of the entire playing field, addressing both carrier neutrality and content/application neutrality.

But Chen doesn’t stop there. He serves this up:

Unfortunately, not all content and applications providers have embraced openness and neutrality. Unlike BlackBerry, which allows iPhone users to download and use our BBM service, Apple does not allow BlackBerry or Android users to download Apple’s iMessage messaging service. Netflix, which has forcefully advocated for carrier neutrality, has discriminated against BlackBerry customers by refusing to make its streaming movie service available to them. Many other applications providers similarly offer service only to iPhone and Android users. This dynamic has created a two-tiered wireless broadband ecosystem, in which iPhone and Android users are able to access far more content and applications than customers using devices running other operating systems. These are precisely the sort of discriminatory practices that neutrality advocates have criticized at the carrier level.

You can bet that people at Netflix and Apple did a double take upon reading that.

I wonder if this is an attempt to say that BlackBerry is more open than their competition rather than an attempt to force companies like Apple and Netflix to open up their platforms either on their own or via legislation. Whatever the purpose of this blog entry, people are sure talking about it. And any press is good press for BlackBerry.


Hey IT Nerd: What Was The Deal With This “Internet Slowdown Day”?

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 11, 2014 by itnerd

This was a question that I got yesterday but didn’t have a chance to answer. Internet Slowdown Day was staged to support Net Neutrality. In short, everything on the Internet should be treated equally. But that’s not the case as services such as Netflix are slowed down by ISPs for whatever reason. Be it that they threaten some service the ISP has, as is the case when Netflix deals with an ISP like Comcast, or the ISP simply doesn’t want to treat them equally. So companies like Vimeo, Etsy and reddit along with those who have a presence on the web staged a protest yesterday to decry these tactics.

Sites participating in the “internet slowdown protest” will display an infinitely-spinning “site loading” icon, or as the advocacy group organizing the event calls it, the “spinning wheel of death.”


Another is changing one’s avatar, on Twitter or Facebook or what have you, to the icon. The hope is that the action will go viral. The protest comes just 5 days before the FCC’s next comment deadline on September 15th. We’ll have to wait and see how effective it is.

Net Neutrality Shot Down By US Appeals Court

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 15, 2014 by itnerd

Yesterday, a federal appeals court made a decision that is considered to be bad by many. The court ruled that ISPs are free to make their own deals to give priority over certain types of traffic. Basically, they’ve nuked the concept of net neutrality. Here’s what The New York Times had to say:

Internet service providers are free to make deals with services like Netflix or Amazon allowing those companies to pay to stream their products to online viewers through a faster, express lane on the web, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

Federal regulators had tried to prevent those deals, saying they would give large, rich companies an unfair edge in reaching consumers. But since the Internet is not considered a utility under federal law, the court said, it is not subject to regulations banning the arrangements.

Some deals could come soon. In challenging the 2010 regulations at issue in the case, Verizon told the court that if not for the rules by the Federal Communications Commission, “we would be exploring those commercial arrangements.”

But there is hope for those who believe in the concept of net neutrality:

Although the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, found that the regulations preventing the deals were invalid, it said that the commission did have some basic authority “to promulgate rules governing broadband providers’ treatment of Internet traffic.” It also upheld agency rules requiring broadband companies to disclose how they manage their networks.

At the least, the F.C.C. will have to try again to define its mission in the Internet age. Tom Wheeler, the agency’s new chairman, said the agency might appeal the decision, but had previously voiced support for allowing Internet companies to experiment with new delivery methods and products. The rules, referred to as the Open Internet order and based on the principle of so-called net neutrality, were enacted in 2010 under the previous chairman, Julius Genachowski.

In a statement, Mr. Wheeler said he was “committed to maintaining our networks as engines for economic growth, test beds for innovative services and products, and channels for all forms of speech protected by the First Amendment.”

“We will consider all available options,” he added, “including those for appeal, to ensure that these networks on which the Internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression, and operate in the interest of all Americans.”

So, for those of you who like services like Netflix, there is hope. Hopefully this is challenged and common sense prevails.


CRTC Denies Throttling Appeal

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 30, 2009 by itnerd

With the decision about Globealive/Wind Mobile yesterday, I forgot to mention the other craptastic CRTC decision that was released yesterday. The CRTC threw out a “review and vary” request from the Canadian Association of Internet Providers to stop Bell Canada’s throttling activites:

In this decision, the Commission determines that the applications by CAIP et al. and Vaxination do not raise substantial doubt about the correctness of the determination in Telecom Decision 2008-108 that the throttling process Bell Canada relies upon does not engage section 36 of the Telecommunications Act. The Commission also determines that the applications do not raise substantial doubt about the correctness of Telecom Decision 2008-108 with respect to the completeness of the record used to make that decision or to the fettering of the Commission’s discretion. The Commission closes the remainder of the applications in light of Telecom Regulatory Policy 2009-657.

That sucks.

The only part of this that can be considered to be positive is that the CRTC said that the throttling must be in compliance with the new framework that CRTC set out in their decision last week. Because of that, you can expect that something will get filed either by Canadian Association of Internet Providers or by somebody else that will argue that the throttling activities by Bell do not meet that framework.

You know, looking at this and the Globalive/Wind Mobile decision, it really highlights the fact that the CRTC is completely out of touch with reality and needs to be replaced or eliminated. And the sooner, the better. I say we start with petitions like this one.

CRTC Makes Decisions On Usage Based Billing And Throttling… And The Decisions Don’t Suck

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on October 21, 2009 by itnerd

Today the CRTC posted several decisions on Usage Based Billing for wholesale ISPs as well as the throttling of users connections.

On the Usage Based Billing front, here’s what the CRTC said:

“The Commission confirms the interim approval granted in Telecom Order 2009-484 to proposals by Bell Aliant and Bell Canada to introduce usage-based billing for their wholesale residential Gateway Access Services. However, the implementation date established in that order is varied.”

So in short Usage Based Billing will happen, but it won’t happen anytime soon. The CRTC (shockingly) seems to have recognized the issues surrounding Retail vs Wholesale ISPs and as a result they have delayed implementation of Usage Based Billing until further notice in order to give enough time to work through the various issues at hand. That’s a bit of a reprieve for independent ISPs who were facing the prospect of being priced out of the market because the make Bell look really uncompetitive.

In terms of throttling, the CRTC says that ISPs have to advertise the fact that they throttle and give details on how they do it and what they throttle. Plus the CRTC recommends that it be used as a last resort. If throttling is to be used, then the people doing the throttling have to give 60 days notice for wholesale ISPs and 30 days notice for end users. In this decision, there’s this little tidbit:

Accordingly, the Commission finds that use of an ITMP resulting in the noticeable degradation of time-sensitive Internet traffic will require prior Commission approval under section 36 of the Act.

That means that if Bell messes with Skype, VoIP, audio/video streaming (i.e. YouTube), etc, they will require prior CRTC approval. Notice they didn’t focus on the intent of the throttling. They only focused on the result. That’s huge and is sure to piss off Bell.

So in short, this is a victory of sorts for Canadian Internet users. But the battle is far from over. This is a window for Canadian Internet users to put more pressure on the Canadian Government and the CRTC to create a more competitive Internet space within Canada. So if you’re Canadian and you pay for your Internet access, make sure your local MP knows how you feel, and you should do it sooner rather than later.

Otherwise, your Internet will continue to suck as has been pointed out on this blog previously.