The CBC weighs in on Net Neutrality: ISP’s still Suck!

Bell and other Canadian ISP seem to have hit some type of nerve in The Great White North that is usually reserved to bad Hockey fights, bashing Celine Dion and corporate America messing with sacred Tim Horton’s pastries.

So I was watching last night’s big game between the Habs and the Sens and scouring Twitter between periods when I saw a Tweet from Amber MacArthur pointing to this article about National Union of Public and General Employees calling Bell Sympatico out on Bit Torrent Throttling.

A major Canadian media union on Monday urged the country’s TV regulator to investigate online “traffic shaping” by Internet service providers after an attempt last week by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to upload a DRM-free TV program to online users via BitTorrent was severely hampered.

“On behalf of the National Union of Public and General Employees … I am asking the CRTC to conduct an investigation into these practices and the implications for Canadian consumers,” NUPGE president James Clancy said in a letter to CRTC chairman Konrad Von Finckenstein that was released to the public Monday.

I am very pleased that for once it’s not just the end-user being screwed over by the Canada’s oppressive telecoms industry. Our hallowed CBC.ca has taken a major initiative to offer up their DRM-Free programming in a way that not only ensures fast delivery to the user but has the potential to serve as a measure of it’s popularity. let me explain this, Bit Torrent speeds rely on end users who have already downloaded the file (seeders) as well as those that are actively downloading it (leachers) to ensure the high speed downloads it is synonymous with. It’s very democratic in that the files that are very popular with many seeders and leachers will in fact be offered up at incredibly high speeds, while less desired files, like bad television programming, will suffer their own demise with out the need for additional throttling by the ISP.

Who knows if Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister will blow? But seeing as Rick Mercer is involved chances of success are pretty high! At the end of the day, the fact is that it’s not up to the ISP’s to decide this or to weigh in with their self-interest inspired editorial policy.

Last night’s performance by Price, Markhov, Bégin, Lapierre and the rest of the Habs against the Parliament Hill’s Senators must have inspired a few other “Canadiens” to take action, good friend and IAM.ca blogger Steven McGurn posted his thoughts on my previous article which were far too good to leave buried in comments:

Fortunately, Bell has no say as to what happens to the packets once they leave Bell’s backbone, but then these poor innocent packets fall prey to the whims of all the other carriers whims between your computer and their destination (not to mention whatever path they follow on the return trip). The issue I have with packet shaping is that it is marketed as the benevolent strategy to maintain a level of service for all their customers. The problem is that they only throttle traffic that threatens their core business (skype, youtube, …). I’m sure that videos hosted on http://sympatico.msn.ca/ don’t suffer from throttling. If youtube.com pays for bandwidth, and the enduser pays for bandwidth, then they should enjoy NetNeutrlity as far as their packets are concerned, and if they run their own quota dry, then charge them after the fact.

Just don’t tell me its to improve service.

Don’t forget to visit: Free Our Bandwidth and talk to your local government representative.

2 comments

  1. I can hear Shaw and Rogers beefing up their lines for the new influx of Telus and other Bell customers. Does Bell forget that WE pay THEM for their services? If they can’t deliver what we pay for and, what we’re promised (Check any of Bell’s advertising “unlimited downloads 24/7” etc. complete false advertising) then that should be a clear sign to the quality (or lacktherof) of this company and their unwillingness to be a fair service provider. What if the electical comapnies started throttling available amperage so that selected users could get more? Would we just accept it? Of course not. It looks like cable is about to be the new king of the ISP’s.

  2. The only problem is that Shaw and Rogers are also actively throttling bandwidth. Rogers openly hinders Skype and other VoIP telephony and Shaw throttles anything that upsets the apple cart. A quick read through the forums on DSLreports.org and saveourbandwidth.com will show you just how the Net Neutrality issue is in Canada.