CRTC Launches Online Consultation on Net Neutrality

As I discovered on Michael Geist’s blog, the CRTC is ofering Canadians the opportunity speak out on Net Neutrality in advance of their hearings on ISP network management practices.

I had this to say, in the Impact on User Experience section:

To me the internet is an infrastructure service. I don’t expect my provider to give preferential treatment to any type of traffic based on the source, content, or destination. Just as I don’t expect the city to regulate my water pressure based on whether I’m watering the lawn or taking a shower.

But to continue the water analogy I understand there’s a difference when I run a bath (i.e.: bit torrent) and when I wash my hands (i.e.: e-mail). The bandwidth consumed by bit torrent can have a negative impact on my internet neighbours unless the total bandwidth is sufficiently high. Especially if we’re all torrenting at the same time.

I’d love to see over-building of the network, but it’s only a short-term solution until more people get on the net and use up all the over-capacity. Traffic management is unfortunately a necessary tool to ensure consistent service for all subscribers as-is continuous re-building of the network.

But the management should not require deep packet inspection – a simple high level valve that adjusts the pressure regardless of what is going through should be sufficient and would keep the ISPs neutral regarding how we use the internet.

It certainly is a concern to me that some ISPs have conflicting interests (they run multiple distribution channels, ex.: Cable-TV vs. Internet) and might specifically block or limit my access to their competitors in order to artificially increase the viewership of their material.

It would be like the water company cutting of my water if I didn’t use their brand of soap!

Cross-posted on Cameron-Schultz at CRTC Launches Online Consultation on Net Neutrality