Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Charlie Angus' Net Neutrality Bill

This is a private member's bill and they rarely go anywhere.

I have immense respect for Charlie Angus, but this bill as quoted - presumably accurately by Jon Newton - won't likely do much to stop the crude throttling that is now so apparent, irritating and damaging - even for unquestionably legitimate and authorized activity now.

There is a an exception that would allow for a network operator to:
(g) Prevent any violation of federal or provincial law.
That's a potentially wide open invitation to the ISPs to crudely throttle .torrent and .mp3 files on the basis that they may be in violation of copyright law. Naturally, some will be and some won't be. But it would arguably be a good enough excuse for the big ISPs.

And, of course, the ISPs could always throttle away as they do now by relying on the main exception, which would allow them to:
(a) Manage the flow of network traffic in a reasonable manner in order to relieve congestion;
If there really is congestion now, which is far from clear, is there not an onus on the ISPs to provide more bandwidth and higher speeds, such as we see in other countries that have actual competition and don't condone a duopoly?


1 comment:

  1. Glad you noticed that wee little exception.

    You may, like many, have already predicted that net neutrality was a stalking horse for Internet regulation.

    I'm wondering if throttling was precisely intended to spur regulation, i.e. perhaps the cartel realised that if they corrupted the ISPs with lucrative incentives for preferential treatment this would then spur the introduction of regulation to counter it, which would consequently play right into their hands and help stamp out infringement?

    I blogged recently on net neutrality: