The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission today released a rigorous Network Neutrality framework designed to scrutinize all discriminatory practices by Internet service providers.
The CRTC ruled that any form of traffic blocking or prioritization warrants investigation. The CRTC further determined that such practices must be held to a strict standard: ISPs must demonstrate that the practice is necessary to resolve a clear problem; that the practice does not go beyond what is needed to resolve the problem; and that investment in building a better network for all Internet uses somehow cannot solve the problem effectively.
In testimony and filings before the CRTC last summer, Free Press and the Open Internet Coalition demonstrated that ISPs have both the ability and the incentive to monitor and control every use of the Internet, and to engage in anti-competitive and anti-consumer behavior by discriminating against some uses of the Internet and giving priority to others. The CRTC's decision establishes a framework for network management practices that recognizes these important concerns.
"The CRTC's decision makes great strides toward preserving and protecting the free and open Internet," said Marvin Ammori, general counsel of Free Press, who testified before the CRTC in Ottawa in August. "The United States must move to prohibit actions by ISPs that undermine the competitive and innovative free market of the open Internet -- or risk diverging from the commitment to openness in the rest of the world."
Highlights of the Canadian decision include:
"The Internet has given people the freedom to innovate without permission," said the CRTC, adding that "the core of the debate over 'net neutrality' is whether innovation will continue to come from the edges of networks, without permission."
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