Canadian Regulators Throw Support Behind Net Neutrality In New Ruling

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Net Neutrality In Canada

Canadian regulators have issued a ruling that places the government in direct support of net neutrality. Under terms of the ruling, wireless providers, such as Bell and Videotron, can no longer give preferential treatment to their subscribers for video services owned by their own company. Prior to the ruling Bell and other wireless carriers would not count video data against a customers monthly data allotment if those videos were served from company owned services.

Canadian officials ruled that it was illegal to charge customers for viewing YouTube, Netflix, and other streaming providers, while giving preferential treatment to any other services.

In its official ruling issued on Thursday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said the new ruling will go into affect on April 1. In a speech following the ruling CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said, “When the impetus to innovate steps on the toes of the principle of fair and open access to content, we will intervene… We will defend and support an open Internet. Canadians want an open communication system. And we heard you.”

Bell and other ISPs have claimed that it is necessary to throttle data to avoid network congestion. The companies never responded to requests about their own videos and the effects they could have on network congestion.

The Canadian ruling in support of net neutrality arrives just weeks before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to rule on the same issue in the United States. During its ruling thhe FCC is expected to push for the reclassification of wired and wireless ISPs as telecommunications providers under Title II of the Communications Act. If that ruling comes to bare, the FCC would be able to fully regulate ISPs just as they do other telecoms.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and U.S. President Barack Obama have already voiced their support for reclassification. Both men say that the new classification will help avoid preferential treatment being given to certain kinds of content.

The FCC wants to reclassify ISPs because of Verizon’s stance in 2014 which claims that internet access is considered information and not a telecommunication service. The CRTC has now rejected similar claims and on the surface it appears as if the FCC is prepared to follow suit.

Do you think the FCC will support net neutrality? Leave us a comment with your thoughts on the current state of internet access in North America.

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Canadian Regulators Throw Support Behind Net Neutrality In New Ruling

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