Charlie Angus on "Net Neutrality"

Unfortunately the question didn't separate the "Net neutrality" issue, which isn't yet regulated in Canada, and "competitive access" which only exists in Canada because of regulation. If it were not for regulators requiring competitive access for those companies with the last mile monopolies, we wouldn't have *any* other ISPs or local phone services except those offered by the incumbent phone and cable companies. The non-answer from Minister Prentice is extremely disappointing, and suggested to me he is not adequately watching this critical telecom competition file.

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No regulation?

Aren't the wholesale DSL provisions that allow players like Teksavvy a form of regulation?

Exactly!

This is a key regulation that allows a competitive market, and ultimately an adequately competitive market is the only thing that will offer us the things discussed under the title of "Net Neutrality".

And it is a regulation that Bell is going directly after in the courts. This "hands off" approach that is being discussed may include allowing existing regulations to be erradicated.

CBC: Hands off our network, Bell tells CRTC.


Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.

Hansard Transcript:

The Hansard Transcript is as follows:

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, average Canadians are being ripped off by the telecom giants which are arbitrarily throttling information on the Internet. This is about a practice of a few large players being able to squeeze out smaller competition.

What steps will the Minister of Industry take to ensure that consumers who paid for access are not going to be ripped off, that badly needed competition will not be squeezed off, and send a message to the telecom giants that they have no business monkey wrenching with the free flow of information?
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Hon. Jim Prentice (Minister of Industry, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, for the edification of my friend, the Internet is not regulated in Canada. We continue to monitor the discussion that is taking place, but there is no regulation of the relationship between Internet providers and consumers.

We will continue to see how the issue unfolds.

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the minister's hands-off approach to hands-on interference is bad news for the development of a Canadian innovation agenda. Net neutrality is the cornerstone of an innovative economy, because it is the consumer and the innovator who need to be in the driver's seat, not Ma Bell, not Rogers, not Vidéotron. They have no business deciding what information is in the fast lane or what information is in the slow lane.

Will the minister come out of the Gestetner age and take action on the issue of net throttling?

Hon. Jim Prentice (Minister of Industry, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, I think virtually all members of the House could agree that if anyone inhabits the Gestetner age, it is the New Democratic Party. Members of that party would carry our country into the economic backwater that they propose.

We have a well advanced Internet system in this country. It is not publicly regulated. At this point in time we will continue to leave the matter between consumers on the one hand and Internet service providers on the other.


Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.