Telecommunications policy

Impressions of the Net Neutrality Rally.

Most of the speakers said what I would have expected them to say, as someone who had been hearing from these organizations for quite some time. Their message at the microphone was consistent with their messages on their websites and other speeches.

It was the politicians that offered something to think about.

Read the rest of this entry from IT World Canada's BLOG »

Content industry vs content delivery providers: who is the customer?

One of the common problems you will see in policy discussions is that many people are focused on their narrow issues, sometimes even tiny edge-cases, and not investing any time looking at the bigger picture of how different policies interact. This leads to the solutions to these edge cases sometimes causing even worse problems for the proponents.

We had one of those moments at CopyCamp when I tried to demonstrate a bigger picture issue by adding in "Net Neutrality" related discussions into a narrow discussion of business models for authors.

Read full article on IT World Canada »

Wireless Nomad: Supporting CAIP at the CRTC against Bell's "Throttling"

Wireless Nomad has made a submission to the CRTC in support of CAIP against Bell's throttling of the regulated Gateway Access Service (GAS) (Note: This is *not* an Internet connection, but a data connection that happens to be used by ISPs to connect to their customers). Please also see my letter, which links to the section of the CRTC website where they are publishing other responses and comments.

Rally on Parliament Hill in support of Net Neutrality and the CAIP submission to the CRTC!

The following is text I received of a poster about the event:
Update: Event is being changed to 15th of May (was April 29).

Stop traffic-shaping that is throttling access to the Web

Participate to the rally to ensure net neutrality for all

NDP: Conservatives ‘out to lunch’ on net neutrality

A CBC article by Peter Nowak, a fairly long interview with Charlie Angus on p2pnet and a ComputerWorld Canada by Rafael Ruffolo discusses Charlie Angus' call on the government to properly deal with Bell's Throttling of the services of independent ISPs, as well as network neutrality.

Rafael also interviewed me for this article:

Russell McOrmond, an Internet consultant and head of Digital Copyright Canada, said that Bell’s actions with deep packet inspection is actually violating an existing CRTC regulated service, rather than the principle of net neutrality.

Throttling debate not really about "Internet" neutrality

The following was submitted as a Letter to the Editor of the Hill Times. It wasn't included in the publication this week.

Re: Federal government, CRTC right not over-regulating internet, says Cisco Systems.

There is an interesting observation about the responses to the debate about throttling. Phone companies want the Internet to act more like phone services where people are charged per transaction (per call, per minute, per packet, per byte). Cable companies want the Internet to act more like cable service (bundles of "channels", tiers of access services, etc). Cisco wants to sell more expensive routers which are capable of deep packets inspection and prioritization, even though in many situations increased fiber capacity is cheaper than these routers. Canadian Internet Service Providers, represented by CAIP, simply want to offer Internet Services without the packets of their customers being inspected or manipulated by third parties.

Letter to the CRTC in support of CAIP application (Bell throttling)

I sent the following in the complaint forms on the CRTC website. (Note: The copy I sent via the Stop The Throttler site was published).

Re: 2008-04-03 - #: 8622-C51-200805153

I am an independent Internet consultant, details at

I wish to file my support for the submission by CAIP.

This issue has unfortunately been confused with the "Network Neutrality" debate. That is a debate that relates to the inspection and filtering or prioritization of TCP/IP packets routed over the Internet.

This specific complaint relates to a regulated data service which should not be inspected to determine the contents of the packets, including to determine whether the traffic is TCP/IP, or to determine any other traits of the packets. This regulated service must be regulated to be opaque to the regulated provider, only inspected to the level necessary to route between the customer premises and the relevant CLEC/ISP.

NDP Digital Culture Spokesman Charlie Angus calls on Prentice to deal with net throttling

The following is an article from Charlie Angus' site


The federal government must lay down transparent ground rules on internet “throttling” to ensure that consumers aren’t gouged and innovation isn’t stifled. This was the message delivered to Industry Minister Jim Prentice in an open letter by NDP Digital Culture Spokesman Charlie Angus. In the letter, Angus challenged Prentice’s claim that the government has no role to play in ensuring net neutrality because the internet is unregulated.

President and CEO of Hydro Ottawa responds to questions about sale of Telecom Ottawa

I wrote about the sale of Telecom Ottawa in my article An ideal future communications infrastructure, how do we get there, and what is stopping us!. At the same time I wrote a letter to my city councilor and Ottawa's Mayor Larry OBrien asking for details on the sale.

On IT World Canada's BLOG is my letter, and the reply we (my councilor, the mayor, and myself) received from Rosemarie T. Leclair, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. (Republished with permission). I will add my own commentary in future articles, but am curious what other people think about the response.

Bell Canada Violates CRTC Decision in Order to Stifle Competition

A Campaign For Democratic Media press release:

Bell uses its privileged access for its own benefit, not consumers

Vancouver, April 7, 2008: In March, the CRTC upheld a decade-old policy requiring Bell Canada to allow third-party businesses access to facilities, functions, or services where Bell is a monopoly (see Telecom Decision CRTC 2008-17). But as reported and criticized heavily in the media, Bell has begun shaping internet traffic on its network. By throttling the connection between competing Internet service providers and their customers, Bell is violating what should be reasonably understood as a regulatory requirement.

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