Canada strengthens net neutrality with ruling against zero-rating

Jos

TS Evangelist

Canada's telecom regulator is upholding its commitment to net neutrality principles, with a ruling on Thursday prohibiting Internet service provider Videotron from offering access to content from services such as Spotify and Google Play Music, without it counting against customers’ data allowances.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) did not issue a blanket ban, however, instead saying it would rule on a case-by-case basis. In a similar case back in 2015, the regulator had already ruled that wireless carriers Bell and Videotron could not exempt their own streaming TV services from counting toward subscribers' data caps.

The practice is known as zero-rating and is common in the U.S. and other parts of the world. In the U.S., for instance, AT&T announced last year that its DirecTV streaming service would be zero-rated for AT&T customers, while wireless carrier T-Mobile has offered unlimited music and video streaming from a long list of content providers for about three years now.

While this can certainly be seen as a good thing from a consumer perspective, the concern is that it could harm competition in the long term, especially from new entrants and smaller players. A zero-rated service on a network will be a more attractive choice for customers interested in a video streaming subscription, giving companies with deeper pockets an advantage over their rivals.

The CRTC's ruling comes in stark contrast to recent moves by the new FCC administration in the U.S. Ajit Pai, the commission’s new chairman, called net neutrality a "mistake" at Mobile World Congress in February and proposed an agenda that could roll back several regulatory protections.

Image credit: Joseph Gruber (Flickr)

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psycros

TS Evangelist
Unfortunately America is currently stuck on R with republicans and we can only go reverse for the next 4 years. Not that democrats would have been amazing either.
Reverse on this particular issue? Possibly. On just about everything else, however, there's nowhere to go but up The disaster the incoming administration inherited combined with an utterly hostile media and Democrats supporting mob rule will certainly make for a rocky road.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
Unfortunately America is currently stuck on R with republicans and we can only go reverse for the next 4 years. Not that democrats would have been amazing either.
Reverse on this particular issue? Possibly. On just about everything else, however, there's nowhere to go but up The disaster the incoming administration inherited combined with an utterly hostile media and Democrats supporting mob rule will certainly make for a rocky road.
I saw nothing to suggest that something like that will happen.
 
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yRaz

Nigerian Prince
Unfortunately America is currently stuck on R with republicans and we can only go reverse for the next 4 years. Not that democrats would have been amazing either.
Reverse on this particular issue? Possibly. On just about everything else, however, there's nowhere to go but up The disaster the incoming administration inherited combined with an utterly hostile media and Democrats supporting mob rule will certainly make for a rocky road.
There are plenty of reasons to dislike the former administration, but they far from inherited a "disaster". Stop acting like this stuff is black and white like your favorite propaganda network tells you. People who are hard left or hard right are just as dumb as swing voters....
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Regardless of which party is in office, the rulings that are favorable to business over the everyday user are simply repugnant. Having a free and unrestricted internet where you have choices on who can and cannot keep your data should be a standard, not an exception. The whole thing just gets more and more of a mess and at it's current rate, I would not at all be surprised to see the whole thing collapse in my lifetime. People think the internet is forever, but there have been countless examples through history of just the opposite.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
I think some Dems may have realized the mistake they made by selling out and lubbing their bnttholes for their corporate overlords.
Maybe but I'm not going to rule out party politics. It's what got the democrats in their current mess. They will have to chance to prove that they can rise above that when the pendulum swings after Trump's presidency. Right now though the level of corporate interest in politics is likely at an all time high. It is pretty funny listening to them justify some of it.

Currently the system has nothing from stopping the corporate lobbying and it is only getting worse with campaign finance laws being repealed and transparency reduced.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
I think some Dems may have realized the mistake they made by selling out and lubbing their bnttholes for their corporate overlords.
Maybe but I'm not going to rule out party politics. It's what got the democrats in their current mess. They will have to chance to prove that they can rise above that when the pendulum swings after Trump's presidency. Right now though the level of corporate interest in politics is likely at an all time high. It is pretty funny listening to them justify some of it.

Currently the system has nothing from stopping the corporate lobbying and it is only getting worse with campaign finance laws being repealed and transparency reduced.
I found this article on the recent privacy law very interesting for anyone interested - http://www.audioholics.com/editorials/trump-rolls-back-online-privacy-gives-telecos-gigantic-advantage-in-online-advertising