Category Archives: net neutrality

Kevin Martin slaps Comcast on the wrist

Kevin Martin is planning to sanction Comcast for traffic shaping.  Although good, this isn’t a victory by any means as Martin, anointed by the great W., blames telecoms needs for traffic shaping on their inability to expand due to over-regulation.  He believes, as any “small” government lovin’ Republican should, that telecoms should be free to charge users whatever they want in exchange for letting these users do whatever they want, the usual “freedom isn’t free”.  Martin does seem to be moderate compared to some his compatriots, he is also pushing cable companies to allow users to pick the channels they want to subscribe to instead of being forced to subscribe to over-priced packages. link

I wonder if anything will happen to Bell here in Canada, who blatant traffic-shapers…

Throttling web traffic is a good thing: Bell Canada

wired blog: “Bell Canada, the largest telecom provider in Canada, argues that throttling — the practice of slowing down web speeds for “bandwidth hogs” — ultimately improves the user experience and stokes innovation.”

Of course this comes after Bell was lambasted for throttling, do you think Bell would be so forthcoming about all the benefits of throttling if no one knew about it?

Create a video describing Bill C61 in 61 seconds

You can do it! More information can be found here.

From Michael Geist:
“Tens of thousands of Canadians have spoken out against Bill C-61 over the past month. In addition to the letters, MP meetings, and town halls, many have created mashups, videos, comics, posters, photos, and other creative art to express their disappointment and concern with Industry Minister Jim Prentice’s plan for copyright in Canada. To build on this creativity, the Fair Copyright for Canada group is launching a new YouTube video competition. C-61 in 61 Seconds invites everyone to post a video – whether rant, mashup, or something new – on the copyright bill.”

Via Boing

Paranoia or real reason to panic: the death of “free” internet

According to an article on American Free Press, Canadian ISPs (Bell & Telus) are paving the way for a new pay-as-you-go cable inspired system that will be in place by 2010 and will serve as a model for the implementation of this system world-wide: “By 2012 ISPs all over the globe will reduce Internet access to a TV-like subscription model, only offering access to a small standard amount of commercial sites and require extra fees for every other site you visit. These ‘other’ sites would then lose all their exposure and eventually shut down, resulting in what could be seen as the end of the Internet.”

Whether true or conjecture, articles like this point to the very real fact that ISPs are going to be implementing some major changes in how we can access the internet that are above and beyond typical “traffic shaping”.

three strikes and you’re out: france

France is finally going through with its threat to impose a “three strikes and you’re out” policy when it comes to illegal downloading.  Offenders will have their be blocked from their ISP provider for up to a year.  This is certainly a good plan as there aren’t like a million ways to get around this really brilliant legislation…

via /.

Virgin plans to spy on users

Virgin Media plans to spy on users in order to curb illegal downloading. It will begin by sending letters to households suspected of hosting P2P files. This is a joint venture with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which has been pushing ISPs to implement a “three strikes and you’re out” rule when it comes to file sharing.

I suspect that there will be many confused British parents receiving letters from Virgin Media in the next while…

via /.

Comcast’s blacklist

In order to fight what it deems as “network congestion”, Comcast is developing a way to slow down particularly heavy downloaders as opposed to all bittorrent users:

“Comcast is starting to test new approaches to protecting its network from what it describes as congestion caused by a handful of customers who use far far more bandwidth than everyone else.

It will test new devices that will keep track of Comcast users and assemble a blacklist of heavy users. Those on the blacklist will find that all of their online activities may slow down at peak times: from downloading movies to checking e-mail.” –nytimes bits blog

Punk rocker MP submits net neutrality bill

MP Charlie Angus (who was in a punk band) loves net neutrality so much that he has submitted a bill in Ottawa to ensure that Canadians will be able to pass information through the interwebtubes without concern. What I find interesting is that the bill is a private-member bill and not one submitted by a party. Let’s hope it passes!
Ars Technica has an article on Angus and net neutrality in Canada.

Charlie Angus, who represents Timmins and James Bay, launched his bill one day after 300 people showed up in Ottawa to protest the issue. “You are citizens of a digital realm and you have rights,” Angus told the crowd, according to the CBC. The crowd then chanted, “Whose net? Our net!” As a slogan, this leaves something to be desired, but it does get the point across.

The debate has been sparked in large part by recent revelations about traffic-shaping by Bell Canada, shaping that has allegedly reduced the speed of many P2P sessions by 90 percent. It applies even to ISPs who resell wholesale access from Bell, and these ISPs have brought Canadian regulators into the battle over the issue

Angus wants Parliament to debate the topic, and his brief bill amends Canada’s Telecommunications Act to prohibit various forms of discrimination. P2Pnet hosts a copy of the text, which outlaws “network management practices that favour, degrade or prioritise any content, application or service is transmitted over a broadband network based on its source, ownership or destination.” Reasonable network management is still allowed, and ISPs are explicitly allowed to charge different prices for different levels of bandwidth.