Oh, Canada. What are you teaching those American regulators? While most
consumer-oriented Americans (as in, the consumers themselves) are doing
everything they can
to resist the evil known as "data throttling
Canada's main telecommunication agency has just okayed the process.
We're hoping this doesn't set some sort of precedence, but honestly,
who knows how this will affect other nations (including America).
The CRTC, which has also been a recent pain for companies look to light
up new high-def channels, has just passed regulations that will enable
Internet providers to "throttle" traffic of its users. Of course, this
rule only allows throttling--which involves the general slowing of
throughput in order to increase the service level for most at the
expense of a few heavy users--in rare, "last resort" scenarios, but
it's going to be extremely hard to regulate this. How will the CRTC
know when an ISP throttles? How will they know if it was a "last
resort?" And who's the judge of what fits into the "last resort"
category? Needless to say, there seems to be a lot of vagueness here,
and it's all slanted toward to ISP and not the consumer.
The rule stipulates that ISPs are to use "economic measures" in order
to better balance throughput before resorting to throttling, which
could involve charging users more depending on how much bandwidth they
use. The CRTC stated exactly: Technical means to manage traffic, such
shaping, should only be employed as a last resort." The agency also
claimed that there are "growing concerns about congestion," but we have
to wonder if this isn't some knee-jerk reaction to a minor problem
that's being talked up by loud-mouth ISPs who are scared are people
actually taking advantage of the unlimited service that's being
advertised and sold.
So, what's your take on all of this? Are you scared that such a
decision could encourage something similar to happen in your country?
Are we really getting to the point where video streaming and heavy use
of the Internet service we're paying for is forcing ISPs
to pay more or
lobby for extra regulations?