Growing American recognition that legislation and regulatory action is required
Ottawa (28 Feb. 2008) - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States held a hearing this week to discuss a complaint against telecommunications giant Comcast for deliberately delaying Internet traffic to consumers accessing file-sharing websites.
This follows closely on the bipartisan introduction of the Internet Freedom Preservation Act (IFPA) in the U.S. Congress by Reps. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Chip Pickering, a Republican from Mississippi.
The growing American recognition that legislation and regulatory action are required to preserve non-discriminatory access to the Internet stands in stark contrast to a record of total inaction in Canada.
The Harper government's inertia is all the more surprising in the face of blatant instances by Canadian telecoms acting in the same manner as Comcast. There is also the notorious case of Telus interfering with customers' ability to view a website of the company's striking workers.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) recently wrote the Industry Minister Jim Prentice calling on the government to hold open public consultations on the issue. At the time the IFPA had not yet been introduced in the US. The union is still waiting for a reply.
Advocates for net neutrality hope the introduction of the legislation in the U.S. will prompt action in Canada.
Net neutrality concerns will continue to grow as the Internet becomes increasingly vital to the participation of Canadians in the global economy and their democratic institutions. NUPGE