Is Bell Canada trying to kill NowPublic?

17 Feb

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Steve Anderson of Save Our Internet asks:

“Will the next NowPublic, Rabble.ca, or Raincity Studios be scared away by the impending ISP gatekeepers?”

He’s talking about Bell and other carriers are controlling people’s access to their favourite websites and online services.  He says:

The open Internet is under threat by the very companies that bring it into our homes and workplaces—Internet service providers. These big telecommunications companies want to become gatekeepers of the Internet, deciding on-line winners and losers, and making our on-line choices for us. Big telecom companies are trying to do away with the governing guidelines of the Internet called “Net neutrality” (or “common carriage”). Net neutrality requires that ISPs not discriminate between content and services. Net neutrality protects our ability to direct our own on-line activities, and also maintains a level playing field for on-line innovation.

Bell Canada and other major Internet service providers are already slowing down (“throttling”) on-line peer-to-peer applications. In essence, this means we, the users of the Internet, already do not have access to all the Internet has to offer. If you’re trying to watch a CBC show on-line and it takes a day to download, as audience members reported last February, the limitations are quite real. In addition to manipulating its own customers’ use of the Internet, Bell also “shapes” traffic passing through its network from independent ISPs like Teksavvy Solutions, thereby also limiting one of its few competitors from offering open access to the Internet.

So if you don’t want the Internet to start looking like your TV or costing as much as your cell phone then you should do something about it.  Let the CRTC know that a free and open net is something you value.  If you don’t, the Internet you now know and love may not survive.

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