CRTC rules data caps can't be used to give an unfair advantage to carriers' own services
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced a decision on Thursday, acting on a complaint regarding data caps and preferred traffic. Wireless carriers Bell Mobility and Videotron both have their own subscription mobile television services, neither of which count towards the data caps written into subscribers' contracts, while competitor's services -- such as Netflix -- do, providing the carriers with incentive to sell larger data plans or favor their own offerings. With today's ruling, that practice must end.
ISPs don't control content court ruled
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Internet access providers are not broadcasters. The ruling means that Canadian Internet providers such as Bell, Rogers, and Telus can't be forced to carry Canadian content on streams or downloads. It also means that they don't have to make payments into funds that subsidize the creation of local Canadian content.
Bell backs off traffic limits after CRTC decision
Bell Canada has backed off of plans to throttle peer-to-peer traffic on its network following a CRTC decision that could make it illegal. As of March 1, neither Bell itself nor wholesalers on its network will see connections slow down when BitTorrent or similar traffic goes through. The Internet provider spun the decision as a reflection of a "diminishing" ratio of peer-to-peer traffic in favor streaming and other means of getting the same content.
CRTC opts not to impose broadcaster fee for online
Canada’s CRTC has announced that it won’t regulate Netflix and iTunes, leaving the content delivery services free to sell whatever content they choose, without paying a broadcasting fee. The Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) wanted the CRTC to force internet-based video content delivery services to include Canadian content and had brought concerns to the CRTC in February. The CRTC has ruled that cable and regular TV providers “did not submit evidence that Canadians are reducing or cancelling their television subscriptions.”
Limiting gameplay violated Net neutrality
Recently, many gamers on the Rogers network in Canada, frustrated that their play was being throttled by the service provider, filed complaints with the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission). Earlier this month, Rogers acknowledged that it's Internet traffic management practices (ITMPs) were indeed degrading delivery of time sensitive traffic such as World of Warcraft and other games. On Friday, the CRTC sent an e-mail to Rogers requesting that it fix the problem by September 27.
Shaw makes rare move to increase Internet caps
Canadian cable provider Shaw hit back at mounting complaints of restrictive bandwidth caps by unveiling a new set of Internet plans with much looser caps and increased speeds. Starting June 7, capped plans will start with at least 400GB of data per month at 50Mbps down, 3Mbps up at $59 per month for those with a Legacy TV package, moving up to 100Mbps down, 5Mbps up and 750GB of data for $79 per month. A second phase in August will add a 250Mbps download, 15Mbps upload plan with a 1TB cap for $99.
Netflix trims to help those hurt by Bell, Rogers
Netflix in its first signs of addressing a rapidly constricting audience told Canadian users it was slimming down the bandwidth demands of its video service. By default, streaming in the country will now use a lower 300MB per hour bitrate that consumes two thirds less data but with "minimal impact" on the perceived image quality. The choice would let a viewer watch about 30 hours of Netflix on 9GB of data and still leave room, even under a restrictive cap from Bell, Rogers, or another similar provider.
Netflix may be required to pay fees in Canada
Concerns that Netflix is undermining the Canadian broadcasters' revenue model have lead to a meeting scheduled in the nation's capital on Friday to address the issue. They will decide whether the streaming video provider will be ordered to pay for local production as an online broadcaster, the Hollywood Reporter said on Thursday. The summit was called by the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) whose CEO, Norm Bolen, said the CRTC needs to order Netflix to help pay for the local industry.
Usage tracker overly optimistic, Bell admits
Canadian telecoms and cable provider Bell admits its web usage tracker is experiencing problems, overinflating customer Internet usage, Moneyville reported earlier this week. In order to fix this, the company has disabled the usage tracker until it can resolve the issue, notifying customers on its website. The faux overages can range from insignificant to ones that incur extra usage penalties for running over the cap.
CRTC stalls UBB Internet plan but will face change
Under pressure from the Canadian government, the CRTC said it would delay its plans to impose usage-based billing on smaller Internet providers but also faced a mandatory change. Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein said the agency would stall the plans from the March 1 date by "at least 60 days" in response to the "evident concerns" about the fairness of the plan. He refused to revoke the controversial plan immediately, however, and attempted to regain control by saying any CRTC changes would come "of our own motion" in a review.
Canadian government seen reversing CRTC rule
The Canadian government is expected to reverse a controversial ruling that many had seen as hurting Internet video and competition. Following a Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission decision that would not only allow but in some cases require usage-based billing for independent Internet providers, a Conservative party official claimed late Wednesday that Prime Minister Harper and Industry Minister Tony Clement had already settled on overturning the CRTC's new rule. The regulator would have a chance to do so voluntarily but would be forced to make the change if it disagreed, the Toronto Star understood.
Globalive cleared to rival Bell, Rogers, Telus
The Canadian government today cleared Globalive to run what should be the country's fourth national carrier. After initially letting the CRTC reject Globalive's WIND service due to concerns about foreign ownership, Industry Minister Tony Clement now says the results have been overturned as it's been decided that the foreign investment in the company doesn't constitute "in fact" control that would violate Canadian ownership laws. The decision takes effect immediately and clears WIND to run as soon as it's ready.
CRTC issues net neutrality rules
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today set groundwork for net neutrality in the country through a ruling that discourages Internet providers from throttling traffic. The guidelines will encourage monetary practices first, such as bandwidth caps or metered Internet access, and will accept slowing down some or all service only when necessary. All providers will also have to clearly publicize any throttling practices and give customers at least 30 days' notice, or 60 days' notice for wholesalers dependent on another Internet provider's network.
Rogers Hulu-like web video
Canadian cable, telephone, Internet and wireless provider Rogers has proposed a Hulu-like web video system on Tuesday at a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) hearing as an alternative to government-imposed levies on Internet Service Providers to support online Canadian content. Rogers, along with another Canadian ISP, Shaw, expressed strong disapproval to the CRTC's levies. Under Rogers' plan, users wouldn’t need to have service from the company in order to access broadband video content.
Bell Wins CRTC Ruling
Bell Canada today won a largely clear victory in an anti-throttling lawsuit filed with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The government body has issued a ruling dismissing claims by Internet providers using part of Bell's network that accused the carrier of unfairly throttling the connection speeds of their services while also constricting its own. These rivals, represented by the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), had accused Bell of trying to hinder competition and violating the basic concepts of net neutrality by discouraging large transfers.