NDP to introduce 'net neutrality' private member's bill
The federal New Democrats will introduce a private member's bill on Wednesday that would entrench the principle of "net neutrality" and enact rules to keep the internet free from interference by service providers, an NDP MP told a rally Tuesday in Ottawa.
Charlie Angus said the bill would protect Canadian consumers from having their internet speeds "throttled" by service providers.
"You are citizens of the digital realm and you have rights," he told about 300 protesters at the rally on Parliament Hill.
At issue in the net neutrality debate are the actions of big internet service producers (ISPs), such as Bell Canada Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc., that have been slowing down the internet speeds of customers using certain applications, such as peer-to-peer software used for file sharing.
Bell and Rogers, Canada's two largest ISPs, as well as others including Videotron Ltee and Cogeco Inc. say they need to slow such traffic down — or "throttle" it — because a small percentage of customers are abusing these peer-to-peer applications and causing network congestion, affecting the speeds of the majority.
That practice has angered smaller ISPs, including rally organizer TekSavvy Solutions Inc. of Chatham, Ont., that have complained to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that Bell is being anti-competitive by expanding its throttling practices to its members.