CRTC, Hear Our Plea


Canadian ISPs are trying to make a point to the CRTC. Here’s a Boing Boing article, and the CRTC feedback page so that you to can make a difference.

My message to them follows.

The practice of bandwidth throttling is damaging to the Canadian media industry and effective distribution of Canadian digital content.

The sad truth is that peer-to-peer media sharing technologies, despite claims made to the contrary by certain network operators, actually reduce network congestion because they tend to optimize the flows of traffic to avoid bottlenecks. While it is true that there is an overall increase in throughput transferred on a network at large, this increase is localized in areas of excess availability in order to move this traffic away from the bottlenecks.

The real issue remains that root suppliers of content are still unwilling to distribute digital material in the fashion demanded by consumers. As such, some consumers feel forced to obtain these digital materials illegally even in cases where they are entitled to it under fair-use legislation.

Further, we are beginning to enter a time when the digitally available materials can be transferred far faster than organizations are able to produce them. Throttling the transfer of digital materials gives the illusion that there is a much higher amount of activity “on the wire” than actually exists because it takes a longer amount of time to transfer these coveted digital assets. The peer-to-peer media sharing technologies attempt to make more peering connections in a vain attempt to increase throughput, thereby exacerbating the problem.

Allowing a network operator to selectively limit consumer access to digital content based upon their own profit-maximizing agenda, when there continues to be no fair competition in the Canadian telecommunications arena, makes our country extremely distasteful to any pioneering enterprise exploring how to resolve the larger content supply issues at hand.

Consumers are caught in the crossfire, as they are figuratively brow-beaten until they become criminals. Worse yet, we have an entire generation of young Canadians who have already been taught, because of these deplorable practices and the archaic state of media distribution, that free file-sharing of copyright content is acceptable and the norm.

As long as we continue to waste time and money allowing these practices, we will continue to stifle innovation and lag behind the rest of the world in terms of telecommunications infrastructure and adoption, so critical to enabling the future of legal and profitable digital media distribution.

I am ashamed that we have allowed this to happen in this country, my country. I only hope that we can correct it before the damage to the Canadian economy that these companies are dealing out becomes permanent.


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