Canada rules to strengthen net neutrality

Canada’s telecom regulator has ruled that all data delivered online be treated equally by internet service providers.

White House Vigil To Save Net Neutrality 11
White House Vigil To Save Net Neutrality. © Stephen Melkisethian | Flickr

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruled on April 18th that Quebecor Inc’s (QBRb.TO) Videotron cannot practise zero-rating, whereby the company offers its wireless customers unlimited music streaming from Spotify, Google Music and others without it counting against its data allowances.

In a move that is seen as a win for net neutrality advocates, the nation’s telecom regulator has taken a strong stance in favour of net neutrality by making an example of Videotron. Though the CRTC has not issued a blanket ban, the government body has declared that it will rule on such issues on a case-by-case basis.

In a report by the Reuters, Laura Tribe, the executive director of consumer advocacy group OpenMedia said, “On a technicality, it leaves some wiggle room for some really creative attempts at zero-rating that can be challenged after the fact,”

“This is a really strong step for Canada in terms of being a global leader in net neutrality,” she added.

The ruling that covers both fixed-line and wireless internet comes during a time of ongoing global debate regarding net neutrality and hopefully will prove to be a guiding light for the US and other nations.

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