CRTC allows telecoms to throttle web traffic

The federal regulator will continue to allow Canada’s big telecommunications firms to restrict traffic on their Internet networks, but under new and potentially strict rules.

OTTAWA — The federal regulator will continue to allow Canada’s big telecommunications firms to restrict traffic on their Internet networks, but under new and potentially strict rules.

The decision Wednesday by the CRTC is a partial win for both consumer advocates and independent broadband wholesalers who had complained the telecoms were using their power to throttle certain web usage and competition.

But it also left Canada’s Internet providers, such as Bell Canada (TSX:BC.PR.C), Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B), Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B), and Telus Corp. (TSX:T.A) free to use throttling and other measures to ”shape traffic” on their networks, as long as they abide by the new rules.

Shares of some of the providers immediately jumped on the news.

Some, though not all, of the providers say they need the power to ensure enough capacity for all users, arguing that rampant file sharing for broadband-gobbling videos could make the web experience a nightmare for other users.

If throttling had been banned, ”it could have been disappointing for customers,“ said Ken Engelhart, chief of regulator affairs for Toronto-based Rogers.

“If you wanted to talk to your friends around the world on your computer, you might find your call was being crowded out by other people engaging in peer-to-peer.”

Bell spokesman Mirko Bibic called the decision good for the industry and consumers.

The reaction was more mixed on the consumer side. Steve Anderson of SaveOurNet.ca called it a step forward though not perfect, while the Public Interest Advocacy Centre denounced the decision as a rubber stamp for the Internet service providers.

Just Posted

Schizophrenia a misunderstood illness, an Alberta expert says

Schizophrenia Society of Alberta campaign kickoff features TSN’s Michael Landsberg in Central Alberta

WATCH: Collecting coats and donations from drivers in Red Deer

Central Albertans made donations to keep children warm and neighbourhoods safe from… Continue reading

PHOTO: Fall Harvest Festival in Red Deer’s West Park

The West Park Community Association hosted the Fall Harvest Festival near West… Continue reading

Man dies in Hwy 2 collision near Ponoka

A 46-year-old man is dead following a three-vehicle collision on Hwy 2… Continue reading

Canyon Ski Resort aiming to open Nov. 10

The finishing touches are being put on Canyon Ski Resort trails just… Continue reading

WATCH: Blackfalds Fire teaches families about fire safety

An open house was held Saturday in support of Fire Prevention Week

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Halifax smoking ban begins today; city announces several new smoking areas

Halifax’s sweeping smoking ban begins today, two days before recreational cannabis is… Continue reading

Canadians widely unaware of accomplishments of famous women, poll suggests

TORONTO — The organization behind Canada’s Heritage Minutes says provincial education systems… Continue reading

Five things about what’s legal and what’s not in Canada’s new pot law

OTTAWA — Canada’s new law legalizing recreational cannabis goes into force on… Continue reading

Most Read