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Thursday, May 15, 2008

CRTC Sides With Bell On Traffic Shaping But Will Launch Probe Into The Practice

Bell has won the first battle, but the war on traffic shaping is not over. The CRTC has rejected a request made in March by The Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) to end Bell Canada's throttling practices, saying the companies had failed to demonstrate that their businesses will be irreparably harmed. The companies had sought an injunction against Bell for it's practice of throttling bandwidth to high consumption users but the CRTC cited two previous Supreme Court of Canada decisions that spelled out criteria for proving irreparable harm.

Tom Copeland, chair of CAIP, said "They didn't consider the public good simply because they felt we didn't meet the test for irreparable harm," and that "The public good in this case is stronger than most regulatory issues they take up." University of Ottawa internet law professor Michael Geist says "The issue of net neutrality will be put on the table from a broadcast perspective. This decision puts it on the table from a telecom perspective as well," he said. "It's clear that many groups were seeking to jump in on this issue, and many more will come to the fore."

The first battle may be over but the war has just begun...