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CRTC Allows BCE Traffic Shaping, Calls for Further Debate on Net Neutrality

3:49 am on November 22, 2008 | Category: Business, Internet, Regulation, Telecom Services

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Canada’s telecom regulator, the CRTC, ruled on Thursday that it would not prevent telecom giant, BCE Inc., from shaping and “throttling” broadband traffic on its internet network, but called for public hearings on the matter so as to ensure that future network management policies are administered fairly.

“Based on the evidence before us, we found that the measures employed by Bell Canada to manage its network were not discriminatory,” said CRTC chairman, Konrad von Finckenstein, in response to a complaint from the Canadian Association of Internet Providers, whose members purchase wholesale network access from BCE, then resell it to consumers.

“Bell Canada applied the same traffic-shaping practices to wholesale customers as it did to its own retail customers,” von Finckenstein noted.

BCE has maintained that traffic-shaping practices are necessary to prevent high-volume consumers (often referred to as “bandwidth hogs”) from slowing down networks for other users. The company applauded the regulator’s ruling, and said it had no worries about public debates on the issue, which are scheduled for next year.

“One thing it will serve to do which will be useful for everyone is that it will avoid any future applications against us or any other ISPs for different things that may be done for the same reasons,” said BCE’s chief of regulatory affairs, Mirko Bibic.

CAIP president, Tom Copeland, on the other hand, was disappointed in the decision, saying that it gives too much control to incumbent telecom providers, and could cause Canada to lag behind other countries in terms of “broadband penetration, competition, (and) innovation.”

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    Published by TeleClick Enterprises
    Edited by Jeremy Maddock