Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Net Neutrality Panel Discussion - Ottawa - Feb. 6th

Thanks to Danielle Dennie who is helping to organize a panel in Ottawa early next month entitled Net Neutrality: A Public Discussion on the Future of the Internet in Canada:

"Please join us for a an important public discussion on the future of the Internet in Canada. Network neutrality recently became a major issue in the United States when telecommunications companies issued public statements asking for the ability to charge Internet content-providers for preferential access to Internet users. That meant that big corporations, especially media conglomerates, would get to Internet users fastest while smaller ones, which would be unable to pay the 'tolls', would be left trailing. Meanwhile, Internet users could be restricted from using certain applications, and would likely have to pay more to access content of providers that weren’t part of the telecommunications company’s exclusivity deals".

"Net neutrality has been an issue in Canada for at least two years, but the release in March 2006 of the Telecommunications Policy Review Panel’s Final Report renewed both corporate and public interest in the topic. In the United States, net neutrality is currently on hold as legislators debate the issue; in Canada, the federal government is considering major changes to telecommunications regulation and its commitment to network neutrality is uncertain - hence the need for public debate before more decisions are made".
The discussion will take place at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library (main auditorium), Feb. 6th at 7PM.

Participants include University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist, Electronic Frontier Foundation Policy Coordinator Ren Bucholz, and Andrew Clement, Professor, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto.

Earlier Library Boy posts concerning net neutrality include:
  • Canadian Telecom Policy Review Report (March 23, 2006) : "A federal panel that examined Canadian telecommunications policy released its official report Wednesday. The 3-member panel was announced in the spring of 2005 and its mandate was to make recommendations to 'ensure that Canada has a strong, internationally competitive telecommunications industry, which delivers world-class affordable services and products for the economic and social benefit of all Canadians in all regions of Canada'."
  • More on Canadian Telecom Policy Review (March 28, 2006): "On the increasingly contentious issue of network neutrality (which means that broadband providers cannot favour one content provider or application over another), World Wide Web founder Tim Berners-Lee said in an interview published today in the Toronto Star that he fears the emergence of a 'tiered Internet'.Under that scenario the phone and cable conglomerates that provide the backbone for the Net would start charging tolls to companies that want assured access to consumers. The little companies, the non-profit websites would get screwed."
  • Canada Ahead of U.S. On Net Neutrality Issue? (July 8, 2006): "According to Kevin O'Keefe of Real Lawyers Have Blogs, Canadian law bloggers have been much more aggressive in defending the concept of Net neutrality than their counterparts in that big Republic south of our borders."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:44 pm


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