rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

U.S. Net Neutrality ruling sends a clear message to the CRTC

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Open Internet: 1. Slow lanes: 0.

The June 14 decision by the U.S. Federal Appeals Court to uphold Net Neutrality rules is a huge win for Internet users -- and could light a fire under the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals backed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in banning Internet slow lanes. Their ruling was loud and clear, keep the Internet equal for all. The United States has set a strong precedent, and OpenMedia hopes to see their decision echoed in here in Canada with the outcome of the CRTC's internet pricing hearing.

The Canadian regulator's recently launched consultation puts telecom pricing tools under the microscope, examining whether Canadian companies have been unfairly privileging certain apps over others -- a basic violation of Net Neutrality. The CRTC's hearing is a historic opportunity to hammer down open Internet regulation, with the bar set high by the Competition Bureau -- who have called for an end to differential pricing -- and the U.S. Court of Appeals, the pressure is on for the CRTC to follow suit.

The ruling could also be a good omen for users in the European Union, who are currently reviewing their own open Internet laws. Blows to Net Neutrality by EU legislation have been common, despite past sentiments that Internet slow lanes violate citizens' rights. An unclear definition of what Net Neutrality is has led to vague legislation and gaping loopholes. The decision by the Court of Appeals could lead to a more solid understanding of Net Neutrality for the EU, and in turn help crack down on violators.

Leniency on Net Neutrality violations gives Internet Service Providers (ISPs) a pass allowing them to choose the winners and losers of the Internet. When your ISP picks which apps cost you data, and which do not -- also known as zero-rating -- the equal playing field of the Internet is called into question. The CRTC must hold Big Telecom accountable to fairness.

Will the CRTC and the EU follow the example set by their counterparts in the United States? That comes down to you, and your voice. Join OpenMedia in making sure ISPs can't choose your content for you by speaking up for a free and open Internet.

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.