The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
News

Keep Canada's Internet Open

Big telecoms are trying to ruin Net democracy. Tell the feds to stop them.

By Steve Anderson 23 Feb 2009 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Anderson is the co-founder of the SaveOurNet.ca Coalition, the national co-ordinator of the Campaign for Democratic Media and author of the syndicated "Media Links" column. He can be reached at http://medialinkscolumn.com, www.FacebookSteve.com or www.SteveOnTwitter.com.

image atom
Learn more at SaveOurNet.ca.

In just over 10 days, nearly 4,500 Canadians have written the CRTC demanding that they put a stop to discriminatory Internet throttling by big ISPs. Canadians made it known that they will stand for nothing less than full and open access to all the Internet has to offer, free from ISP control. Big telecommunication companies want to become gatekeepers of the Internet, deciding online winners and losers, and making our online choices for us.

With the launch of Bell's un-throttled video store that competes with independent content using P2P applications, we already have a de facto tiered Internet in many markets; if you use independent peer-to-peer applications, you have to deal with a slow-lane Internet with unreliable service. This Internet throttling is not only limiting media choice, it also scares away innovation -- not something we should be doing in this economic climate.

Canadians have taken notice of the U.S. situation, where President Obama just signed an economic stimulus bill dedicating $7.2 billion to get fast, affordable, neutral Internet to the nearly half of American homes that don't have it. Obama announced that telecom companies receiving money through his broadband stimulus package must adhere to Net neutrality principles. The newly elected Congress is also poised to make Net neutrality law

Canada must start moving in a positive direction toward ensuring an accessible, open Internet for everyone. We are at risk of becoming the backwater of online innovation and free speech as web entrepreneurs increasingly migrate to the U.S., where the open Internet is embraced by politicians and policymakers.

Canadian's telecommunications regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), has thus far adopted a do-nothing approach, allowing Bell Canada and other ISPs to continue throttling the Internet.

A hearing for Internet freedom

The CRTC could redeem itself; this July, the CRTC is holding a hearing on "traffic management." The hearing will help determine whether Bell and other big telecoms can continue to "throttle," and thus increasingly control, Internet traffic. The decisions made by the CRTC will signal to both innovators and investors what Canada's approach to online communication will be. From now until Feb. 23rd, the CRTC is allowing citizens to submit comments on the upcoming hearing.

A broad "SaveOurNet.ca" coalition has formed to fight for the open Internet. SaveOurNet.ca is calling all Canadians to tell the CRTC which path they want Canada to take at http://saveournet.ca/content/take-action.

Data raises questions

The original deadline for submissions for the hearing was February the 16th, but the CRTC extended the deadline after consumer groups complained that they did not have enough time to consider data recently released by Canadian ISPs. According to the CBC, the figures reveal "annual growth in total traffic volume declined for two consecutive years from 2005-06 to 2007-08 for five of the seven ISPs." This data significantly undermines arguments made by the ISPs that they need to manage networks in order to prevent congestion.

If traffic growth is slowing, then it is hard to imagine why the ISPs need to suddenly selectively throttle Internet traffic. The fact that ISPs are slowing access to Internet technologies that compete with their own services seems like more than just a coincidence. One also wonders why Telus, the one big ISP that isn't heavily invested in content, does not throttle?

Considering the challenges facing our economy, we should actively support our homegrown social, cultural, and economic innovation, not punish it by allowing big telecommunication companies to strangle the lifeblood of innovation - the open Internet.

Canadians can tell the CRTC what they think of Internet throttling at http://saveournet.ca/content/take-action

Related Tyee stories:

 [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Coverage Would You Like to See More of This Year?

Take this week's poll