Throttling Traffic is Illegal, Says Google

Canada will breathe a little easier over the weekend, as recent statement by Google inc. urges CRTC to take action and halt the illegal bandwidth throttling.

“Bell claims its throttling of peer-to-peer applications is a reasonable form of network management. Google respectfully disagrees. Network management does not include Canadian carriers’ blocking or degrading lawful applications that consumers wish to use,” adding that the Internet is too important to be left at the mercy of corporate interests, left to their own devices and acting as usage gatekeepers.

The 15 page submission to CRTC states that the act of throttling is illegal in relation to current telecommunication laws: “From consumer, competition and innovation perspectives, throttling applications that consumers choose is inconsistent with a content and application-neutral internet, and a violation of Canadian telecommunications law, which forbids unfair discrimination and undue or unreasonable preferences and requires that regulation be technologically and competitively neutral.”

In other words, current telecommunication laws imply net neutrality, and Bell, Rogers, Telus & co. are taking advantage of their market positions to impose new usage parameters.

At stake, Google says, are innovation and fair competition, echoing words of numerous net neutrality proponents.

Many worry that technologies such as Google’s famed search engine, YouTube and Facebook, once mere tinkerers’ projects that turned into some of the most important innovation engines of the decade, and grew into multi-million dollar companies, would never have a chance if rules are to change.

From newly announced draconian copyright laws, and digital locks, to traffic throttling, the environment will become hostile to innovation in order to protect the revenues of few existing monopolies and multi-national companies.