They said they wouldn't do it 1999. And again in 2003. But now the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommmunication Commission is getting set to regulate the internet and they want Canadians to help them set the terms for an upcoming hearing on the matter.
The CRTC is Canada’s federal communications regulator. In 1999, they took the position that the internet was mostly alphanumeric text, not technically sophisticated enough to provide audio and visual content easily, and not of sufficient interest to consumers of audio and visual content to warrant regulation. Well, that’s changed, and regulations are coming. In Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-44, the CRTC has announced a major investigation into the feasibility and scope of regulating content on the internet.
But before they rip open the discussion, they want input from Canadians about what questions to ask — What areas to focus on? What concerns should get priority? For example, should questions about net neutrality be raised?
This is may be an opportunity to have legislation put into place that will protect net neutrality.
The Commission wants to know if the upcoming hearing should ask questions like:
Are there practices that effect distribution of and access to Canadian new media broadcasting?
Is the new media broadcasting environment contributing sufficiently to the achievement of the broadcasting policy objectives of the Broadcasting Act?
Who are the relevant stakeholders in the creation and distribution of Canadian programming in the new media environment?
This is crucial stuff that will effect internet communication for a long time into the future. Check out the document. It is totally worth 10 minutes of your time to give it a read. Send an email to the CRTC and have your say. Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-44