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Complaints about internet service providers limiting online choice nearly double: OpenMedia.ca

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The CRTC—the body in charge of telecom in Canada—released a status report showing that complaints about ISPs limiting online choice have almost doubled since last year.

So what does this mean? Well first and foremost, give yourselves a pat on the back, pro-Internet Canadians: more of you than ever are aware of how Internet traffic management should work to enable online choice, and have taken action when you see telecom companies breaking the rules. This is clearly the result of a growing community that cares about Internet openness, feels empowered to take action, and spreads that engagement to other Canadians.

It is, of course, ridiculous that the onus is put on Internet users to know network management rules and jump through all kinds of hoops to file complaints. The CRTC should be enforcing their own rules--this is something we've been asking for years.

But you have been effective. Big telecom companies Rogers and Bell both agreed—after some ..controversy—to stop the practice of slowing down ("throttling") online content and applications on their networks.

Prior to that, Big Telecom attempted time and again to justify throttling by claiming that certain types of traffic somehow make their networks unmanageable. Bell and Rogers agreeing to stop this practice is further evidence (and we have lots) that ISPs are, in fact, breaking the rules when they restrict access to online services.

Based on what they've promised, Bell and Rogers should have completely phased out this kind of traffic management by now. It'll be very interesting to see whether that will be reflected in the CRTC's next update.

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