Thursday, September 25, 2008

Open Net goals

It didn't even rank as the New Democrats' top policy announcement of the day. But for those of us who are concerned about net neutrality it's worth noting that the NDP's commitment to the issue already set out in an earlier private member's bill is now a formal part of the party platform:
Although Mr. Layton said he will create a new minister of protection, it will not come with a ministry. Instead, the new minister will work with a small staff taken from the industry department and ministry. The NDP promised that the measure entails no new expenditures.

Mr. Layton also promised to cap interest rates on credit cards to a maximum of 5 percentage points over prime, expanding on a promise he has made previously.

The NDP leader also said he would implement a “net neutrality” policy -- essentially allowing Canadians to access the web without restrictions.
At last notice, we were still waiting on a final decision from the CRTC to determine whether or not it would bother doing anything about ensuring that the Internet is available for all kinds of traffic rather than leaving the door open for throttling.

But there's every reason for voters to be concerned about leaving the matter to chance - particularly in the hands of a body which didn't bother to take immediate action when first presented with the issue. And of course any positive decision from the CRTC could itself be overridden by any government which doesn't see net neutrality as a priority. Which means that it's a definite plus for voters to know that at least one of the major parties is committed to ensuring fair access.

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