The loss of Net Neutrality choking firefighters in the US

Reference to arstechnica article: Read the article

“County Fire saw its speed of unlimited Internet access throttled by its service provider, Verizon, which has had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services.” wrote in a statement the Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden

“As part of this plan, users get unlimited data, but speeds are reduced when they exceed their allocation until the next billing cycle.” From a letter from Verizon to his client, County Fire

Quotes from the article by ArsTechnica (English)

What does an “allocation” of data mean in a package with unlimited transfer? This excerpt from Verizon’s official response to ArsTechnica’s article leaves us all confused. Why? Because in Canada, we have not had that kind of behavior on the part of the giants for a couple of years. This nonsense that let them sell a limited unlimited package is another strong reason for supporting the regulation of dominant Internet access operators.

In defense of Net neutrality

The case of the US Fire Services was just one example filed in a lawsuit filed by 22 states and multiple government agencies against the FCC (the US CRTC) to restore the Net neutrality rule. The latter was withdrawn in March 2018 by the Trump administration via the FCC, a few weeks before the first cases of throttled by Verizon.

Although the United States faces a greater battle than we do on the protection of the Internet, Canadians are also bound to stay on guard in defense of this unique network. The risk of slippage is still present and the rules are still in process of definition.

Net neutrality is a wealth for Canadians

“Net neutrality is essential for small businesses and citizens, it is essential to preserve the freedom associated with the Internet.” Quote from Justin Trudeau, November 2017

Net neutrality is currently supported by the federal government. With this, the CRTC is issuing decisions favorable to its protection. For example, in April 2017, a series of these were made allowing Internet Service Providers to offer differentiated prices to customers, but only if related to the access speed and quantity of monthly transfer included. (CBC reference french)

The lawsuit in the US and the sad story of the California firefighters is a reminder to all of us, citizens and businesses, not to sit on our gains. If this lawsuit proves a failure, it could encourage the dominant players to resume their attacks. The future of the Internet depends on us. In Canada, the freedom that this network offers can easily escape us, because many would find it to their economic and political advantage.