Issues Being Advanced for Canada's Telecommunications Community in 2010
Review of New Media Broadcasting:
In 2009 we submitted our views on the CRTC review of the New Media Broadcasting exemption orders first established in 1999. This is an important review as it could result in the establishment of an “ISP Levy” to support Canadian content creation. CAIP is against such a levy and does not believe there is a need to change the current oversight of “new media” online. Subsequent to the public hearings held in the summer, the CRTC has asked the Federal Court if ISPs should be considered to be “broadcasters” under the Canadian broadcasting act. We are awaiting the Court’s decision.
Traffic shaping and ‘Net Neutrality:
in March of 2008, Bell Canada began “shaping” the traffic of their wholesale GAS (DSL) service. This resulted in an increase in consumer complaints to independent ISPs. CAIP lead an effort to have this action cease, by initiating a Part VII application under the Telecommunications Act. Unfortunately the regulator did not agree with our arguments. The CRTC did, however, open a public proceeding to look at the issue of network management practices by ISPs and carriers, including traffic shaping. CAIP took part in this proceeding. The CRTC has issued guidelines for the implementation of traffic shaping by ISPs. These can be found at: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2009/2009-657.html
CAIP is a member of the Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright (BCBC), a coalition of telecommunications, broadcasting, retail, Internet, technology, research and security organizations interested in the ongoing development and modernization of Canada's Copyright Act. BCBC has been providing input on proposed changes to Canadian copyright law and closely watching the work of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) working group. ACTA is an international agreement which has provisions for the protection of Intellectual Property. BCBC is working to ensure that input by Canadian representatives to ACTA is balanced and informed. Former CAIP President Jay Thomson is assisting on this file.
Bill C-27, The Electronic Commerce Protection Act has passed unanimously in the House of Commons and is now before the Canadian Senate. The Bill addresses most of the recommendations made in 2005 by the Federal Anti Spam Task Force. CAIP Chair Tom Copeland was a member of the Task Force and continues to liaise with government officials regarding the legislation.
Online child exploitation:
Several provinces have included online child exploitation in the definition of child abuse under provincial child protection laws. The Federal Government has recently introduced Bill C-58, Child Protection Act (Online Sexual Exploitation). This law requires companies in the business of providing Internet related services to report incidents of online child abuse that they may become aware of during the normal course of business. The Bill has received second reading in the House of Commons.
You can find the proposed legislation at: http://www.caip.ca/C-58_ChildProtection.html
Bill C-46, the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act and Bill C-47, the Technical Assistance for Law Enforcement in the 21st Century Act were introduced this year. We continue to work to ensure small telecommunication service providers (TSPs) are not negatively impacted by the legislation.
Telecom regulatory environment: CAIP is continuing to pursue fair and equitable access to infrastructure and wholesale services. We continue to push to have services such as wholesale DSL deemed to be “mandated essential” by the CRTC thereby reducing your wholesale costs.
With the help of members we have actively argued against the introduction of Usage Based Billing and Diagnostic Maintenance Charges on wholesale DSL services.
As a partner in the Campaign for Competitive Broadband we have encouraged Canadian consumers and businesses to support competition. Supporters have generated more than 100,000 email messages to federal government officials and Members of Parliament as part of the Campaign.
Affinity programs for members:
We are always looking for appropriate Affinity Partners to provide added value to CAIP ISPs. These Partners pay a membership fee to join CAIP and offer added value for their services to members as a show of good will.
The CAIP business insurance program continues to be popular with members. Some have realized savings on premiums of as much as 30 per cent.
We have also launched a vPOP service with Fibernetics. This program provides ISPs with unlimited access to dial-up ports within the Fibernetics network of vPOP locations for just $495/quarter. The best part is the quarterly fee goes toward the CAIP advocacy fund, allowing us to increase our efforts on your behalf. We now have five members on this program who have provided nothing but positive feedback.
Our Diverse Carrier Connection Aggregation program with TELoIP is our latest added-value service for CAIP ISPs. Members incur no upfront fees for POP equipment with unmatched connection aggregation. “The TELoIP solution enables us to provide a rock solid product to our customer, providing up to five nines (99.999% of reliability,” says Bill Campbell, President of Skyway West and long-time CAIP member.
We have commitment from a Wireless consultant to provide free services to CAIP members – consulting on exactly what is needed to provide wireless services to their customers – this should be offered early in the new year.
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