Canada's Biggest Net Neutrality Offender Rogers Has Change Of Heart After Having Its Traffic Discriminated Against
from the complete-180 dept
So it's a bit ironic that Rogers is now giving other ISPs lectures on how best to adhere to net neutrality.
As we noted last month, Canadian ISP Videotron is testing Canada's net neutrality rules with a new "Unlimited Music" service that exempts the most popular music services from the company's usage caps. We've talked about the horrible precedent set by such "zero rating" services in the past, given such a model puts small businesses and nonprofits at an immediate disadvantage. Regulators (and many customers) in both the US and Canada seem utterly oblivious to the potential pitfalls of this model, so most of us will be getting an up-close crash course over the next few years on the real dangers of zero rating.
But in Canada, Rogers is suddenly rushing to help consumer advocates make their case in a filing with Canadian regulators (the CRTC) arguing that Videotron should be stopped from injecting itself as gatekeeper to the healthy Internet:
"The Unlimited Music service offered by Videotron is fundamentally at odds with the objective of ensuring that there is an open and non-discriminatory marketplace for mobile audio services. Videotron is, in effect, picking winners and losers by adopting a business model that would require an online audio service provider (including Canadian radio stations that stream content online) to accept Videotron’s contractual requirements in order to receive the benefit of having its content zero-rated."So why does Rogers suddenly care so much about net neutrality? The company owns a number of radio stations around Canada that have found themselves unable to get Videotron's special cap-exempt status. Obviously this is a far cry from a few years ago, when Rogers lobbyists used to pen whiny editorials in the Canadian media complaining (like most large, incumbent ISPs do) that net neutrality is a fabricated phantom:
"Again, net neutrality violations haven’t happened. ISPs will charge you for just about anything (e.g. paper bills) but they have never charged content providers for network access. Since it has never happened, even where there are no rules against it, you can conclude that it isn’t really a problem."Right, net neutrality isn't a problem until you're the one who suddenly finds yourself on the unfair end of the stick.