Canada's Biggest Net Neutrality Offender Rogers Has Change Of Heart After Having Its Traffic Discriminated Against

from the complete-180 dept

In Canada, historically there hasn't been a worse offender of net neutrality than Rogers Communications. The ISP has been at the forefront of throttling, blocking, or otherwise impeding Canadian broadband traffic for years, its ham-fisted network management practices very often having a very real and very negative impact on perfectly legitimate Internet services ranging from encrypted traffic to World of Warcraft. For a while there, Rogers was responsible for half of all neutrality complaints to Canadian regulators.

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.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2015 @ 9:02am

    You made your bed, now lay in it

    Man I would so like to be the guy who got to answer this complaint. It would be so awesome to see Rogers' complaint greeted with a "well, well, well, look who it is. Time to drink your own kool-aid, sucka. You get nothing!"

    It seems like the world would be much better place if authorities actually called the powerful on their bullshit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2015 @ 10:10am

      Re: You made your bed, now lay in it

      if authorities actually called the powerful on their bullshit

      Huh? The authorities and the powerful are one and the same.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2015 @ 9:33am

    Rogers internet is the slumlord of the web.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 20 Oct 2015 @ 12:14pm

    So why does Rogers suddenly care so much about net neutrality?


    They don't.

    (Another item on their party list is DPI ad injection. Fun times. Nostalgia.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2015 @ 9:30pm

      Re:

      I'm glad they have no service in my province, except for usb key satellite internet for people in the middle of nowhere. When people despise you more than Bell, you know you're bad.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2015 @ 3:36pm

      Re:

      They don't. They hate Videotron since they failed to purchase them in 2003. Not defending Videotron's dubious actions though, I left them after 14 years when I had enough of their overpricing because I wanted uncapped internet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 20 Oct 2015 @ 12:32pm

    Change of heart?

    Since when are corporations incapable of simultaneously wanting their cake, eating it too, and suing it for breach of intergastric property rights?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ryunosuke, 20 Oct 2015 @ 12:33pm

    and so it begins...

    see... the parent companies are starting to realize that their broadcasting and news sites could actually be affected by not having net neutrality/

    gee... who would have thunk it... oh wait, EVERYONE ELSE ON THE INTERNET DID.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2015 @ 9:29pm

    Hmm. I was on Videotron cable since 1999, they were at the cutting edge and in advance of everyone back then. It was 8/8 service for 29,95 a month, only had to buy the modem for...400 bucks. But they were great until they brought up those caps that didn't make sense because Bell and ROGERS suddenly installed caps, so they followed. I was on their 60/2 connection and we had a combined cap of 180gb down and up, we got f*cked with 2 bills one after the other of 300 and 450 bucks more than normal. I left them when Bell Aliant deployed FTTH fibre optics with unlimited service here, then Videotron started to offer unlimited internet if you paid 10 bucks more a month. They could have kept me, but healthy competition had me get rid of a company I was happy with since 1999 last year. They reacted this way not because their plans didn't make sense, but because a new player showed up (Bell Aliant is not Bell btw) with uncapped internet.

    It's kinda sad since Videotron is a homegrown provincial ISP and they were a pride for us french canadians.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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