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Article: ABA Annual Meeting 2010 — Examining the Global Nature of the Net Neutrality Debate: A Canadian Perspective

Download this publication September 1, 2010

Since its commercialization in the mid 1990s, the Internet has become a vibrant competitive ecosystem linking millions of users with public, private, academic, business, and government networks, spawning new uses and applications and transforming the way individuals interact and conduct business and the way governments deliver social programs. While to a certain extent traditional antitrust issues of access to essential facilities as well as network effects continue to require attention, for counsel and their clients the real game changer is how the Internet has fundamentally altered the demand and supply equation, radically changing the economics of many traditional business models.

This paper will examine briefly some of the policy concerns that form part of the net neutrality debate before considering Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-657, the framework and regulatory approach established by the CRTC in October 2009 for determining whether the traffic management practices of Canada's ISPs are acceptable. The paper will also consider whether sector specific net neutrality regulation is the correct approach.

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