Thursday, March 12, 2009

Internet providers united in opposing CRTC regulation

Internet service providers large and small warned the CRTC against imposing regulations to promote the production of Canadian content for new media, arguing such measures would undermine the growth of the internet.

And echoing previous comments made by Rogers and Shaw, large carriers Bell Canada, Telus Corp., MTS Allstream Inc. and Quebecor Media Inc., all put forth the opinion that a levy on ISPs would be illegal under the Broadcasting Act.

It was the final day of scheduled hearings in the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's look into whether to continue to exempt new media communications from broadcasting regulations.

Artists groups and broadcasters had previously promoted the idea a three per cent levy on ISP revenues as a means of ensuring Canadian content has a home in new media, but ISPs appearing before the panel on Wednesday were unified in their opposition to the idea.

In a presentation reflecting the other large ISPs, Bell Canada senior vice-president of regulatory affairs Mirko Bibic said such measures would be illegal, a position first raised at the hearings by Rogers Communications yesterday.

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