Internet users who have something to say about the way internet service providers selectively slow down or speed up traffic for different internet applications have until Monday at midnight to make their views known to Canada's internet service regulator.

How to submit a comment

Comments can be submitted by one of the following methods:

  • Writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2
  • Faxing to 819-994-0218
  • Filling out an online form  (see external links)

The Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is accepting public submissions as part of its consultation and hearing on the traffic management practices of internet service providers (ISPs).

The study was launched following complaints from the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) that Bell Canada is selectively slowing down or "throttling" internet traffic generated by peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications in an effort to reduce network congestion. That affects both Bell customers and customers of small, independent ISPs that buy network access wholesale from Bell.

The CRTC, which has the power to impose conditions on the way retail internet services are offered, is looking into what types of traffic management practices are used by ISPs and whether they violate the Telecommunications Act.

Bell is required to rent network access to smaller ISPs at regulated rates because the networks were built decades ago at taxpayer expense, when phone companies were government-owned monopolies.

CAIP filed its complaint about Bell's internet throttling last April, alleging that Bell was discriminating against small ISPs. The CRTC dismissed that allegation in November, reasoning that Bell applied the same network management practices to wholesale customers and its own retail customers.

However, the ruling did not address the issue of whether throttling should be allowed or whether ISPs should avoid favouring some users or some applications over others, an issue referred to as net neutrality.

The CRTC announced in November that it would look into the latter issue and hold hearings on July 6 in Gatineau Quebec. It originally was accepting public comments until Feb. 16, but later extended the deadline until Feb. 23.