Why the Battle of Net Neutrality in the US Matters to Canadians

[This post by Amber Healy–an American–of sister site Geeks and Beats points out why we Canadians need to worry about the net neutrality battle in the US. – AC]

On Dec. 14, the US Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2, along party lines, to repeal the Obama administration’s net neutrality regulations.

If you live north of the Great Lakes, you might be scratching your head, wondering why in the blazes you should care about this.

Do you use iTunes? Netflix? Anything Google-based? Amazon? Stream music or games of any variety?

Odds are, if you answered yes to any of those questions, the proposed changes to net neutrality would mean more dollars out of your pocket.

“Many of the content services that Canadians consumer most highly are American,” professor Amiee Morrison from the University of Waterloo told the CBC. Sites like YouTube and those mentioned above would have to negotiate with US-based ISP “to make sure their content is available in the U.S. Pay-to-play internet in the U.S. could hurt Canadian firms trying to compete,” the article continues.

This creates a pay-to-play environment and, in order to maintain access and stay relevant, Canadian companies will likely have to pay to prevent service interruptions.

Laura Tribe, executive director of the Open Media digital rights advocacy group, says the end of codified net neutrality in the US would “put all of the control of what we see online, what we are able to do online and access online, into those service providers. (It takes) the control away from the customers and (is) actually giving that to the companies.”

So now that the FCC voted, where do things stand?

Keep reading. It matters.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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