I've been gathering reactions to last week's CRTC decisions on wholesale rates for Internet access. My takeaway is a lot of people are having trouble understanding what the hell it all means. So in this series of posts I'm going to provide some plain-language context.
Those without mental health issues equate their feelings of sadness to those of someone with depression, when in reality this is like comparing a small paper cut to a broken arm. This characterization is entirely misguided however, as mental health issues are not a "First World Problem" but instead a problem which has the potential to affect all humans regardless of class, race, gender, or ethnicity.
The idea that social injustice can drive a health gradient is becoming a bigger facet of medical education in Canada. How are we trained to embrace the culpability of mental illness? Are we relying too much on a neuronal pathway, genetic cause or even a drug to legitimize disease?
Note on Monday's Federal Court hearing. Voltage has managed to schedule a hearing at the Federal Court for Monday, December 17, which leaves little time for targeted TekSavvy subscribers to organize their defence. TekSavvy couldn't notify these customers until it had churned through a huge pile of logs, in order to correlate subscribers with the thousands of numeric IP addresses Voltage dumped on them.
I think the CRTC's decision to get the incumbents' financials out of the closet is very positive -- another demonstration of Chairman Blais' public-spirited philosophy. But even Chairman Blais has a corporate history to live with, and that's not going to be a cakewalk.
Thanks to the CRTC, incumbents will have to reveal far more information about the costs of their Internet services than ever before. All in the interest of that noble precept we call transparency. As you can tell from reading the decision, the incumbents hate the idea that mere mortals finally get a chance to peer up their skirts.
It couldn't have come at a better time. Right after the brutal $115-million budget cut -- while its enemies bash it for opacity and profligacy and its friends laud it as sacred Canadiana -- the network has a triumphant evening.
While Bell's decision has been described as surprising or as quid pro quo for the usage-based billing ruling, I think it is neither of those. The big question is now how much longer Rogers will maintain its throttling practices.
In a nutshell, solving wholesale UBB was never enough. The retail issues that truly sparked the public outrage have been left largely unchecked. It is the broader competition issues that have left Canadian broadband slower, costlier, and more capped than many other countries that require political attention.
Hot on the heels of the news that Bell Canada is cutting some of its Internet throttling with wholesale customers comes some really -- and I mean really -- interesting data on throttling worldwide. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the world's absolute worst throttler (since 2008): Rogers.
Konrad von Finckenstein has a pretty good resume for someone who's looking to prove their independent thinking, which is a good trait if you're an entrepreneur, but not so much for a government-appointed bureaucrat. The fear now is that the prime minister will move to install a CRTC chair who is more subservient.