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Open Letter July 2010

Open Letter July 2010

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Published by: m_elliott2949 on Jul 28, 2010
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open letter
SFU OpenMedia Student’s Club July 2010
 “their excitement quickly turnedto trepidation.”
Sociology on the Brave New Media at UBC
page 4
 “the FCC is no longer allowed toimpose net neutrality regulations,giving the ISPs within the sectora free reign to throttle.”
The Battle for Net Neutrality in the US
page 2
Upcoming Events and Projects
page 3
Te student-run, non-protOpenMedia.ca group atSFU is dedicated to increaseawareness of media issues inCanada and in turn promot-ing an open and democraticcommunications system.
Our main goal is to increase publicparticipation in Canadian mediaand telecommunication policy formation. We believe that an openmedia system is essential to ourdemocracy, and in order to do so we need an open and innovativecommunications system with in-creased transparency of media withbroader and more representativepublic participation.In order to do so, the OpenMedia.canetwork seeks to advance funda-mental democratic principles which would eectively guide media,communication and culturalpolicy making in Canada. TeOpenMedia.ca network is broughttogether by the principles of access,choice, diversity, innovation andopenness in internet and commu-nication systems that we seek topromote.OpenMedia.ca is the organiza-tion that coordinates the ongoingSaveOurNet.ca coalition, promot-ing Net Neutrality and the rightfor all Canadians to have accessto an open internet. Tat is, it isnecessary to stop lobbyists andspecial interest groups from tak-ing control over Canada’s internetsystem by discriminating againstcertain types of content and trac.OpenMedia.ca also runs the FreshMedia project, where the mainobjective is to support independent journalism and innovative media.Te SFU OpenMedia.ca studentgroup will be holding campusevents, fundraising programs,educational workshops, and pre-sentations to inform the university community about national mediaissues and our ongoing projects.
Get involved!
 We will be tabling every second Wednesday, in the AQ near the art gal-lery; make sure to come by if you would like to know more about ourprojects and get involved. We are also currently holding meetings every second Tursday where the group will get together and discuss event plan-ning and current media issues. Contact us at sfu@openmedia.ca if you would like to get to know more about the OpenMedia.ca group at SFU.
What is OpenMedia.ca?
Eriko Furukawa
 After losing an important legal battle the FCC is trying to quickly take steps in order to circumvent the threat toNetwork Neutrality in the United States. A ‘third-way’ to regulate ISP was proposed, which is now facing many barriers for implementation, one being the members of Congress who are forcing the FCC to abandon its plan toregulate Internet Service Providers.
On April 6
2010 the federal court in WashingtonD.C. ruled that the FCC (Federal CommunicationsCommission, the regulatory body for Communica-tions in America) had no legal authority to impose netneutrality regulations on to Internet Service Providers.Te ruling was handed out in response to the FCC’spunishment of Comcast, a major ISP in the UnitedState, when it was caught throttling Bitorrent trac.Te communications regulatory body under its ownmandate had no regulatory authority to penalize Com-cast, as the FCC has classied DSL broadband serviceunder itle I as an “information service” rather thanunder itle II “telecommunication service.” Whatthat essentially meant was that under the informationservice category the FCC is not allowed to physically regulate the workings of ISPs, so if an ISP was throt-
The Battle for Network Neutrality in the United States
tling the FCC was out its mandated jurisdiction tostop or punish the ISP.Te ruling made by the court has threatened netneutrality in the United States as the FCC is no longerallowed to impose net neutrality regulations, givingthe ISPs within the sector a free reign to throttle. ocircumvent the threat to Net Neutrality, the FCC’schairman Julius Genachowski proposed a ‘third way’regulatory mandate, which would allow the FCCto monitor the transmission component of Internetaccess. Tis way the FCC controls issues regardingthrottling, but cannot and will not monitor informa-tion being transmitted over the lines. As stated by theFCC commissioner Julius Genachowski in a statementMay 6
2010: “ …
the approach is narrow.
It will treat
Umair Amjad Riazopenletter page 2
only the transmission component of broadband accessservice as a telecommunications service while preserv-ing the longstanding consensus that the FCC shouldnot regulate the Internet, including web-based servicesand applications, e-commerce sites, and online con-tent.” With the “third way” proposal, the FCC believes it will have the authority to write and enforce rules that would protect consumers and Internet content provid-ers from restrictions imposed by broadband providers. As outlined in the above-mentioned statement thethird-way approach will:Recognize the transmission component of broadband access service--and only this compo-nent--as a telecommunications service;”Apply only a handful of provisions of itle II(Sections 201, 202, 208, 222, 254, and 255)that, prior to the Comcast decision, were widely believed to be within the Commission’s purview for broadband;Simultaneously renounce--that is, forbear from--application of the many sections of the Commu-nications Act that are unnecessary and inappro-priate for broadband access service; andPut in place up-front forbearance and mean-ingful boundaries to guard against regulatory overreach.But there is much to standing in their way, the “third way” proposal has to go through congress, where many its members are asking the FCC to reevaluate its plans. As the FCC looks for clarication from congress, it will be seeking comments from the public till July 15
 2010 at broadband.gov .Tis matter raises issues as to how Canada should deal with its network neutrality issues, are there lessonsthat the Canadian regulatory body CRC can learnfrom this case? Right now the onus of reporting ISPthrottling to the CRC is on the consumer, as theregulatory body does not directly monitor throttling.Shouldn’t CRC become more proactive regardingmonitoring and making sure that throttling does nottake place in order to protect the Canadian consumer.Should the CRC become more hands-on regardingnetwork neutrality? Whatever happens next regardingthe FCC’s mandate, the outcome will have a majorimpact on future net neutrality issues, not only in theUS but in other countries as well. A link to see an interview with the FCC chairmanexplaining the “third-way” approach: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20001825-38.html?tag=mncol;txtTe OpenMedia.ca club has been busy with planninga variety of projects and events! Here is an update of  what we’re currently working on, and some futureevents coming up. We will be starting to do
University Presentations
!Tese will be 5 minute presentations where OpenMe-dia.ca club members will go into classrooms, informstudents about media issues in Canada and whatOpenMedia.ca/the club does.In September, we plan on going
doing 60-75 minuteHigh School workshops
, these will be on the topic of Internet, democracy and Net Neutrality. Tere will bea training session in end of July/beginning of August.If you are interested in getting involved, please let usknow! We’re also
planning OpenMedia.ca club social/net- working events
that we want to put on this summer.Te details are still being worked out, so stay tuned forour next Newsletter for details on these events! Week of Welcome! We have signed up to be part of 
SFU’s Week of Welcome
. Tis is a welcome party fornew and returning community members during therst week of classes in the fall term. We’ll be planningsoon what kind of fun events we want to host.
Upcoming Events and Projects
openletter page 3

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