Videotron whacked with CRTC’s net neutrality stick

21 Apr 2017

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) yesterday issued its latest judgement upholding the principles of net neutrality, ruling that cableco/mobile operator Videotron must desist from offering unlimited online music streaming from Spotify, Google Music and other selected providers to its wireless customers without it counting against their data allowances (a practice known as zero-rating) by 19 July. As reported by Reuters, Quebec-based Videotron argued that the decision would prevent it – as a ‘new entrant’ – from differentiating its services from established mobile operators. The CRTC’s ruling added that all data delivered online should be treated equally by internet service providers, although the regulator did not issue a blanket ban on zero-rating, and will continue to examine operators’ online content promotions and packages on a case-by-case basis. The CRTC had previously ordered Bell Canada and Videotron to cease offering mobile TV packages which fell foul of its net neutrality guidelines.