The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission, Canada's broadcast watchdog, will hold public hearings next year into the thorny question of extending its purview to the Internet, a medium that it deemed a regulatory-free zone nearly a decade ago. The CRTC released a final, 75-page report that summarizes research and stakeholder opinion on a wide range of issues, including Canadian content that's broadcast online or mobile devices, and the recent debate over Internet Service Providers who deliberately slow certain types of Internet traffic. The report, a draft version of which was first revealed in March, was created amid pressure from some Canadian content creators who are concerned their work is increasingly being broadcast on the Internet, where it is free from regulatory oversight. Among the more controversial proposals are raising a levy on Internet Service Providers to pay for the creation of new media content. The public is also invited to comment on the issues at http://crtc.newmedia.econsultation.ca until June 15. Also, a group of Internet service providers that resell bandwidth on Bell Canada's network has lost a temporary bid to shelter their subscribers from the phone company's practice of slowing down certain types of Internet traffic. The CRTC turned down the Canadian Association of Internet Providers' request for an injunction, saying the group failed to demonstrate its members are being harmed by Bell's efforts to "shape" the Internet traffic of its wholesale clients. CRTC mailed out a set of questions to Bell Canada asking the company to explain exactly how and why it decided to slow down certain file-sharing traffic on wholesale networks it leases to smaller independent Internet service providers. Traffic shaping generally refers to the use of special software to sniff out and slow down data packets associated with bandwidth-intensive services such as file sharing.
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