Howard Solomon’s recent article Bell traffic shaping sparks ISP outrage struck a nerve with readers of IT World Canada. It was one of the most-read articles in the history of the Web site, and garnered many reader comments. There were two clear trends from reader response: They aren’t happy with Bell’s policies that throttle certain types of traffic, and the issue of Net Neutrality, though it’s been largely below the radar in Canada, is a significant one to many Canadians.

The priniciple of Net Neutrality is simple: The owners of the backbone must treat all Internet traffic, regardless of source, destination or application, equally. They can’t prioritize their traffic over that of sub-contracting ISPs. Just as the phone company can’t tell you who you can or can’t call, it can’t restrict applications running over the Internet.

The issue has been more high-profile in the U.S., where Comcast, for example, has been slammed for allegedly sending false reset flags to stymie BitTorrent traffic. But there’s been controversy in Canada, too; Shaw Communications’ $10 QoS fee for voice over IP traffic, Rogers Communications’ attempts to insert its own content into Web pages, and Bell’s traffic shaping policies, for example.

And while most Canadians aren’t aware of the Net Neutrality issue, when it’s explained to them, two-thirds agree with the principle.

We’ve put together this Resource Centre to offer a comprehensive package of news stories and other resources with news, background information and action items for Canadians concerned about Net Neutrality. If you know of a resource that will help readers’ understanding of the issue, us the link.

Net Neutrality on IT World Canada

Bell traffic shaping sparks ISP outrage
P2P plug-in could detect net neutrality violations
Rogers ISP antics rattle net neutrality supporters
Canadians show support for net neutrality
Green Party pledges net neutrality support
Vonage says Shaw breaching net neutrality
Study: Abandoning ‘Net neutrality hurts service
Call for Net neutrality law to check carriers
Don’t trust Google on Net neutrality

Other resources While the blog hasn’t been updated since October, the online petition in support of Net Neutrality legislation appears to still be active

Net Neutrality Canada

Michael Geist