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Net neutrality debate heats up

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – During the week, President Barack Obama voiced his support for net neutrality, and online activist group Open Media says the debate could have impacts on Canadians as well.

Under the system Obama is opposing, companies with the dough could pay Internet Service Providers for so-called fast lanes, while smaller websites could see videos on their site lag slowly in comparison.

“We’ll see videos buffering, stopping and stopping,” Josh Tabish with Open Media says. “In some cases, these websites may be impossible to access at all in the case that they are a real high bandwidth model.”

Given many Canadians visit US websites, Tabish says it could affect us too.

“It’ll really crush innovation,” Tabish says. “It’ll make it so that smaller voices are squished out, and also so that new and emerging voices just can’t — they just won’t have the resources [to compete].”

Tabish says there’s also the risk Canadian Internet providers could move to a two-tier Internet if they see that come into effect in the States.