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Learning Portal - Digital Citizenship : Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

This module is an introduction to "Net Neutrality": the idea that all data on the internet would be treated equally with no inflated fees for faster downloading and uploading to the internet, or for access to certain services.

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Top Tips 

✓ Speak Up! Contact the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to complain if you think your ISP is instituting speed bumps in your internet connection.

✓ Stay Informed! Follow news about policy changes or legislation that will allow ISPs control over internet speed and costs. Dr. Michael Geist’s website is a good resource.

Spotlight - Current Status of Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality in Canada

2017 - Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-104 - the CRTC established a new framework regarding differential pricing practices. It strengthens the CRTC’s commitment to net neutrality by declaring that Internet service providers should treat data traffic equally.

2015 - The CRTC issued a decision in 2015 in which it directed certain service providers to stop giving their mobile television services an unfair advantage in the marketplace, to the disadvantage of other Internet content.

2009 - Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-657 - includes considerations for net neutrality including Transparency, Clarity, and Competitive Neutrality

Additional Resources:

Net Neutrality in U.S.A

The EFF collects on-going information about net neutrality proceedings.Currently there are no net neutrality regulations in the U.S.A.:

2019 - The 2017 decision is upheld but the appeals court ruled that state-level net neutrality laws could not be overridden.

2017 - The FCC votes to repeal Net Neutrality regulations. The government will no longer regulate high-speed internet1and individual States cannot override the ruling of the FCC in local legislation.

2017 - The FCC votes to exempt small ISPs (250,000 or fewer subscribers) from the net neutrality rules, citing the compliance procedures are too onerous and expensive for small companies.2

2015 - The FCC "voted to classify broadband as a telecom service under Title II of the Communications Act rather than an information service. What that means is that the FCC will have more authority to regulate ISPs, while its net neutrality rules will have a stronger legal footing."3

2010 - The FCC approved three high-level rules supporting net neutrality: transparency; no blocking; and no unreasonable discrimination.4


  1. A Court Says Repealing Net Neutrality Was (Mostly) OK 

  2. F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality Rules

  3. FCC Extends Net Neutrality Exemption for Small ISPs

  4. Divided FCC Votes to Reclassify Broadband in Net Neutrality Vote

  5. Divided FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

Net Neutrality in the European Union (EU)

"In October 2015 the first EU-wide Net Neutrality rules were adopted. EU rules on net neutrality (open internet) apply as of 30 April 2016, following the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 on 25 November 2015" from European Commission

An image displaying net neutrality in the EU, no blocking or throttling between user and internet access provider. Every European must have access to the open internet, all internet traffic will be treated equally.

Further Resources

What is Net Neutrality?

Check out this video (CGP Grey, 2014) to find out what net neutrality is. 

What Net Neutrality Means to You

This video (NowThis World, 2014) explains what net neutrality means for you. 



Unless otherwise stated, the material in this guide is from the Learning Portal created by College Libraries Ontario. Content has been adapted for the NWP Learning Commons in June 2021. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY NC SA 4.0 International License.

All icons on these pages are from The Noun Project. See individual icons for creator attribution.