Strengthening net neutrality in Canada

Why does the CRTC support net neutrality?

We believe that it is important that all Canadians have access to choice, innovation and free exchange of ideas. If Internet providers price content differently, they are, in a way, influencing you to choose certain content over other.

That’s why we decided that Internet providers must treat data traffic the same, regardless of content.

Internet providers should compete on the quality of their networks, by lowering their prices or increasing data allowances instead of treating certain content differently. If you are unhappy with the price and data allowance of your services, call your provider and negotiate or shop around! You have choices. Demand better.

Differential pricing framework

We have put in place a new framework to govern differential pricing practices in Canada. Learn more about the framework Telecom Regulatory Policy 2017-104 including the evaluation criteria that will be used to assess whether a differential pricing practice involves an undue or unreasonable preference or disadvantage.

Data Caps

Internet service providers should offer data plans that meet your evolving expectations. We expect that this decision will encourage them to offer more data at lower prices instead of treating the data use of certain content differently. Going forward, we will be monitoring the effect the new framework (and other recent CRTC decisions) have on the market. We will be looking for a positive impact on retail prices and data caps for mobile phones and fixed Internet services.


What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the concept that all traffic on the Internet should be given equal treatment by Internet providers with little to no manipulation, interference, prioritization, discrimination or preference given.

What is differential pricing?

Differential pricing is when the same or similar products or services are offered to customers at different prices. Examples include:

  • Zero-rating pricing can happen when an Internet provider exempts data from a particular application from a monthly mobile data plan.
  • Sponsored data occurs when an application provider enters into an arrangement with a service provider to exempt or discount the data associated with its application.
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