What Is Net Neutrality?

This week, Neil Barratt, Mike Lenczner and I launched WhatIsNetNeutrality.ca — a primer on network neutrality for Canadians. It was a pleasure to work with Mike and Neil on this, and we hope that this site makes the debate more accessible to a wide variety of Canadians.

The official announcement:

Today marks an important day in the net neutrality debate in Canada. With the launch of www.whatisnetneutrality.ca (WiNN), Canadians have a valuable resource with which to educate themselves about this emerging concept.

While it sounds like an issue for experts, net neutrality is a debate that will affect the future of communications in Canada for everyone. WiNN aims to help Canadians understand this debate, and why it should matter to them. We’re not advocating a specific solution to the debate. Our goal is to inform and educate Canadians about a poorly understood and sometimes intimidating issue. Our lives depend on communications, and the Internet is growing to encompass television, telephone, journalism and entertainment. Net neutrality is a principle that will shape this powerful communication tool.

Please visit the site and look around. The site touches on the business, technology, and policy aspects of this issue. Each section has short and detailed answers, depending on your interest. The dictionary gives simple explanations of many of the regulatory and technical terms in use. The blog will track any developments of the debate in Canada.

This web site is a project of the Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking (CRACIN), a research network comprised of academics and community technology practitioners from across the country. CRACIN is dedicated to community-based research and innovation in the use of new information and communication technologies to empower local communities.

While only available in English for the moment, WiNN will be translated in coming weeks to be fully bilingual.

Thanks for your time,
Neil Barratt
Michael Lenczner
Alison Powell