VOIP surcharged by Canadian ISP

According to a Vonage Canada press release, it has submitted a request to the Canadian Radio-Television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to investigate Shaw Communications (an ISP that serves western Canada) for recommending to its high-speed Internet customers that they pay an additional $10 charge if they use a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service provider such as Vonage Canada in order to obtain a “quality of service enhancement” which is necessary to ensure independent VoIP service is not disrupted or degraded. The same fee is not separately charged to customers of Shaw’s own VOIP service. Shaw does not appear to have provided any details of how its enhancement works or why it is necessary. According to Vonage Canada, it wants to ensure that “the monopoly telephone and cable Internet service providers don’t restrict what services, applications or content Canadians can access. Canadians demand and deserve freedom of choice.”

Sounds like the CRTC needs to sit down with the Canada’s Competition Bureau and lay down some rules regarding network neutrality.

See also the write up by Mathew Ingram in the Globe.