July 17th, 2009 | Published in Google Public Policy
This week the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission wrapped up its hearings on Internet traffic management. Earlier in the proceeding I testified on behalf of the Open Internet Coalition (of which Google is a member) to argue that "innovation without permission" requires a robust, open Internet -- a view echoed by consumer groups, Internet policy advocates, content producers and distributors.
Fittingly, tonnes of people who would normally never follow a regulatory hearing took to the web to listen to the CRTC's live audiocast, follow the live-blog from the National Post, and tweet up a storm with the tags #crtc and #netneutrality (including me, @jacobglick). Journalist Greg O'Brien (@gregobr) tweeted, "Total listeners to the #crtc proceeding Monday: 371. Highest ever group to take in a Commission webcast, they say."
This impromptu online community was an object lesson in precisely the point we made to the Commission about the power of an open Internet to share insights, test arguments, and facilitate meaningful civic engagement -- all in cool, unexpected ways.