The National Post
Monday, May 17, 1999

CRTC says it won't try to regulate the Internet

OTTAWA (CP) -- Canada's national broadcast regulator said this morning it won't try to regulate new media services on the Internet.

The announcement came after almost a year of hearings by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). "Our message is clear: The CRTC will not regulate the Internet, nothing on the Internet", said Françoise Bertrand, CRTC chairwoman.

"The Canadian new media industry is vibrant, highly competitive and successful without regulation."

The CRTC consultations and deliberations brought together perhaps the most unusual mix of organizations and individuals in its history - from broadcasters and telecom companies to free-speech advocates and big Internet service providers.

An online forum created to discuss the hearings attracted hundreds of Canadians.

Just coming to a definition of new media was a major challenge since it incorporates electronic commerce, audio, video, publishing and telecommunications.

The commission sought answers to three basic questions:

The vast majority of intervenors told the commission it should avoid regulating the relatively new Internet industry, fearing the CRTC would cramp its growth.

Copyright © 1999 by The Canadian Press. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.