As the global economic meltdown continues biting, Telus Communications Inc. is warning the CRTC that it has no mandate to impose a levy on ISPs in the absence of a new policy approach on broadband.Telus made the comments in its comments to the regulator's new media hearing scheduled for Jan. 17. A CRTC-imposed levy on ISPs—similar to what BDUs are required to pay—is an idea that has long been championed by new media content producers who argue that ISPs are increasingly functioning as BDUs and must pay for content. ISPs on the other hand dispute this notion, stressing that they don’t function as BDUs as defined in the Broadcasting Act.“Not only is the idea of taxing Internet access and Internet consumers unfair, particularly in a recession, it could be very harmful to broader policy goals,” states Telus.Telus also says regulation is usually enacted in response to a failure in the marketplace, stressing that in the case of broadband, all indications point to a robust environment that provides room for a diversity of opinions.“Given virtually unlimited access and a diversity of voices online, there is no justification for the importation of traditional broadcast regulatory tools onto platforms which are already hotbeds of innovation."Telus also argues that the ISPs provide “telecommunications services” regulated under the Telecommunications Act, adding that the transport of video and audio content on ISPs is not “enough to transform ISPs into BDUs."“ISPs are merely conduits and have no role in either the uploading by the consumer, the posting process, or the content in any user-generated or professional content."In the past, broadcast content producers have justified their call for a CRTC-imposed levy on the basis that 50% of Internet content today consists of broadcasting. But Telus argues that the figure is faulty. In addition, Telus says the idea of the levy assumes that ISPs have control over content on the Internet and that ISPs share revenues from online content. Furthermore, Telus says that traditional broadcast business models face no threat from new media. Instead, new media is helping broadcasters extend their brands and create viewer loyalty. Additionally, to have a robust Internet economy and market for digital content in Canada, it is essential to have an advanced broadband platform, into which significant amounts of investment have been pumped.“A robust new media market will require billions of dollars in broadband wireline and wireless networks. A new broad public policy approach to broadband should be considered before the CRTC considers intervening with respect to the small, discrete phenomenon of “new media." To look at, and potentially regulate, the Internet through the prism of broadcasting is to totally misunderstand what the Internet is and can be. ”Telus has adamantly opposed a CRTC-imposed levy. In October, Michael Hennesy, VP, wireless, broadband and content policy, said ISPs will fight proponents of the levy in court and take the fight to the prime minister`s office if no middle ground is found.“We either collaborate or we will fight, ” he said.Other companies opposed to a levy include Bell Canada, Rogers Communications Inc., SaskTel and the Competition Bureau.