Archive for November 16th, 2009

Canadian Telco Ownership Rules From By-Gone Era

Corporate structures and loan agreements are rarely the stuff of public interest, yet, as my weekly technology column notes (Toronto Star version, homepage version) last month they attracted considerable attention in a case involving Globalive, a new wireless company vying to shake up Canada’s telecommunications industry.  Operating as Wind Mobile, the company paid hundreds of millions of dollars in 2008 to scoop up spectrum to enable it to operate as a new national wireless carrier.

Bell Canada, Telus Corp., and Rogers Communications, the big three incumbent carriers, unsurprisingly opposed the new rival.  First they lobbied against a set-aside of spectrum for new entrants. When that failed, they argued Globalive failed to comply with the Telecommunications Act's foreign control restrictions. Last month, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission agreed. While Industry Canada previously concluded the company met the Canadian control requirements for the purposes of the Radiocommunications Act when it bid for spectrum, the CRTC concluded that its ownership and control structure do not meet the legal requirements to operate as a wireless carrier.  

The commission identified a number of changes that will be needed to comply with the law and Globalive says it is evaluating its options. The first option is presumably for the federal cabinet to overrule the CRTC. Last week, Industry Minister Tony Clement gave Canada's telecom players until Wednesday to provide their views on the issue as he conducts a pre-cabinet review.  A decision may be weeks away, but the process puts a much bigger question into play: Will the Globalive case become the catalyst for the elimination of telecom foreign control restrictions?

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November 16, 2009 23 comments Columns

U.N. Censors Internet Censorship Poster At IGF

The BBC reports on how the United Nations removed a poster promoting a book on Internet censorship by the University of Toronto's Open Net Initiative at the Internet Governance Forum currently underway in Egypt.

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November 16, 2009 2 comments Must Reads

OHRLP Publishes Compilation of Copyright Consult Submissions

The Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy has published a compilation of copyright consultation submissions in its November 2009 issue. My copyright consultation is available for download.

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November 16, 2009 Comments are Disabled Reports

CopyrightWatch.org Launches

The EFF has launched CopyrightWatch.org, a new site that collects and monitors copyright laws from around the world.

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November 16, 2009 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Canadian Telco Ownership Rules From By-Gone Era

Appeared in the Toronto Star on November 16, 2009 as Telco Ownership Rules From Bygone Era Corporate structures and loan agreements are rarely the stuff of public interest, yet last month they attracted considerable attention in a case involving Globalive, a new wireless company vying to shake up Canada’s telecommunications […]

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November 16, 2009 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive