Archive for November 23rd, 2011

The UBB Decision Aftermath: Is the Pricing a Killer?

My column this week on the positive aspects of the CRTC’s usage based billing decision has generated some sharp disagreement, with some arguing that the pricing set by the Commission is faulty and virtually guaranteed to increase consumer prices (Search Engine covers the issue and arrives at the same conclusion, Peter Nowak does as well). The column pointed to the pricing concerns, but I think it is worth exploring the issue a bit further.

Questions about network costs are notoriously difficult to pin down. Earlier this year, I published a report that attempted to estimate the cost of a gigabyte of data and others have tried to do the same. The data relied upon by the CRTC is all subject to confidentiality and there have been concerns raised about its validity by both the independent ISPs and the incumbents (groups such as CIPPIC asked the CRTC to reconsider the issue of pricing in one of its interventions but the Commission declined). We should be clear – the lack of transparency associated with the numbers is a significant problem and must be addressed.

That said, I fear that part of the problem stems from years of limited Canadian competition with little innovation in the variety of broadband plans and services.

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November 23, 2011 32 comments News

The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter, Day 36: Canadian Political Science Association

The Canadian Political Science Association began its activities in 1912 and was incorporated under the Canada Corporation Act in 1971. The CPSA limits public policy positions to those issues directly related to political science. As part of the 2009 copyright consulation, the CPSA submission made its position on digital locks clear:

The new law should not allow Digital Rights Management technologies to prevent fair use of published work.

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November 23, 2011 Comments are Disabled News

Ottawa Weighs Loosening Ownership Rules in Telecom Sector

The Globe reports that the government is considering changes to the foreign ownership restrictions in the telecom sector by removing restrictions for companies with less than 10 percent market share.

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November 23, 2011 2 comments Must Reads