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Lalalala.. I don't wanna hear this! by Hilde Skjølberg (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4PZ6L3

Sunlight on the Submissions: Why the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel Should Reverse Its Secretive Approach

The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review panel’s surprising decision to keep the 2,200 public submissions secret for months has had immediate repercussions. Some organizations are refusing to disclose their submissions until the panel does and others have noted the missed opportunity for public discussion of a vitally important issue. To date, about 30 submissions have been posted, a tiny percentage of the total. The decision has had an impact on university courses and predictably created an information asymmetry with some companies cherry-picking who gets to see their submission.

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January 18, 2019 3 comments News
Top Secret by Michelangelo Carrieri (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/8xzAnc

Why So Secret?: Government’s Communications Law Panel Plans to Keep Public Submissions Under Wraps for Months

The deadline for submissions to the government’s Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel passed last week. I posted my submission yesterday, joined by several other organizations representing differing perspectives (CRTC, CBC, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, Writers Guild of Canada, Internet Society Canada Chapter, CMCRP). However, public availability of submissions will apparently be the exception for the foreseeable future. The panel has rejected an open and transparent policy making process in which public submissions are publicly available, choosing instead to keep the submissions secret for months.

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January 15, 2019 3 comments News
internet by j f grossen (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4obWYe

All About the Internet: My Submission to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel on the Future of Canadian Communications Law

The deadline for submissions to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel closed on Friday with a handful of organizations such as the CRTC, CBC, and Friends of Canadian Broadcasting posting their submissions online. My full submission can be found here.  I argue that Canada’s regulatory approach should be guided by a single, core principle: communications policy, whether telecommunications or broadcasting, is now – or will soon become –  Internet policy. This emerging communications world is mediated through the Internet and communications regulatory choices are therefore fundamentally about regulating or governing the Internet. My submission identifies four goals that should guide Canadian communications law and regulation:

1.    Universal, affordable access to the network
2.    Level regulatory playing field
3.    Regulatory humility
4.    Fostering competitiveness in the communications sector

The executive summary on each of the four issue is posted below, followed by a list of 23 recommendations contained in the submission. In the coming days, I’ll have posts that unpack some of the key issues.

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January 14, 2019 1 comment News
Lots to say by Nick Kenrick (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bk6gr6

Celebrating High Wireless Prices: Telus-Backed Report Claims Comparing Consumer Costs for Wireless Services is “Meaningless”

Several years ago, Telus had a message for consumers discouraged by repeated studies that found Canadians pay some of the highest wireless rates in the world. In a blog post responding to an OECD study, company executive Ted Woodhead argued “Canada really should be the most expensive country for wireless service in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), but we’re not. That’s a great success story we should be celebrating.” Celebrating anything less than the world’s highest wireless prices recently came to mind as Telus  tried to sow doubt in a Canadian government commissioned study that highlighted yet again the uncompetitive realities of the Canadian wireless market. The company commissioned its own report that implausibly concludes that “communications services in Canada are cheaper than the prices foreign providers would charge for the same plans.”

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January 9, 2019 6 comments News
sad phone by Ron Bennetts (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/9pu8uT

More Steps Needed: Government Commissioned Report Shows Canadian Wireless Pricing Remains Among Highest in the Developed World

The Canadian government released the 2018 price comparison of wireless pricing just before the holidays, promoting the report with a press release trumpeting “greater competition leads to reduced mobile wireless price plans for Canadians.” Despite the optimism from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, a closer look at the data shows that Canadians continue to pay some of the highest wireless prices in the world. In fact, a comparison of pricing changes since the Liberals won the 2015 election reveals that Canada lags badly behind peer countries in the reduction of pricing of common wireless plans.

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January 8, 2019 5 comments News