Latest Posts

Broadband in a Box by Alan Levine (CC0 1.0) https://flic.kr/p/ZhwmCY

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 25: The CRTC Decision on Competitive Internet Pricing – A Conversation With George Burger

Last month, Canada’s telecom regulator, the CRTC, issued its final decision in a lengthy battle over the rates that independent Internet providers pay for wholesale access to the broadband networks run by big incumbents such as Bell and Rogers. The Commission slashed previous rates and made its decision retroactive, an approach that sparked anger and lawsuits from the incumbents who are now in Canadian courts seeking to overturn the ruling and stop it from taking effect. Meanwhile, several Canadian independent ISPs wasted no time in responding to the decision, dropping their consumer prices and neatly illustrating the impact of lower rates and more competition. George Burger, one of the founders of vMedia and a frequent commentator on Canadian telecom issues, joined me on the podcast to discuss the decision and the state of competition for Canadian Internet services.

Read more ›

September 23, 2019 0 comments Podcasts
Ian Kerr, https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/news/ian-kerr-2019

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 24: A Tribute to Ian Kerr

The first episode of the new season of the Lawbytes podcast is dedicated to my good friend and colleague Ian Kerr, a giant in the law and technology field, who passed away on August 27th after battling complications arising from cancer. Ian’s generosity, warmth, and good humour touched the lives of thousands of people. Whether national privacy commissioners or first-year law students, he made time for everyone, offering encouragement, insight, and a deeply held view that everyone had an opportunity and responsibility to help shape our collective digital future. The Faculty of Law plans to celebrate Ian in an event scheduled for Friday, September 27th at 11:30 am. There is also an Ian R. Kerr Memorial Fund that will support scholarships, fellowships, activities and initiatives honouring his legacy.

Read more ›

September 16, 2019 1 comment Podcasts
In Memoriam: My Dear Friend and Colleague Ian Kerr

In Memoriam: My Dear Friend and Colleague Ian Kerr

Nearly twenty years ago, Ian Kerr was a rising star in the law and technology field at the University of Western Ontario. He had already published on the role of computers as intelligent agents in the nascent world of electronic commerce and was crafting new courses examining the legal and ethical challenges posed by machines and the law. In the fall of 1999 – about a year after I had arrived at Ottawa – he agreed to a visit to consider coming to help build a leading program focused on law and tech. I spent the day trying to convince Ian to come, offering tours of the law school, the city’s foodie hot spots, and a dinner at my house. My closing argument was that no matter his decision, this was going to happen since Ottawa was ideally situated to lead on tech law and policy and that there was no better place for him, personally or professionally.

I’m heartened that Ian told me during my last visit with him at the Ottawa Hospital that the decision was one of the best he ever made. But I was wrong. This wasn’t just going to happen. It happened because Ian – my colleague, friend, advisor, and professional partner – made it so.

Ian passed away last night after months of battling complications from cancer. He was a singular talent, whose impact not just on the field, but on everyone he worked with, taught, mentored, or lectured will be felt for decades to come.

Read more ›

August 27, 2019 70 comments News
Tax Service by Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4wPt8s

The Cultural Lobby Demands for Internet Taxes and Fees: The Forgotten Piece in Canada’s Lower Wireless and Internet Cost Puzzle

Over the past few weeks, both the National Post and Reuters have reported that the Liberals plan to include lower Internet and wireless costs as part of the fall election campaign. The reports indicate that reforms could include price caps or a firm commitment to facilitating the entry of new competitors in the form of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). I’ve posted regularly on Canada’s high wireless prices and efforts to address the issue (here, here, here, here, and here), which remain uncompetitive relative to many other countries (some of the reasons why are discussed in this LawBytes podcast episode with Antonios Drossos of Rewheel Research).

Read more ›

August 27, 2019 4 comments News
lg-cinema-3d-smart-tv-60la8600 開箱 by Sinchen.Lin (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/fmBE9d

The Law Bytes Podcast, Season One in Review: The Telecom and Broadcast Policy Episodes

Telecom and broadcast policy figured prominently in season one of the Law Bytes podcast. With Canada currently studying potential reforms and cultural issues emerging as a possible electoral issue, there are no shortage of issues worth of discussion. Given its role as a telecom and broadcast regulator, the CRTC was the subject of several episodes: Monica Auer of FRPC talked about her extensive access to information work on the CRTC, while former CRTC Commissioner Peter Menzies joined the podcast to help sort through Cancon funding, Internet regulation, and the role of the Commission.

Read more ›

August 26, 2019 1 comment Podcasts