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VPN Green by Richard Patterson (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/27XFNrt http://www.comparitech.com/

Bell Urged Canadian Government To Ban Some VPN Services in NAFTA Submission

Last year, Bell and its supporters denied that its “Fairplay” site blocking plan would apply to virtual private networks (VPNs). Yet as first reported by the Wire Report (sub required), Bell asked the Canadian government to target some VPNs in its submission on the NAFTA re-negotiations. Throughout the site blocking debate, many cited concerns that the Bell coalition plan would expand beyond certain websites to VPNs. For example, I posted:

Once the list of piracy sites (whatever the standard) is addressed, it is very likely that the Bell coalition will turn its attention to other sites and services such as virtual private networks (VPNs). This is not mere speculation. Rather, it is taking Bell and its allies at their word on how they believe certain services and sites constitute theft. The use of VPNs, which enhance privacy but also allow users to access out-of-market content, has been sore spot for the companies for many years.

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January 28, 2019 17 comments News
Verizon by Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/oVfwNQ

“Immediate War Footing”: Phil Lind Recounts the Big Three Battle Against Wireless Competition in Canada

This week’s report that Canada is an outlier on wireless services with carriers generating more revenue per SIM than carriers in other countries and Canadian consumers on the low end of data usage, represents the latest in a long line of similar independent reports that confirm Canada’s status as a high-cost, low usage wireless market. Indeed, a government-commissioned comparative study, CRTC data, OECD data, and Rewheel Research all tell a similar story. Given that there is little to debate about the state of Canadian wireless pricing, the big question is now what Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains is prepared to do about it.

A new book from long-time Rogers executive Phil Lind provides insights into the backlash that any significant efforts to inject more competition into the market is likely to face from the incumbent carriers. The book contains several pages recounting the carrier battle in 2013 against Verizon entering the Canadian market with the active support of the then-Harper government. The story pulls back the curtain on lobbying efforts that involve active coordination by top tier executives at each company, active lobbying of MPs, journalists, and market analysts, as well as advertising campaigns designed to fight back against market-opening policy measures. Lind starts the story:

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January 24, 2019 3 comments News
Healthy Food Guide by Annie Seikonia (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ekgg5n

The Updated Canada Food Guide: New Advice, Old Restrictive Copyright Rules

The Canadian government released a new Canada Food Guide yesterday, the first major update in 12 years to what is reported to be one of its most-requested publications. The guide is viewed as very influential, with copies often found in medical facilities, schools, and other community spaces. Yet despite the demands for distribution, the government has disappointingly adopted a restrictive copyright approach with respect to its reproduction, adaptation or translation. The guide is subject to crown copyright rules and public uses that extend beyond fair dealing require government permission. In fact, Health Canada has posted a lengthy permission form that asks for the following information for those seeking to reproduce, translate or adapt the guide:

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January 23, 2019 6 comments News
https://tefficient.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/tefficient-industry-analysis-3-2018-mobile-data-usage-and-revenue-1H-2018-per-country-final-17-Jan-2019.pdf

The Canadian Wireless Story: Comparative Data Shows World’s Highest Carrier Revenues Per SIM

Tefficient, a European-based consultancy on the wireless market, released its latest report this morning comparing pricing and usage in the global wireless market. The data, which incorporates the most recent CRTC numbers on the Canadian market, shows Canada as a global outlier when it comes to the revenues generated by wireless carriers. The report notes the unsurprising correlation between high prices and low data usage:

There is a prerequisite for continued data usage growth, though: The total revenue per gigabyte can’t be too high – like in Canada and Belgium. The total revenue per gigabyte here is roughly 70 times higher than in India and 23 times higher than in Finland. And consequently, mobile usage is lower than average.

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January 22, 2019 18 comments News
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 5 comments News