Registration for the
conference on the Copyright
Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations
of Canadian Copyright Law is now open. The conference is
scheduled for Friday, October 4th from 12:30 to 5:30 with a
reception to follow. There is no cost for the conference, but
advance registration is appreciated. Speakers include Carys Craig,
Paul Daly, Jeremy deBeer, Greg Hagen, Elizabeth Judge, Ariel Katz,
Teresa Scassa, Sam Trosow, and Margaret Ann Wilkinson.
TagsShareTuesday September 03, 2013
With Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam stating yesterday that "Verizon is not going to Canada", the government's best hope for "more choice, lower prices, better service"
may have been lost. The mere possibility of a Verizon entry into Canada
sparked a massive lobbying campaign by the incumbent carriers, who used
every tool at their disposal - huge advertising spend, direct lobbying,
union protests, and favourable media on their own networks - to try to
sway public opinion and pressure the government to change its approach.
The government did not come close to doing so, recognizing that Canadian wireless pricing is high and that its proposed policies were consistent
with many other developed countries. The companies claim the concern is
merely about spectrum (not competition), yet companies like Telus applauded
the government when the spectrum rules were first released in 2012 and
it was only after Verizon indicated its potential interest in entering
the market that the rules were characterized as loopholes and unfair.
So what comes next?
After the share price of the incumbents jumps up to reflect the premium
the market gives to the lack of Canadian competition and the arguments
that the government should delay the auction disappear, the government
will be left with the same reality that existed before Verizon. As I noted in an earlier post,
there are primarily two things that will drive corporate behavior in any
market - competition and government regulation. On the competition
side, the government must consider whether further steps are needed to
entice significant new players into the market. These may include
complete removal of foreign investment restrictions from both
telecommunications and broadcast.
In the absence of robust competition, however, regulation is needed. The
Canadian government should be doing all it can create more competition,
but it must also commit to regulation - even if temporary - until that
competitive environment develops. The CRTC signalled
a willingness to regulate roaming pricing last week, but that may only
be the start of far more dramatic steps that are needed to bring
Canadians more choice, lower prices, and better service.TagsShareTuesday September 03, 2013