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Cutting Community Internet Access Program Highlights Absence of Digital Strategy

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The recent federal budget was a hefty 498 pages, but my weekly technology law column (Ottawa Citizen version, homepage version) notes it still omitted disclosing the decision to eliminate funding for the Community Access Program, Canada's longstanding initiative to provide an Internet access alternative for those without connectivity. The world has changed dramatically since the CAP was first launched in 1995, but the decision to cut it without establishing alternative solutions for low-income Canadians who are not online is a disappointing development that highlights yet again the absence of a national digital strategy from Industry Minister Christian Paradis.

The CAP was once a foundational element in the federal government's effort to connect Canadians. In the late 1990s, many did not have Internet access at home and wireless data plans were still years away. Today, the majority of Canadians have residential broadband access as well as wireless connectivity through their smartphones or other devices.

The decision to cut the CAP therefore does not come as a surprise.


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CRTC Says No Need For Another Over-The-Top Video Fact Finding Exercise

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The CRTC has written to participants from the last "fact finding exercise" on over-the-top video services to advise that it believes that no further studies are needed as this time. The Commission notes that "over-the-top programming services have not had an impact sufficient to warrant another fact-finding exercise at this time." I wrote about the CRTC exercise last year along with posts on the submissions it received (1, 2).
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The Economist in Support of Open Access

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The Economist has an editorial endorsing mandated open access for publicly funded research. It concludes that "government bodies that fund academic research should require that the results be made available free to the public. So should charities that fund research. This would both broaden access to research and strengthen the hand of 'open access' journals, since many researchers would then be unable to publish results in closed ones."
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More Reaction to the AUCC - Access Copyright Deal

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I posted my initial reaction to the AUCC - Access Copyright deal yesterday.  Other comments come from CAUT, Ariel Katz, Sam Trosow, Michael Ridley, and Meera Nair.
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