Post Tagged with: "communications"

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Why Canada’s Communication Policy Misses the Forest for the Trees

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission wrapped up its third major hearing in as many months last week, focusing on the wholesale market for broadband Internet services. Coming on the heels of the earlier hearings on broadcast television regulation (the “TalkTV” hearing that was highlighted by a showdown with Netflix) and wholesale wireless services, the proceedings followed a familiar script.

The incumbent providers urged the Commission to resist regulating access, claiming a competitive market exists with few barriers to new competitors. Meanwhile, independent Internet providers pointed to their relatively small share of the current broadband market and warned that failure to mandate access for faster fibre connections to the home would effectively eliminate future competition as Canadians gravitate to services offering faster speeds.

While it will take some time for the CRTC to issue its decisions in all three cases (the broadcast decision is expected before the end of the year), it is not too early to declare the entire system broken. The CRTC – Netflix battle prompted many to conclude that the Commission was a relic of the past, unable to adapt to the disruptions facilitated by the Internet. Yet the Commission’s difficulty dealing with the fast-moving changes throughout the communications sector is chiefly the result of an outdated regulatory structure that misses the proverbial forest for the trees.

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December 9, 2014 6 comments Columns

Verizon Entry to Canada Could Spark Shift Toward Single North American Communications Market

Reports that U.S. telecom giant Verizon may be preparing to enter the Canadian market has sparked considerable speculation on the likely impact of a company with a market cap greater than Bell, Rogers, and Telus combined. While much of the discussion has centered on wireless pricing, my weekly technology column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues that the more significant development may be the shift toward a single North American communications market.

Canada and the U.S. share much of the same communications infrastructure – the same North American numbering plan (calling codes), closely aligned spectrum policies, and easy access to broadcast signals along the border – yet for decades the two systems have been separated through regulation. Foreign ownership restrictions, Canadian content requirements, and simultaneous substitution policies (which lead to the annual complaints about missing U.S. commercials during the Super Bowl) have all ensured that the two markets remain distinct.

In recent years, new technologies have slowly chipped away at the communications divide.

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July 10, 2013 8 comments Columns

Verizon Entry to Canada Could Spark Shift Toward Single North American Communications Market

Appeared in the Toronto Star on July 7, 2013 as Verizon in Canada Could Spark Shift To Single North American Communications Market Reports that U.S. telecom giant Verizon may be preparing to enter the Canadian market has sparked considerable speculation on the likely impact of a company with a market […]

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July 10, 2013 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Will the Government Create a New Minister for Innovation, Science & Technology?

The Hill Times is reporting there is speculation the government is considering splitting the Minister of Industry position into two – one to focus on innovation, science and technology and the other on the rest of the Industry portfolio. The move could be a great one – I discussed the […]

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May 16, 2011 5 comments Must Reads

CRTC Releases Communications Monitoring Report

The CRTC has released the second annual Communications Monitoring Report 2009.  The nearly-300 page report is filled with data and charts that will generate considerable study and commentary.  Some of the points that jumped out at me: Do-Not-Call: As of May 19th, there were over 6.8 million registrations, 145,000 complaints, […]

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August 6, 2009 4 comments News