Post Tagged with: "industry canada"

Telus Attacks: The Battle To Keep Verizon Out of Canada

Telecom giant Telus has had an eventful week as it moves from claiming that Canada “really should be the most expensive country for wireless service in the OECD” to increasing its prices in the shift toward two-year contracts to now declaring war on the government’s commitment to injecting greater competition into the Canadian marketplace. While the comments that something less than the highest prices in the developed world are a “great success story we should be celebrating” generated considerable media attention (here, here and here), the bigger long-term issue is the full-court lobbying press to stop the entrance of new competition.

Yesterday, Telus CEO Darren Entwistle was campaigning at the Globe and Mail and National Post, warning of a “bloodbath” if the government sticks with its commitment to allow for a set-aside of spectrum for new entrants such as Verizon. Telus is concerned that a set-aside would allow Verizon to purchase two of the four available blocks, leaving the big three to fight it out over the remaining two blocks. Telus emphasized its prior investments in arguing for a “level playing field” in the auction.

Yet to borrow Telus’ phrase – “scratch the surface of their arguments and get to the facts” – and it becomes clear the fight is not about level playing fields since new entrants have been at a huge disadvantage for years in Canada. Indeed, even with a spectrum set-aside, there would not be a level playing field as companies such as Telus would have big advantages that include restrictions on foreign ownership for broadcast distribution (thereby blocking Verizon from offering similar bundled services), millions of subscribers locked into long term contracts, far more spectrum than Verizon would own, and its shared network with Bell that has saved both companies millions of dollars.

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July 19, 2013 22 comments News

Can Canada’s Failed Wireless Policy Be Saved?

This is wireless week in Canada with the CRTC unveiling its consumer wireless code on Monday and Industry Minister Christian Paradis scheduled to make an important wireless announcement on Tuesday morning in Ottawa. In anticipation of the focus on telecom issues, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) assessed whether Canada’s failed wireless policy can be saved.

The column opened by noting that earlier this year, Industry Minister Christian Paradis released the Canadian government’s strategy to increase competition in the wireless sector. Acknowledging the challenges, Paradis promised to “continue to pay close attention to what is going on and to make sure that our policies reflect the fact that we want to achieve the goal of having more competition.”

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June 3, 2013 8 comments Columns

Can Canada’s Failed Wireless Policy Be Saved?

Appeared in the Toronto Star on June 1, 2013 as Can Canada’s Failed Wireless Policy Be Saved? Earlier this year, Industry Minister Christian Paradis unveiled the Canadian government’s strategy to increase competition in the wireless sector. Acknowledging the challenges, Paradis promised to “continue to pay close attention to what is […]

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June 3, 2013 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Industry Canada Publishes Study on WiFi and Radio Frequency Exposure

Industry Canada has quietly published a study measuring radio frequency exposure from WiFi devices. The study finds that exposure rates are many times lower than recommended levels by Health Canada.

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May 28, 2012 6 comments Must Reads

Canada’s Digital Economy Strategy: The E-commerce Targets Revealed

The government posted its Reports on Plans and Priorities for dozens of departments and agencies yesterday. The Industry Canada report makes for interesting reading as there is a section on the still missing Digital Economy Strategy that includes targets for e-commerce buying and selling in Canada. The department states:

Industry Canada will continue to implement measures in support of the Digital Economy Strategy to accelerate adoption of digital technologies, promote trust and confidence in the online marketplace and foster a globally competitive ICT sector based on a modern legislative framework, a robust digital infrastructure and a digitally skilled workforce.

Leaving aside the fact that there is no digital economy strategy – or at least the government has still not released the long overdue document – the report also includes a target to determine whether the Canadian online economy is “governed by an effective policy and regulatory framework.” The government’s performance indicator is the percentage of Canadians buying and selling online, with the targets set at 43% of Canadians buying and 15% selling.

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May 9, 2012 4 comments News