Tuesday June 07, 2011
The Conservatives hold their convention
later this week with 80
being considered for possible debate in the plenary session. The
resolutions are proposed by local chapters and at least two focus on
Internet access and net neutrality. Resolution P-063 (Durham) on
We believe in the need for a strong
Internet link to Canada together in the 21st Century, as
railroads did in the 19th Century and
aviation did in the 20th Canada must claim a leading position in an
increasingly networked world.
The Conservative Party will:
i) Support internet broadband
initiatives, to bring universal access to all Canadians, especially in
rural and Northern communities
ii) Support an open and accessible
internet with appropriate safeguards and enforcement mechanisms
against illegal activities.
iii) Support network neutrality,
giving each user a fair share of bandwidth to use in communicating with
any other user with any protocol.
iv) We support an innovative and
competitive market place while promoting private sector infrastructure
v) We support initiatives promoting
telepresence and telecommuting to overcome geographical barriers.
Resolution P-064 (Wild Rose) states:
The Conservative Party recognizes the
vital importance of internet connectivity to full Canadian
participation in global economic, social, and cultural communities. The
government should create an environment that encourages private sector
investment to increase broadband infrastructure, especially in rural
and remote areas of Canada.
Only a limited number of the resolutions will be considered in plenary.
TagsShareTuesday June 07, 2011
Friday May 06, 2011
The CRTC issued its universal
this week, which included analysis of funding mechanisms for
broadband access, broadband speed targets, and whether there should be
a requirement to provide broadband access as part of any basic service
objective. Consumers groups and many observers were left disappointed.
The CRTC declined to establish new funding mechanisms (relying on
market forces) or changes to basic service and hit on a target of 5
Mbps download speed (actual not advertised) to be universally available
by the end of 2015. Critics argued this left consumers on their own
and suggested that the targets were underwhelming, particularly when
contrasted with other countries.
While I sympathize with the frustration over the CRTC's decision to
essentially make broadband a "watching brief," I wonder why Canadians
should expect the CRTC to lead on broadband targets and funding.
Universal access to globally competitive broadband (in
terms of speed, pricing, and consumer choice) is a perhaps the most
important digital policy issue Canada faces and it should not be viewed
through a narrow telecom regulatory lens.
Rather, it is a government policy issue, one that requires a serious
commitment by elected officials. With a new Conservative majority
government, the era of excuses (the Liberals did nothing, minority
governments make this issue too difficult) are over. Given the fixed
date for elections, there are roughly 1,500 days left in the
Conservative mandate. July 2015 provides the real target date for
addressing the competitive and access concerns associated with Canadian
It provides four years to open the market to new competitors,
the introduction of new wireless broadband alternatives, encourage the
market to offer fibre connections in all major markets, foster new
local competitors, leverage the role of high speed research and
education networks, consider using spectrum auction proceeds to fund
broadband initiatives, and address anti-competitive pricing models. It
allows the government to set a realistic but ambitious target for
broadband speed, pricing, and competition that allows Canada to reverse
a decade of decline and once again become a global leader. Canadians
can look at the benchmarks today in terms of current access, pricing,
competition, and global ranking and use them to judge the change
over the next 1,500 days. This is the challenge for the government -
not the CRTC - and the clock is running.
TagsShareFriday May 06, 2011
Tuesday April 19, 2011
The OECD published its latest comparative
broadband Internet data
last week, confirming yet again that Canadian consumers pay more for
less when it comes to Internet access. While some will undoubtedly
claim that the OECD methodology is faulty, it should be noted that the data
to OECD member governments before publication. For this survey, the
OECD focused on three of Canada's largest ISPs - Bell, Shaw, and Rogers
- covering 18 of their offerings at a range of speeds and pricing
The focus should be on the numbers, which tell a discouraging tale.
Among the findings on price of Internet services (all as of September
|28th out of
|17th out of
an 15 Mbps
|28th out of
and 30 Mbps
|29th out of
|Over 45 Mbps
|23rd out of
TagsShareTuesday April 19, 2011
Tuesday February 08, 2011
offers its perspective on UBB in a debate with TekSavvy
in the pages of the National Post (a similar debate occurs in the Globe
The Bell response includes the claim that Canada is a broadband leader:
At the same time, Canada has
increasingly become a world leader when it comes to broadband. When it
comes to actual download speeds, Canada ranks third in the G20, behind
only densely populated Korea and Japan. And prices are low — in fact,
for higher-speed services, lower than in both the U.S. and Japan.
I'm not sure where these claims come from - Canada does not appear in
the top 10 on Akamai's latest State of the Internet
report for Internet speed and no Canadian city makes Akamai's top
100 for peak speed. The OECD
report ranks Canada well back in terms of speed and price as does
The NetIndex report ranks Canada 36th in the world for residential speed. Moreover, the shift away from the OECD to the G20 has the effect
of excluding many developed countries with faster and cheaper broadband
than Canada (while bringing in large, developing world economies that
unsurprisingly rank below Canada on these issues). While there is
probably a report somewhere that validates the claim, the consensus is
Canada is not a leader.
TagsShareTuesday February 08, 2011