Telecom by yum9me (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/53jSy4

Telecom by yum9me (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/53jSy4

Telecom

Bell presentation to CRTC, September 21, 2017, obtained under ATIP

Fair Play for FairPlay?: Bell Presented Its Site Blocking Plan to the CRTC Months Before It Became Public

The Bell website blocking coalition responded to thousands of interventions on its proposal this week, reiterating many of the same claims it has been making since it launched the request with the CRTC. While the commission should provide details on what comes next shortly, according to internal commission documents released […]

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May 16, 2018 13 comments News
Comparison of Ookla data, MEI chart at http://www.iedm.org/sites/default/files/web/pub_files/cahier0118_en.pdf, Ookla chart at https://web.archive.org/web/20180322190824/http://www.speedtest.net/global-index/

Not So Fast: Digging into MEI’s Report on the State of Canadian Wireless Services

The release this week of the Montreal Economic Institute’s telecommunications report has the feel of a last gasp for a dying argument about the state of Canadian wireless. Gone are the days of telecom companies and their supporters denying that Canadian wireless prices are high relative to other countries. In its place are arguments seeking to justify high prices on the basis of claims that Canada has better networks and challenging geography. What is striking about the latest report is how these arguments fail upon closer inspection with the MEI resorting to creating incomplete data charts on network quality and failing to grapple with countries that have better networks, better pricing, and less wireless density.

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May 11, 2018 4 comments News
By Davepark [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fairplay_sign.jpg

House of Commons Ethics Committee Recommends Rejecting Bell Coalition Website Blocking Plan

The Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics has released its net neutrality report, strongly endorsing net neutrality safeguards and calling on the government to reject the Bell coalition’s website blocking plan should the CRTC approve it. I was the first witness to appear before the committee on the study, where I emphasized the need for stronger net neutrality enforcement, the risks associated with changing U.S. policy, and the concerns associated the Bell website blocking proposal (which at the time had only been leaked). The committee picked up on all those issues, recommending enshrining net neutrality in the Telecommunications Act, calling on the government to seek assurances from the U.S. that its policies will not undermine Canadian traffic, and encouraging the CRTC to more proactively ensure that ISPs are compliant with Canadian law.

The committee report also waded into the site blocking issue, calling on the government to reject it should it be approved by the CRTC.

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May 10, 2018 13 comments News
Bell request email, obtained under FIPPA from Brock University

Bell Backroom Pressure: Internal Documents Reveal How a Brock University Executive Came to Provide Support for Website Blocking

Among the thousands of interventions at the CRTC to the Bell coalition website blocking plan, one of the submissions that stands out comes from Brian Hutchings, Brock University’s Vice-President, Administration. The submission claims that “Brock ardently supports the FairPlay Canada coalition” adding that “we are committed to assist the members of the coalition and the CRTC in eliminating the theft of digital content.” The submission sparked an immediate campus backlash. The Brock University Faculty Association filed a submission with the CRTC noting:

we stand in opposition to the intervention by Vice President, Administration on behalf of Brock University. Vice-President Hutching’s intervention was undertaken without consultation with the wider Brock University community, including faculty, librarians, and Senate; therefore, his submission should not be seen as indicative of the views of Brock University as a whole.

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May 9, 2018 32 comments News
Arty Shot #1 by Damien D. (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/75qCg1

World’s Worst Wireless Pricing?: Report Finds Canadian Wireless Broadband Pricing Offers Least Bang for the Buck in Developed World

The sad state of Canadian wireless pricing is old news for consumers and the government, but a new report graphically demonstrates how Canadians face some of the least competitive pricing in the developed world. The Rewheel study measured pricing in EU and OECD markets by examining how many gigabytes of 4G wireless data consumers get for the equivalent of 30 euros. This chart from Rewheel says it all:

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May 4, 2018 7 comments News