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

Verizon by Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/oVfwNQ

“Immediate War Footing”: Phil Lind Recounts the Big Three Battle Against Wireless Competition in Canada

This week’s report that Canada is an outlier on wireless services with carriers generating more revenue per SIM than carriers in other countries and Canadian consumers on the low end of data usage, represents the latest in a long line of similar independent reports that confirm Canada’s status as a high-cost, low usage wireless market. Indeed, a government-commissioned comparative study, CRTC data, OECD data, and Rewheel Research all tell a similar story. Given that there is little to debate about the state of Canadian wireless pricing, the big question is now what Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains is prepared to do about it.

A new book from long-time Rogers executive Phil Lind provides insights into the backlash that any significant efforts to inject more competition into the market is likely to face from the incumbent carriers. The book contains several pages recounting the carrier battle in 2013 against Verizon entering the Canadian market with the active support of the then-Harper government. The story pulls back the curtain on lobbying efforts that involve active coordination by top tier executives at each company, active lobbying of MPs, journalists, and market analysts, as well as advertising campaigns designed to fight back against market-opening policy measures. Lind starts the story:

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January 24, 2019 3 comments News
https://tefficient.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/tefficient-industry-analysis-3-2018-mobile-data-usage-and-revenue-1H-2018-per-country-final-17-Jan-2019.pdf

The Canadian Wireless Story: Comparative Data Shows World’s Highest Carrier Revenues Per SIM

Tefficient, a European-based consultancy on the wireless market, released its latest report this morning comparing pricing and usage in the global wireless market. The data, which incorporates the most recent CRTC numbers on the Canadian market, shows Canada as a global outlier when it comes to the revenues generated by wireless carriers. The report notes the unsurprising correlation between high prices and low data usage:

There is a prerequisite for continued data usage growth, though: The total revenue per gigabyte can’t be too high – like in Canada and Belgium. The total revenue per gigabyte here is roughly 70 times higher than in India and 23 times higher than in Finland. And consequently, mobile usage is lower than average.

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January 22, 2019 18 comments News
Lalalala.. I don't wanna hear this! by Hilde Skjølberg (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4PZ6L3

Sunlight on the Submissions: Why the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel Should Reverse Its Secretive Approach

The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review panel’s surprising decision to keep the 2,200 public submissions secret for months has had immediate repercussions. Some organizations are refusing to disclose their submissions until the panel does and others have noted the missed opportunity for public discussion of a vitally important issue. To date, about 30 submissions have been posted, a tiny percentage of the total. The decision has had an impact on university courses and predictably created an information asymmetry with some companies cherry-picking who gets to see their submission.

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January 18, 2019 5 comments News
Top Secret by Michelangelo Carrieri (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/8xzAnc

Why So Secret?: Government’s Communications Law Panel Plans to Keep Public Submissions Under Wraps for Months

The deadline for submissions to the government’s Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel passed last week. I posted my submission yesterday, joined by several other organizations representing differing perspectives (CRTC, CBC, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, Writers Guild of Canada, Internet Society Canada Chapter, CMCRP). However, public availability of submissions will apparently be the exception for the foreseeable future. The panel has rejected an open and transparent policy making process in which public submissions are publicly available, choosing instead to keep the submissions secret for months.

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January 15, 2019 4 comments News
internet by j f grossen (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4obWYe

All About the Internet: My Submission to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel on the Future of Canadian Communications Law

The deadline for submissions to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel closed on Friday with a handful of organizations such as the CRTC, CBC, and Friends of Canadian Broadcasting posting their submissions online. My full submission can be found here.  I argue that Canada’s regulatory approach should be guided by a single, core principle: communications policy, whether telecommunications or broadcasting, is now – or will soon become –  Internet policy. This emerging communications world is mediated through the Internet and communications regulatory choices are therefore fundamentally about regulating or governing the Internet. My submission identifies four goals that should guide Canadian communications law and regulation:

1.    Universal, affordable access to the network
2.    Level regulatory playing field
3.    Regulatory humility
4.    Fostering competitiveness in the communications sector

The executive summary on each of the four issue is posted below, followed by a list of 23 recommendations contained in the submission. In the coming days, I’ll have posts that unpack some of the key issues.

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January 14, 2019 5 comments News