Emerson on Broadband

Industry Minister David Emerson used a speech in Toronto yesterday to emphasize the need to prioritize broadband access nationwide.  This issue has unfortunately stalled in recent years as Canada has seen its global ranking decline.  It is therefore encouraging to hear Emerson state that:

"We’ve also been a leader in supporting and providing the electronic infrastructure that connects Canadians to the global information economy. We’ve extended broadband to hundreds of communities and we’ve supported super broadband connectivity among schools, universities and research organizations in Canada and internationally.

Unfortunately, our high international ranking has begun slipping.

I cannot say this enough.

It is absolutely essential that broadband access be extended further into remote and isolated communities. Without Internet access today, people and communities are simply not in the game. They’re not able to join the economic mainstream, or even to fully access opportunities for health care and education. We need to finish the job, here in Ontario and across the country."

For those wondering about copyright references, the speech makes only a very brief reference to the issue, as copyright is lumped together with competition policy, bankruptcy reform, and patent law, which are all described as "the shock absorbers of a vibrant, changing economy." I assume this is an attempt to say something about these issues, but to ensure that the something is nothing.

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