The Liberals have issued a noteworthy release calling for better competition and service for wireless and Internet services in Canada. The party says there is a real competition problem that calls for "concrete proposals to lower prices and improve cell phone and Internet service for urban and rural Canadians." The specific recommendations include:
- clear guidelines to facilitate tower-sharing and roaming agreements for new entrants
- re-instating the cellphone cost calculator to provide greater transparency
- adopt clear net neutrality principles and regulations. The proposed neutrality principles include "all internet networks, including wireless networks, must treat all lawful content, applications and services in a non-discriminatory manner." The policy also calls for full disclosure of network management practices
- new regulations for wholesale Internet services and encourage investment in Internet infrastructure
The release demonstrates the increasing political attention to digital economy issues and mounting concern over Canada's lagging performance. Given yesterday's CRTC decision involving Globalive, it would be useful for the party to state its position on foreign ownership restrictions for telecom providers as there is an urgent need to address the issue of injecting new competition into the Canadian marketplace.