Net neutrality featured prominently in the launch of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel in 2018 with the government release stating “the review will be guided by the principle of net neutrality and will explore opportunities to further enshrine in legislation the principles of net neutrality in the provision and carriage of all telecommunications services.” The panel report includes a section on net neutrality which affirms support for the principle and which features two recommendations – one calls for a policy objective in the Telecommunications Act “to reflect the duty to safeguard open Internet access in Canada” and a second that calls on the CRTC to increase data gathering and reporting on open Internet access policies.
Post Tagged with: "bains"
The CRTC Knows Best: Panel Report Recommends Costly Overhaul of Canadian Communications Law to Regulate Internet Sites and Services Worldwide
The Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel released its much anticipated report yesterday with a vision of a highly regulated Internet in which an expanded CRTC (or a renamed Canadian Communications Commission) would aggressively assert its jurisdictional power over Internet sites and services worldwide with the power to levy massive penalties for failure to comply with its regulatory edicts. The recommendations should be rejected by Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains and Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault as both unnecessary to support a thriving cultural sector and inconsistent with a government committed to innovation and freedom of expression.
Canada has a well-earned reputation for some of the highest wireless prices in the world with numerous comparative studies finding that consumers pay relatively high prices for low amounts of data. There are obviously many factors behind pricing, but for many consumers the top line issue is how much does the wireless service cost and how much data do I get? Rewheel Research, a Finland based consultancy, has been at the forefront of pricing comparisons with extensive analysis of mobile data pricing in countries around the world. Its reports have often called out Canada, recently noting that prices are “a world apart” from more competitive markets. With Canadian telco giant Telus commissioning a study to challenge the Rewheel research, I’m joined this week on the Lawbytes podcast by Antonios Drossos, managing partner of the firm, who talked to me from Helsinki about their findings, what lies behind Canada’s wireless pricing, and the Telus-backed study.
What is the Point of the Broadcast and Telecom Legislative Review if the Government Has Already Decided What It Intends To Do?
The Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel released its interim report – What We Heard – yesterday alongside the long-overdue release of the written submissions to the panel. The report doesn’t contain any surprises given that the various positions on key telecom and broadcast issues are well known. While the panel is set to deliver its final report in January 2020, there is increasing reason to suspect that the government (if re-elected) has already decided what it wants to do.
No Longer a “Proposed” Telecom Policy Direction: Government Resets Canadian Telecom Policy With Emphasis on Broader Approach to Competition
Earlier this year, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains sent shockwaves through the Canadian telecom industry by unveiling a proposed new policy direction to the CRTC based on competition, affordability, consumer interests, and innovation (my original post on the proposed direction here, podcast with Teksavvy’s Andy-Kaplan Myrth here). The big three telecom providers unsurprisingly objected to the government’s shift away from facilities-based competition toward a broader approach that welcomed all forms of competition. That shift signalled support for entry of new competitors such as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), a signal that the CRTC understood with its new-found support for them.