The state of Internet access in Canada has been the subject of considerable debate in recent years as consumers and businesses alike assess whether Canada has kept pace with the need for universal access to fast, affordable broadband. What is now beyond debate is that there are still hundreds of thousands of Canadians without access to broadband services from local providers and that for those that have access, actual speeds may be lower than advertised and below the targets set by the CRTC, Canada’s broadcast and telecommunications regulator.
CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, manages the dot-ca domain and has played an increasingly important role on Internet policy matters. CIRA recently submitted a report on the urban-rural broadband divide as part of a CRTC process on potential barriers to broadband in underserved areas. Josh Tabish from CIRA joins me this week on the podcast to discuss the IPT, the CRTC submission, and the future of universal access to broadband in Canada.
Read more ›
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the organization that manages the dot-ca domain, launched its annual board of director election earlier today. The week-long vote is open to all registered members (anyone with a dot-ca domain registration can become a registered member for free, but must have become a member before the start of the election in order to vote). I was voted onto the board in 2012 and have been nominated to serve as another term by the nominating committee. I need your support as I find myself on the ballot alongside some excellent candidates this year, including former CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein, former Industry Canada executive Helen McDonald, community organizer Marita Moll, and current board members such as CNOC’s Bill Sandiford and Bill Gibson.
I hope that all dot-ca members will take the time to vote since the CIRA board plays an important role on a wide range of digital policy issues, including Internet governance. When I ran for the CIRA board in 2012, I made my primary goal very clear: CIRA generates considerable revenues, has a public interest mandate, and should actively engage the Canadian public in fulfillment of that mandate.
Read more ›
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority has launched another round of its Community Investment Program (I am on the CIRA board and chair the committee that reviews funding applications). Last year, the CIP allocated over $1 million in funding toward 29 different proposals that included support for infrastructure, new online services, research initiatives, and digital literacy programs. Those projects are still ongoing but that has not stopped CIRA from opening the door to a new round of funding. The application system is now open with applications accepted until March 6, 2015. Apply today!
Read more ›
The annual election for the Canadian Internet Registration Authority board of directors opened last week, with voting ongoing until September 24th. All CIRA members (anyone with a dot-ca domain is eligible to become a member) are entitled to vote. I am currently a member of the board having been elected in 2012. Over the past year, CIRA has made great strides in better fulfilling its public interest mandate, most notably by launching the Community Investment Program. The CIP provided grants to 29 organizations for Internet and technology related projects, allocating over $1 million in the process. I was the chair of the committee and was proud of the wide range of projects and initiatives that will benefit from CIRA funding.
Read more ›
Earlier this year, a group of U.S. litigants launched an unusual domain name lawsuit. The group consisted of family members of victims of terror attacks they claim were sponsored by the governments of Iran, Syria, and North Korea. The group had succeeded in winning over a billion dollars in damages in several lawsuits filed in U.S. courts.
Unable to collect, they sued the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body that administers the Internet’s domain name system. Their goal: seize the dot-ir, dot-sy, and dot-kp domain name extensions (the respective country-code domains) by ordering ICANN to transfer them as compensation.
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the notion of seizing a country’s domain name extension may sound implausible, but the case is proceeding through the U.S. court system with ICANN filing a brief late last month. ICANN is unsurprisingly seeking to dismiss the case, arguing that the domain name extensions are not property that is capable of seizure (I am a board member of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, Canada’s dot-ca administrator, but this article represents my own views and not those of CIRA).
Read more ›