In the Berkman Center’s 2010 report on “Next Generation Connectivity,” the Harvard-based think tank classified Canada as a case of “regulatory hesitation,” due to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s less-than-enthusiastic willingness to discipline incumbent firms. This week’s release on wireless from the CRTC shows just how far we’ve come since then, but also highlights […]

In the beginning of November, CRTC Chairman JP Blais delivered a comprehensive speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade. The topic was a familiar one: trust the regulator to succeed in its quest to seek out, define, and ultimately to defend the public interest. Indeed, Mr. Blais has made his goal clear from the beginning […]

It used to be that universal telephone service was achieved through a cross subsidy flowing from business to residential users. Businesses were heavy users of long distance services, which were provided above cost to ensure that all Canadians had access to local telephone service. That practice went out the window with the introduction of competition, […]

In a bygone era of telecommunications policy, the Canadian state conferred regional monopoly privileges on companies such as Bell Canada and B.C. Tel (today Telus), and in return those companies were required to meet certain social goals, perhaps the most well known of which was universal service. Some might call this part of a “regulatory bargain.” […]

On June 19, omnibus budget bill C-31 received Royal Assent, amending (among many other things) the Telecommunications Act to include provisions capping the wholesale roaming rates carriers charge each other at no greater than last years’ retail rates. You may remember that reducing roaming rates was pegged as a government priority in last fall’s throne […]

Paul Goodrick of the Canadian Spectrum Policy Research group has written an excellent article about this year’s Canadian Telecom Summit  – you should check it out. The focus was mainly on the much-touted “Regulatory Blockbuster,” and Paul’s piece puts on display his superb ability to analytically distill complex arguments. The video (along with others) is […]

This week, Statistics Canada released some results from its “Residential Telephone Service Survey.” Last conducted in 2010, the 2013 figures are notable because they show that “wireless substitution” is picking up steam, especially amongst those younger than 35 years of age. The report notes that “Total cell phone use, whether used exclusively or in combination […]

Chances are you have a love-hate relationship with your wireless provider: you love being able to use your smartphone wherever you go, but hate the high prices that companies like Bell and Rogers charge for service. If you’re like many Canadians, you use your smartphone or tablet to access the Internet. In fact, three out […]

Adapted from my reply to the CRTC’s proceeding on whether wireless carriers unfairly disadvantage Canadians’ use of the mobile Internet. Yesterday, the record of that proceeding came to a close, and now the Commission will weigh the evidence and make a decision.  ~ Canada, we have a problem. It is a problem which affects the millions […]

“I was once in a meeting of very learned and ingenious physicians, where by chance there arose a question, whether any liquor passed through the filaments of the nerves. The debate having been managed a good while, by variety of arguments on both sides, I (who had been used to suspect, that the greatest part […]


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