Canadian Telecom Summit: Will you be there? Probably not.

In his latest blog post, telecom industry consultant Mark Goldberg writes:

The Canadian Telecom Summit is where leaders of the industry join regulators, policy makers, suppliers, colleagues, customers and competitors to discuss the issues that impact the development of Canada’s digital economy.”

Register now! It’ll only set you back $2,260, unless you miss the early bird “discount” in which case the price of admission rises to $2,825. At those rates, it’s unlikely that many “customers” will be voicing their opinion on issues that impact them.

The demographic attending this conference will more likely be pretty homogenous: middle aged executives wearing expensive suits, patting themselves on the back for their tireless service to the Canadian public.

Regulators and “industry leaders” will definitely be there – but those job descriptions are rarely mutually exclusive I’m afraid.

Mark goes on:

“This year marks 20 years of competition in  telecommunications services in Canada. Canada’s wireline and wireless carriers, large and small, cable and telephone companies, have followed different strategies to continue to grow, delivering value to their customers and shareholders.”

Anyone who read my last post might be thinking: “Huh? Competition? 20 years? Different strategies? Delivering Value?”

There’s always been competition of varying degrees in the Canadian telecom market; 20 years ago just marks the date that Rogers and Bell decided they’d split up the pie. Telus, which before it was Telus was BCTel, privately owned monopoly provider in British Columbia, had a pretty big appetite too, so now they’re splitting it three ways.

Different strategies, eh? I know of only one: the companies represented at this summit have been doing their best to squash the real competition for the last century.

There’s more:

“What is ahead? How will government policies impact the development and adoption of ICTs in Canada? How will Canadians find their place in creating and consuming digital content?”

We already know the answers to these questions. What is ahead? You mean what are Bell, Rogers and Telus doing to keep their grip on the market. How will policies impact development? More like how will corporate development impact policy. How will Canadians find their place? You mean what kind of place are telco’s going to make for us.

The real question they’ll be asking themselves is how to get customers to smile as they hand over their paycheques.

So why does Mark often end his posts with this cordial invitation:

“You need to be at The 2012 Canadian Telecom Summit in June. Have you registered yet?”

Well, at nearly $3,000 a ticket, I’ll leave that answer up to you.

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