Mark Goldberg

The Canadian Telecom Summit
Fox Group Dispatch

Canada’s ICT leadership

Guy LaurenceJanet KennedyWe’re excited to announce that 2 very high profile, senior ICT executives have joined the roster of The 2014 Canadian Telecom Summit.

Guy Laurence, the new CEO of Rogers Communications, and Janet Kennedy, new President of Microsoft Canada will both deliver keynote addresses at The Canadian Telecom Summit on June 16.

This is certainly the first time that these 2 personalities have been on the same program and we are really excited to be able to bring them to you.

The most influential leaders of the Canadian & International ICT industry will gather in Toronto from June 16-18 at The 2014 Canadian Telecom Summit. Alone, any of our keynote speakers would be well worth listening to. The Canadian Telecom Summit brings over a dozen keynote address – and more than 50 panelists – over 3 unmatched days of presentations, discussions, sharing ideas, forming relationships and even deal-making.

Don’t forget to register to secure your place. It is the only event you need to attend this year.

Be sure to watch for more blockbuster announcements over the coming days!

Looking at spectrum more strategically

The UK is somewhat ahead of Canada in its government thinking on digital strategy matters.

In 2009, the British government released a 245 page report entitled Digital Britain [pdf]. I wrote about the report a few times in early 2009, including a post that observed:

It seems that there are lots of studies, but it is hard to find a clear statement of vision for Canada’s digital future. As we invest in measures to jump start job creation, what concrete measures will affirm Canadian leadership in a global digital economy.

Five years later, just 2 weeks ago, Canada released Digital Canada 150, subtitled “A Plan for Canada’s Digital Future”.

I encourage you to examine the two documents side-by-side and compare.

In the meantime, Britain has continued to develop its strategic thinking on digital issues.

A colleague has pointed out a 50-page report [pdf] released a few weeks ago, outlining the UK’s Spectrum Strategy, “Delivering the best value from spectrum for the UK“. The Ministerial forward to this report starts with a statement that Spectrum is “hugely valuable,” worth over £50bn a year to the UK economy.

Our vision is for use of spectrum to double its annual contribution to the economy by 2025 through offering business the access it needs to innovate and grow, and everyone in the UK the services they need to live their lives to the full. That is why we need UK Spectrum Strategy now, to set the framework to help us make the right choices in the years to 2025 and beyond.

The report presents a level of transparency and depth of thought that is refreshing to read. How does Canada compare?

Canada has had a spectrum policy in place since 2007. The Spectrum Policy Framework for Canada was approved in 2007 by then Industry Minister Maxime Bernier and released at The Canadian Telecom Summit. The Enabling Guidelines section is an interesting read in view of how spectrum is being managed:

  1. Market forces should be relied upon to the maximum extent feasible.
  2. Notwithstanding (a), spectrum should be made available for a range of services that are in the public interest.
  3. Spectrum should be made available to support Canadian sovereignty, security and public safety needs.
  4. Regulatory measures, where required, should be minimally intrusive, efficient and effective.
  5. Regulation should be open, transparent and reasoned, and developed through public consultation, where appropriate.
  6. Spectrum management practices, including licensing methods, should minimize administrative burden and be responsive to changing technology and market place demands.
  7. Canada’s spectrum resource interests should be actively advanced and defended internationally.
  8. Spectrum policy and management should support the efficient functioning of markets by:
    • permitting the flexible use of spectrum to the extent possible;
    • harmonizing spectrum use with international allocations and standards, except where Canadian interests warrant a different determination;
    • making spectrum available for use in a timely fashion;
    • facilitating secondary markets for spectrum authorizations;
    • clearly defining the obligations and privileges conveyed in spectrum authorizations;
    • ensuring that appropriate interference protection measures are in place;
    • reallocating spectrum where appropriate, while taking into account the impact on existing services; and
    • applying enforcement that is timely, effective and commensurate with the risks posed by non-compliance.

It isn’t clear that we are closely following the Framework or its enabling guidelines.

Transparency (item “e”) is an important element of our stated spectrum policy, but we can do better. The government is overdue in publishing the public inputs in its recent Antenna Tower Siting Procedures consultation that closed March 31. In addition, we are still waiting for disclosure of round-by-round bidding for the 700 MHz auction, promised in the 700 MHz Licensing Framework. Two months after the auction concluded, the promised details have not been published.

How consistently has the government applied its spectrum policy?

There are recent news stories of companies looking for Industry Canada to follow US spectrum allocations at a faster pace. How are Canadians being served by our current policies?

The people who will lead the development of Canada’s digital future are gathering in Toronto from June 16-18 at The 2014 Canadian Telecom Summit. Now in its 13th year, this year’s event will explore a theme of “Future-proofing Our Place in a Digital World”, examining the technologies, services, systems, regulations and policies that are at the foundation of a global digital economy.

It is the only conference you need to attend, and it all gets started just 2 months from today. Have you registered yet?

Continuing education

How do you stay on top of all the issues facing the communications and information technology sectors? Anti-spam, lawful access, cyber attacks, privacy, intellectual property, the evolution of media, digital literacy, convergence and consolidation, mobile commerce, internet of things, e-health, and so much more.

Only one conference brings together so many leaders representing the broadest range of stakeholders in Canada’s digital economy.

How do you stay on top? You should attend The 2014 Canadian Telecom Summit, taking place June 16-18 in Toronto.

Lawyers who need Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits are able to claim time spent attending “substantive” sessions at the conference as “Substantive Hours” toward the Law Society’s CPD requirements.

There are sessions covering all of the major issues. More than a dozen featured keynote speakers; panel discussions covering a wide variety of issues. In addition to our Regulatory Blockbuster, sessions include: The Continuing Evolution of TV; Cloud, Big Data and the Transformative Power of the Network; Cyber Defense; Competition in Telecom; Customer Experience Management; Converged Business Models; The Digitization of Canada’s Economy; Rage of the Machine: The growth of NFC, M2M, Mobile Commerce & More; and the CIO/CTO Roundtable.

How do you and your staff stay on top? Just register for The 2014 Canadian Telecom Summit.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Register now

AdFor 3 days, June 16-18, the leadership of the telecom, broadcast & IT industries will converge at the Toronto Congress Centre to discuss the key issues and trends that will impact this critical sector of the economy. Join 500 of your peers, partners, suppliers, policy makers, regulators, customers and competitors in attending telecom’s most important gathering.

Now in its 13th year, The Canadian Telecom Summit has become the place for Canada’s ICT leaders to meet, interact and do business. As in past years, this year’s event will feature high-octane interaction, top-level keynote speakers and thought-provoking panel discussions. Plan to join us.

Future-proofing our place in a digital world: As connectivity expands to include billions of devices and machines in our homes and businesses, how does Canada stake out a leading position in an increasingly digital world? How do our networks and our industry need to change?

The 2014 Canadian Telecom Summit‘s keynote speakers and panelists will address these points, giving you a chance to hear about service deployment, what is in store for next generation business models, and underlying all of this, the technologies that continue to drive the industry forward.

The Canadian Telecom Summit always features cutting-edge topics for its panel discussions. This year, in addition to its ever popular Regulatory Blockbuster, we are featuring sessions devoted to:

  • The Continuing Evolution of TV;
  • Cloud, Big Data and the Transformative Power of the Network;
  • Cyber Defense;
  • Competition in Telecom;
  • Customer Experience Management;
  • Converged Business Models;
  • The Digitization of Canada’s Economy;
  • Rage of the Machine: The growth of NFC, M2M, Mobile Commerce & More; and
  • CIO/CTO Roundtable.

With so much public attention focused on telecommunications and the digital economy, no other event is quite like The Canadian Telecom Summit in covering the industry from every angle.

The Canadian Telecom Summit has something for everyone! Meet with your suppliers, customers and peers for 3 full days of thought provoking interaction.

It all takes place just 10 weeks from now. Register today.

Getting digital policy right

A lot of commentators have expressed views on last Friday’s release of Digital Canada 150, the long awaited national digital strategy, such as Michael Geist’s article in the Toronto Star.

It is worth reviewing the 1-hour video of the release and follow-up interview with Industry Minister Moore, which has been archived. Fascinating remarks.

The Minister’s prepared remarks are available from the Industry Canada website. I think there are interesting insights that emerged from the interview that begins around the 23:00 mark on the video.

There are remarkably candid comments from the Minister at the 38:30 mark on the video, when he was asked about the outcomes being sought by taking action on wholesale roaming fees and TV channel unbundling.

Choice, choice and more choice. And competition of course on the first one (on the roaming fees). This has been a longstanding gap and to be self-critical, I wish we had moved on this file, on the roaming fees, much sooner, because it actually may have had a material impact on the scene right now in Canada’s wireless world, but it matters and will still matter going forward.

It is an important statement that merits further examination, and demonstrates how important it is for the government to get its rules right. Are the right rules in place now? If these rules had been in place when the AWS spectrum was first auctioned, how would the marketplace be different today?

Digital Canada 150 was four years in the making. Read the report [pdf], watch the video and consider how we are creating a framework for Canada’s leadership in a digital enabled world.

I expect that there will be much discussion of the strategy at The Canadian Telecom Summit, June 16-18 in Toronto as we explore the theme of “Future-proofing Our Place in a Digital World.” Have you registered yet? Take advantage of reduced rate registration prices in effect through the end of April.

What are your thoughts on Digital Canada 150? Your comments are welcome.