Mark Goldberg


www.mhgoldberg.com





The Canadian Telecom Summit

Fox Group Dispatch

In 6 weeks, it’s all over

Have you registered for The 2016 Canadian Telecom Summit, taking place June 6-8 in Toronto? In less than 6 weeks, Canada’s top information and communications technology and services conference will open.

More than 60 leaders who shape Canada’s ICT industry will speak at The 2016 Canadian Telecom Summit, June 6-8 in Toronto. The event will include over a dozen keynote addresses offering insights into the future of Canadian ICT, examining the services, technologies, consumer & business trends and regulatory & policy initiatives that drive the information economy.

This year, in addition to the ever popular Regulatory Blockbuster, the event is featuring sessions devoted to:

  • Cyber Security;
  • Big Data & Analytics;
  • Future of Work;
  • Customer Experience Management;
  • The Network Revolution;
  • Strengthening Canada’s Digital Advantage; and
  • Personalizing Entertainment & Information.

With so much public attention focused on telecommunications & broadcast issues, no other event is quite like The 2016 Canadian Telecom Summit in covering the industry from every angle.

Now in its 15th year, The Canadian Telecom Summit has become Canada’s most important annual ICT event, attracting attendees from around the world.

Prices go up May 1, so register now in order to save $250.

Visit the conference website for more information: www.telecomsummit.com.

Limits of power

Can the CRTC order a carrier to build broadband facilities where no service exists?

How much power does Canada’s telecom regulator actually wield if it decides to add broadband to the list of basic services?

This is turning into an important question as the Commission approaches the end of the 3 week-long oral phase of its “Review of basic telecommunications services.”

Late Monday afternoon, I replied to a stream on Twitter that was discussing how the CRTC could order phone companies to dig into their profits to fund universal broadband. I commented that the CRTC can create incentives for people to build facilities, but it lacked the power to order a company to build where it didn’t want to:

It appears that the CRTC also wants to clarify the extent of its powers. In a letter to parties in the proceeding, the Commission asks for “views, along with supporting rationale, on the Commission’s legal authority as it relates to certain aspects of retail broadband Internet access services”, including:

  1. its jurisdiction to mandate the provision of broadband Internet access service in areas where such speeds are not available, in areas where facilities exist but can’t deliver such speeds as well as areas where new facilities would have to be built;
  2. the CRTC’s ability to use the “unjust discrimination or undue disadvantage” provisions of the Telecom Act where a carrier provides services to some people in its operating territory but not to everyone; and,
  3. the CRTC’s authority to set a price ceiling on entry-level broadband services.

The CRTC did not ask for comment on the question of upon which carriers an obligation to build may fall. Would it be the so-called incumbent phone company? In Canada, cable companies were first to offer broadband. In some areas, it is a local wireless internet service provider who is the “incumbent” broadband service provider, some of which received government funding to establish service. So, where is the definition of a carrier’s operating territory and upon which carrier or carriers would the CRTC impose an obligation to build?

Comments are due to be submitted to the CRTC May 5.

Ultimately, the Court will decide if the government has the power to order a company to build facilities where it doesn’t want to.


[Update: April 26, 2:00 pm]
In 2010, the issue of Commission powers was raised and 2 legal opinions were filed. Bell filed an Opinion authored by Michael Ryan of Arnold & Porter; PIAC filed an Opinion authored by Barbara A. Cherry, J.D., Ph.D.

The documents have been uploaded to Scribd, from their original sources: the Ryan Memorandum was Appendix 3 of Bell’s 26 April 2010 evidence [2.5MB zip]; the Cherry Memorandum was filed as part of a PIAC interrogatory response PIAC(TELUS)20May10-3 [140 KB zip].

Thanks to a neighbour for pointing to the earlier process

[Update: April 26, 2:30 pm]
Another Opinion prepared by Tamir Israel and oline Twiss was filed by CIPPIC in its August 30 (2010) evidence [275KB zip]

Does cyber security keep you up at night?

Are you insecure about the security of your networks?

You should be.

A breech of your network could be very costly for your company and your own job security. Consumers are concerned about the way their personal information is being handled.

A new survey was released this morning by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Ipsos, showing that consumers are increasingly worried about their online privacy and security, especially when it comes to ‎how their personal data is handled by private corporations and governments.

When asked about online privacy, a majority of global citizens (57%) were more concerned about their online privacy compared to one year ago, with only a minority of global citizens (38%) trusting that their activities on the Internet were not monitored…

The study found 5 out of 6 people appear to have changed their online behaviour in an effort to control the amount of personal information that is being shared online. This includes minor changes such as avoiding opening emails from unknown email addresses (55%) to more substantial changes such as doing fewer online financial transactions (23%), or even using the Internet less often (11%).

These kind of concerns are why The 2016 Canadian Telecom Summit [June 6-8, Toronto] will feature a number of sessions examining the related issues of privacy and security.

Fen Hampson, director of CIGI’s Global Security & Politics Program said “Internet users are expressing a clear lack of trust in the current set of rules and, more importantly, in the actors that oversee the sharing and use of personal data online.” The CIGI study found only three in ten (30%) respondents agreed that their own government is currently doing enough to keep personal information secure and safe from private companies and similarly, three in ten (31%) agreed that private companies are doing enough to keep personal information secure and safe from governments. The full report can be found here.

If you are insecure about network and data security, you should be planning to attend The 2016 Canadian Telecom Summit.

If you aren’t concerned about network and data security, then you really, really need to be there.

Register before May 1 and save more than $250. Download the conference brochure or visit the conference website for the latest updates to the schedule.

The 2016 Canadian Telecom Summit is just 7 weeks away. Have you registered yet?

Seems to always comes down to money

“What are the telecommunications services that we consider to be so important, so essential, so fundamentally basic that they merit a subsidy to ensure universal access.” That was how I described the CRTC’s “Review of basic telecommunications services” in a series of interviews I did for CBC Radio on Monday.

In effect, I was saying that it comes down to money.

I wrote before that “One home’s subsidy is another home’s cost“. Some of the witnesses are talking about very serious levels of “investment” in broadband – enough to run Canada’s military for years, in the words of CRTC Vice-Chair Menzies.

In the words of CRTC Chair Blais:

The federal government’s recent budget announced investments to improve the availability of broadband Internet services across the country. These investments are in addition to the funding granted in the past.

On top of that, there are the financial resources that provincial governments, municipalities and band councils from coast to coast are devoting to broadband, not to mention the investments made by the private sector to improve and expand network coverage.

The point of these opening comments from the Chair was that there are a lot of agencies, at various levels of government, all working on the issue of enhancing broadband access and adoption. There is a lot of money being spent already on broadband.

One home’s subsidy is another home’s cost.

When the CRTC looked at this question in its 2010 basic services consultation, it decided to “continue to rely on market forces and targeted government funding” when it determined “that it would not be appropriate at this time to establish a funding mechanism to subsidize the deployment of broadband Internet access services.”

In his opening remarks, the Chair challenged witnesses to provide evidence of why that approach, by the CRTC, should not be continued:

The CRTC therefore issues the following challenge to the parties: demonstrate to us, using evidence, that the public interest and the specific situation in each region justify action by the CRTC. Explain to us why market forces are currently insufficient to respond to the public’s needs.

Have you heard testimony that met the challenge?

Less than 8 weeks to go

Come meet the leaders!

More than 60 leaders who shape Canada’s ICT industry will speak at The 2016 Canadian Telecom Summit, June 6-8 in Toronto. The event will include over a dozen keynote addresses offering insights into the future of Canadian ICT, examining the services, technologies, consumer & business trends and regulatory & policy initiatives that drive the information economy.

This year, in addition to the ever popular Regulatory Blockbuster, we are featuring sessions devoted to:

  • Cyber Security;
  • Big Data & Analytics;
  • Future of Work;
  • Customer Experience Management;
  • The Network Revolution;
  • Strengthening Canada’s Digital Advantage; and
  • Personalizing Entertainment & Information.

With so much public attention focused on telecommunications & broadcast issues, no other event is quite like The 2016 Canadian Telecom Summit in covering the industry from every angle.

Now in its 15th year, The Canadian Telecom Summit has become Canada’s most important annual ICT event, attracting attendees from around the world.

For 3 days, The Canadian Telecom Summit delivers thought provoking presentations from the prime movers of the industry. This is your chance to hear from and talk with them in both a structured atmosphere of frank discussion and high-octane idea exchange and network in a more relaxed social setting of genial conversation.

After being immersed in a full program of keynotes and panel discussions, plan to attend our not-to-be-missed Cocktail Reception, June 6, sponsored this year by Rogers. This is a chance to unwind, enjoy some delicious food & drink, catch up with colleagues and make new professional acquaintances.

Come meet with leaders from services and equipment suppliers, applications developers, policy makers, regulators and major customers.

Book your seat early.

The Canadian Telecom Summit is the only event you need to attend.

Save $250 by registering before May 1.

For more details, visit the conference website or download the complete conference brochure.

Continuing Professional Development: The time spent attending substantive sessions at The Canadian Telecom Summit can be claimed as “Substantive Hours” toward the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.