Mark Goldberg


www.mhgoldberg.com





The Canadian Telecom Summit

Fox Group Dispatch

What are you doing next week?

Some of the most influential leaders of the Canadian & International ICT industry will gather in Toronto, June 1-3, at The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit.

No other event matches The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit for the depth and breadth of topics covered and issues debated.

No other event presents a complete picture of current and expected trends & developments.

You will see why The Canadian Telecom Summit has become the only must-attend conference.

With more opportunities than ever to learn, network and do business, if you are involved with or impacted by Canadian telecommunications, broadcasting and information technology, you need to be at The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit.

Join your colleagues for 3 days of spirited discussion and networking, including our Monday evening Cocktail Reception sponsored by Nokia.

Register today for The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit.

Meet the new boss at Bell Media

Mary Ann Turcke_2015_cMary Ann Turcke will deliver her first speech as President of Bell Media in a luncheon address on June 3 at The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit.

Renowned for a wide breadth of executive leadership roles and team building skills, Ms. Turcke was previously Group President, Media Sales, Local TV and Radio, where she leveraged Bell Media properties and brands across all platforms to support its strong position in the competitive advertising marketplace. A member of the Women’s Executive Network Hall of Fame and named the 2015 Woman of the Year by Women in Communications and Technology, Ms. Turcke serves on the advisory board of the Queen’s School of Business and on the capital campaign for Queen’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

Mary Ann Turcke is one of 18 keynote speakers, joining more than 50 additional ICT industry leaders who will be speaking on panels at The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit, taking place June 1-3, in Toronto. You can view the complete conference program or download the brochure.

Have you registered yet?

@FCC_CIO @ #CTS15

The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit is pleased to announce that it has added a keynote address by Dr. David Bray, Chief Information Officer, Federal Communications Commission to its schedule for Monday June 1.

Dr. Bray began working for the U.S. government at age 15 on computer simulations at a Department of Energy facility. In later roles he designed new telemedicine interfaces and space-based forest fire forecasting prototypes for the Department of Defense. From 1998-2000 he volunteered as an occasional crew lead with Habitat for Humanity International in the Philippines, Honduras, Romania, and Nepal while also working as a project manager with Yahoo! and a Microsoft partner firm. He then joined as IT Chief for the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading the program’s technology response to during 9/11, anthrax in 2001, Severe Acute Respiratory System in 2003, and other international public health emergencies. He later completed a PhD in Information Systems from Emory University and two post-doctoral associateships at MIT and Harvard in 2008.

In 2009, Dr. Bray volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan to help “think differently” on military and humanitarian issues and in 2010 became a Senior National Intelligence Service Executive advocating for increased information interoperability, cybersecurity, and protection of civil liberties. In 2012, Dr. Bray became the Executive Director for the bipartisan National Commission for Review of Research and Development Programs of the United States Intelligence Community, later receiving the National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal. He received both the Arthur S. Flemming Award and Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership in 2013. He also was chosen to be an Eisenhower Fellow to meet with leaders in Taiwan and Australia on multisector cyber strategies for the “Internet of Everything” in 2015.

Dr. Bray has served as the Chief Information Officer for the Federal Communications Commission, leading FCC’s IT Transformation since 2013. He was selected to serve as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and as a Visiting Associate for the Cybersecurity Working Group on Culture at the University of Oxford in 2014.

He also has been named one of the “Fed 100″ for 2015 and the “Most Social CIO” globally for 2015, tweeting as @fcc_cio.

Dr. Bray is one of 18 keynote speakers, joining more than 50 additional ICT industry leaders who will be speaking on panels at The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit, taking place June 1-3, in Toronto.

Have you registered yet?

Are you coming to meet the leaders?

Left Keynote 20150523Right Keynote 20150523Where do you plan to be June 1-3?

All of these individuals – on the left and the right side of this page – will be speaking at The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit, June 1-3, in Toronto.

This is as prestigious a line-up of keynote speakers as ever to grace a Canadian ICT conference. Along with another 50 panelists, these leading executives will share their big picture visions of where we are headed as an industry.

What role will their companies play and how will Canadian information and communications technology transform our business and personal lives?

And you will have a chance to ask questions, share your thoughts and engage in give-and-take with our speakers and the other attendees at The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit.

Networking and Learning. Forming Relationships and Exchanging Views. Challenging and Listening.

All of this and more is what makes The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit the must-attend event of the year.

Service providers, equipment & solutions vendors, application providers, professional services organizations, end-users, financial analysts, government and investors. All will be present at The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit.

And so should you.

Register today for The 2015 Canadian Telecom Summit.

Visit http://www.telecomsummit.com to register today.

We acknowledge the support of the following organizations:

Sponsors 20150520

Affordable broadband isn’t just a rural issue

Access to broadband internet service isn’t an issue for the vast majority of Canadians. Almost all Canadians have access to superfast broadband. Still, so many people focus on the “supply” side of the adoption calculation, rather than the much more difficult question of stimulating “demand”.

As a result, a number of articles attack the government for setting “unambitious” goals for its broadband strategy [Digital Canada 150, 3MB pdf], without understanding the real challenges of providing broadband service in rural markets (see “Rural broadband isn’t easy“).

There are companies making substantial investments to improve rural broadband coverage and service quality. The release of the 2500 MHz spectrum auction results last week saw millions of dollars being invested by Xplornet and Corridor Communications to improve the reach and speeds for their broadband services.

The biggest challenge restricting Canadians’ ability to participate meaningfully in the digital economy isn’t access to broadband, it is the question of affordability.

How do we determine what is affordable? Of course, we all want to pay less that what we are paying today. Affordability isn’t measured by what we want to pay, but more by what we are willing to pay. In the interests of rural and urban parity, people sometimes point to the prices being charged in urban markets as an appropriate target for affordable broadband service.

The problem is that there simply isn’t a “one size fits all” price point for universal broadband. Should a system of subsidies be set up to bring rural pricing down to urban levels? Such a “geographic-based” system appears to be premised on a belief that higher rural prices are not affordable. Equally, such a system also presumes that urban prices are, in fact, affordable to all.

Neither of these presumptions are supported by the data.

We continue to have a problem with broadband adoption in low-income households, whether urban or rural, despite government programs continuing to define digital adoption as a problem framed in terms of geography, not affordability.

The CRTC’s consultation launching a “Review of basic telecommunications services” examines the issue, but there is a risk that the consultation will also approach the problem with the same prejudice:

In phase 1, the Commission will review its policies regarding basic telecommunications services in Canada. The Commission will also gather information from the industry to better understand which telecommunications services are being offered across Canada and whether any areas in Canada are underserved or unserved.

The CRTC is starting with an examination of what areas might be underserved when it might be more useful to start by trying to understand “who in Canada is underserved or unserved”? The preamble of the consultation starts with a presumption that the problem is geographic, not based on any other factor. It is as though we are already asking about solutions for “where” before asking about “who” needs help.

In paragraph 3 of the Basic Service public notice, the CRTC acknowledges that Section 7 of the Telecom Act sets the following relevant policy objectives:

(b) to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada; and
(h) to respond to the economic and social requirements of users of telecommunications services;

The Appendix to the public notice does in fact seek input in terms of economic requirements of users. The CRTC asks participants to “Identify and explain the barriers that limit or prevent Canadians from meaningfully participating in the digital economy (e.g. availability, quality, price, digital literacy, and concerns related to privacy and security). Identify which segments of the Canadian population are experiencing such barriers.”

However, in seeking public comments on solutions, we continue to see the terminology of a geographic bias. “What action, if any, should the Commission take where Canadians do not have access…” and “What action, if any, should the Commission take in cases where its target speeds will not be achieved…”

What evidence do we have that says “affordability” is a rural/urban issue? Why is there no discussion specifically seeking comments on the advisability of lifeline services [such as Lifeline Services described by the FCC] based on income?

When last produced, Statistics Canada showed that more than a quarter of households in Montreal had no internet use from home; the same was true for 1 in six households in Toronto and Vancouver; 1 in 5 in Regina.

Our telecom policy seeks to render affordable telecommunications services in both urban and rural areas in Canada, which requires substantially more information about economic and social factors that inhibit service adoption, in accordance with Section 7(h). Based on Statistics Canada’s information, there may be more Canadians in urban markets who are not subscribing to internet service than in rural markets.

Who are they and why are they not on-line?

Who will speak for the households that don’t have internet access?

The Commission says it “will consider what its role should be in ensuring the availability of basic telecommunications services, particularly in rural and remote regions of Canada.”

Before we answer the question about “where” the CRTC should be acting, perhaps we need to have a more clear understanding of “who” needs help and “why”.

We may need to find a solution that turns the current subsidy system upside down. Rather than subsidizing the “where”, has anyone looked at providing subsidies directly to those who need it?


Update: [May 19, 7:45 am]

An article today at AEI’s Tech Policy Daily by Bronwyn Howell looks at “The rural-urban divide on broadband adoption and pricing: Fact or fiction?” from an econometric perspective. “The bottom line is that broadband adoption is complicated, and that price is only one of its many determinants. When regulators are facing a problem where the root causes are ill-defined (or perhaps the problem is even non-existent and simply a statistics-mirage), a high degree of regulatory humility becomes important.”