As we get to the end of the year, I like to reflect on the past as part of my planning for the year ahead.
I noticed that I have clearly not been as prolific on this blog. Last year, I observed that I wrote 132 posts, down from 139 in 2012. I wrote just 109 posts in 2014, but the reduction was likely due to three factors in play: I am spending considerably more time on Twitter [follow me: @mark_goldberg]; there is a difference in the political climate; and, I did my best to spend much of the summer and parts of the past month focused on family.
Still, my creative juices were stimulated by continuing intervention in the marketplace by legislators and the extremely active CRTC agenda, especially in the last third of the year.
As frequent readers know, I continue to believe that Canada is overdue for a comprehensive review of our overall communications policy framework. The last Telecom Policy Review delivered its report in 2006 and at the time, recommended that its work should be refreshed every 5 years. The next panel should look at overall communications policy, including Broadcasting.
Would a government strike such a panel in an election year? Consider that the last Telecom Policy Review Panel was created by a Liberal government and it delivered its report to the new Conservative minority government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, about 3 months after he took office.
I am carrying forward a number of resolutions from year to year.
My wish list for 2015 continues to seek support for a national program to increase the adoption of computers and broadband in low income households with school-aged children. Computers for Schools is a great program, but kids do their homework at home. And kids can’t compete with their classmates if they don’t have access to a connected computer at home. In any case, our schools are going to need significant upgrades as well if we want to keep up with our neighbours to the south. As I have written in the past, “almost half of all households in Canada’s lowest income quintile lack a home computer. Affordability is keeping a million households from digital connectivity.”
Our national digital agenda needs to move forward more aggressively. Although Canada hopes to incent service providers to offer 5 Mbps service by the year 2017, the US has doubled its target speed to require 10 Mbps service for service providers that seek funding from the Connect America Fund. Canada needs to do better.
While I am setting objectives for next year, I guess I still wouldn’t mind losing 20 pounds, but I don’t mind having a soft landing spot for my grandson to rest when we take naps “watching the games” together on Sunday afternoons.
Let me wish all of you the best in the year ahead. I look forward to engaging with you in 2015.
Have a safe, healthy and peaceful holiday season. Together, next year we can hopefully exceed all of our targets.