Mark Goldberg


www.mhgoldberg.com





The Canadian Telecom Summit

Fox Group Dispatch

Navigating Convergence II

The CRTC issued the 2011 edition of its report “Charting Canadian Communications Change and Regulatory Implications: Navigating Convergence II” [press release here, full report – html, pdf (3.7MB)]

The report can be viewed as a snapshot of the information that has been gathered over the past year, examining the state of network evolution and competition; content and the reflection of Canadian identity; and, consumer choices and voices.

Telecommunications and broadcasting are rapidly converging into a single world of communications that offers innovative services to consumers, delivers these services in new ways and disrupts current business models. Consumers expect to access the services or content they want at anytime, anywhere, using whichever device they choose.

The executive summary speaks about the report as a reflection of the CRTC’s ongoing research and dialogue with stakeholders, analyzing key trends and identifying challenges and opportunities within the current regulatory framework. The report focuses on the evolution of wired and wireless networks, media-consumption and a variety of consumer-related issues.

As the digital economy becomes more sophisticated, policy, legislation and regulation must adapt. Areas that can be further deregulated—or in which new approaches may be required—are critically important to address. These areas include:

  • ensuring fair and non-discriminatory access to networks
  • increasing spectrum resources to meet Canadian demands
  • creating new regulatory approaches to support innovation, access to affordable services and the creation and promotion of high-quality Canadian content, and
  • addressing consumer concerns.

In the absence of a clear statement from the government on Canada’s national digital strategy, Navigating Convergence II is an important contribution to continue the discussion on how our digital economy may develop. The CRTC has not issued any pronouncements, proceedings, rulings or policies in this report, but it collects and presents in a logical structure the diverse views and issues that might be examined within future formal consultations and multilateral discussions.

Take a look at the report – it is quite readable at about 70 pages. I’d be interested in your comments.

1 comment to Navigating Convergence II

  • George Hariton

    A well-done and useful summary. I hope that the Commission will continue to update it periodically.

    Interesting that the report mostly splits into two distinct parts — Section 2 on telecommunications and Section 3 on broadcasting. That leaves discussion of convergence relegated to a very short Section 1 (Introduction) and (kind of) Section 4 (Consumer Choice and Voices).

    And that makes sense. The only real crossover issue that I can see is penetration of broadband (landline and wireless). Even a topic like vertical integration is really about integration of programmers and distributors (BDUs), i.e. squarely within broadcasting.

    George