Posted May 31, 2011
As the national association of Canada’s ICT industry, ITAC is vitally interested in the success of Canada’s digital economy. The internet is at the core of the digital economy.
On May 26, 2011, the organization OpenMedia.ca issued a report, Casting an Open Net, with a news release headed: “Report Reveals Big Telecom’s Failure to Invest in Canada’s Digital Economy.” ITAC strongly disagrees with the thrust of the news release and of the report. Because of the importance of the internet to the success of Canada’s digital economy, ITAC believes that this news release and report should not remain unchallenged.
The report chastises Canada’s carriers for “failure to invest,” but at the same time asserts that Canada’s internet does not need more than “mild and normal infrastructure upkeep reinvestment.”
Canada’s carriers invest more than $7 billion per year to increase the capacity and reach of their wireline and wireless networks, clearly much more than “mild and normal infrastructure upkeep reinvestment.” The notion conveyed in the report that projected growth in demand will not require very large investments runs contrary to the overwhelming evidence of traffic growth well beyond the capacity of existing technology and improvements in technological efficiency. Year after year, surveys show that Canadians lead the world in the use of the internet, and of applications that consume large amounts of capacity.
The report recommends a number of government interventions in the building and management of the internet, including (a) the investment of $2.2 billion by government to build internet infrastructure, and (b) that these investments should favour fibre.
The internet is essential to innovation, job creation and a twenty-first century economy in general. However, contrary to what the report suggests, ITAC believes that:
--> Canada’s internet should be built and managed by the private sector, rather than by government; and
--> Canada’s internet should make use of all technologies – wireline, wireless, and satellite – to be used where each is most appropriate.
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