Telecom Policy, Town Hall Meetings, Community Technology

Digital Economy Round Table video now available

July 21, 2010

A video presenting some of the ideas contained in the Consensus Submission for the Digital Economy consulation is now available on YouTube.

Video:  The Future of the Digital Economy

Consensus submission

Community access sites score high in digital economy consultation

July 14, 2010

Industry Canada's on-line digital economy strategy closed today with community access sites receiving a strong endorsement from the public both in the "ideas" forum and in the more formal submissions.

 Under "digital skills", 2 of the top 3 entries, were recommendations to support and extend this initiative.  Another was submitted to the "innovation" section. Links to CAP supporting submissions are provided below:

Researchers and educators hold roundtable on the digital economy

June 18, 2010

A group of 30 researchers, students and professors met at the University of Toronto on June 14 to discuss the federal Digital Economy Consultation Paper and prepare a group response.   Participants felt that a face to face meeting where they could discuss their views and arrive at a consensus document was a time honoured way to participate in federal policy discussions that could not be replaced by individual on-line comments to a web-site.

Globe and Mail picks up rural "overbuild" story

June 10, 2010

"It shouldn't have happened that way. And if it has, I'd like to know about it. That's not good. I was briefed that we had mapped the whole country" said Industry Minister Tony Clement when asked about the concerns of rural ISPs that federal infrastructure money could result in overbuilding in their areas.

Rural and remote ISPs compromised by federal infrastructure grants

June 7, 2010

A number of ISPs in rural and remote areas were taken by surprise when the federal government announced the winners of the first round of infrastructure spending for rural and remote broadband.  Apparently a large proportion of the funding is earmarked to overbuild existing, self-sustaining broadband networks.

Since the market in these areas is very limited, this jeopardizes the sustainability of existing local ISPs.  There are several examples of this problem in B.C., in northern Manitoba and in northern Ontario.

Comment to CRTC Basic Service Hearings

June 7, 2010

A group of researchers from the Canadian Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking (CRACIN) have submitted an intervention to the CRTC in response to CRCT notice 2010-43 -- Proceeding to review access to basic telecommunications services.  

Op-ed: Community Access One Pillar of a Digital Economy

April 6, 2010

Community access one pillar of a digital economy

By Marita Moll

On March 16, after three days of intense public pressure following a decision to cut funding to most of Canada’s community access sites (CAP), Industry Minister Tony Clement declared it all a misunderstanding.  The program was reinstated.  It wasn’t quite as dramatic as the backlash over the proposed changes to the wording of the national anthem, but it was a cliff hanger for the thousands of people who use these sites daily for everything from engaging in independent studies, connecting to government programs,  or setting up small businesses to market local products. 

Comment to Canada 150: Day 2 of Liberal Party Visioning Conference

March 27, 2010

In the 1990’s, Liberals had a proactive approach to new communications technologies. Ensuring that Canada took the lead in accessibility to the internet was a high priority policy and prominently featured in the Red Book.

Support for CAP sites reinstated

March 16, 2010

In an astonishingly fast about turn, the federal government has rescinded the letters it sent out to community access sites informing them that they would no longer be funded unless they were more than 25 km from a public library. 

Industry Minister Tony Clement said it had been a funding envelope error.  The sites will  to be funded through the Rural Broadband Strategy program "while the Community Access Program is wound down."  It's a mixed message, for sure. 

Paving the road for AT&T: Canada at the Crossroads (1997)

March 13, 2010

Position Paper by Marita Moll to:

Universal Access Workshop
Developing a Canadian Access Strategy:
Universal Access to Essential Network Services, February 6-8, 1997

Information Policy Research Program
Faculty of Information Studies
University of Toronto