New FCC Initiative Confirms i-CANADA High-Speed Goal: i-CANADA Chair: “Canada must to return to global leadership level”
January 22, 2013

January 21, 2013  --  Bill Hutchison, Chair of i-CANADA & member, CATA National Leadership Council, said today that an FCC initiative to put 1Gps speed into at least one city in each state by 2015 “is another important initiative that demonstrates that i-CANADA is bang on in our goal for Canadian communications  --  we know what we're talking about.” 

i-CANADA is the national movement to create a nation of Intelligent Communities, all enjoying the economic prosperity and full employment that comes from immersion in the global “ideas economy”.  

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski told the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Friday last week, that he was starting a new push for fast networks that he called the Gigabit City Challenge. 

Gigabit-speed Internet access stimulates technology innovation and associated economic growth, Genachowski said:  "The U.S. needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness," Genachowski cited Google's new network in Kansas City and a fiber network built by a local utility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he said Amazon.com and other companies have created more than 3,700 new jobs over the past three years. 

“Our Governors Council Resolution calling for 1Gps speed for all Canadians by 2020 is more than a realistic expectation,” said Mr. Hutchison.  “It is an absolute necessity if we are to keep stride with the nations of Asia, Europe and Africa.  Canadians need access to the kinds of services that the ultra-broadband networks deliver, and our knowledge industries need to use these networks to create the profitable sectors that others are obtaining. 

“At the moment we are moving forward to expand our Governors' Council to 100 members in support of the Motion passed by our Governors' Council at our October Summit, to encourage the creation of a national coalition involving all relevant parties to create a plan that will ensure availability of 1 GBS service where relevant for all Canadians by 2020. The service must be globally competitive or better as to features, cost and performance in order to raise Canada to be one of the world's leaders in communications infrastructure and services. We were there prior to and up to the 1980s.” 

Recently, i-CANADA delegates met with Jean-Pierre Blais, the new Chair of the CRTC, to support his position on the importance of a more connected Canada.  Blais brings a strong legal background and a comprehensive understanding of the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors to his role at the CRTC. His goals are to:

·         Sharpen the Commission’s focus on the public interest—putting Canadians at the centre of their communication system

·         Give Canadians access to compelling and diverse, creative content

·         Ensure that Canadians can connect to innovative communications services at reasonable prices

·         Give healthy competition among multiple service providers 

The i-CANADA delegation exchanged views with Chairman Blais’ about a consumer-centric, open network, from a 360-degree circle of interests, including novel financing methods, community networking, ultra-fast broadband, and large-scale urban development. 

“It is clear that Canada’s global slide demands a new approach: consumer-centric access to diverse creative content over competitive networks,” said Mr, Hutchison.   “We need to see Canada adopting the kind of high-strategy approach of the FCC.” 

More information on the FCC approach can be found at: 

http://www.cio.com/article/727054/FCC_Chief_Calls_for_Gigabit_Internet_in_All_50_States_By_2015 

The i-CANADA Resolution can be seen at: 

http://cata.ca/Media_and_Events/Press_Releases/cata_pr10301201.html  

The i-CANADA meeting with CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais is at: 

http://cata.ca/Media_and_Events/Press_Releases/cata_pr01171302.html  

To find out the results of this meeting or to speak with a representative from i-CANADA, please contact Elaine Dean:

elaine.dean@sympatico.ca