Internet Industry Disappointed With Federal Government Decision
OTTAWA, ON, December 14, 2009 - The Canadian Internet industry is profoundly disappointed with the Federal Cabinet's decision to limit competition in broadband access in Canada.
Cabinet Fails Internet Industry and Consumers
"This extraordinary step by the Federal Cabinet indicates that they don't understand that competition, innovation and choice for consumers hinges upon fair and equitable access to telecommunications infrastructure by competitors", states Tom Copeland, Chair of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP).
Cabinet had an opportunity to immediately address the concerns of Canadians but instead they have told the CRTC to review Canada's current policy framework to ensure the right tools are in place for competition and innovation to thrive in the broadband access market.
CAIP, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, MTS Allstream and more than fifty competitive telecommunications providers launched an online public awareness campaign in September to educate Canadians and Canadian politicians on the problems associated with access to telecom infrastructure by competitors. The campaign resulted in more than 100,000 messages of concern being sent to federal officials.
Today the Government of Canada acknowledged that more competition in wireless telecommunications is needed by making accommodations for Globalive to enter the Canadian wireless market. However, the Federal Cabinet failed to set the immediate course for fair and equitable access to telecommunications infrastructure by competitors in the Internet industry.
"To grow and flourish in a manner that benefits Canadians, the competitive Internet industry needs continued regulatory oversight of wholesale services", notes Copeland. "Without this oversight Canada will continue to have only two dominant sources of Internet access in most markets: the incumbent phone company and cable company".
Canadian regulatory policy has been blamed for the country's poor ranking in world standings for broadband services. Several recent studies by Harvard and the OECD show Canada has some of the highest prices and slowest speeds in the world for broadband services.
"CAIP and our member companies will continue to look for opportunities to educate Canadian politicians, regulators and citizens on the benefits of a strong and competitive Internet service industry. Many of our members established the first Internet services in their communities more than 15 years ago. They continue to provide superior service and innovative products", adds Copeland. "We'll continue to do so in the future and hope that the Federal Government recognizes the benefit to Canadians that we offer."
Formed in 1996, CAIP's Mission is to foster the growth of a healthy and competitive Internet service industry in Canada through collective and cooperative action on Canadian and international issues of mutual interest. CAIP membership is comprised commercial Internet service providers ("ISPs"), incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers, cable companies and enterprises interested in or involved in the industry of Internet service provisioning.
For more information please contact:
Canadian Association of Internet Providers