On January 17, 2013, 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 spoke to the goal of the creation of an Intelligent Nation, community by community, using the best ultra-high-speed networks to provide digital inclusion, virtual access to education, globally-connected healthcare, investment attraction, and sustainable ideas-based employment. Broadband is considered an essential service that each Canadian has access to as a human right. Unlike other utilities, only broadband can be used to deliver healthcare, education, commerce, and demand management and conservation of water and electricity, around the clock.
To do this, i-CANADA is advocating the creation of a national coalition to enable the availability of a nationwide, ultra-broadband network that provides at least 1-gig/second to the vast majority of Canadians by 2020.
The i-CANADA delegation consisted of John Reid, President, CATA; Barry Gander, EVP CATA and Co-Founder, i-CANADA; Bill Hutchison, Chair, i-CANADA; John Campbell, President and CEO, Waterfront Toronto; Mark Romoff, President and CEO, Canadian Council on Public Private Partnerships; and Campbell Patterson, Broadband Community Organizer. The spokespeople exchanged views with Mr. 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 agree with Chairman Blais, and we had this meeting to reinforce his position.”
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