Improving Canada’s Digital Advantage: Comments from the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP)
July 14, 2010

Improving Canada’s Digital Advantage

Comments from the Canadian Association of Internet Providers

July 13, 2010

The Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) is Canada’s largest industry association representing the interests of Internet access providers across the country. Established 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 comprises commercial telecom service providers ("TSPs") and enterprises interested or involved, directly or indirectly, in the industry of telecommunication service provisioning.

The main aims of CAIP are to:

provide effective industry advocacy respecting public policy and regulatory matters (e.g., access, copyright, privacy and security issues, ecommerce guidelines) affecting Canada's telecommunications industry;

promote a positive image for the telecommunications industry and the Association through proactively educating Canadians about, and building awareness of Internet industry issues; and

offer value to members through the timely communication of relevant business information and the provision of special member benefit in partnership with Affinity members.

We are pleased to provide our comments on the Digital Economy Strategy consultation.

CAIP wholeheartedly agrees that Canada is in need of a national digital economy strategy. Through our work with a variety of federal government departments we have been advocating for such a strategy for many years.

As part of the consultation we were asked to provide input in a number of areas. While all elements of the consultation paper are important, CAIP will limit its input to those areas we are most involved in, however, we must stress in no uncertain terms, that developing such a strategy involves more than the consultation paper has outlined.

“Digital Technologies” as outlined in the consultation paper are but one of a myriad of items that need to be considered if Canada is to grow and prosper as a digital nation.

From CAIP’s perspective, a Digital Strategy for Canada must include, but should not be limited to, the consideration of many elements: �� telecom and broadcasting regulatory policy;

competition policy;

SR&ED tax incentives;

R&D funding;

government procurement;

education and training in technology industries;

cyber security;

ISP liability, copyright and privacy;

digital literacy for all.

This list isn’t exhaustive. What we wish to illustrate is that a holistic approach needs to be taken in developing a national Digital Strategy. We don’t believe that we can look at any one element in isolation.

So what’s the solution?

When it comes to telecommunications, some would say that we need to address Canada’s foreign investment rules. The convenient wisdom says that with more investment comes more competition. With more competition comes more innovative services and better value.

++ Action Item: Please contact CAIP Chair, Tom Copeland, for a copy of the Submission and/or for media interviews.

Tom Copeland
Canadian Association of Internet Providers a division of CATAAlliance
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