Trashing of Canadian Internet Speed by Netflix Makes NEED FOR SPEED a Contentious Issue at Montreal SUMMIT
September 26, 2012

SUMMIT Conference to Decide: Can Canada catch up to Romania, Korea and "Silicon Holler"?

i-CANADA SUMMIT: A Canada for the 21st Century
Sunday, October 21, 2012
SAT Multi-Media Centre, 1201 Boulevard Saint-Laurent,
Montreal QC

Canadians need to heed a wake-up call by international digital content companies about the state of our national infrastructure, says i-CANADA's Chairman Bill Hutchison. "If we can't be an attractive globally-competitive landing-ground for today's digital industries, innovation will dry up in this country."

Mr. Hutchison's remarks were sparked by a comment that Canadians have "almost third-world access to the internet," according to Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. "It's almost a human rights violation what they're charging for internet access in Canada," he alleged recently at a conference in Los Angeles.

The i-CANADA Governors Council is meeting in Montreal on SUNDAY, October 21, 2012, to discuss this very serious issue. According to Mr. Hutchison, "We in Canada continue to talk about the declining state of our broadband infrastructure, compared to other countries, and now's the time to stop talking and come up with a plan. If Australia and many other countries can create winning plans, why not us? We used to be number one", he said, quoting some facts:
  • Canada continues to fall further behind the rest of the world with respect to our communications networks and related services. We have fallen nine spots in one year in the global ranking of internet speeds, now ranking 14th behind Romania and others, according to the recent Akamai data report.
  • This has been accompanied by a continuing decline in innovation - our innovation rate is now second to last by population among 17 countries studied for the 2012 Conference Board Report on Canada.
  • We have nothing on the horizon to match Google's announcement of the performance and pricing of its new gigabit community service in Kansas City: its first "gigabit community". Google's Access General Manager Kevin Lo, specified clearly that Google recognizes broadband speed is directly connected to economic growth: "The last time we doubled the speed of broadband a whole new market evolved and spurred tremendous growth in the Internet."
Silicon Holler
Mr. Hutchison pointed to examples around the world where infrastructure speed has delivered social and economic value. Chattanooga, Tennessee's fourth largest community, nestled in the Appalachian foothills, has reinvented itself as a haven for tech entrepreneurs - a "Silicon Holler". The city's electricity company laid more than 6,000 miles of fibre-optic cable to bring one-gigabit networking speed to any resident and its revenues are being lifted by extensive municipal smart grid services.

The newest crop of global high-speed contenders will be announced by the Intelligent Community Forum at the i-CANADA SUMMIT in Montreal, simultaneously with the announcement in Riverside, CA, the city which won the 2012 award. On October 21, 2012, spokespeople for the Intelligent Community Forum will announce the Smart21 Communities of the Year, semi-finalists for the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year award.

During the SUMMIT a special panel on The Need for Speed will be chaired by Kristina Verner, Director, Intelligent Communities, i-Waterfront. She will preside over a leadership panel of Jim RocheJim Roche, President and CEO, CANARIE; Darin Graham, President and CEO, ORION; and David Weymouth, CEO, Optelian.

i-CANADA is the only national Canadian movement that specializes in creating Intelligent Communities. "We can get global leverage from using the tools and experiences of the i-CANADA leaders to help other areas," said Mr. Hutchison. Mr. Hutchison is currently in Russia helping to bring an Innovation District to life in Skolkovo, Moscow. "The compulsion to become an "Intelligent Community" is gripping centres around the world. We are very glad that we have had such great cooperation from regions in Canada; they are pulling together to create community-based models for effective use of information infrastructures."

Regional Intelligent Community meetings are being held with i-CANADA partners in: The keynote speaker at the i-CANADA Summit will be the Chair of i-CANADA's Governors Council, Premier David Alward of New Brunswick. He will describe how information infrastructures helped create a "millionaire's ecosystem" in the province. Setting the stage for the conversations will be Peter Aceto, President and CEO, ING DIRECT, who will urge fellow CEOs to seize the power of social media in order to lead the stimulation of the Canadian economy.

A panel aimed at community leaders will describe What It Takes To Win. The panelists include Brenda Halloran, Mayor, Waterloo; Dan Mathieson, Mayor, Stratford; and Brad Woodside, Mayor, Fredericton. Continuing the winning theme, the afternoon keynote is Mayor Ron Loveridge, Riverside, California, which won the 2012 ICF Most Intelligent Community of the Year Award from the Intelligent Community Forum in New York.

An investigation into The New Finance, Crowdfunding and PPPs discussion will be headed by Cindy Gordon, President, Helix Commerce International with President Obama's champion Sherwood Neiss, head of The Startup Exemption, and Mark Romoff, President and CEO, CCPPP. First Responders will describe a new high-speed Test Bed under Moderator Steve Palmer, Director, Science and Technology Transition Defence R&D Canada; his panelists are Michael Sullivan, Div. Chief Communications, Ottawa Fire Services, and Rick Turner, Government & Strategic Services, Alcatel-Lucent.

The Rush to "Open Data, Open Systems" will tap into one of the most important benefits of the digital age, with Berry Vrbanovic, Past-Chair, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and Fawn Annan, President, IT World Canada.

The i-CANADA SUMMIT will close with a celebration for recipients of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Awards, in a special ceremony spotlighting a never-before-seen merger of dance, art and technology, called "A Canada in Conversation".

For further information

or please contact:
Cathi Malette

About the i-CANADA National Summit

The i-CANADA Summit is organized by the i-CANADA national movement, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) and it partners, and will take place in Montreal on October 21, 2012. Canada was selected by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) to host the WCIT 2012 Congress in Montreal, which follows the i-CANADA event. The WITSA event is organized by WCIT2012 Montreal Inc. For more about the i-CANADA Summit and to register for the events, see: I-CANADA events.

i-CANADA is backed by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), a 30-year-old organization with more than 34,000 high-tech leaders, and other leading organizations. Their goal is to bring at least 30 Canadian communities into the top ranks of global Intelligent Communities, as defined by the Intelligent Community Forum in New York.