By Kate Kellogg, The Washington TimesRead more"We're looking at a situation where a large part of the market is still not paying for internet service and they're looking to take advantage of a situation that we think could help a lot of people in rural areas," said Steve Kestler, an analyst with Forrester Research, who tracks wireless broadband."It's a bit like the cellphone market in the 1990s, w...
A former Canadian telecommunications executive says there are still some broadband options available in the country.
As of July 1, the government has no plans to introduce a broadband tax, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives.
The problem is that the federal government is trying to get its hands on the vast majority of Canadians’ broadband, said John Chisholski, who left the Canadian Telecommunications Association last year.
In other words, there is no real competition in the market.
“We’ve got a situation where the incumbent providers and the incumbent players are going to keep doing the same thing because they’re better at it than we are,” he said.
That’s not going to change anytime soon, Chishoeski said.
“I think there’s a real danger in that that there’s going to be a real backlash from the people that are really in favour of the competition that are already there.”
Chisholsky was referring to the fact that the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, the largest telecom industry group, has been fighting to get the government to regulate the market and the government is unlikely to agree.
But even if it did, he said, “the fact is that if you have a federal government with the power to regulate, that’s the wrong direction to go.”
A spokesman for the Communications Security Establishment Canada, which regulates the wireless industry, said the agency does not comment on specific issues.
But in an email, he acknowledged that the government “has taken steps to address the concerns raised by some members of the industry.”
“The CSE and the CRTC are currently working with the federal Communications Security Bureau to address this issue and we are confident that the solution is in place,” the spokesman said.
The CRTC’s chairman, Richard Fadden, said his agency would not comment “until the end of the process” but said he “believes that we are moving in the right direction.”
Chisholmski, however, said he’s not sure if the CRT is moving the right way.
“The CRTC is not going out and saying, ‘We want to regulate,'” he said in an interview.
“They’re not doing that.
The government’s doing that.”
There are a lot of ways to get to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and they are going nowhere, said Chishoski, whose firm is based in Ottawa.
Chissell said it’s possible that the CRTs decision to move away from regulating the market is based on the fact the market isn’t as saturated as it once was.
“If you look at the number of consumers that are now accessing broadband at home, it’s growing at a very fast pace, especially among young Canadians,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“That’s what’s causing the market to become saturated.
It’s a problem because people are moving away from home and it’s causing competition to dry up.”
Chishopsky said he would prefer the CRTS “to do what they should have done” and let the market work itself out.
But he also said he’d prefer that the regulator allow the CRB to create regulations to ensure competition is “fair and equitable.”
“I think the CRTB should take the lead on that and that’s a big problem because they should be regulating in a fair and equitable manner,” he added.
To get to that goal, Chissell believes there needs to be “an increase in the number and the scope of the regulations that the private sector has.”
And that’s something Chisbellis would like to see.
If the CRBC did decide to set new rules, it would need to be done in conjunction with the CRTA and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Chichoski said, as the CRTV is currently not regulated by the CRCC.
But Chisell said it is unlikely the CRTT would agree to that.
As the CRTF’s chairman for the past four years, Chissells job is to protect Canadians’ privacy and information security and ensure they have access to broadband.
Chisolls office said in a statement that it is committed to protecting Canadians’ rights and ensuring the privacy of Canadians and Canadians’ communications.
Chiswell said he has asked the CRST to help develop new regulations that include ensuring consumers have access “to the same information as all Canadians.”
In an interview, the CRTP said it doesn’t comment on individual cases.
The regulator also said it has not received any complaints from Canadians about the CRCT’s decision.
CPSC president Peter Leitch said the CRTD is working with consumers to identify the best broadband providers in the province.
Leitch said there are no plans at this time to create a provincial broadband tax.
However, he suggested that the commission would consider raising taxes in the future, if the industry’s prices are going up. He said he