Timothy M. Denton

Success Through Understanding Technology

Timothy Denton's Blog

Commentary and insights on policy issues in telecommunications and the Internet.

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Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Industry News

Image result for maxime bernier

 

I had the pleasure of sitting beside Maxime Bernier on the Toronto-Ottawa flight the other day. I asked him how things were going. He responded with some impressive numbers of supporters, members and donations to his new party. I spoke of having been an appointee at the CRTC, and we spoke of a friend in common, Michel Morin, who was a commissioner when I was. Both Morin and Bernier are Beaucerons, and they seem to breed independent-minded people in that part of Quebec.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

Chairman Ian Scott is most assuredly correct in his request for more power over the placement of electronic equipment, in the light of the approach of 5G technologies. It is reassuring to see that the Canadian regulator is showing signs of active engagement with how Canada will need to adapt to the requirements of 5G. It is also instructive to read how far in advance the European Union appears to be relative to us in comprehending what needs to be done.

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Posted by on in Industry News

The CRTC turned back the application of the Fair Play Coalition. The people have Canada have much to be grateful for in this.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

 

Geoff Huston, chief scientist for APNIC, spoke to the Internet Society of Canada yesterday. His speech is vitally important for understanding the Internet of today. The picture is dark. You ought to know about it.

 

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

Castle Howard

 

The revelation of the political views of Google's senior management after the Trump election comes as no surprize. They are all Bay Area liberals. What is odd is how much Google appears as a Guardian institution, not a business.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

This tidbit from Spiked on Line:

From an elite perspective, a key danger of social media is that it allows political trends outside of the mainstream to spread their arguments more easily. Yascha Mounk, a politics lecturer at Harvard and executive director at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, has expressed this fear in relation to the decline of traditional media ‘gatekeepers’ in the US.

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Posted by on in Industry News

Geoff Huston is one of the very few people making sense of why the Internet is evolving as it is. His speech to the ENOG conference last year on the Death of Transit shows how the fundamental forces are playing out. Content services are replacing carriers. Pay attention - there will be questions later.

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Posted by on in Industry News

A fine article is found in City Journal by Mark P. Mills on the subject of new industries and regulation. In particular, it compares the effects of the railway/telegraph combination with modern content networks. His conclusion:

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

Thoughts on the CRTC’s “Harnessing Change: The Future of Programming Distribution in Canada”, Report to the Governor in Council

 

The problems start with the title. “Harnessing Change” reflects a long history of Canadian governments and the CRTC sticking fingers in holes in the dike of broadcasting policy and regulation, to keep out invading hordes, while communications technologies undermine the dike's foundations — from without and from within — because Canadians have consistently been early, eager and rapid, adopters.  

 

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Posted by on in Industry News

Ajit Pai

 

 

The FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, defended the abolition of net neutrality regulation in the United States in the following terms, which imply that, in a duopoly, we have an adequate choice.

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Posted by on in Industry News

Image result for emmanuel goldstein

 

My mother turned 100 years old today, on May 29th, 2018. That is a long time to live. Yet a hundred years is still close to forty years younger than the principle of net neutrality. They did not call it “net neutrality” in the 1870s, they referred to it as “no unjust or undue discrimination”. The term net neutrality was  invented by Professor Tim Wu to dress up some ancient principles of common carriage in a modern guise.

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Posted by on in Industry News

The near weekly dose of pro-incumbent propaganda emerged in the pages of the Financial Post today. The Montreal Economic Institute was at it again, saying that the CRTC can dissolve now that Canada's telecommunications sector is mature and competitive. In the same week another report shows that Canada offers the least amount of bandwidth for the money of any economy in the world.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

George Serentschy wrote an interesting piece in Terence Corcoran's Financial Post today, which I think is comprehensively mistaken. Mr. Serentschy, a former telecom regulator in Austria, became dismayed with the state of investment in European mobile networks, and has been testifying effectively against the idea of MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) ever since.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

 

Multibillionaire Barry Diller used to be chairman of Paramount in the 1980s and has now moved on to the Internet, being the head of Expedia and a number of other ventures. He spoke about the leadership of Netflix recently in the most favourable terms in a recent interview in the New York Times. His thoughts are relevant to those worried about Canadian content.

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Posted by on in Industry News

One of the strengths of the modern military is that they have determined to be and remain "learning organizations": tactics are obsessively analyzed, and information shared among officers, so that battles are won, casualties reduced, and what needs to be changed, is changed. The opposite seems to be true in telecom policy.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

You have to hand it to McCarthy’s. Their communications legal luminaries have pursued the goal of subjecting the Internet to the Broadcasting Act since they first became aware of this loathsome innovation, sometime in the mid-2000s, when email attachments  challenged the dominion of the fax machine in the legal profession. (I surmise).

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

 

The proposed review of our communications acts is about to proceed, but the problem is finding a significant issue that legislative change would solve. Of course, some improvements are possible. Yet I would gladly forego a few improvements, if the alternative would be to subordinate the Telecom Act to the purposes of the Broadcasting Act.

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Posted by on in Industry News

We are living in an era that combines extreme psychological fragility where people seek the suppression of all opinion that fails to conform to the fragile consensus. Official thought is not just enforced through the state, but through the independent actions of content distribution networks. The censorship is now automated and largely invisible. The censors are proud of their work.

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Posted by on in Industry News

The arguments of the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai seem to amount to the following. Net neutrality regulation will inhibit investment and lead to over-regulation. I am instinctually in favour of some measure of non-discriminatory access to networks, on the basis of Canada's Internet traffic management procedures decision. It is vital to understand those who disagree.

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Posted by on in Industry News

 

In the field of telecommunications, there are very few ideas. Such ideas about how the industry works are defended because they produce economic advantage for those who currently have legal privileges and the profits generated by them. These ideas are seldom challenged. They are relied upon to defend economic interests.  They lumber along for decades, and are trotted out whenever economic interests are at stake. Who knows? People may even believe them.

Is that too cynical? Not at all.

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