The art of regulation

I am a lawyer by education who practices principally in relation to technology issues: Internet governance, domain names, and 9-1-1 policy matters. I was a National Commissioner of the CRTC (the Canadian broadcast and telecom regulator) from 2008-2013.

I am the Chairman of the Canada Chapter of the Internet Society whose goal is to keep the Internet free as in speech and cheap as in salt. The Canada Chapter is one of many Internet Society Chapters around the world.

Between January 1st, 2009, and August 2017, I served as a member of the Board of Trustees of ARIN, the American Registry of Internet Numbers, being re-elected in 2011 and 2014, by the ARIN electorate for three year terms. I served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of ARIN from January 2011 to August 2013.

I am also concerned with how Canada will evolve its 9-1-1 and public alerting systems into an IP-based architecture.

In my time as Commissioner at the CRTC, the most significant accomplishment was turning down the proposal to regulate the Internet under the Broadcasting Act. I have posted my concurring opinion in new media, the term for the question whether the Broadcasting Act should be applied to the Internet in Canada. See also my more recent dissent in part on high-speed access (August 2010).The other significant decision in which I participated was the Internet traffic management procedures proceeding, which balanced the rights of network owners to defend their networks with the rights of users to access networks for their own purposes. My concerns remain the access of people and business to networks, to use, create and innovate without permission.

Some essays and work from my LLM degree program (2006-2007) have been posted to the reports page.



Appearance before the CRTC Review of Mobile Wireless Services 2019-57

I represented the Internet Society Canada Chapter before the CRTC in the review of mobile wireless services, February 25, 2020, together with Matt Gamble, a Director of the ISCC. We made the case for MVNOs as sources of permissionless innovation. “If facilities-based competition were the answer, we would already have it in Canada”.

The biggest thing determining the outcome of regulatory hearings or any other kind of process is not the evidence, but the filters – the axioms, really – through which the evidence is filtered. In this case, and for many years, the belief has been propagated that the only effective form of competition is based upon an end-to-end ownership of facilities, from cell towers through backhauls to central switches. Disapproving of MVNOs because they do not own their radio access networks is akin to disapproving of car rental companies because they do not manufacture their own cars.

The link takes you to the CPAC record of the presentation. https://www.cpac.ca/en/programs/crtc-hearings/episodes/66153138/ My portion may be found in this CPAC video, starting at the 22:00 mark and concludes at 28:00.

To top