Submission of the Internet Society Canada Chapter to the BTLR

Here is a hyperlink to the submission we made on January 11 to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review  

Main points (which are my interpretation of the document):

1. Put the Internet at the centre of all considerations of what needs to be done. That means we must stop trying to subordinate the Internet to producers’  concerns.

2. Split the regulation of telecommunications from broadcasting, administratively. Do to the regulatory agency what was done inside government thirty years ago to separate telecoms from broadcasting policy.

3. Put the interests of consumers at the heart of regulatory decision making.

4. Appoint telecommunications commissioners who are knowledgeable and competent.

5. Do not try to extend the Broadcasting Act to the Internet.

6. Allow for much greater cooperation of the new telecommunications regulator with the Competition Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioners and other agencies, as needed.

7. Spectrum management legislation should be introduced to deal with the planning of spectrum use, the allocation of frequency blocks for specific purposes, the award of spectrum licences by auctions, and the re-farming of outstanding spectrum to other uses. 

8. Spectrum planning and management functions should be confided to the telecommunications regulator.

9. The broadcasting regulator should concern itself with the conditions under which programming should be subsidized, tax credits made available, and programming made discoverable.

10. If you do nothing else, split the telecommunications regulatory functions from the broadcasting regulatory functions. The current Broadcasting Act and the regulation it engenders is focused on the interests of producers and will remain – to that extent – unreformable. Cultural concerns distort telecommunications and Internet policy, and only by divorcing them will Canada make maximum benefit of the Internet.

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