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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/10240

Title: Internet Infrastructure for All: Time for Canadian Municipalities to Step Up!
Authors: Clement, Andrew
Potter, Amelia Bryne
Keywords: broadband
infrastructure
communities
municipalities
fiber optic networking
wireless networking
telecom incumbents
Issue Date: 22-Nov-2007
Abstract: From the Conclusion: Broadband is an essential infrastructure for the future. As such, it is important not only that it is built, but how it is built as well as who owns and controls it. The Canadian federal government’s policy of relying on “market forces” alone to govern the development of this infrastructure is unwise. One major shortcoming of this policy is that it inadequately addresses existing market power and the disincentives incumbents have to upgrade their infrastructure with fiber and wireless. In their absence, governments at the provincial and municipal level have begun to develop their own broadband networks, making use of newer technologies. These networks, their best practices and business models are still evolving, but they hold promise for the future. Building on existing public governance and ownership models for broadband networks and making a commitment to long-term investment, Canadian municipalities can take a lead in ensuring broadband networks that serve the public interest are built. In effect, by shopping on behalf of their citizens for basic internet services, much as Canadian governments now do with health care, they will be able to craft a much better deal than if consumers are left on their own as individuals to face a few large commercial providers. Such leadership will take political will, particularly in the face of expected stiff resistance from incumbent carriers, but it is of crucial importance for Canadians’ ability to participate in social and economic daily life of the future.
Description: A chapter to appear in For Sale to the Highest Bidder: Telecom Policy in Canada, edited by Marita Moll and Leslie Shade, to be published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). This version has more extensive footnotes.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/10240
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