Friday, February 4, 2011

Pointless Fights

It seems that I'm not the only one who feels the CRTC's 60 day moratorium on UBB, is not going to accomplish much. Micheal Geist explains clearly why he believes this isn't going work. (The post also has an excellent rebuttal of the idea that bandwidth should billed like water and gas, and is worth reading just for that.) If Geist is correct, the CRTC will reach the same conclusion because it will start with the same faulty premise that the bandwidth hogs are a problem that must be controlled.

Fine, if that happens the Industry Minister will just overturn the decision, so it doesn't matter, right? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Remember the Globalive business back in 2009? The CRTC ruled that Globalive did not meet the foreign ownership rules, which was legally correct, and the the Minister overruled that decision because increasing competition was more important. Well, the courts overruled the Minister today, almost two years after Globalive's Wind Mobile started operations in Canada.

As long as the CRTC simply stays within the boundaries of the current Telecommunications Act, the courts will always support their decisions, and this is no different with the UBB decision. It may be wrong but it's legal. The obvious solution is to change the law so that it aligns with the goals of Industry Canada. So why hasn't the government done that yet? Instead we get these pointless fights between the the goverment and one of its own agencies.

Welcome to Canada. Water flows uphill here you know...

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