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Working group calls for a clean sheet for Federal Telecom Act

In a submission to the Federal Government's Telecom Policy Review (TRP), a number of Canada's leading information t...


August 24, 2005  


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In a submission to the Federal Government’s Telecom Policy Review (TRP), a number of Canada’s leading information technology companies today urged the government to modernize the Telecommunications Act to promote its entire agenda of competition, investment and commercialization.

The submission was delivered by the CATA-CAIP TelecomACT Working Group, a panel drawn from the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), and its parent organization, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA).

Industry members included: MTS Allstream, Bell, Ericsson, MCI, Nakina Systems, Rogers, Telesat, Telus, Eagle.ca, AOL, Orbit.com, NetIdea., Execulink and IBI Group.

“Communications technology is the engine for the growth of every other sector,” said John Reid, President, CATA.

“The Telecommunications Act should be a catalyst to drive all of the Government’s agenda. Our submission includes a call for modernization and streamlining of government processes. As an example of a new way that industry can work with government to achieve more rapid modernization, the submission cited the success of an initiative by the CAIP Carrier Relations Committee, which created consensus on an issue and then received CRTC approval — cutting the time required for a decision by a factor of four.”

The CATA-CAIP TelecomACT submission is part of a six-month advocacy campaign to encourage the adoption of advanced information and communications systems, in harmony with other priorities and policies. It is one of the key planks of Canada’s High Tech Industry’s Growth Platform.

“This is a very significant collaboration,” added Joanne Stanley, VP of CAIP. “The industry players consolidated their views and put their strength behind a call for a competitive and innovative agenda for renewed communications growth — the ultimate prerequisite for Canadian competitiveness. All the other activities in our economy rest on the foundation of information and communications technologies.”

The TelecomACT Working Group’s overall objective “is to harness the energies of the participants in a way that expands the total wealth of the Canadian nation,” said Stanley. “In an era of fundamental technological change, where traditional business models are being overthrown, the challenge for Canadian policy makers is to draft frameworks, which clearly articulate their bias towards innovation, competition, openness. A similar debate is ongoing in the U.S., and the bias is clearly towards pro-competition and consumer choice.”