I harp about Harper a lot on this blog. But when they do something right I like to applaud the effort. There is a disasterous state of digitization in Canada. There is poor rural access to high-speed Internet. We have userous wireless cost structures run by the oilgarchy of Rogers, Bell and Telus. An we have the indifference of the CRTC to the pubic good in terms of effective regulation.
Now the Harper government seems intent on at least shedding light on this situation.
In Alberta we have a wonderful opportnity to leap ahead in terms of digital connectivity and productivity because of the foresight of the SuperNet. However our goverment seems disinterested in making it available to every citizen, which is possible if you have a copperwire telephone line in you home or business.
Telus owns those lines and have refused to negotiate Internet access to the SuperNet through them. The CRTC recently bought a bogus argument that such use would interfere with other telephone use, something called crosstalk. The technology has advanced way past that problem. Nevertheless, the CRTC recently refused a complaint by an Edmonton based Internet Service Provider to require competative acces to the Telus copper wire and in the process the Commission embarassed themselves in holding to such an arcaine misunderstanding of the technological reality of today.
Poor productivity is a major issue facing the Canadian and Alberta economies. Connectivity is a key to improved productivity. The world gets it and has started to move way past the pedantic and pathetic connectivity policies of Canada. Alberta is perhaps the most to bear the brunt of such criticism. We have the SuperNet and a government with no sense of its potential or how to realize it for the benfit of Albertans. Sad but true.