CRTC Commissioner Tim Denton, Canadian Internet Forum


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CRTC Commissioner Tim Denton's slides from the 2013 Canadian Internet Forum.

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  • It is hereby affirmed that telecommunications performs an essential role in the maintenance of Canada’s identity and sovereignty and that the Canadian telecommunications policy has as its objectives(a) to facilitate the orderly development throughout Canada of a telecommunications system that serves to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the social and economic fabric of Canada and its regions;(b) to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada;(c) to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness, at the national and international levels, of Canadian telecommunications;(d) to promote the ownership and control of Canadian carriers by Canadians;(e) to promote the use of Canadian transmission facilities for telecommunications within Canada and between Canada and points outside Canada;(f) to foster increased reliance on market forces for the provision of telecommunications services and to ensure that regulation, where required, is efficient and effective;(g) to stimulate research and development in Canada in the field of telecommunications and to encourage innovation in the provision of telecommunications services;(h) to respond to the economic and social requirements of users of telecommunications services; and(i) to contribute to the protection of the privacy of persons.
  • Essential Services200. The Commission considers that the continued tariffing of non-essential services during their phase-out period and the continued tariffing of other wholesale services are necessary in light of the insufficiency of market forces as a means of achieving the policy objectives. The Commission also considers that these measures are efficient and proportionate to their purpose and interfere with the operation of competitive market forces to the minimum extent necessary to meet the policy objectives. 201. Regarding paragraph 1(b) of the Policy Direction, because the services under consideration in this proceeding are carrier services that competitors use as inputs for their retail services, the Commission considers that the determinations in this Decision that rely on regulation advance the policy objectives set out at paragraphs 7(a), (c), (f), and (h) of the Act. 202. The Commission considers that, for the reasons set out in this Decision, its determinations related to economic regulation neither deter economically efficient competitive entry into retail or wholesale markets, nor promote economically inefficient entry. Where the Commission has continued to rely on regulation that is not economic in nature, it has done so in a symmetrical and competitively neutral manner to the greatest extent possible. Regarding network interconnection services, customer access facilities, and support structure services, the Commission considers that these arrangements are technologically and competitively neutral to the greatest extent possible, enable competition from new technologies, and do not artificially favour Canadian carriers or resellers. 203. The Commission considers that its determinations in this Decision also comply with paragraph 1(c)(ii) of the Policy Direction.
  • CRTC Commissioner Tim Denton, Canadian Internet Forum

    1. 1. A presentation to the Canadian Internet forum Timothy Denton, February 28, 2013 1
    2. 2.  This is a talk prepared for the Canadian Internet Forum in February of 2013. It does not represent the official views of either the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, or the American Registry of Internet Numbers. 2
    3. 3. How should they think about the role of the carrier?Are carriers platforms on which others mayinnovate, or are they in command of what iscarried?  Carriers have the means and motives to vertically integrate:  to link the provision of services to certain carriers and not others, and  to gather the economic surplus created by the Internet 3
    4. 4.  We do not regulate the Internet, we regulate carriers and broadcasters ◦ Existing legislation was not designed for the Internet As well, cable and telcos grew up under different rules at different times (1890s versus 1970s) They have different obligations ◦ To allow interconnection, ◦ To protect Canadian culture, Different network architecture 4
    5. 5.  The CRTC dates from 1968, and is the successor to predecessor regulatory agencies ◦ It has two principal statutes, and a new one Broadcasting Act 1991, basically a rewrite of 1968 legislation Telecommunications Act 1993 Canadian Anti-Spam Law 2012 (not yet implemented) 5
    6. 6. Broadcasting Act: ◦ Grants privileges to Canadian signals, and to licence holders, as well as obligations ◦ Wholly oriented to the producer of Canadian content ◦ No mention of the word “consumer” in the Act ◦ Strong cultural nationalist bias ◦ Comprehensive scheme of regulation, covers the cable industry when it acts as carrier of broadcasting ◦ Predicated on ideas deriving from over-the-air broadcasting 6
    7. 7. Telecommunications Act ◦ Some national-development objectives ◦ some consumer objectives ◦ Market forces are encouraged ◦ Covers the cable industry when it acts as a carrier No unjust discrimination and no undue preference in tariffs Extensive powers of ◦ forbearance – in relation to services ◦ Exemption – in relation to geographic markets Policy Directive of 2006 strengthened tendency to deregulate where appropriate 97% of telecom carriers’ revenue is not regulated 7
    8. 8.  We have not tried to regulate the Internet as if it were “broadcasting”; We have sorted out the problem of net neutrality- traffic management measures, in principle; We have continued to foster leased access, but we can never be sure our pricing decisions are right; We adopted usage-based billing (UBB) and then retreated to a choice of capacity based billing (CBB) or flat rate billing. 8
    9. 9.  Unless we had decided against the Broadcasting Act, every Canadian website would have been licensed as a broadcaster or else exempted under an “exemption order”; The conditions of the exemption order would have amounted to regulation (speech or content controls); The Federal Court of Appeal was asked to look at the liability of ISPs as broadcasters (2010): result – they are not, if they act in a content-neutral way 9
    10. 10.  The decision (Oct 2009) laid down a framework for how the Commission would consider “traffic management practices” [TMPs] All measures to protect network security and integrity are okay, do not need pre-approval as a general rule The burden is always on the carrier to justify departures from neutrality. Economic (price) TMPs are preferred to others. Least discrimination, least harm are preferred. Implementation required follow-up. 10
    11. 11. Telecom Regulatory Policy 2009-657 established thattraffic management measures were to be  Transparent to the end user  Focused on specific needs  Not unjustly discriminatory or unduly preferential  Approved in advance if they affected wholesale suppliers especially  Preferably to be economic rather than technical 11
    12. 12.  The CRTC continued to require the incumbents (cable and telco) to wholesale access at matching speeds; Evened out the access requirements on cable and telcos, by increasing the obligations of the cable industry; Declined to approve new services based on the access to the central office or the cable head end (access-only interconnection) 12
    13. 13.  In the decision (January 2011), we decided on a 15% discount should apply between wholesale rates available to ISPs and the retail rates of the large carriers But, we imposed bit caps on all the customers of the smaller ISPs instead of one big bit cap on the ISP. 13
    14. 14.  Despite that UBB had been imposed on the residential customers of large carriers long before, applying UBB to the customers of smaller ISPs caused a revolt. Over 470,000 signed the digital petition The Minister of Industry tweeted his displeasure The CRTC announced a reconsideration of the UBB decision would take place. 14
    15. 15.  We came back with capacity based billing ◦ Carriers have a choice of CBB or flat rate pricing We continue to face the problem of setting appropriate wholesale prices that will ◦ Encourage larger carriers to build out networks and ◦ Maintain vigorous competition in services from all sizes of ISP 15
    16. 16.  Is there good reason to treat networks differently from, say, the propane distribution business? Or automobiles? Producers of things? Yes. ◦ Networks enable of social and economic transactions No. Networks should be treated like other businesses ◦ Competition between a few large networks is sufficient to protect the consumer and the public interest 16
    17. 17.  Canada has affirmed a vigorous policy of wholesale access. ◦ third-party access is a legitimate, if temporary, feature. US policy has unambiguously rejected a leased competition strategy. Other countries have gone much further to separate carriers from content providers Carriers insist that to be a platform would turn them into a public utility. The debate is never finally settled. 17
    18. 18.  There models of communications coexist: broadcasting, telecommunications, and the Internet The Internet increasingly dominates We are not merely passive recipients We are all potentially creators, collaborators, free agents Our job at the CRTC is to ensure that the gains allowed by the Internet are not lost. It is the old Republic of Letters, this time in full motion video, if we choose. 18