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Geoff White, Talking points for iscc first symposium

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Session 4: Internet Policies and Protecting the Interests of End-Users

This session will examine a number of public policy issues being debated in Canada and their impact on the interests of end-users, including:
Net neutrality and the proposal of the Quebec government to require Internet service providers to block certain online gaming websites
The tension between Internet openness / the protection of privacy and national security / law enforcement
Broadband access as a basic service
The roles of competition and regulation in the provision of Internet access

Panelists will include:

Moderator: Dr. Sam Lanfranco, ISCC Director
Timothy Denton, Principal at the Windermere Group and Chair of ISCC
Jeremy Depow, Executive Director of Canada’s Digital Policy Forum
Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law and Law Professor at the University of Ottawa
Geoffrey White, Counsel, Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Christian Tacit, Founder of Tacit Law and Vice-Chair and Corporate Secretary of ISCC

Published in: Education
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Geoff White, Talking points for iscc first symposium

  1. 1. What’s the internet for? Who’s the internet for? Who’s the internet debate for? Geoff White, Barrister & Solicitor For the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
  2. 2. What’s the internet for? 9/24/2015 2Geoff White | For PIAC
  3. 3. What’s the internet for? 9/24/2015 3Geoff White | For PIAC
  4. 4. What’s the internet for? 9/24/2015 4Geoff White | For PIAC
  5. 5. What’s the internet for? 9/24/2015 5Geoff White | For PIAC
  6. 6. What’s the internet for? 4 service providers’ views (emphasis added) 1. "Email and Web-browsing (and the plethora of activities and socio-economic contributions that can be achieved through web browsing and email) are the services most necessary to meaningfully participate in the digital economy. … We submit that although of interest from an entertainment perspective, high bandwidth applications and services are not necessary to participate in the digital economy." 2. “[O]nly wireline voice is an essential service and that access to Digital Economy Broadband Services is important, but not essential, for Canadians” 9/24/2015 6Geoff White | For PIAC
  7. 7. What’s the internet for? 4 service providers’ views (emphasis added) 3. “A number of the popular Internet activities […] are most accurately characterized as satisfying the recreational and entertainment wants of Canadians rather than representing a basic use of the Internet that meets their basic telecommunications needs to actively engage in the digital economy. For example, downloading and streaming movies, television programming and music certainly allow individuals to be entertained through online services, but these do not rise to the level of being essential to the economic or social welfare of Canadians.” 4. “[W]hat Canadians expect they should be able to use the internet for would be much more expansive than what should be considered a basic service as a government supported policy.” 9/24/2015 7Geoff White | For PIAC
  8. 8. Who is the internet for? • ISCC: “The Internet is for Everyone” • Question: Is it? – Legally? UN says it’s a human right – Regulatory? Not if dial-up access remains the “basic” standard? – Practically? See testimonials. • Answer: The internet is not currently for everyone – Access to broadband has two components: availability and affordability. – Not everyone can access essential services, or sufficient speeds. – #’s of people either don’t have access, or sufficient access, or affordability. 9/24/2015 8Geoff White | For PIAC
  9. 9. Who’s the internet for? 9/24/2015 9Geoff White | For PIAC
  10. 10. Who’s the internet for? 9/24/2015 10Geoff White | For PIAC
  11. 11. Who’s the internet for? 9/24/2015 11Geoff White | For PIAC
  12. 12. Who’s the internet for? • 80% of Canadians indicate that broadband Internet service at home is essential, to varying degrees, with 37% responding that it is “absolutely essential.” • 84% of Canadians believe that all Canadians should have access to broadband Internet service at home no matter where they live in Canada, compared to only 15% who do not. 9/24/2015 12Geoff White | For PIAC
  13. 13. What’s the “basic” level of internet access (CRTC Consultation 2015-134) • “50-80” rule • considers a telecommunications service as “basic” for the purposes of determining required universal service if 50% of the population subscribes to a service, and 80% of those subscribers do so at given speed. • E.g., if 50% of Canadians subscribed to broadband Internet service, & 80% of those did so at 5 Mbps*, then that is considered, legally, “basic” service. (*using 2013 data) 9/24/2015 13Geoff White | For PIAC
  14. 14. Basic telecommunications service (CRTC Consultation 2015-134) • Do we even need to debate whether broadband access is essential? • Does it matter if many people use broadband internet for ‘trivial’ matters? • How is socializing online different from socializing on the telephone? 9/24/2015 14Geoff White | For PIAC
  15. 15. The AAC’s key recommendations • “Basic” should mean “capability to connect via high speed data transmission (“broadband”, currently 5-10 Mbps, expected to be 25 Mbps by 2020) to the Internet “ • Update “basic” definition annually • Implement “Affordability Funding Mechanism” – $11 monthly subsidy to eligible households (“baseline” case) – $22 / month under “ambitious” case • Implement “Broadband Deployment Funding Mechanism” 9/24/2015 15Geoff White | For PIAC
  16. 16. The AAC’s key recommendations 9/24/2015 16Geoff White | For PIAC
  17. 17. The AAC’s key recommendations 9/24/2015 17Geoff White | For PIAC
  18. 18. Who should get to debate these issues? • Academics? • Activists? • Advocates? • Consultants? • Engineers? • Individuals? • Lawyers? 9/24/2015 18Geoff White | For PIAC
  19. 19. Who gets to debate these issues? 9/24/2015 19Geoff White | For PIAC
  20. 20. Who gets to debate these issues? • Answer: Everyone – CRTC has open processes, is engaged in significant outreach – Part I process allows interested persons to bring forth any matter, and allow interested persons to intervene. – Social media enabling broader engagement • Issue is relevance and weight given to evidence 9/24/2015 20Geoff White | For PIAC
  21. 21. Thank you gwhite@piac.ca 613-612-1190 9/24/2015 Geoff White | For PIAC 21

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