A federal review of Canada’s internet regulation is likely to raise concerns about whether the country has enough time to adapt its policies to the realities of the internet era, a study commissioned by a major tech company says.
The report by Cogent Canada found that Canadian internet infrastructure is already too complex and that it is likely that some of the country’s best minds, most experienced providers and most knowledgeable users would not be ready to support a new internet standard anytime soon.
The report says the existing rules have not adequately addressed the changing nature of the web, which requires more attention and collaboration between ISPs and content creators.
“We believe that the Canadian government needs to take a broader view of the changing web, particularly in terms of the need for more robust, innovative, flexible and flexible rules that can support the development and adoption of new technologies,” said co-author Scott Bowerman, who serves as the director of technology for Cogence Canada, a company that works with technology and innovation companies to identify opportunities and solutions to issues in technology and digital transformation.
The new report says that Canadian regulators and policy makers should focus on the long-term interests of consumers and small businesses and not on the short-term gains of incumbents.
“A major component of this report is to highlight the potential for a disruption to the digital economy and the importance of protecting incumbent networks,” Bowermann said.
“That’s where the long term interests come into play.”
The report’s recommendations for new rules include requiring that internet providers have explicit, clear and enforceable terms of service, a minimum level of network neutrality and strict oversight.
They also call for better sharing of consumer information between ISPs.
The government should also establish a process for assessing and approving applications for spectrum in the country.
Other recommendations include new requirements for providers to allow customers to opt out of some features, such as blocking websites or ads, and a requirement that they allow access to content on their networks.
The companies also said they would not accept applications from Canadian ISPs for a new wireless spectrum license if the government does not allow the process to be streamlined.
They want the government to establish a similar process for spectrum purchases in the United States.
The study was commissioned by telecom companies Rogers Communications Inc., Bell Canada, Videotron Inc. and Telus Corp., as well as the National Capital Commission, which regulates the countrys wireless industry.
Rogers said in a statement that it would be happy to review the report and provide feedback.