Monday, June 1, 2009

Hurrah, hurrah, we're number 28...

Excerpted from www.MichaelGeist.ca

Canada has one of the slowest and most expensive consumer broadband networks in the developed world. An OECD report, widely viewed as the leading global benchmark on broadband networks, compared Canada with 29 other countries on a range of metrics. These included broadband availability, pricing, speed, and bandwidth caps.

As measured by price per megabyte Canada ranks 28th out of 30 countries, ahead of only Mexico and Poland. This confirms that Canadians pay more for less.

Canadian consumers also face far less choice with respect to broadband options. Canada was one of only four countries where all broadband options included "bit caps" that limit consumer use each month.

Most Canadians recognize the critical importance of broadband networks for communication, commerce, education, and access to knowledge. Canada was once a global leader, yet today the marketplace suffers from high prices, slow speeds, and throttled services that have led to an unmistakable decline in comparison with peer countries around the world.

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Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. He has obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees from Cambridge University in the UK and Columbia Law School in New York, and a Doctorate in Law (J.S.D.) from Columbia Law School. Dr. Geist has written numerous academic articles and government reports on the Internet and law and was a member of Canada's National Task Force on Spam. He is an internationally syndicated columnist on technology law issues.

In late May, Dr. Geist embarassed the Conference Board of Canada, an organization that promotes itself as providing "Insights You Can Count On." In the "Cut and Paste Caper", the Conference Board was forced to withdraw three reports that, among other things, called for tougher copyright laws. Dr. Geist had pointed out data and interpretation errors and rampant plagiarism with parts of the reports copied from American pro-copyright business groups.

The Canadian Government contributed $15,000 for preparation of the Conference Board reports. It is uncertain whether or not that will be refunded.

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