When CBC’s Jesse Brown asked Is Canada becoming a digital ghetto, my answer was an immediate “Of course”. Canadians who don’t travel or do business outside of the country would never know this, but the wars being fought and won over consumer digital rights in other parts of the world are simply not news here. Canadians will pay more for phones and televisions because the CRTC has sided with carriers on the crucial issue of network neutrality. Because of our “Made in Canada” copyright reform, ordinary Canadians who buy and share music with family members will become criminals in their own homes.
My American friends speak glowingly of the convenience of being able to download and watch television using services like Hulu.com. They enjoy generous flat rate plans for telecom that give them virtually unlimited buckets of minutes and are driving a booming mobile telecom industry.
They have these innovative products and services because the regulator in the US favours the consumer and not the entrenched network interests.