Canada’s telecommunications industry is on track to remain healthy and growing, but only if the government helps sustain it. This was the major takeaway from a recent report titled ‘The State of Competition in Canada’s Telecommunications Industry.’
Co-authored by Martin Masse and Paul Beaudry for the Montreal Economic Institute, the report discusses the “fourth industrial revolution” that the world is experiencing with the advent of “The Internet of Things” (IoT) and interconnected technologies becoming increasingly prevalent in everyday life.
From security systems, to appliances, to agricultural production and traffic management, more sectors of Canadian industry are utilizing technology that is connected to the internet. Furthermore the report says that the telecommunications market is expected to be worth $21 billion by 2018.
But Masse, says that policies implement by the federal government and the CRTC over the past decade may slow down the development of IoT in Canada. While these policies are intended to benefit undercapitalized wireless players and Internet service resellers, Masse says this has instead merely encouraged artificial competition and led to a waste of resources such as valuable spectrum.
“Major network investments will therefore be required to accommodate this exponential growth of traffic,” explains Masse. “Yet only solid national and regional providers with their own infrastructure have the means to invest in the wireline and wireless networks that will be required to keep up with IoT developments.”
According to the report, “the government should liberalize its policies on spectrum transfer and the mandatory sharing of broadband networks, and recognize the role of innovation in assessing the level of competition that exists in a dynamic market.”
Beaudry adds that “facilities-based competition, as opposed to service-based competition, is the best way to spur innovation.”
The full report can be found here.
In other telecommunications news, an advisor for U.S. President Donald Trump recently criticized Canada’s stance on a zero rating for net neutrality.
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