"If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself." Communities across Canada are doing just that when it comes to Internet access, through municipal broadband networks operated by local governments, public utilities, co-operatives, non-profits, or public-private partnerships. These towns are galvanizing Canada's otherwise lacklustre digital policy, as compared to the United States.
Last December, telecom policy-makers at the CRTC began a year-long consultation on the future of Canada's Internet services. The Review of Wholesale Services consultation is examining how Canadians are served by the current structure of our telecommunications system, and the policies that govern it.
What's at stake is whether Canadians will be able to access affordable, independent, and reliable Internet services that support their everyday well-being.
Given the public interest mandate of the CRTC, it is important that these services enable everyday Internet users across the country to maximize their innovative and productive potential, and exercise their democratic rights in a free and open society.
Internet users around the world have come together to shape a new agenda for how we share and collaborate online. This week, OpenMedia is launching a study called Our Digital Future: A Crowdsourced Agenda for Free Expression that draws on input from over 300,000 people in 155 countries around the globe. Together with a broad network of civil society organizations and experts, these concerned citizens have weighed in on how we can create sensible copyright rules that support free expression in our digitally connected era.