New CRTC Boss is Ex Rogers, Bell Exec
The Revolving Door Spins Ever Faster
We've often talked about how Canada was actually seeing some significant growth in their broadband sector early on, with users seeing faster speeds at fairly reasonable prices. The country also consistently ranked very high in the global broadband penetration rankings -- despite the evil bogeyman known as "geography" -- which many here in the states use to justify the United States' broadband failings. Things were going well for Canadian broadband. But then Canada decided to start mirroring United States broadband policy.
That policy being to pretend that the market is competitive. Terrified of upsetting powerful political constituents, and stocked with executives from the incumbent ISPs, Canada's CRTC rattled off a series of anti-consumer policies that ensured that just like their neighbors to the Sourth, Canadian consumers would pay more -- for less broadband -- than dozens of developed nations.
The CRTC's Bell/Rogers friendly agenda wound up biting them last year, when CRTC boss Konrad von Finckenstein was forced to actually defend at hearing the CRTC's blissfully-ignorant decision to impose expensive new usage-based pricing on already-expensive bandwidth for wholesalers and consumers. Users in our forums
notes that von Fickenstein has left the agency, replaced with interim boss Leonard Katz, who spent eleven years with Bell and seventeen with Rogers, mostly in their lobbying and policy units.
"It's like they aren't even trying to pretend the CRTC is a rubberstamp stop for the oligopolies," laments one of our forum users. On the positive side, Katz, who has served as the CRTC vice-chairman since 2007, is expected to be swapped out with a replacement by the end of the year.