Rogers And The Globe And Mail Trade Shots Over Broadband Study…. Canadian Broadband Users Still The Big Losers

Earlier this week a study came out from Harvard [Waring: PDF] that basically highlighted what everybody in Canada already knows (and I’ve pointed out on a couple of occasions). Canada is behind the curve when it comes to broadband. This lead to a rather interesting editorial in the Globe And Mail this past Sunday. Here’s a sample of what they had to say:

In the economic race among nations, widespread Internet access, and its fast, reliable and cheap provision to the most people, is a prerequisite for success. And Canada is falling behind. If we are to compete, it will take new policies, new vision from corporations, the federal government and its regulators, and a national collective will to compete.

That’s something that I’ve been saying for a while. Rogers for one doesn’t see things that way and shot back a very terse response to The Globe And Mail from Rogers V.P. of public affairs, Jan Innes on Wednesday:

For Canada to win in a global digital economy, our country needs to establish a national vision that looks beyond the often-flawed statistical rankings of broadband infrastructure. What we need to understand is why so many Canadian households still don’t have computers, why Canada is lagging in scientific research, and how we should best promote the development of Canadian content and applications.

You know, every time I keep hearing about a study that highlights the fact Canada is behind the curve when it comes to broadband access, the number one excuse that I keep hearing from Canadian telcos is that the study is flawed. If you the telcos think that’s the case, then show us an independent study from a source that everybody respects that supports your view that the Harvard study is flawed and maybe some points of view may change. But in the meantime, here’s my $0.02 worth. I’ve got customers in Canada, the US, and several European countries. I’ve used broadband Internet services in all those countries and from my perspective, Canada sucks when it comes to broadband Internet services. Compared to what is available in places like France and Germany, we’re in a digital wasteland. The only reason that it’s being denied by telcos like Rogers is that they really don’t want the federal government to wake up and say “You know, we need to take control of this before we fall too far behind the rest of the planet. Let’s pass some legislation to make this happen.” But legislation is the only way that this issue will get fixed as the telcos have proven that they want to give consumers less product for more money.

The only question, how long will Canadian broadband users have to wait for this to happen?

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