Telecom & Cable

Understanding engineering economics

One of the most important books in my telecom library is entitled Engineering Economy, A Manager’s Guide to Economic Decision Making, by AT&T – the original, pre-divestiture, full Bell System, AT&T. Mine is a copy of the third edition, dating back to 1977, just a couple years before I got into ...

A key to recovery? Communications leadership

An article in the weekend Toronto Star credits Canada’s strong telecommunications infrastructure with helping the country manage through the COVID-19 crisis so far. I would add that we need strong leadership to guide development of smart telecommunications policy. In “What Canada can learn from ...

Archival papers in a digital age

Last week, I wrote about one of the most useful books in my personal library (Engineering Economy), a book I received when I was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs in the mid 1980s. I have some other printed books that I go to regularly, such as an autographed copy of the 2006 report of the T ...

Policy-based evidence making

If you believe a recent survey, 1 in 6 Canadians sent a fax last year to a government department because that agency would not accept scanned documents by email. Perhaps no other data point in the CIRA survey demonstrates that something smells wrong with the methodology or results. Frankly, I don ...

Great networks are just a part of the equation

Perhaps more than ever before, the availability of universal on-line connectivity has been a prominent part of the public conversation. With people stuck at home, awareness of the digital divide has never been more profound. It is worthwhile taking a look at intermediate successes that should be ce ...

Competition brings out the best

At the Rural and Remote Broadband Conference earlier this week, a number of speakers used roadways as a metaphor for a utility model of internet investment, saying that we don’t have different roads for different makes of cars. No, we don’t. Almost every type of vehicle can ride on top of almos ...

Should broadband be a ‘public utility’?

Over the past few weeks, I have been concerned about a growing number of calls for broadband to be considered a public utility. We all want to find ways to get more people to have access to broadband. Treating broadband as a public utility just isn’t the right way to get there. In conversation wi ...

Announcing a coming announcement

In central Ontario, the sun is shining, temperatures are in the mid-20’s, and there’s virtually no humidity. It is beautiful mid-June weather. It is a perfect time for construction crews to be out installing broadband facilities in unserved and under-served rural markets except for one importan ...

What are Canada’s de minimis thresholds for courier shipments?

When it was announced that Canada, the United States and Mexico had reached an agreement to amend the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), one of the important changes was an increase to the de minimis threshold, which is the monetary value of courier shipments that can enter Canada w ...

Unnamed Persons Requirement May Be Used To Obtain Names of Potential Tax Cheats

The Canadian Minister of National Revenue (“Minister”) may, under subsection 231.2(3) of the Income Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 1 (5th Supp.) and subsection 289(3) of the Excise Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-15, seek information from third parties in order to look for tax cheats. The request by the M ...