15 September 2005

Canadian Telecommunications Policy Review

I would like to draw your attention to an ongoing review of Canadian Telecommunications Policy. The second round comment period ends today. The submitted comments are all available on line.

I would like to point out some procedural elements that are noteworthy. First, the publication of a consultation paper. Second, the publication of terms of reference. Third, the availability of two comment periods -- one for initial comments and the other for clarification/rebuttal. Why and how are each of these elements useful and important? You might also take a sampling of some of the submitted comments; do they reflect the positions you might expect? Were you able to think of a viewpoint that was not represented?


James Twigger said...

From what I've read, my understanding is that the consultation paper is developed in order lay the groundwork or to prepare a framework for the upcoming panel discussions. Although, it states that it does not wish to limit the topics to be discussed, it does provide direction as to what topics are of most importance to the panel in providing for Canada's future telecommunication systems.

The Terms of Reference, to me, seem to be more technical in that they provide information on how the panel was setup, and provide direct instructions to the panel on what exactly their job is and what results or information they should produce as a result of these discussions.

Last, I believe that the comment periods are important because they allow the general public to become involve. It shows that both the Canadian government and the panel recognize that they might not be familiar with every technology available, and therefore want to solicit opinions from as many individuals or groups as possible. This will ensure that the panel can make much more knowledgable decisions rather than acting alone. Also, it allows the panel to gather a larger amount of information in a shorter amount of time.

mohamed said...

I think the consultation paper is to bring together all interested parties or stakeholders in the telecom industry. It is like a notice of intention.

The terms of reference is used to mention the specific areas which are going to be reviewed. It is also used to give the direction to be taken. For example, it can show the government's commitment towards a certain policy.

The comment period is used to gather input from stakeholders. It is important in the sense that it can help reach a common agreement.