open standards & mobile

by Hugh

Contrasting with US moves (regulators and private companies) towards open mobile networks, which allow any device and any application to run on the airwaves, Michael Geist compares the Canadian situation:

The open network approach has yet to find much support in Canada, however, as the new spectrum auction rules did not include any open network requirements. In fact, while U.S. regulators have begun to prod the carriers to move toward greater openness by including open standard requirements into its forthcoming spectrum auction, Canadians are left with a closed market. Ottawa does not appear ready to help since Prentice will likely discard the consumer-first slogan when he introduces new copyright laws next week that could make it illegal for Canadians to unlock their cellphones. Moreover, while there will be another opportunity to inject both openness and competition into the market during the next spectrum auction in 2011, four years is a long time to wait to catch up to the rest of the world.

Remember when Canada had a policy position to be an innovator in telecoms? Remember when Canada actually was an innovator? Long gone, those days.