|Updated: 2023-12-01 11:33 PST|
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April 2023: TC statement to the Global Digital Compact
Digital Commons as a Global Public Good
Internet policy is not about technology but about socio-economic development. Today all policy is Internet policy. The future of governance in the digital age is at stake.
To ensure that the digital commons is preserved as a global public good, the following principles must be respected:
Digital culture is emerging from a relational worldview founded on the principles governing interdependence in open and self-organizing systems. The best place to act in applying principles for governance as self-organization is neither national nor global. It is local -- reflecting the interaction of individuals and the communities of interest and practice they inhabit.
Understanding Internet governance as an ecology mirrors a shift in our understanding both of governance and of the significance of community within it. All stakeholders must recognize and respect the significance of community and the power contained therein. As a community of users, Telecommunities Canada is committed to ensuring that all Canadians are able to participate in community-based communications and electronic information services by promoting and supporting local community network initiatives.
Filed April 2023
2021: In Memoriam — Brian Beaton – 1953-2021
We are saddened by the loss of one of our directors and long-time supporters. Brian Beaton was a passionate advocate for community ownership of critical infrastructure, particularly communications resources. In the mid-1990's, he managed the team that built K-Net1, a unique First Nations owned and operated ICT service provider that connects hundreds of remote communities over thousands of miles. From its onset, K-Net was designed to serve the social and economic development needs of its constituent communities. In 2001, Brian served on the federal government's National Broadband Taskforce and was instrumental in its recommendation that called for prioritizing First Nations, Inuit, rural and remote communities in any national broadband strategy. His unique perspectives, grounded in the community contexts he knew so well, will be deeply missed. More information on Brian's life journey: Remembering Brian Beaton
June 2021: TC now has a YouTube channel
2020–2021: Guest Speakers at TC virtual meetings
On May 30, TeleCommunities Canada and NARALO continued its series of ICANN outreach events with a pre-ICANN65 briefing held at the Ottawa offices of Rebel.com. A member of the ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement team presented a brief introduction to the multi-stakeholder system practiced at ICANN. There was also a presentation on the ongoing work seeking to determine how geographical names at the top level should be managed in a possible new round of generic top level domain applications and an update on progress toward complying with the new European Data Protection Regulations. This was followed by a networking session. A report and video of the session has been posted under TC and ICANN.
On November 28, TeleCommunities Canada and NARALO organized the second ICANN 63 Readout in Ottawa in 2018. The event was attended by 15 people with another 17 participating remotely via the ISOC Livestream channel and ICANN's Adobe room. ICANN senior staff, government and community members provided insights into the discussions at the recent ICANN meeting in Barcelona (Oct.20-25, 2018). Topics included an introduction to the multi-stakeholder system, the role of the Government Advisory Committee at ICANN, how ICANN and other bodies can comply with the European Data Protection Regulations and issues around the use of geonames at the top level. The presentations were followed by a networking session which enabled one on one discussions and follow-up questions. For further information see the ICANN 63 Readout Report [RTF] and links to archived resources under TC and ICANN.
TeleCommunities Canada sponsored the first ICANN read-out in Canada. Such read-outs are a way to keep end-users informed on ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) processes and the various issues under discussion at its public meetings. This session was streamed on the ISOC livestream channel. Presentations addressed the ICANN multistakeholder model, the role of government, the role of the country code supporting organization, and privacy protection for domain name registrants at ICANN. For further information and links to archived resources, please see TC and ICANN.
Fab Labs Nation: A Fab Lab is a space for citizen participation where everyone can access technology, learn how to create and share their knowledge with members of the community. The Fab Labs Nation will connect existing Fab Labs in a concerted strategy to enhance sharing and capture what each is doing to spark community resilience, promote business innovation, entrepreneurship and create jobs for the future.
Digital Access Day - connecting all Canadians: The first-annual Canadian Digital Access Day will bring together non-governmental organizations, different levels of government, educational institutions and the technology sector to amplify the national conversation around Canada's digital divide. It's an opportunity to identify what is being done now, what else can be done and how to measure progress.
StreetMessenger.ca leverages SMS technology to send messages to the cell phones of homeless and street-involved youth with program information, life-saving alerts and real-time updates on available shelter beds displayed on Google Maps. With the live-launch of StreetMessenger, VCN is working with community organizations in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto to register cellphone carrying at-risk street and marginalized individuals in their communities.
TC was represented at the General Assembly of the North American Regional At Large Organization (NARALO) held in New Orleans April 2-5. TC is one of 29 At Large Structures (ALSs) in NARALO. RALOs serve as coordination points for public input into policy and procedures at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and a focal point for ICANN outreach activities. Canadian ALSs comprised almost half of the approx. 25 attendees. This included Canadian community networking representatives from Communautique, National Capital Freenet, Nova Scotia Western Valley CAP sites, and Pacific Community Networking Association as well as TC.
As part of this event, ALS representatives also participated in the policy meeting of ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers, the organization which manages the distribution of IP address space. Canadian participants were instrumental in persuading the meeting to reconsider dropping a policy which granted special status to community networks.
For more info on how the role of At Large Organizations in ICANN please see: Roles and Responsibilities of RALOs.
In its contribution to the 2016 federal pre-budget consultation, Telecommunities Canada points out that a world-class digital strategy is essential to maintaining Canada’s social and cultural relevance and economic competitiveness. ICT and digital literacy are today's most powerful catalysts for social and economic innovation, says the submission and Canada is falling behind. Ample, accessible and affordable broadband is essential and community. Local/ municipal/ community ownership of broadband infrastructure as a public utility is the only route to ensuring that communities are smart enough to take charge of their own digital futures.
This comment [PDF] urges the Commission to:
Gareth Shearman, President of Telecommunities Canada since 1998, died, October 14, 2013, after a lengthy struggle with cancer. In 1992, he was also instrumental in establishing the Victoria Free-Net Association - Canada's first Free-Net. Victoria Free-Net has posted a condolences page in his honour.
As part of Victoria Free-Net's "transition" to life beyond CAP, we've moved from our 18 year home at Commerce Circle to a more compact, far less costly, location at the Vancouver Island Technology Park. The team of volunteers has literally moved heaven and hell over the last several months to accomplish this. Thursday, May 30th, was the last act, shutting down and moving the server room.
This Facebook URL should let anyone see the flavour of the turning point: Photos of VTN take-down
TC's communications with members and board members and advisors flow through Victoria Free-Net.
Telecommunities Canada (www.tc.ca) intervention re: Broadcasting notice of consultation CRTC 210-623 -- Call for comments on contributions by broadcasting distribution undertakings to local expression. TC supports the renewed proposal by the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) to use the 0.5% of cable gross revenues that would become available under the CRTC's proposal in 2010-623 for the establishment of a Community-Access Media Fund to which independent non-profit community-run access channels could apply. [RTF 19KB]
After hosting Open Internet Town Hall events in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto, Telecommunities Canada (www.tc.ca) and SaveOurNet.ca are pleased to announce yet another exciting event, this time in Halifax.
On October 26th, the Dalhousie Student Union and along with the Chebucto Community Network (www.chebucto.ns.ca) will host a town hall titled "Who is Shaping your Digital Future?" Keynote speaker will be Laura Murray, Queen's University Professor and digital copyright expert. This will be followed by a panel of local experts who will explore topics such as net neutrality and the digital divide.
The event goes from 7:00p.m. to 9:30 pm, Monday, October 26th at the McInnes Room of the Dalhousie University Student Union Building. For more information please see: http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/townhall/ and http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/news/ and (broken link) http://thearcadianrecorder.blogspot.com/2009/10/who-is-shaping-your-digital-future.html
At the 2009 ICT Summit, TeleCommunities Canada sponsored a community discussion on the need for a national strategy on the uses of the Internet for socio-economic development. The statement that emerged from this discussion suggests that on-line assets are among the social indicators that determine our health as a nation. It calls for a strategy guided by a national multi-stakeholder council - a cohesive single voice that reflects the diversity of our society: [HTML 4.8KB] [MSWord 34KB]
ACCESS, OPENNESS AND INCLUSION IN MEDIA are essential to a robust democracy and a healthy economy. The Internet is a basic component of our society and essential to every aspect of our lives. Strengthening the infrastructure of Canada's Internet is therefore crucial to the prosperity of citizens socially, economically, and politically, and the country as the whole.
Ottawa's open Internet Town Hall took place at the Ottawa Public Library, June 10, 7-9 pm. Introduction by Steve Anderson - co-founder, http://SaveOurNet.ca/ with speakers: Michael Geist - Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, Charlie Angus - MP Timmins James Bay, and Rocky Gaudrault - CEO, Teksavvy Solutions Inc.
This event was made possible through the generous support of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
In our digital age, what kind of society do we want? Although still rare, participatory forums to address this question are beginning to occur at the community-level. In the hope of seeding more of them, we intend to use these web pages to share some examples of community-based dialogue on this important public policy issue.
TC members played a major role in the Alternative Telecommunications Policy Forum organized by the Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking (CRACIN). CRACIN co-investigator Marita Moll was one of the forum organizers. TC directors were active participants in panels and workshop sessions. For more information see (broken link) http://www3.fis.utoronto.ca/research/iprp/cracin/alttelecompolicyforum.ca/
A representation from Telecommunities Canada to the Telecommunications Policy Branch, Industry Canada, with respect to: Order under Section 8 of the Telecommunications Act - Draft Policy Direction from Cabinet to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. This is available on the Advocacy and Reports page entitled: TC REPRESENTATION ON CABINET DIRECTIVE TO THE CRTC .
A critique of the Report of the Telecommunications Policy Review Panel is available on the Advocacy and Reports page, entitled CANADIANS ONLINE - CREATORS NOT CONSUMERS .
In seeking a way to understand the issues driving the Internet Governance debate at WSIS, TC Board member, Garth Graham, has used scenarios to produce a brief synthesis and overview titled, Experiencing the Information Society: four Internet futures .
TC first and second responses are available on the Advocacy and Reports page.
The UN Secretary General's Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) is developing a report for the November 2005 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). In early May, the WGIG posted a questionnaire that seeks to gather public opinion on institutional arrangements related to Internet governance. They seek views on the functioning of the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers and the Government Advisory Council (GAC), and recommendations about whether another mechanism is needed and what it might look like. The questionnaire is available at the WGIG site: www.wgig.org. A TC comment to the discussion wiki accompanying the questionnaire is available here.
TC had a major presence at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO sponsored conference "Paving the road to Tunis WSIS II: The views of Canada's Civil Society on the Geneva Plan of Action and the Prospects for Phase II" Winnipeg, May 13-15, 2005.
The following TC directors were in attendance:
The TC statement "Beyond the Information Society; Enabling Communities to Create the World We Want / Au-delà de la société de l'information; Permettre aux communautés de créer le monde que nous désirons" was well received and is listed in the final communiqué of the conference among the WSIS sites available for further consultation.
TC President, Gary Shearman and Peter Frampton, chair of the National Association of Community Access Programs participated in a panel on "Civil society's role in building a global information society." Their presentation 10 years of investment -- CAP -- The Community Access program in Canada is available here.
We are slowly (very, very, very slowly, even imperceptibly) updating this most ancient, historic, and now venerable section of our Web Site. That involves deciding what this site should be about, choosing open-source software to build it, and then keeping it updated.
Until our site update is complete, treat much of this historic material as "the way were were" not "the way we are"!
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2023-12-01 11:33 PST[-0800]
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