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Getting to Dialogue on Ontario Broadband Strategy

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Getting to dialogue on Ontario broadband strategy

In December 2006, the Information and Information Technology Strategy Group in the Ontario Ministry of Government Services issued a "Call for Working Papers" to provide a state-of-the-art look at supporting the utilization of broadband for social and economic development in the Ontario context. The papers are to be an integral part of a process of "open dialogue where interested community, academic, government and private sector partners can share perspectives, raise questions, discuss strategies for growth, and consider the challenges for public policy, government service delivery and economic and community development."

The process is important for a precise reason. Ontario┤s emphasis on the uses of broadband for development stands in stark contrast to the way that the Government of Canada has abandoned its essential role in strategic socio-economic planning by moving to deregulation of the telecommunications sector through market-based approaches.

The papers that resulted from the call are now published online. Four of the eight papers address the wisdom of ...


Ricardo Ramirez, Garth Graham, Fred G. Bigham, and Dan Pellerin. Broadband for what? Policy implications of an essential public utility . April 30, 2007. PDF "While much of the debate centres on the mechanisms to deliver broadband, we suggest that at least two fundamental drivers for broadband as an essential public utility merit attention: the first is a community development case, and the second is about the nature of the space for interaction and innovation that broadband creates - what we refer to as IP as a commons." P.1.

Helen Hambly, Laxmi Pant, Peter Sykanda and John Fitzsimons. Innovations in Farm Families and Rural Communities: Capacity Development for Broadband Use in Southern Ontario. School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph, May 2007. PDF "Broadband is a shared resource, and as such, communities require opportunities to participate and interact in its development and eventually, in its monitoring. ...... Awareness creation, effective communication and representation by the local level will contribute to further technological, organizational and institutional innovations." P.40.

Adam Fiser and Andrew Clement. The K-Net Deployment Model: How a Community-Based Network Integrates Public, Private and Not-for-Profit Sectors to Support Remote and Under-Served Communities in Ontario. Information Policy Research Program, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto, May 2007. PDF "As K-Net demonstrates, together, community-based networks and the public sector can do business, with and without the private sector to support local community access, local community ownership, and local community control over communications." P.10.

Tom Brenner, Donald D. Cowan, Brian Harvey, Fred McGarry, Dan D. P. McCarthy and Stephen D. Murphy. Collaborative Geomatics for Participatory Democracy and Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Issues and Design Implications . A Working Paper for the Ministry of Government Services, May 14, 2007 PDF "Wide-spread collaboration can be mobilized by ICT strategies that deploy social network and place-based technology to support stakeholder engagement in place- based policy development, application and tracking." P.3.


There┤s an appendix to Ramirez et al that consolidates the thinking of TC Board Member, Garth Graham, about the social implications of Internet Protocol for structure and forms of organization. He also addresses how the topic of IP┤s impact is totally absent from Canadian public policy debate and why that matters. If anyone has any ideas on how such a debate might get started, he┤d be interested in hearing from them: Garth Graham. IP rules! April 23, 2007. (Appendix A of Ricardo Ramirez, Garth Graham, Fred G. Bigham, and Dan Pellerin. Broadband for what? Policy implications of an essential public utility . April 30, 2007. pp 34-41). PDF

THE OTHER FOUR PAPERS, as below, can be found at KMDI at the University of Toronto ... under the confusing heading of "Abstracts of Selected Papers." Watch for the "[paper]" link at the end of each entry, and be aware that the abstract titles and subsequent published paper titles differ slightly:

Ron N. Buliung. Broadband Technology and Metropolitan Sustainability: An Interpretive Review.

Charles H. Davis. Broadband, ICTs, and the Expansion of Ontario SMEs: Towards a Research Agenda. School of Radio and Television Arts and Ted Rogers School of Management, Rogers Communications Centre, Ryerson University, August 10, 2007.

Graham Longford. Network neutrality┤ vs `network diversity┤: a survey of the debate, policy landscape and implications for broadband as an essential service for Ontarians.

Catherine A. Middleton. Understanding the Benefits of Broadband: Insights for a Broadband Enabled Ontario. A paper prepared for the Ministry of Government Services, Ontario. Updated July 2007.

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