On Friday the Globe and Mail Newspaper broke a story about an independent network of rural Canadians citizens who have formed The Peace River Internet Society, essentially setting themselves up as their own ISP, providing themselves and their community local high speed service since none of the corporate ISPs are willing to. The profits are plowed back into the operation to pay for the really hard to reach customers.
It has applied to use a higher-quality piece of wireless spectrum, one that will allow it to offer faster connections that won’t be affected by interference from run-of-the-mill wireless devices like garage door openers, as its current service does.
The all Canadian group of all Canadian residents was turned down after jumping through a variety of Ministry of Industry hoops for not being Canadian.
I have two questions.
#1. Who makes up the rules?
How could these criteria possibly exist in the first place?
#2. How could a decision like this possibly be made?
Why couldn’t the people who dealt with this application see the absurdity of this decision?
Once the Globe broke the story, and people began “Tweeting” about it on Twitter, Tony Clement, the Minister of Industry himself Tweeted:
On one hand, that’s great. Citizen accessibility. The Minister of Industry has ordered a review. That’s dandy… except now there are another couple of questions.
#3. Is Tony Clement talking about a review of this particular case?
If so, the same bad system will still be in place the next time it happens. In that case, will the Globe run a similar story the next time it happens?
Or is he looking planning to review the whole shooting match?
#4. Why do Canadians have to get their plight featured in a major newspaper story and then disseminated on the internet before the government listens?
Shouldn’t there be some accessible review process?
The Globe story makes an additional point of pointing a finger at WindMobile, the Egyptian financed cell phone service provider for not being Canadian enough.
Yet the Canadian Government Minister of Industry, the man with the power to define an ISP as Canadian is “tweeting” his intentions on the proprietary American Twitter service. Shouldn’t the Canadian Minister of Industry be supporting the Canadian Digital Economy?
Sadly, Tony Clement doesn’t even HAVE an account on the equivalent (but open source) Canadian Identi.ca