The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. It's a shame when outdated material and uninformed reporters combine to present an unclear picture of Canada's telecommunications market. Yet that's what readers of the Ottawa Citizen were subjected to recently.  Under the headline "Canadians hooked on cable Internet", the story pointed out that cable hookups in Canada are at twice the rate of the United States. The cause of this, we are told, is third-party access. "The CRTC has mandated third-party access to cable, creating a competitive environment among Internet cable providers that does not yet exist in the U.S.," the article states. This is patently ludicrous to anyone who follows the industry. While the CRTC may expect cablecos to share their networks, the companies have been shamefully slow to comply. The Canadian Association of Internet Providers has destroyed entire forests filing paperwork to the commission that cites the failure of large cablecos to provide third-party access. As an article in our last issue showed, some cable operators have been doing some creative accounting to make third-party access more expensive. The basis for the article was a March 1999 Industry Canada poll conducted by ACNielsen/DJC Research. The reporter noticed it on a list of government reports issued by the Library of Parliament. It is a truism that change comes quickly in the telecom field. Predictions are made on the basis of weeks or months. Data from a 14-month-old survey should be considered history, not news. Many of the study's findings may well have alerted political and business leaders to the dangers which were then imminent. One reason cited for Canada's torpor in moving to the Internet is the lack of francophone portals. The Quebec government made a concerted effort in its most recent budget to promote Internet access in the province. All of us in journalism have had to fly blind on stories occasionally. It is unfortunate that no one in the department or at the editing level of the newspaper was able to correct the errors and misconceptions. High-speed access should not rely on slow-speed journalism.