The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Competition, we have been led to believe, is a good thing. Monopolies lead to inertia, apathy towards customers and general disregard for anyone not drawing a salary from the corporate giant.  Thus we should be delighted that the exclusivity in the satellite market is being challenged. Richard Stursberg, the flamboyant ex-president of Canadian Satellite Communications Inc, has entered the fray by announcing that a new company, Bird Satellite Communications Inc, will challenge Telesat Canada’s monopoly. Bird and Telesat are the only firms that have applied for two new orbital slots that Industry Canada is ready to release. Bird places most of its hopes on offering wholesale high-speed Internet service to telcos, ISPs, and other carriers. They, in turn, would sell to places where DSL and cable modems are not available. But before we look to the satellites, let’s return to earth. Bird is a fledgling company, with only several weeks of operation. Telesat has been around for nearly three decades. It has experience in operating a satellite service. It has withstood competition from international carriers. It performed miraculous engineering feats to recover its Anik E satellites after they went off the air in 1994. Telesat is part of the BCE colossus. The parent firm has deep pockets and, as Telesat VP Paul Bush recently told the Toronto Star, the satellite company could go to the markets with an IPO. Bird is backed by Loral Space & Communications and NB Capital Partners, the VC arm of the smallest of the Big Six banks. Stursberg has made a career out of challenging Bell. At Unitel Communications he went head-to-head with Bell Canada on LD service. At Cancom he battled ExpressVu. Now he wants to carry the fight into the sky. Supporting competition in principle is easier than the risks associated with supporting it in reality. By awarding the slot to Bird, the government will be going with a firm that lacks Telesat’s experience and clout. To do otherwise, however, is to perpetuate one of Canada’s last remaining monopolies.