The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Our readers never cease to amaze us. For several weeks now, Decima Publishing has been conducting reader surveys on various topics affecting the communications industries. The polls, albeit unscientific, show how our online subscribers feel about these issues.  Our most recent questions asked about levels of foreign ownership in the telecom and broadcasting industries. Currently outsiders may own 33 per cent of a telecommunications firm and a 20 per cent direct stake in a broadcaster (indirect ownership allows for higher equity, although still below 50 per cent). The results show a clear dividing line. When it comes to foreign ownership, people either want a little or a lot. Twenty nine per cent urge the telecom limits be scrapped, with majority ownership permitted. Yet nearly the same number, 28 per cent, say no more than 20 per cent of a telco should be held by non-Canadians. Twenty two per cent would set the restrictions at between 41 and 49 per cent, while 13 per cent would hold it at 31 to 40 per cent. The final option, setting the bar at 21 to 30 per cent was endorsed by a mere eight per cent of respondents. The same dichotomy exists in the broadcasting query. Half of respondents favour high levels of outside ownership. Twenty six per cent would place the barriers at 41 to 49 per cent with another 24 per cent calling for majority control. But 22 per cent want the restrictions held at 20 per cent or less. The remaining options are fairly evenly split: 14 per cent peg the limits at 21 to 30 per cent and 13 per cent want it increased slightly to 31 to 40 per cent. The government has been hearing the same arguments for years. Despite the mixed messages from some politicians, senior bureaucrats seem reluctant to give away something so valuable without getting concessions in return. If industry is preparing to revive its lobby campaign on this front, it needs to come up with new arguments. The government wants to know that raising the limits will improve Canada’s competitive position globally. It doesn’t want to create a branch plant economy for telecoms. And it doesn’t want to be remembered as the government that allowed Ma Bell to be sold to the Americans.