Canadians have a voracious appetite for broadband access that isn't expected to be satisfied anytime soon, according to a new study by the Yankee Group in Canada.
Is 1.5 Mbps fast enough to qualify as broadband? Not according to at least one company that lays fibre for a living. The VP of business development at Stream Intelligent Networks Corp says the National Broadband Task Force has been overly conservative in suggesting that 1.5 Mbps be the minimum symmetrical speed offered to rural and remote communities across Canada, as recommended in its final report released June 18.
The recommendation by the National Broadband Task Force that the federal government review foreign ownership restrictions is good, but it should go further. A review will be useless unless actual changes are made to the limits, industry experts say.
More Canadians support foreign ownership of broadcasters than telcos and cablecos, despite the government's preference for easing the restrictions for facilities-based carriers. The results, revealed in a Decima Research Inc telephone survey of nearly 1200 Canadians held between June 15 and 20, could create a public relations challenge for industry executives and politicians who see the elimination of foreign ownership rules as a way to stimulate investment capital for the beleaguered telecom sector.