The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Industry minister Allan Rock’s decision to review foreign ownership rules, while welcomed by the majority of telecom industry players, has left many pondering the questions that were not asked in the consultation document, none of which is more important than the scope of the review (see story on page 1). Should it be limited to telecommunications firms or should ownership in cable companies be included in the debate? Telecom firms, for obvious reasons, are saying the review should be targeted solely at them, and note that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is discussing foreign ownership issues for cable and broadcasting interests. Cable companies, on the other hand, point to the term infrastructure in the consultation document and say they should be included for that simple reason. At press time, it was still unclear what the terms and scope of the review will be. The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has apparently met twice to hammer out how it will proceed, but nothing has yet been made public. This as yet unanswered question has the potential to steal precious time slated for constructive debate and policy development. Wrangling over the scope of the review won’t serve the interests of anyone. The pending battle between telecom and cable companies is likely to be similar to the war going on between Rock and his counterpart at Canadian Heritage Sheila Copps. Sources say the two Liberal leadership hopefuls got into a shouting match over the issue. Copps is obviously opposed to any changes in the current ownership regime for cable and broadcasting companies. Rock’s decision to use the term infrastructure in his speech and consultation document seems odd as well. While some observers say this means nothing, others are suggesting the term adds a level of nuance to the debate by separating infrastructure from services. While most believe that a February 2003 deadline for reporting back to the minister can be met, it won’t be unless there is consensus on the scope of the review. Let’s hope members of the committee can set aside any political differences and quickly come up with a clear plan or the review will be for naught.