Industry Canada has unveiled five strategic priorities that it believes will help shape its Spectrum/Telecom Program over the next five years. The document, titled Strategic Directions Spectrum/Telecom Program Five Year Vision, notes that the department must deal with external drivers such as globalization, rapidly changing technologies and a possible change in government if it is to effectively address its five strategic priorities, however. The department writes in the document, which has since been removed from its web site, that its vision "is to be a progressive, client-oriented organization that balances public and private benefit in facilitating the development and application of world-class information and communication networks and services." Industry Canada believes that it will have to pay particularly close attention to the following five priorities if it is to realize the program’s vision: It will need to address emerging technologies and services including creating market opportunities, ensure optimal use of new and existing spectrum resources, and others. The department will have to advance the modernization of its spectrum/telecom management regime, including spectrum policy framework, licensing approaches, fee structure and more. In addition, the department needs to protect its spectrum and telecom interests on the international scene. It will look to negotiate access to, influence and enforce standards. Industry Canada will also look to influence, harmonize and coordinate program activities with trading partners, particularly the United States. The department also needs to ensure that, going forward, the spectrum/telecom program remains relevant to Canadian stakeholders. It will try to accomplish this through the acquisition and dissemination of intelligence such as transformational technologies and international developments that could possibly affect the program. Industry Canada will also try to develop a methodology of measuring the program’s activities that identify opportunities for program improvement. Industry Canada will need to ensure adequate resources are available for program, including both financial and human resources. This means the department has to develop a "compelling Treasury Board submission to assure a stable base of funding." The department will equally need to address human resource issues centering around the retention and hiring of personnel. If the department is going to be able to achieve these five priorities, it will have to effectively address a number of external environmental influences. Of particular note are the possible effects of globalization, emerging technologies and a change in government. Not only will Industry Canada need to address the broad impact of globalization on the competitiveness of its spectrum/telecom program, it will have to maximize spectrum management reform taking place in international jurisdictions, minimize regulatory burden, ensure flexible spectrum regulation, ensure regulatory harmonization where appropriate, and more. The impact of emerging technologies could be equally dramatic as they could hamper the departments’ ability to anticipate and respond in a timely manner to business and consumer expectations. New technologies could also affect Industry Canada’s ability to address the digital divide as it relates to convergence and the expansion of Internet applications and services throughout the country. Industry Canada notes that if there were to be a change in government, it could present challenges associated with commitments to existing policies such as foreign ownership requirements in the sector and universality of telecommunications services. The department indicates also that a change in government leaders could affect program stability and future funding. Industry Canada officials were available for an interview with Report on Wireless at press time.