Nationalize the last mile? Breaking the telco monopolies for superior consumer choices

Phone pole with phone and mainly electric lines

Image via Wikipedia

During this whole debate about usage based billing, one idea that’s popped up is the idea of nationalizing the “last mile”, that bit of cable running between the home and the local phone service central office. Of course, the idea of nationalizing any service raises concerns about competition and limiting user choices. What I’d like to put forward is an idea that saves competition, while preventing the anti-competitive practices of current last mile operators/ILECs such as Bell Canada.

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Why the Do-Not-Call List doesn't work

Cubes of Swiss cheese

Image via Wikipedia

Canada's DNC list, highly promoted by the federal government and panned by almost everyone else, has a huge list of flaws. There are enough exceptions allowing marketers to call people on the list, that they might have used a hunk of Swiss Cheese. But the biggest problem isn't from the exceptions in the law governing the list.

No, the problem is that there's no protection from telemarketers and phone scam artists outside of Canada itself.

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The horrible state of mobile communications in Canada

Something really cool fell into my lap on Friday. After dealing with a lame old phone that couldn't hold a charge for more than seven minutes of talking, I was able to replace it with a lovely HTC Touch, already upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.1. It's truly a lovely phone, and using it is ever so enjoyable.

I wish I could say the same about my service provider, Telus, but I can't.

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Restarting the economy? Funding small business would be good.

Small Businesses 1

Image by Angela Radulescu via Flickr

Bailout, bailout, bailout. If you listen to the news, it sounds like the only way to get things moving again is by rescuing big businesses, many of which have been on the ropes even before the recession began. But where's the support for small businesses, or new ventures? If anything is going out to help them, it's certainly not being reported.

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The weekend, for Chris

For Saturday and Sunday, I am suspending political coverage of the coalition situation in Canada, due to threats to my power from a coalition of projects needing updates, events I am attending, and housework that I must complete. On Monday coverage will resume, and the first order of business will be telling everyone just what kind of evil kitten-eating cowboy Stephen Harper really is.

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Attention, anti-coalition people!

I have one simple thing to say: Learn how the Westminster system of government works. This is a parliamentary democracy, not direct democracy.

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Open letter to Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada

Feel free to use this letter to send to the Governor General.

Her Excellency
the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
Governor General of Canada


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The coalition, Liberal leadership race, and Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image by via CrunchBase

I'll start this off by stating that I support the all-but-inevitable Liberal-NDP coalition government. Despite the fact that I've moved away from my old NDP support, or the fact that I'm not comfortable with the leadership prospects of the Liberal party, I think that this coalition will be much better for the country than the ongoing government of Stephen "let's gut the country and democracy" Harper.

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There is no constitutional crisis, just one of confidence

Rt. Hon. W.L. MacKenzie King

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Some people have been saying that if the Tories do fall to a motion of non-confidence between now and December 8, that to not hold another election would result in a constitutional crisis.

They are wrong.

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Flaherty shows once again why the Cons are a bad choice

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

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Everyone knows that despite the current economic crisis facing the world (or at least Europe, the Americas, and east Asia) the banks in Canada are faring better than average, and that before the federal election up here, they were given some additional support by selling mortgages to Ottawa for cash. So, of course, the banks need to be bailed out!

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