(Le National Post publie ce matin un article d'opinion signé par mon ex-collègue Paul Beaudry et moi-même qui dénonce les décisions erratiques du ministre de l'Industrie Tony Clement dans le domaine des télécommunications. Ces décisions contredisent et mettent en péril les réformes sur lesquelles nous avons travaillé en tant que conseillers de Maxime Bernier lorsque celui-ci occupait le poste de M. Clement en 2006-2007. Une autre preuve que ce premier ministre et ce gouvernement ne comprennent rien à l'économie de marché... MM)
Paul Beaudry and Martin Masse, Financial Post · Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2011
At a House of Commons committee last week, Industry Minister Tony Clement reiterated his decision to overturn a CRTC ruling that would allow large telecom and cable companies to impose "usage-based billing" on alternative ISPs with whom they have to share their networks. He said his policy aims for the sector have always favoured more competition and more choice. Earlier, Clement had criticized the CRTC for "forcing a single business model on competitors" by effectively killing unlimited Internet plans.
Such language is misleading. The likely outcome of the government's actions will not be the unshackling of the broadband market but the maintenance of a regulatory straitjacket on large telecommunications and cable companies, which will discourage genuine competition and innovation.
This latest telecom controversy is part of a larger debate about whether incumbents should be forced to share their network infrastructure with thirdparty providers at regulated wholesale rates. Such regulatory practices are common in the telecommunications sector, having been applied in the wireline market when national monopolies were broken up two decades ago.
The rationale for mandatory network sharing has been that those smaller players will eventually amass the necessary capital to build their own networks. It thus provides a "stepping stone" for new entrants to become real competitors, which should eventually benefit consumers.