Michael Geist sums of last week’s developments in the ongoing UBB saga, from the Toronto Star:
The CRTC commissioners appear to have recognized that proposals based on limiting the volume of Internet use are not only bad policy — discouraging Internet use benefits no one — but are ineffective in dealing with network congestion. The reason is that the amount of data consumed has very little to do with whether the network is congested.
He goes on to explain network congestion in with the most straightforward analogy I’ve read:
Consider a four-lane highway that can comfortably accommodate 24,000 vehicles per day. If the vehicles are spread evenly at 1,000 per hour throughout the day, there is no traffic congestion. But if 20,000 of the vehicles attempt to use the highway over a four-hour period, the highway becomes very congested during that time frame. The aggregate volume of traffic may be the same, yet the congestion implications are very different.
The same is true of networks, which can be used to capacity without congestion concerns.
‘Geist: Competitive conditions prompt Web data-cap debate’, Toronto Star
It’s been over a week since the last Canadian tech news roundup, so I’ll jump right into it:
Michael Giest: Why are U.S. net services slow to migrate north
There are countless examples of web services that take years to get here and even more that never make it. Michael Giest has an interesting column in The Star discussing why he believes US web services take so long to migrate north of the border. He says 1) “Canada’s geographical advantage is lost in the online world”, 2) “[bandwidth] caps, which are far more restrictive than comparable caps in the U.S” and 3) “a third factor appears to be licencing requirements.” His first point is something I haven’t considered in the past – he’s saying that the internet levels the playing field putting the Canadian market on an equal footing with other larger markets. While I agree in theory, this fact doesn’t explain why many of these US services (Netflix for example) expand to Canada before other larger markets. On his second point, I almost completely disagree. Bandwidth caps seem to be an Eastern Canada issue, as far as I’m aware most of the Central and Western Canadian ISPs do not have restrictive bandwidth caps. I’ll try to do a follow-up post comparing current bandwidth caps of the major Canadian ISPs. On top of that, I don’t believe bandwidth caps something the average consumer actively considers when making decisions about signing up for online services – assuming they’re even aware of the concept to begin with.
84% of Canadian Toddlers have pictures online
Another one of these FUD-inducing surveys from an anti-virus vendor; AVG released the findings a survey of mothers regarding their behaviour regarding posting photos of their children online. As a parent I can’t see this as anything more than a lame publicity attempt, there’s nothing specific to be worried about online. That said, I do find the stats themselves to be quite interesting. 84% of Canadian children have photos online, 3% higher that the average in countries surveyed and a full 8% higher than the USA. 7% of babies and toddlers have email addresses created for them, 5% have social network profiles – I’d actually kind of expected that to be the reverse. 25% of babies have sonogram photos posted online before they were born – this actually seems a little low to me. Canadian mothers were also least concerned about the data they share.
Windows Phone 7 Phones coming to Telus, Bell, Rogers
Windows Phone 7 is coming to Canada at same time as the US, as far as I can tell. At this rate Rogers will have Windows Phone 7 before Android 2.1 *sigh*.
Phone breakdown as follows:
These phones most certainly look like viable competitors to iPhone and Android. I for one welcome the competition.
New .ca registry goes live
In domain name news: the Canadian Internet Registration Authority has rolled out a “…redesigned and streamlined domain name registration system.” As far as I can tell, the main feature here is an API and the ability for registrars to auto-renew domains through this API. Congrats, I guess.
BTW, people who like Canadian Tech News: also like the Canadian Tech Roundup podcast. Look for a new episode later this week.