profile image

David Ellis

Educator, Broadband Evangelist

J. David Ellis, PhD, is an educator, consultant and broadband evangelist. The author of many studies on telecommunications, broadcasting and digital media, he teaches Internet technology and related social issues at York University. Recently David has started exploring the world of applied genomics for fun and profit. His blog - Life on the Broadband Internet - examines the role of technology and policy in transforming online culture.

The CRTC Picks What's on Your TV But You Pay for It

Tuesday marks the opening of another critical public hearing at the CRTC. It will be considering applications to expand the mandatory distribution of channels on the basic TV service. But, bottom line, if our own federal government refuses to kick in a few more million a year to show just how important Canadian culture is, then why should the rest of us?
04/23/2013 05:17 EDT

DSL Rates Plummet in Ontario

Anyone who's ever spent more than 5 minutes reading my blog knows I've spilt a phenomenal amount of ink over the miserable state of broadband in Canada. In addition to some of the world's highest pric...
04/02/2013 03:56 EDT

A Plain Language Guide to the CRTC Rulings Part 1

I've been gathering reactions to last week's CRTC decisions on wholesale rates for Internet access. My takeaway is a lot of people are having trouble understanding what the hell it all means. So in this series of posts I'm going to provide some plain-language context.
03/01/2013 05:35 EST

Voltage VS TekSavvy: Privacy Isn't Our Only Worry

Piracy is a lot like religion and politics. It tends to polarize opinion and get in the way of finding common ground for thoughtful discussion. That's the pattern we've seen in Voltage Pictures' demand for information from TekSavvy about putative pirating of their movies.
01/24/2013 05:20 EST

TekSavvy Customers Win Big in Federal Court

After weeks of getting bashed in the blogosphere, TekSavvy emerged from the hearing Monday in the Federal Court with a big bright check-mark against the privacy problem, CIPPIC's involvement, the mapping of IPs against human beings, and the what-have-you-done-for-us-lately problem.
01/15/2013 11:26 EST

Infringement Assault on TekSavvy: Voltage Trolls Come North

Note on Monday's Federal Court hearing. Voltage has managed to schedule a hearing at the Federal Court for Monday, December 17, which leaves little time for targeted TekSavvy subscribers to organize their defence. TekSavvy couldn't notify these customers until it had churned through a huge pile of logs, in order to correlate subscribers with the thousands of numeric IP addresses Voltage dumped on them.
12/15/2012 10:09 EST

How the CRTC Can Fix Wireless in Canada

Last time, I took the Commission to task for trying to build excitement over the level of cellphone penetration in Canada in their consultation video. Why? Because the only metric that really counts in 2012 is the takeup of smartphones: smartphones do data, feature phones don't. Let's consider penetration in a more meaningful context.
12/03/2012 03:26 EST

What's the CRTC Trying to Pull?

Back in the summer of 2010, the CRTC decided to get the public's input online as part of its proceeding on the "obligation to serve." Big mistake. There's a habit that's getting entrenched at the Commission: treating online consultations as a substitute for both educating Canadian consumers and conducting real research.
11/23/2012 11:24 EST

Talking Broadband With the TekSavvy Crew

Last week, I sat down to talk shop with three TekSavvy execs who are breathing new life into the indie ISP sector. We talked about TekSavvy's cool re-branding campaign and how it reflects the company's approach to growing its subscriber base, now at 180,000. If you haven't seen the new creative, here's what one of the ad banners looks like...
11/13/2012 05:18 EST

CRTC as Consumer Advocate: Four Reasons not to Celebrate (Yet)

I think the CRTC's decision to get the incumbents' financials out of the closet is very positive -- another demonstration of Chairman Blais' public-spirited philosophy. But even Chairman Blais has a corporate history to live with, and that's not going to be a cakewalk.
11/09/2012 10:34 EST

The CRTC Gets Transparent on Internet Costs

Thanks to the CRTC, incumbents will have to reveal far more information about the costs of their Internet services than ever before. All in the interest of that noble precept we call transparency. As you can tell from reading the decision, the incumbents hate the idea that mere mortals finally get a chance to peer up their skirts.
11/05/2012 12:29 EST

Shock! Outrage! And Other Cool Facts About the Bell Fiasco

CRTC watchers eat crow. Don't you hate it when the world changes faster than you can write about it? Thursday's triumph over Bell is wonderful for consumers; for the thesis I was developing here, not so much. The comments I've read all indicate the Astral decision shows Chairman Blais really does intend to build a consumer-oriented CRTC. I trust he will understand why industry watchers, present company included, had been pretty much unanimous in predicting he'd never, ever turn down Bell on this acquisition.
10/22/2012 05:05 EDT