January 17, 2006
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
1 First Canadian Place, Suite 6300
“It’s wrong, just plain wrong to not recognize the potential of VoIP, or to see it through the lens of the old telephone network regulatory model. VoIP is a data application and as such has all the hallmarks of the Internet itself. … It is very likely that treatment of VoIP will have some of the farthest reaching consequences of anything the Commission will consider in the near future. The Commission is not simply considering minor adjustments to specific regulations – the Commission is considering the future of electronic and optic communications for many years to come. And we have to get this right.”
Michael K. Powell, Former Chairman, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), October 19, 2004.
“… this is a historic mistake for the country.”
Lawson Hunter, Executive Vice President, BCE Inc., May 12, 2005
Currently on appeal to the federal Cabinet, the CRTC’s VoIP Decision 2005-28 was destined to be the most controversial telecommunications regulatory framework ruling since the introduction of local telephone competition in 1997. Applauded by the cable companies, reviled by the incumbent telephone companies, the CRTC’s landmark decision established an asymmetrical regime for VoIP regulation in Canada based in part on the regulator’s perspective that “VoIP services are close substitutes for circuit-switched local exchange (telephone) services.” A far cry indeed from views held by Michael Powell and Lawson Hunter who contend that VoIP is an IP application, and the most “disruptive”, “transformational” and “revolutionary” technology to emerge in telecommunications since the Internet itself.
Canadian telecommunications lawyers Lorne Abugov and Phil Rogers of Osler’s Telecommunications Specialty Practice in the firm’s Ottawa office will present an informative and insightful overview of the CRTC’s contentious VoIP regulatory framework and delve into many of the key issues and implications for Canadian telecommunications that flow from the new CRTC regime, including:
- Hotspots in the CRTC’s underlying analysis and reasoning
- Prognosis on the pending VoIP Cabinet appeals
- Tensions between VoIP technology and regulatory obligations
- Looming VoIP-based regulatory/competitive wars over net neutrality
- Market realities – VoIP as an ancillary Internet service or application
- VoIP-specific social and security concerns – from lawful access to E-911
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Lorne H. Abugov
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Lorne has practised communications law in Canada for more than 20 years as Justice Department counsel, in-house corporate counsel, senior counsel to Canada’s regulatory body, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and currently heads Osler’s Communications Law Practice Group. Lorne articled with Canada’s telephone companies (formerly Stentor) in 1980-81, was called to the Ontario Bar Ontario in 1982, and began his communications law practice as Legal Counsel to Canada’s Department of Communications in Ottawa. From 1986 to 1988, he served as Legal Counsel to Bell Canada within the company’s Regulatory Law Branch in Hull, Quebec. He joined Canada’s broadcast and telecommunications regulator, the CRTC in 1988 as Legal Counsel and was Senior Legal Counsel to the CRTC from 1991 to 1994. He acted as CRTC co-counsel in drafting Canada’s Telecommunications Act, 1993 and Canada’s 1994 foreign ownership and control regulations.
Lorne was selected as one of the “Top 500 Lawyers in Canada” by the 2004 Lexpert/American Lawyer Media Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada. Lorne was also noted in the U.K.-based Chambers Global: The World’ s Leading Lawyers for Business 2004-2005 guide as one of the top Communications lawyers in Canada.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Phil Rogers is a partner in the Business Law Group in Osler’s Ottawa office practising telecommunications, broadcasting, regulatory, Internet and privacy law.
Phil was formerly Assistant General Counsel with the Law Department at Bell Canada, where he provided telecommunications and regulatory advice to Bell Canada and to the Stentor Group of carriers. He was involved on behalf of clients in Canada’s negotiations of its commitments under the WTO Agreement on Trade in Basic Telecommunications Services. He has assisted in the development of regulatory expertise for various countries in Asia, Africa and South America, particularly in “best practices”, transparency and fairness for telecommunications licensing. He has advised on the drafting or revision of telecommunications legislation in numerous countries. Phil was previously a member of the staff of the National Telecommunications branch of the federal Department of Communications (now Industry Canada).
Phil is listed as one of Canada’s leading telecommunications lawyers by: 2003 Lexpert Canada: An International Who’s Who of Telecom Lawyers; Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2004-2005 and; Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Telecommunications Lawyers.
COST FOR ATTENDANCE
Cost for lunch: $10 for members and students, $15 for non-members, payable at the meeting. Receipts will be available. Cheques should be made payable to the Toronto Computer Lawyers’ Group.
REGISTER BEFORE 5:00 p.m., Friday, January 13, 2006.
REGISTRATIONS WILL NOT BE CONFIRMED UNLESS THE LUNCH IS FULLY BOOKED.
Cancellations also accepted before 10:00 a.m., Monday, January 16, 2006. Substitutions are permitted anytime. Registrants who do not attend and do not cancel or send a substitute may be invoiced for lunch.
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