First and foremost, we would like to express our great
appreciation to the Administration of Portugal for providing the
venue and excellent facilities for this very important event.
In supporting the concept and purposes underlying the convening
of world telecommunication policy forums, Canada notes the
importance of providing opportunities like WTPF-09 for the
exchange of views and information on issues of topical interest
in the ICT field.
These issues include those subjects identified and elaborated in
the draft Opinions on Internet-related public policy matters,
NGN and advanced broadband access, ICT and the environment,
creating confidence and security in the use of ICTs, the
adoption of IPv6 and the International Telecommunication
Canada applauds the obvious efforts that have gone into the
development of these draft Opinions as well as the considerable
time and effort in producing the Secretary-General’s Report.
We also note that among the important results of this week’s
discussions will be the identification of common strategies to
enable the membership to address these issues and move selected
In this regard we look forward to achieving consensus on
cooperative and collaborative approaches involving the ITU and
other international, regional and national stakeholders to the
issues identified here at the WTPF. From Canada’s
perspective constructive and forward-looking dialogue on
Internet-related public policy matters, for example, is crucial
to ensure the continued development of a global Internet, on the
basis of progress that has already been achieved and all points
of view being taken into account. The Policy Forum can provide
an excellent venue for reaching common understandings in this
Another important purpose of the Forum is to enable Member
States to share national experiences on such issues as broadband
For Canada we fully subscribe to the points raised in the Report
of the Secretary-General that governments, as well as consumers,
stand to benefit from commercial broadband services. As outlined
in the Report, the expansion of public services such as health,
education and e-commerce to previously unconnected communities
are among those which Canada considers to be of particular
importance for economic growth and prosperity, as well as the
enhancement of the quality of life.
The market for broadband Internet in Canada has evolved from the
very beginning with cable and telephone networks competing head
to head, and market forces have pushed the rollout of broadband
Despite our challenging geography and demographics, Canada is
among the most extensive users of broadband technologies.
Of course, in a nation as sparsely populated as Canada, there
are some communities where the market could not be expected to
reach using today’s technology.
Limited government support, and conditions of licence for
broadband wireless services, have been used to spur capital
investment in rural and remote areas with an emphasis placed on
Increasingly, deploying cost-effective broadband solutions means
making use of wireless as well as satellite solutions.
Also, entrepreneurial private sector firms are meeting this
challenge, delivering reasonably priced broadband to remote and
Despite these advancements, some rural and remote Canadians
continue to remain without access to broadband services.
In the 2009 budget, the federal government announced 225 million
dollars over three years to implement a strategy to extend
broadband to unserved communities.
This proposed expenditure reflects the government’s commitment
to closing the broadband gap across Canada and ought to be
viewed as an acceleration of the broadband network deployment
that is already underway.
The program is currently being developed and should be announced
in the near future.
In closing, Canada appreciates the opportunity to share these
brief remarks with you, and we look forward to very fruitful and
informative discussions over the next few days.