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6th June 2009

Gazing Into The Looking Glass At A New Media Future


Vancouver – As many of the nation’s top innovators get ready to meet at next week’s Canada 3.0 Conference in Stratford, I have been researching a variety of different sectors which make up our digital and interactive media industry. Canada has a very large and very diverse profile when it comes to the digital, interactive and new media arena. It is next to impossible to pigeon-hole any one aspect of our industry because there is so much overlap and inter-connectivity in almost every aspect – even game development is no longer possible to strictly isolate, as innovations gained in this field are often adapted for use in others and vice versa.

One of the most important aspects of Web 3.0 as discussed previously by Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of  Open Text Corporation, is the type of media and bandwidth usage the internet population is moving towards. As web usage begins to be made up more and more of images and video, it becomes evident that bandwidth demand will grow exponentially. With many internet providers wanting to throttle their users, effectively limiting their access to these high bandwidth modes of communication, where will Canada find itself on the world scale of compatibility?

The CRTC, despite several hearings and decisions, has thus far failed to clearly define what the future of Canadian internet access and usage will look like, and has opted for a “wait and see” position. While there must be some type of balance between traditional media outlets and new media outlets, there must also be a way to balance the ability to develop Canadian content and get it to the masses. However – getting all of this content and communication to the masses goes back the issue of bandwidth throttling, plan usage charges and the importance of net neutrality. With the internet becoming such an integrated part of our everyday society in everything from personal to educational to corporate usage, will there be a movement to see a level playing in field in citizen access? How will the growing trend to wireless internet access play a part in citizen access? How will this effect issues such as privacy, identity theft and other security issues? Are we moving towards the world of tomorrow too soon, or will Canada be leading the pack?
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