Final Evaluation of Industry Canada's Involvement in the International Telecommunication Union — Evaluation Findings (Part 1)
3.1 To What Extent Is Industry Canada's Involvement in the ITU Consistent with Industry Canada's Mandate and Government Directions?
Finding: Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU is consistent with its mandate and Government directions.
The mandate is derived from the Department of Industry Act and the Radio Communication Act. The ITU activity is also an identified element of Industry Canada's Program Activity Architecture and contributes to all three of its Strategic Outcomes. Finally, the activity is consistent with the directions set out by the Government in the 2008 Speech from the Throne.
The evaluation team examined a variety of different documentation to ascertain whether Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU is consistent with Industry Canada's mandate and government directions. These documents included Treasury Board submissions, the Department of Industry Act, the Speech from the Throne and Industry Canada's Program Activity Architecture.
The Department of Industry Act states in section 6(e) whereby the minister shall: Take any action that may be necessary to secure by international regulation or otherwise, the rights of Canada in communication matters. The Minister has similar power described in section 5(1)(k) of the Radio Communication Act. Through participation in the ITU, Canada is able to take actions (by submitting and presenting Canadian positions) to influence international regulations and standards. These actions would obviously protect the rights and interests of Canada and Canadian businesses in communication matters.
Participation in the ITU is a lower level activity element in Industry Canada's Program Activity Architecture. It falls under the Sub-Activity of Spectrum/Telecom Management, the Program Activity of Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications Sector — Marketplace and the Strategic Outcome of a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace. Therefore, Industry Canada's ITU activities are consistent with its approved Program Activity Architecture.
In section 1.3 of this report, the description of the logic model outlines how Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU is consistent with all three of Industry Canada's Strategic Outcomes. The official MRRS strategic outcome related to the ITU activity is to achieve a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace. As described in section 1.3, this is expected to be realized through globally competitive telecommunications carriers, suppliers and manufacturers; as well as lower costs and more technologies made available to Canadians.
Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU also contributes to Industry Canada's Strategic Outcome of an Innovative Economy. This is as a result of the ultimate outcome described in section 1.3 of Globally Competitive Telecommunications Carriers, Suppliers and Manufacturers.
Finally, section 1.3 describes how Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU logically leads to communication and broadcasting benefits to Canadians and other government department outcomes that benefit Canadians which in turn lead to the sustainable communities' aspect of the Industry Canada's Strategic Outcome, Competitive Industry and Sustainable Communities.
Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU is also consistent with current Government directions as set out in the November 19th, 2008 Speech from the Throne. The following are highlights from the Speech which are consistent with Canada's participation in the ITU:
Expanding Investment and Trade
- Our Government will expand the opportunities for Canadian Firms to benefit from foreign investment and knowledge, while taking steps to safeguard consumers and our national security.
- Our Government is committed to seeking out new opportunities for Canadians and to promoting global prosperity through free trade.
- Our Government understands that advances in Science and Technology are essential to strengthen the competitiveness of Canada's economy. Our government will work with industry to apply the best Canadian scientific and technological know-how to create innovative business solutions.
Industry Canada "expand(s) the opportunities for Canadian Firms to benefit from foreign investment and knowledge, while taking steps to safeguard consumers and our national security ", through its participation in the ITU. IC is able to promote Canadian technology and develop contacts for Canadian businesses with foreign firms. Both actions increase the potential of Canadian firms to benefit from foreign investment. In addition, by participating in the development of international standards at the ITU and translating them into Canadian standards, Canadian firms can better develop products and technologies tailored to international markets. This also expands the opportunities for Canadian telecommunication firms to benefit from foreign investment. Finally, the Canadian telecommunications industry has been able to gain product and market intelligence through Canada's participation in the ITU allowing Canadian businesses to benefit from foreign knowledge.
Furthermore, the ITU is an international body that develops and promotes international standards. This facilitates free trade by ensuring interconnectivity and interoperability of global telecommunication networks and services. Standardization, interconnectivity and interoperability also lead to accelerated science and technology advances because of global suppliers and markets. Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU ensures that Canada can influence these standards so that Canadian firms can best exploit their existing technologies and products and so that they can also exploit new markets that arise from the development of new standards.top of page
3.2 Is There a Continued Need for Industry Canada's Involvement in the ITU?
Finding: Evidence collected indicates that there is a continued need for Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU.
Most stakeholders reported that there would be moderate to large impacts on their organization; Canadian telecommunication carriers, suppliers and manufacturers; and, Canadian users of spectrum and satellite, if Industry Canada no longer developed and submitted Canadian positions to the ITU. The implications would be that it would be much more difficult or impossible for Canada to protect and access spectrum, satellite orbits and frequency assignments and to influence ITU regulations and standards.
Findings related to this evaluation issue were based on evidence collected in the survey of stakeholders, the follow-up interviews, interviews of other government departments and interviews of program staff.
In the survey of stakeholders, a large majority of stakeholders suggested there would be moderate to large impacts on ITU stakeholders if Industry Canada no longer developed and submitted Canadian positions to the ITU:
- 86% of stakeholders believed that there would be a moderate or large impact to their organization if Industry Canada no longer developed and submitted Canadian positions to the ITU (26% moderate, 60% large).
- 98% of stakeholders believed that there would be a moderate or large impact to Canadian telecommunication carriers, suppliers and manufacturers if Industry Canada no longer developed and submitted Canadian positions to the ITU (26% moderate, 73% large).
- 98% of stakeholders believed that there would be a moderate or large impact to Canadian users of spectrum and satellite if Industry Canada no longer developed and submitted Canadian positions to the ITU (23% moderate, 76% large).
When asked about the importance of ITU activities, standards and regulations, 73% of surveyed stakeholders indicated that these activities were extremely important to their organizations. Further, 78% of the stakeholders pointed to Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU as being extremely important to their organizations.
Listed below are some comments from stakeholders, highlighting, from their viewpoints, why there is a continued need for ITU participation in the ITU:
- Without Industry Canada's involvement in ITU, Canada would be in the dark on many issues. This would eventually come back to haunt us. Industry Canada involvement allows industry to keep abreast of all the spectrum allocations locally and that is the biggest issue when it comes to licensing new services in Canada. If Canada just waited until the U.S. did what they wanted to do, and then followed their path, it would not likely be in their best interest.
- The industry benefits 100%. If Industry Canada were not involved, industry leaders would simply have no way of doing it themselves. The industry would not be able to function without their support.
Representatives of other government departments also saw a continued need for Industry Canada's continued involvement in the ITU:
- Nine out of nine interviewed believed that there would be an impact on their organization if Industry Canada no longer developed and submitted Canadian positions to the ITU. (Two believed the impact would be moderate and seven suggested the impact would be large.)
- All whom could answer the question (seven out of nine) believed that there would be an impact to Canadian users of spectrum and satellite if Industry Canada no longer developed and submitted Canadian positions to the ITU ( three believed that the impact would be moderate and 4 believed the impact would be large.)
Other government departments surveyed indicated that ITU activities, standards and regulations were important to their organizations, with more than half suggesting that it was extremely important to their organizations. Government departments interviewed suggested, for the most part, that Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU is extremely important, with only a few saying that it was just somewhat important. Most government departments interviewed believed that Industry Canada adequately represents their interests at the ITU, and most suggested that they benefit extremely from Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU. Government departments indicated that their clients benefit moderately from Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU, with a few indicating that they benefit significantly from this involvement.
Many other government departments commented that the benefit of Industry Canada's involvement derives from the knowledge and expertise that Industry Canada brings when negotiating on behalf of the other departments. Many departments are aware that Industry Canada represents more than one government department and know that if Industry Canada were not to represent them they would need to go to the ITU. Many departments mentioned that they would only be able to represent their own interests and not those of other government departments. To this end, departments believed that Industry Canada was able to represent diverse interests to a large extent. Many of the interests that government departments suggested were important were:
- protection of spectrum assignments/management;
- satellite collection of valuable data;
- guarantee of data quality (interference can degrade data quality);
- protection from private sector or industry interference on needed frequencies;
- creation of contacts and knowledge of the ITU by Industry Canada; and
- data collection experiments by Industry Canada that supported the claim that wireless internet interferes with weather radar (the experiments looked at ways to minimize the impact of interference on weather radar).
Industry Canada program managers suggested that Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU was in line with the mandate for a fair and efficient marketplace and the regulatory mandate under the Radio Communication Act. They suggested that if Canada did not participate in ITU activities then Canada would become an acceptor of standards rather than contributor which would weaken Canadian competitiveness. Industry Canada managers suggested that participation at the ITU is essential, as many issues must be negotiated through an international forum and could not be negotiated bilaterally.top of page
3.3 To What Extent Does Industry Canada Achieve Its Intended Results?
Finding: Evidence collected indicates that Industry Canada has largely been successful in achieving most of its intended outcomes in relation to its ITU activities.
The evidence collected revealed that Industry Canada has been largely successful in contributing to most of the different levels of intended outcomes as depicted in the logic model for the activity (see section 1.3) While no direct evidence was collected that the activities contribute to the Industry Canada Strategic Outcomes, the logic described in section 1.3 would lead the evaluation team to conclude that the ITU activities are contributing to the Strategic Outcomes as well.
To address this question it is necessary to refer to the logic model depicted in section 1.3. This section is organized along the outcomes described in section 1.3 along with some other results that would contribute to these outcomes. The findings in this section are based on the document review; survey of stakeholders; follow interviews; interviews of other government departments; and, interviews of retired ITU officials and representatives of other ITU member countries.
Consult with Stakeholders and Partners
As depicted on the logic model, Industry Canada must consult with stakeholders and partners because it cannot contribute to the outcome of Canadian companies exploiting existing/developing new services and technologies unless it successfully consults with Canadian companies to become knowledgeable of their existing technologies and those being developed.
As described in section 1.3, Industry Canada conducts a national ITU consultation process with more than forty companies in Canada along with other government departments and agencies, such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Environment Canada, Health Canada, the Canadian Space Agency, the Department of National Defence, the Canadian International Development Agency, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Transport Canada, the National Research Council and the International Development Research Centre.
In developing a sampling frame for the survey of stakeholders, a list of 104 unique stakeholders was developed. The survey of stakeholders revealed that 98% of stakeholders believed that Industry Canada's ITU consultations were adequate or more than adequate.
The survey of stakeholders further revealed that:
- 83% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada had represented their interests to an adequate or large extent (45% adequate, 38% large).
- 98% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada had represented the diverse interests of Canadian stakeholders to an adequate or large extent (41% adequate, 57% large).
- 96% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada had been moderately or very successful (26% moderately successful, 70% very successful).
- 91% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada had had moderate or great success in representing the interests of their organization at the ITU (46% moderate success, 45% great success).
- 100% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada had had moderate or great success in representing the diverse interests of Canadian stakeholders at the ITU (34% moderate success, 66% great success).
Some comments from the follow up interviews of stakeholders illustrate how Industry Canada consults with stakeholders:
- Industry Canada is involved with industry in the planning process (e.g., through consultations). They take the outcomes of discussions with industry leaders and represent them at the ITU.
- Industry Canada certainly makes an effort to share their findings with their organization. Industry Canada will gather information on their behalf and keep them informed of upcoming and past meetings. There is a real openness with Industry Canada and a sense that they have the company's interests in mind.
- Industry Canada works very closely with industry in general. The positions they have developed have been very supportive of the perspectives that industry brings to the table.
- Industry Canada does the best they can to balance the objectives of the various Canadian corporations.
In the case of other government department representatives, all those interviewed, except one, believed that Industry Canada had conducted adequate consultation with stakeholders. They also, for the most part, suggested that Industry Canada was able to represent the diverse interests of Canadian stakeholders at the ITU. Finally, they believed that, for the most part, Industry Canada was successful in representing the interests of their organization.
In summary, the evidence collected indicates that Industry Canada has been successful in consulting and representing the interests of stakeholders at the ITU.
Immediate Outcomes (ITU)
In section 1.3, the following four ITU intended immediate outcomes are identified:
- ITU Adopts Binding Regulations;
- ITU Allocation of Radio Spectrum;
- ITU Develops Global Technical Standards; and
- ITU Registration of Satellite Orbits and Frequency Assignments.
The first three outcomes are related to the success Industry Canada is able to achieve in getting its positions adopted at the ITU. One of the proposed performance indicators to measure these outcomes is the percentage of Canadian positions adopted. In the review of post-conference reports, the evaluation team found that in most post conference reports there is no matching of Canadian positions to outcomes; rather the reports provide anecdotal evidence of Canadian successes achieved. Therefore, it was not possible to calculate the percentage of Canadian positions adopted from these reports.
The post conference report for the ITU World Radio Communication Conference in 2007, however, did report on the degree of success that Industry Canada achieved in relation to each agenda item. While there could be multiple Canadian positions related to each agenda item, the report allowed an assessment of success in relation to agenda items. The WRC–07 Delegation report shows that 74% of Canada's agenda item positions were completely satisfied by the ITU outcomes, 19% were partially satisfied, 3% were not applicable, and 3% were not satisfied. In addition, a comparison of the Industry Canada's WRC–07 pre conference memorandum objectives to the post conference executive summary results revealed that all nine Industry Canada pre-conference priority objectives were satisfied at the conference.
Retired ITU officials and representatives of other member countries suggested that Canada has been good to excellent in advancing its positions at the ITU. Other government departments interviewed believe that Industry Canada has had moderate to great success in the influence of ITU regulations, the ITU allocation of Radio Spectrum and ITU global Technical standards.
In terms of ITU registration of satellite orbits and frequency assignments, Industry Canada analysis of ITU–R publication BR–IFIC reveals that over the past five years, Industry Canada has had 99% of its frequency assignments approved for which the process is completed. It should be noted that some successful filings were not successful on initial filings but were successful in subsequent filings. In addition, there are a number of filings that are currently not successful but they are still being pursued by Industry Canada and hence their final outcome is not yet known.
In summary, the evidence collected indicates that Industry Canada has been successful in achieving its intended immediate outcomes at the ITU.top of page
Immediate Outcomes (Canada)
Section 1.3 outlines the following five intended immediate outcomes for Canada:
- Canadian Companies Exploit Existing/Develop New Services and Technologies
- Protection and Access of Spectrum Consistent with Canadian Interests
- Economies of Scale for Canadian Companies
- Connectivity and Interoperability of Global Communications Networks and Services
- Protection and Access of Satellite Orbits and Frequency Assignments Consistent with Canadian Interests
Findings in relation to each of these immediate outcomes are documented below:
Canadian Companies Exploit Existing/Develop New Services and Technologies
The survey of stakeholders revealed that 97% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada has had moderate or great success in facilitating Canadian companies in exploiting their existing services and technologies or in developing new ones (42% moderate, 55% great). The following are some of the stakeholder comments that illustrate the nature of these impacts:
- The benefits would be to the extent to which Industry Canada successfully advocates a global, harmonized, standardized approach to certain mobile spectrum bands. That would be a benefit to his company because it would give them access to a bigger pot of technology.
- This year his company benefited by working with Industry Canada to have a new question adopted and studied at the ITU–R, which will hopefully result in some radio regulations for the implementation of wireless intercommunication systems onboard aircrafts.
- His company's profits depend on their ability to sell products that conform to standards. None of their customers buy exclusively from them. In order for his company to be able to sell their products, they have to be able to understand the standards, build products that conform to them and they have to be able to defend the way they conform. They have been able to do this very successfully. The success of their operations depends on conforming to the appropriate standards.
- Various study groups impact the activities of the radio communications division of the ITU. One study group in particular, the fixed study group, develops recommendations. Those fixed recommendations create the channeling plans that manufacturers use to build with. Canadian industry was a major contributor in developing those channeling plans and has been a major beneficiary. His company has been able to sell equipment that resulted from some of those new channeling plans.
Protection and Access of Spectrum Consistent with Canadian Interests
The survey of stakeholders revealed that 100% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada has had moderate or great success in the protection and access of spectrum consistent with Canadian Interests (31% moderate, 69% great). Other government departments interviewed believe that Industry Canada has had moderate to great success in the protection and access of spectrum consistent with Canadian interests. Following are some illustrative comments from stakeholders:
- It is important for them to have spectrum and regulatory requirements that support their customers. Industry Canada works with them to ensure that this takes place. In the case of his company, getting 700 megahertz of radio frequency for public safety has been a definite benefit.
- Industry Canada was successful in obtaining a small new amateur radio band that will become available at the beginning of 2009. It was successful in defending their position on a classic legacy amateur radio band, at the last WRC–2007.
- The ITU is involved in the allocation of radio frequencies spectrum. Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU enabled his organization to secure more spectrum for public safety.
- The government was successful in getting the spectrum that we wanted to use for good technical reasons. This helped Canadian telecommunication companies to carry out there business. Industry Canada is responsible for our success.
Economies of Scale for Canadian Companies
The survey of stakeholders indicated that 91% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada's ITU activities to influence ITU Global Technical Standards has had moderate or great success in leading to increased economies of scale for Canadian telecommunication companies (55% moderate, 35% great). Some of the comments from stakeholders which explain these impacts are listed below:
- Having harmonized spectrum will eventually enable his company to rationalize some of its products. They will no longer have to create a specific product because someone is using spectrum from Canada, the U.S., or elsewhere. The harmonization of spectrum makes it so that his company will not have to create a variety of products with radio frequency front ends for their product. This simplifies production.
- Basically they have had sales opportunities. They get economies of scale (selling larger volumes of equipment and meeting a common standard in a world wide sense, in which Canada is a party).
- The development of standards is an indirect benefit to his company cost wise. It means that his company only has to generate a single product worldwide, as opposed to generating unique products for different countries.
Connectivity and Interoperability of Global Communications Networks and Services
In a 2008 studyFootnote 13 created by Leonard Waverman, professor of economics at London Business School, 16 innovation driven economies were ranked on a connectivity index based on thirty indicators of connectivity. Canada was ranked fourth overall of these 16 innovation driven economies.
The survey of stakeholders revealed that 91% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada's ITU activities have had moderate or great success in facilitating connectivity and interoperability of global communications networks, products and services (38% moderate, 53% great). Some examples of the benefits cited by stakeholders are listed below:
- Industry Canada involvement had a significant impact on the decisions made in terms of telephone numbering systems. Basically it made international calling work more effectively and made it cheaper to implement.
- Industry Canada's participation in ITU–R is key in ensuring that the systems can function with other systems. This is because access to spectrum is protected and standards are set for the interoperation of the systems. This is a great benefit to clients.
- The simple fact that you can pick up a phone, dial a number and reach anyone in the world is a significant benefit. We are basically converting that network into a new Internet protocol based network. If Industry Canada wasn't there, we would not be able to feed Canadian requirements into that process.
Protection and Access of Satellite Orbits and Frequency Assignments Consistent with Canadian Interests
As previously discussed, over the last 5 years, Industry Canada has had 99% of satellite frequency requests (for which examination is completed) approved by ITU. Furthermore, the survey of stakeholders revealed that 96% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada has had moderate or great success in the protection and access of satellite orbits and frequency assignments consistent with Canadian Interests (38% moderate, 31% great). Finally, other government departments interviewed suggested that Industry Canada has had moderate success in the protection and access of satellite orbits and frequency assignments consistent with Canadian interests. Listed below are some of the comments from stakeholders that illustrate the nature of these impacts:
- His business is in satellite communications. His company has a need to coordinate the frequencies that are used for satellite. The benefit to his company is that they can operate satellite systems; their satellites are coordinated and operate harmoniously with the other entities. Industry Canada's participation helps to protect the spectrum we have today and secure additional spectrum for future growth.
- His company fought for frequency allocations through Industry Canada at the ITU. They were successful and this allowed them to put products on the market for clients.
- The satellite folks push internationally to have orbit positions in the geo-stationary arc. His company, for instance, would like to have as many orbit positions as possible so that they can populate them with satellites to grow their business. This cannot happen without coordinating with other countries and insuring that there is no interference from his company's satellites to other satellites. Industry Canada facilitates the coordination to ensure that everyone can co-exist on the arc.
In summary, the evidence collected indicates that Industry Canada has been successful in achieving the intended immediate objectives in Canada.top of page
The logic model identified the following intended intermediate objectives from Industry Canada ITU activities:
- Increased Sales for Canadian Businesses to International Markets
- Countries around the World Serve the Canadian Market
- Interference Managed and Communication Facilitated
The findings related to each of these intermediate outcomes are outlined below:
Increased Sales for Canadian Businesses to International Markets
The survey of stakeholders shows that 94% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada's ITU activities to influence ITU Global Technical Standards has had moderate or great success in leading to increased international sales (68% moderate, 26% great). Some specific related comments from stakeholders include the following:
- He thinks his organization has benefited specially in terms of Industry Canada's participation in ITU–R. This has helped facilitate common international definitions of uses and allocations of frequencies, which facilitates his company's sales opportunities in a worldwide sense. Manufacturers like to sell the same product worldwide. If they only had the opportunity to sell in Canada, it would be a cost penalty. We would really like to sell one product everywhere. He thinks that participation in ITU–R, with Industry Canada's assistance, has helped achieve that.
- His company's space missions benefited by being able to put products on the market that were fitting with international requirements.
The survey of stakeholders also shows that 81% of stakeholders suggested that the profits of their organization (those for which the question was applicable) had had a positive impact as a result of Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU (28% very small positive impact, 37% somewhat of a positive impact, 16% major positive impact). This is demonstrated in the following comments:
- Virtually all decisions at the ITU will affect their profits globally. The decisions that Industry Canada makes can influence ITU decisions and subsequently affect the industry profits in Canada.
- His company's profits are based on the sale of their systems to operators. His company has two kinds of customers: enterprises and public operators (e.g., Bell, Dell, Rogers, and others internationally). Their revenue comes from selling those systems to them. The sales would not be possible without the participation of Industry Canada in the ITU–R. His company could not do it alone.
- The revenues are impacted by decisions made at the ITU. Without their efforts in the area of frequency allocation, his company would not be able to do their job in terms of flight test certification and would not be able to sell their helicopters.
Countries around the World Serve the Canadian Market
The survey of stakeholders revealed that 94% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada's ITU activities to influence ITU Global Technical Standards has had moderate or great success in benefiting Canadian consumers and business that may buy telecommunications equipment that is sold by international companies around the world (48% moderate, 46% great). One illustration of this is that wireless phone manufacturers headquartered in the United States, Japan, Finland, and the United Kingdom have their wireless phone products available in Canada.
Interference Managed and Communication Facilitated
During the last five years, Industry Canada has dealt with only five reports of harmful interference to or from non-Canadian sources. None of these cases resulted in harmful interference reports being sent through the ITU. One issue was not resolved, although the complainant indicated that the interference was not a significant concern. The other four interference complaints were either resolved on their own or through Industry Canada intervention.
The survey of stakeholders shows that 95% of stakeholders believe that Industry Canada has had moderate or great success in contributing to facilitating communication and managing interference in Canada (32% moderate, 63% great). Some illustrative comments from stakeholders included the following:
- Industry Canada's participation in ITU–R is key in ensuring that the systems they sell function without interference.
- The bulk of their revenues are still derived from orbital slots that are licensed by Industry Canada. The raw material for his business is having spectrum that they can exploit to offer services to their customers. It is critical that his company's rights to spectrum be solid and that they are not challenged by other administrations. They need to coordinate in such a way that they can operate without interference. Underlying that is Industry Canada's activities in the ITU.
- It is essential for his company to have access to good quality spectrum without interference from other systems. The benefit is being able to deploy those systems and take advantage of the revenue it creates for the company from the operators who buy them.
In summary, there is clear evidence that Industry Canada has largely been successful in achieving two of the intended intermediate outcomes and somewhat weaker evidence that Industry Canada has been successful in contributing to the outcome of countries around the world serve the global market.top of page
The logic model identified the following intended ultimate outcomes from Industry Canada's ITU activities:
- Globally Competitive Telecommunications Carriers, Suppliers and Manufacturers
- Lower Costs and More Technologies Made Available to Canadians
- Other Government Department Outcomes That Benefit Canadians
- Communication, Broadcasting Benefits to Canadians.
The findings related to each of these ultimate outcomes are outlined below:
Globally Competitive Telecommunications Carriers, Suppliers and Manufacturers
When stakeholders were asked in the survey, 90% of them believed that Canada's activities with the ITU had had moderate or great success in contributing to globally competitive telecommunications carriers, suppliers and manufacturers (48% moderate, 43% great). This was reflected in some of the comments in the follow-up survey:
- If Canada no longer participated in the ITU, it would definitely hurt the Canadian telecommunications industry;
- If Canada no longer participated in the ITU, the telecommunications industry simply could not function.
Lower Costs and More Technologies Made Available to Canadians
Many of the stakeholders interviewed were representatives of firms that manufacture telecommunications equipment or provide telecommunication services. As such, they are in a position to assess some of these impacts on Canadians who are their customers. The survey of stakeholders showed that 84% of stakeholders believe that Canada's activities with the ITU have had moderate or great success in contributing to lower costs in telecommunications equipment and more technologies being made available to Canadians (42% moderate, 42% great). Furthermore, 87% of stakeholders reported that their clients benefited moderately or greatly from Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU (39% moderately, 48% greatly). The cost and technology benefits to Canadians are elaborated in the following comments from stakeholders:
- Their clients definitely benefit from Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU. His company's products would end up costing more if there were more fragmented standards because Industry Canada was not involved with the ITU.
- His clients benefit because they have access to a greater variety of products, such as cellular handsets. They also have access to better pricing because of greater economies of scale.
- Spectrum users benefit from being able to access more product applications, a wider range of services, and better quality services.
Other Government Department Outcomes That Benefit Canadians
Industry Canada interviewed representatives of the following federal departments:
- Transport Canada;
- Environment Canada;
- Department of Fisheries and Oceans;
- Canadian International Development Agency;
- Department of National Defence;
- National Research Council; and
- Canadian Space Agency.
Most of these departments rely on reliable access to frequency either to conduct some of their work or to serve their clients. The following outlines some of the other government department outcomes that benefit Canadians:
Transport Canada relies on spectrum to maintain marine and air safety in Canada. Industry Canada representation at the ITU ensures that this spectrum is protected and that regulations are consistent with Canadian interests. OGD interviews indicated that Industry Canada has had some success in putting forward Canadian positions at the ITU (e.g., Article 31 and 33 and recommendation 493 at the World Radio Conference 2007) and that, "All items they (Industry Canada) have worked on normally have a positive outcome". The result is that Canadians benefit through safer air and marine travel.
Environment Canada depends on satellite data to predict weather. OGD interviews suggested that, without the participation at the ITU, activities such as forecasting severe weather, which can have a socioeconomic impact, would be affected. It was further suggested that Environment Canada benefited significantly from Industry Canada's involvement with the ITU. An example was provided of Industry Canada being successful in protecting Radar 5.6 and 6.65 which are important radar frequencies to detect severe weather: Industry Canada was a proponent of measures against the U.S. at ITU–R which were successful in preventing potential interference.
The OGD interviews indicated that weather forecasters, climatologist, hydrologists, and science and technology scientists were all clients of theirs that benefited from Industry Canada's involvement in the ITU. It would follow that farmers and those who benefit from accurate weather prediction would also indirectly benefit. Furthermore, Canadians at large would indirectly benefit by being aware and able to prepare for severe weather conditions.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)
DFO relies on Industry Canada to protect frequencies in the marine bands and the OGD interviews indicated that Industry Canada has had great success in representing the interests of DFO at the ITU. An example of protecting the digital usage of marine band was cited. Industry Canada was able to facilitate a compromise in a proposal that protected regions of Canada where a new technology had not yet been adopted.
The OGD interviews further indicated that DFO clients are the shipping industry, boating (recreational), fishing vessels and that any changes in frequencies would be a long and painful process and lots of effort from its partners. These clients benefit from having secure access to marine bands to facilitate communication and to ensure safety.
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
CIDA relies on Industry Canada in relation to telecommunications in the developing countries. The OGD interviews indicated that Industry Canada has had great success in representing the interests of CIDA at the ITU. An example was provided where Canada was competing to get a model approved to measure the digital divide. It was suggested that Industry Canada was instrumental in getting the Canadian model that CIDA financed accepted. It was further suggested that the direct benefit to Canadians was not great but that the Industry Canada work was important in supporting CIDA's mandate to support developing countries.
Department of National Defence (DND)
DND relies on Industry Canada to protect the use of military spectrum and systems. The OGD interviews indicated that Industry Canada has had great success in representing the interests of DND at the ITU. Reliable military spectrum and systems facilitates the success of Canadian combat and peace-keeping missions and ensures the safety of Canadian soldiers.
National Research Council (NRC)
The NRC relies on Industry Canada to protect and obtain spectrum space related to radio astronomy. The OGD interviews indicated that Industry Canada has had great success in representing the interests of NRC at the ITU. The benefit is to the Canadian Astronomical Community to be able to continue to do this kind of science. It was further indicated that this is a significant benefit and it is critical for it to continue.
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
The CSA launch and operate satellites and it depends on Industry Canada to obtain its licenses through the ITU. The OGD interviews indicated that Industry Canada has been moderately to very successful in representing CSA's interests at the ITU. An example was provided of the 2007 World Radio Conference in which Industry Canada consulted with CSA on two aspects which resulted in great success. It was further indicated that the data collected by the satellites was extremely beneficial for the Canadian scientific community.
In summary, Industry Canada appears to assist many other departments in satisfying their mandates and benefitting Canadians directly and indirectly in many different ways. The representatives of those departments interviewed generally believed that Industry Canada had been successful in representing their interests at the ITU.top of page
Communication, Broadcasting Benefits to Canadians
An objective measure is available relating to this intended outcome: In 2003, the ITU released a studyFootnote 14 ranking countries on digital access. Of 178 countries, Canada was ranked 10th overall, the only country outside of Asian and Europe in the top ten. Furthermore, 94% of stakeholders interviewed believe that overall, Canada's activities with the ITU have had moderate or great success in contributing to communication and broadcasting benefits to Canadians (47% moderate, 47% great). Some of the comments from stakeholders illustrating the nature of these benefits are listed below:
- Amateur radio survives so long as the international frequency assignments for it continue to be upheld. If amateur radio does not have strong representation and a government that looks out for their interests, they run the risk of seeing large parts of their service deteriorated or even eliminated. Amateur radio benefited simply by being able to operate on the frequencies that they have had for decades.
- Influencing the decisions at the ITU has been tremendously important over the years. It is important to note that many of the decisions taken at the ITU are very long term in nature. Unless you have a management focus that is more long term as opposed to short term, you don't see the immediate benefits. We fought as a Canadian delegation for orbital positions and frequencies for broadcasting satellites, for instance, years before we had any broadcasting or satellite industry in this country. Now all Canadians who want to can benefit from the uses of satellite for their dishes. None of that would be possible if Canada did not have a strong presence in the meetings and conferences that establish the standards and also the frequencies and orbital positions that Canada now uses.
- If you look in your own house you have remotes for television and alarm systems. As we progress, there will be homes where people can control heating remotely. All these innovations occur because of radio spectrum becoming available. This helps to better the lives of users. This is all possible because of what takes place at the ITU. Industry Canada had played a significant role is shaping how spectrum is allocated.
In summary, the evidence collected indicates that Industry Canada has been successful in its interactions with the ITU such that they have led to communication and broadcasting benefits for Canadians.
As previously discussed, under Industry Canada's Program Activity Architecture, ITU activities are expected to contribute to the Industry Canada Strategic Outcome of a Fair, Efficient and Competitive Marketplace. The logic model described in section 1.3 shows that the ITU activity is also expected to contribute to the Industry Canada Strategic Outcomes of an Innovative Economy and Competitive Industry and Sustainable Communities.
There are two Industry Canada 2008–2009 MRRS performance indicators that would be relevant to ITU activities, specifically the following:
- Barriers to competition (OECD assessment of accessibility to Canadian market).
- International ranking of Canada in the use of information and communications technologies.
However, our research revealed that this data is no longer being collected by the external sources. Therefore, we are unable to find any direct evidence of Industry Canada's ITU activities contributing to its Strategic Objectives.
In section 1.3, the logic of how the Strategic Outcomes are expected to be achieved was explained:
- Fair, Efficient and Competitive Marketplace: This is expected to be realized through the lower level outcomes of globally competitive telecommunications carriers, suppliers and manufacturers; and lower costs and more technologies made available to Canadians.
- Innovative Economy: This is expected to be realized as a result of the ultimate outcome of globally competitive telecommunications carriers, suppliers and manufacturers.
- Competitive Industry and Sustainable Communities: The other government department outcomes that benefit Canadians and the communication and broadcasting benefits to Canadians can be seen to logically lead to the sustainable communities' aspect of this Strategic Outcome.
In summary, while there is no direct evidence that the ITU activities contribute to Industry Canada's Strategic Outcomes, the evidence collected in this evaluation that lower level outcomes are being achieved and the program logic would lead the evaluators to conclude that the ITU activities are contributing to the achievement of the outlined Strategic Outcomes.
- 13 back to footnote reference 13 Benefiting from the full economic and social impact of affordable ICTs, Ilkka Lakaniemi, Head of Global Political Dialogue and Initiatives, Corporate Affairs, Nokia Siemens Networks, 2008
- 14 back to footnote reference 14 Press Release by the ITU, November 19, 2003: ITU Digital Access Index: World's First Global ICT Ranking
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