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Sean Patrick Hagen

Vancouver based programmer who also does stuff with D&D and video games.

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Let me start by saying that I’m a big fan of Google. Even before they started branching out from search into areas like email and whatnot. I’m pretty sure I’ve signed up for most of their betas. I signed up fro the GMail beta, Google Voice right after they bought Grand Central, Google Music when they announced it, as well as Google Plus, and not to mention Google Wallet.

However, there is one problem I keep running into.

So many of these services aren’t available in Canada.

I’ve been waiting for years now for Google Voice to launch in Canada, and over a year for Google Wallet & Google Music.

I don’t want to think about how long it’ll take before the Nexus Q is available in Canada.

Now, I know that a lot of these services have to make through the stupid complicated maze that is the CRTC. The CRTC really seems to be trying to make it hard for Canadians to enjoy  tons of online services ( like Hulu, Spotify, and a bunch of other streaming services ). I know part of the reason that these services aren’t available in Canada is the licensing agreements limit them to the US, but I think that the CRTC is definitely another layer that impedes the release of these services in Canada.

This isn’t just a problem with Google though. It’s a problem with plenty of other services too. When it really starts to get annoying is when another continent gets a service before Canada. A good example of this is Spotify. Spotify started up in October of 2008. They launched their service in Europe last May. Us Canadians are still waiting for it to be released here. There are probably other services with similar stories, but Spotify is the only one that comes to mind ( and I’m lazy ).

I guess what really gets me is the lack of communication us Canadians get from companies regarding when a service would be launched here. It’d be nice to hear from Google what roadblocks theyr’e running into when trying to launch something like Voice or Wallet here. What problems are Hulu or Spotify discovering when they try to get a service launched here? Knowing these things would be awesome for two reasons. The first is that it’d let us Canadians know that these companies aren’t just ignoring us, that they are trying to launch these services here. The other would let us know what kind of things we should be talking to the CRTC and the government about.

If I knew what rules, regulations, or laws these companies are having problems with ( especially if they’re a labyrinthine maze of laws and regulations ), that’d be a big help. I’d do my part. I’d write, email, tweet, and Facebook the CRTC and my local government reps to try and get the laws changed. I’d push my friends to do the same, as well. A big part of getting these services is Canadians telling people at the CRTC and in government that we want them, but we can’t do it if we don’t know what problems Google et al are running into.

In the meantime, I guess I’m just going to have to keep looking for work-arounds so I can use Google Wallet here.