Wire Wars: The Canadian Fight for Competition in Telecommunications


420 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-13-343767-2
DDC 384.6'4




Reviewed by Jeffrey Moon

Jeff Moon is Head of the Maps, Data, & Government Information Centre (MADGIC), at Queen's University


This book chronicles the historical events that preceded the end of the
long-distance telephone monopoly in Canada. The 1992 CRTC decision was
significant not only for its impact on the lucrative long-distance
telephone market but also for its implications vis-а-vis the
“information highway.” Drawing on a body of extensive and detailed
research, the author paints a compelling picture of the struggle to
break Bell’s long-distance monopoly. Personalities, politics, and
profit all play a role in this intriguing and highly readable work.

There are extensive endnotes, and a flawed index. For example,
“Donald Cruikshank” is cited in the index as appearing on pages 116,
118, and 127, but references actually appear on pages 115, 117, and 126.
A cursory examination reveals many other inconsistencies and omissions.
A chronology (1846 to present) outlines the corporate and technological
developments that gave rise to the telephone monopoly in Canada. Despite
its imperfect index, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in
the past, present, and future of the Canadian telecommunications
industry, and its role in the information age.


Surtees, Lawrence., “Wire Wars: The Canadian Fight for Competition in Telecommunications,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/7034.