Laurence (Laurie) Dunbar advises a wide range of Canadian and foreign carriers, telecommunications service providers and investors in the wireline, wireless, cable television, satellite and Internet markets.
Laurie regularly advises clients on strategies to open domestic and international telecommunications markets to competition, as well as on related interconnection, ownership, licensing and tariff issues. Assisting with trans-border telecommunications issues, Laurie’s expertise extends to the application of Canadian foreign ownership restrictions to investments in Canadian carriers and broadcasting undertakings, as well as the regulation that govern trans-border facilities and services. He also advises clients on a wide range of radio spectrum issues relating to the provision of mobile wireless (cellular and PCS), fixed radio and satellite services.
Laurie has assisted airport authorities and electric and gas utilities with strategies to leverage their infrastructure to provide telecommunications services.
He also advises extensively on internet-related issues including voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), ISP liability, interactive television and IP-TV.
Regularly advising domestic and foreign governments, Laurie assists with legislative and policy issues related to privatization, competition and regulatory reform in the telecommunications sector, including the restructuring of legislative, policy and institutional frameworks, incentive-based alternatives to rate of return regulation, and "universal service" mechanisms.
Recent public sector mandates include:
Advising the Jamaican Office of Utility Regulation on consumer protection issues in the telecommunications sector
Advising the Government of Samoa on the regulatory aspects of a project to build a fibre optic cable between Samoa and Fiji
Advising the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority in spectrum interference issues between several islands in the Caribbean
Advising the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on reform in the broadcasting sector
Advising the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago on the conduct of spectrum auctions
Advising the Government of British Columbia in connection with its "Digital Divide" project
Advising the Ontario Energy Board on its "smart metering" project for electrical utilities
Advising CRTC and the Commissioner of Competition on regulatory reform in the telecom sector;
Laurie also advises clients on anti-trust issues including merger notification requirements and competitive disputes and has acted as counsel for the Competition Bureau in a number of regulatory proceedings.
Lecturing extensively on communications law and public policy issues, Laurie has worked in the past as a part-time professor of communications law at the University of Ottawa Law School, and as a special lecturer to assist in training regulatory and legal staff at the CRTC. He has also provided lectures to regulators in developing countries on compliance with WTO requirements for open and transparent regulatory frameworks and institutions.