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Laurence Dunbar

Laurence J.E. Dunbar

Partner Fasken
Canadian and foreign telecommunications service providers need to be aware of the legislative and policy issues related to competition and regulatory reform in the telecommunications and media sectors.
Jurisdiction Ontario, 1980
Language(s) English
Office(s) Ottawa

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.

Date Client


  • BCL Oxford University
  • LLB Dalhousie University

Community involvement

  • Director and Past President, Distress Centre of Ottawa
  • Member of the Executive Committee and Past President, Canadian Association of Rhodes Scholars
  • Director and Member of the Finance Committee, Rideau Club, Ottawa 

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Member, Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, Pacific Telecommunications Council
  • Member, Rideau Club (Ottawa)
  • Member, Royal Ottawa Golf Club
Article Dispute Resolution – New Developments: ADR in the Telecom Sector; Binding Arbitration for Tower Sharing and Roaming in the Wireless Market; and The New Telecommunications Consumer Agency Paper for the Law Society of Upper Canada
2nd Annual VoIP Summit Speaker, Canadian Information Exchange Conference
7th Annual Telecommunications Forum: Meeting the Challenges that will Shape Tomorrow's Industry Insight Information location location Ottawa