Post Tagged with: "broadcast"

Why Competition Holds the Key to a Broken Broadcast System

As the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission concludes its hearing on the consolidation of the Canadian communications market into a handful of corporate giants (so-called vertical integration) and embarks on a “fact-finding exercise” on the impact of online video services (today is the submission deadline), my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the only obvious conclusion from the hundreds of submissions and hours of debate is that Canada’s broadcast law framework is broken.

The Commission’s struggle to make sense of the changing corporate and technological landscape – alongside lobbying for new industry codes of practice and Internet regulations – is rooted in a regulatory framework premised on scarcity rather than abundance. When the law was crafted, broadcasters occupied a privileged position, since the creation of video was expensive and the spectrum needed to distribute it scarce. As a result, the government established a licensing system complete with content requirements and cultural contributions designed to further a myriad of policy goals.

Yet among the more than 40 policy goals found in the current Broadcasting Act, the word “competition” does not appear once. The absence of competition may have made sense when there was little of it, but in today’s world of abundance featuring a seemingly unlimited array of content and distribution possibilities, fostering competition among broadcasters and broadcast distributors such as cable and satellite companies might hold the key to reforming the system.

What might a competition-focused broadcast policy look like?  

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July 5, 2011 13 comments Columns

Why Competition Holds the Key to a Broken Broadcast System

Appeared in the Toronto Star on July 3, 2011 as Why Competition Holds the Key to a Broken Broadcast System As the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission concludes its hearing on the consolidation of the Canadian communications market into a handful of corporate giants (so-called vertical integration) and embarks on […]

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July 5, 2011 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

CRTC Chair Calls on Broadcasters to Lobby For Legislative Reform

CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein gave a speech to the Canadian broadcasting community yesterday in which he urged broadcasters and broadcast distributors to speak with one voice for legislative reform. Von Finckenstein presented his vision of a single communications statute (rather than separate Telecom Act and Broadcasting Act) that could […]

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May 6, 2011 9 comments News

Do We Still Need Foreign Ownership Restrictions in Canadian Broadcasting?

Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 6, 2011 as Content Rules, Not Canadian Ownership, Protect Our Culture In recent weeks, a political consensus has begun to emerge on the benefits of removing restrictions on foreign ownership in the telecommunications sector. Implementing such reforms faces at least one major political […]

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March 10, 2011 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Angus Calls for Hearings on CRTC Broadcasting False News Change

NDP MP Charlie Angus has put forward a motion at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage calling for hearings on the CRTC’s proposed change to the broadcasting false news prohibition.

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February 2, 2011 13 comments Must Reads