Post Tagged with: "telecom"

Phone by Mike Stach (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/qWcisH

CRTC Rebuked: Government Signals Frustration With the Commission Prioritizing Carriers Over Consumers

Telecom issues were in the spotlight yesterday with the government ordering the CRTC to “examine claims of aggressive or misleading sales practices concerning telecommunications services, the prevalence and impact on consumers, as well as potential solutions.” The Order-in-Council, which was accompanied by a request to the Competition Bureau to provide assistance, follows CBC reports on misleading sales tactics from companies such as Bell and Rogers and the CRTC’s rejection of a request to conduct an inquiry into the matter. The announcement from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains is a welcome development, signalling the government’s frustration with a CRTC under new chair Ian Scott that has seemingly abandoned consumer interests.

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June 15, 2018 3 comments News
Boxee beta screenshot by Ian Forrester (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/7vRe8Z

The CRTC’s Fundamental Flaw: Broadcasting May Be the Internet, but the Internet is Not Broadcasting

Canada’s communications regulator last week reversed decades of policy by recommending that the government implement new regulation and taxation for internet services in order to support the creation of Canadian content. The report on the future of program distribution, which will surely influence the newly established government panel reviewing Canada’s telecommunications and broadcasting laws, envisions new fees attached to virtually anything related to the internet: internet service providers, internet video services, and internet audio services (wherever located) to name a few.

My Globe and Mail op-ed notes with the remarkable popularity of services such as Netflix and YouTube, there is a widely held view that the internet has largely replaced the conventional broadcast system. Industry data suggests the business of broadcasters and broadcast distributors such as cable and satellite companies won’t end anytime soon, but it is undeniable that a growing number of Canadians access broadcast content through the internet.

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June 8, 2018 6 comments Columns
tv chair by kolrabi (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/quZw6Q

Government’s Telecom/Broadcast Review Sets Up Internet Taxes and Regulation As a 2019 Election Issue

The government unveiled the members of its telecom and broadcast review panel this morning setting the stage for Internet access taxes, Netflix regulation, and the imposition of cultural policies on telecommunications to emerge as a 2019 election issue. The new panel will be chaired by Janet Yale, who brings experience from both telecommunications and broadcasting to the role. The remaining six panel members line up nicely as telecom nominees (Hank Intven, my colleague Marina Pavlovic, and Monica Song) or broadcast nominees (Peter Grant, Monique Simard, and Pierre Trudel).

The leaked coverage this morning paints the panel as an effort to redraft broadcasting regulation with Internet companies such as Netflix and Facebook firmly in the government sights. Yet the reality is far more complex with terms of reference that touch on a wide range of telecom and broadcast issues. The Canadian Heritage perspective may be focused on broadcast and Internet regulation (despite repeated assurances that there is no support for new Internet taxes), but the ISED view will be focused on competition, consumer issues, and net neutrality. Last week’s CRTC report provides momentum for Internet taxes and regulation, however, the government has yet to provide much of a response. Indeed, the instructions to the panel reflect the departmental tensions with language that supports both sides and questions that touch on everything from consumer protection to the CBC.

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June 5, 2018 6 comments News
https://pixabay.com/en/clock-wall-clock-watch-time-old-1274699/ CC0 Creative Commons

The 1980s CRTC: The Commission Turns Back the Clock with Old-Style Regulation and Privileged Insider Access

The CRTC was long perceived by many Canadians as a captured regulator, largely inaccessible to the public as it dispensed decisions that safeguarded incumbents from disruptive competition. That reputation was buttressed by initial decisions on regulating Internet telephony, permitting Bell to engage in Internet throttling, and supporting a usage based billing approach that hampered competition. In recent years, some policies changed with the adoption of net neutrality regulations and the efforts of former chair Jean-Pierre Blais to prioritize consumer interests. Yet over the past few months, the CRTC under new chair Ian Scott seems determined to turn back the clock with a commission more comfortable with industry stakeholders and their priorities than consumer groups and facilitating competition.

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June 4, 2018 6 comments News
Comparison of Ookla data, MEI chart at http://www.iedm.org/sites/default/files/web/pub_files/cahier0118_en.pdf, Ookla chart at https://web.archive.org/web/20180322190824/http://www.speedtest.net/global-index/

Not So Fast: Digging into MEI’s Report on the State of Canadian Wireless Services

The release this week of the Montreal Economic Institute’s telecommunications report has the feel of a last gasp for a dying argument about the state of Canadian wireless. Gone are the days of telecom companies and their supporters denying that Canadian wireless prices are high relative to other countries. In its place are arguments seeking to justify high prices on the basis of claims that Canada has better networks and challenging geography. What is striking about the latest report is how these arguments fail upon closer inspection with the MEI resorting to creating incomplete data charts on network quality and failing to grapple with countries that have better networks, better pricing, and less wireless density.

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May 11, 2018 4 comments News