The CRTC opened the new media hearings today with considerable media coverage and live blogging from the Globe and Mail. Today's discussion cut directly to the most controversial issues – new media regulation and an ISP levy. Interestingly, CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein wasted little time asking the Canadian Conference of the Arts why it emphasized the link between new media regulation and net neutrality, indicating that he did not see the relationship.
Throughout the hearings, I'll be teaming up with Carleton professor Ira Wagman to offer up a full summary of the day's events as we'll have students carefully taking notes on all the presentations and discussions. My thanks to Samantha Montreuil for attending today's hearings and compiling the following review of the day's events.
Welcome from Chair Konrad von Finckenstein
In 1999, the CRTC became one of first regulators in the world to examine new media and the question of if and how it should be regulated. Ultimately, the CRTC decided to exempt new media from regulation for three main reasons:
- Licensing and regulation would not help the development of New Media.
- A lack of regulation of new media would not impede the ability of other media forms from fulfilling their duties
- The Commission felt that New Media needed more time to become competitive.
Today, Canadians are one of the populations that spend the most time online. Since new media has developed rapidly within the last 10 years, the CRTC feels that it is time to re-examine the question of regulating broadcasting within new media platforms; these hearings are to examine strictly broadcasting in new media and nothing else. The commission also seeks to examine the question of how to measure content and consumption of new media in order to implement any eventual regulatory measures.