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Canada

Submission + - Private broadcasters cry foul over CBC advertising plan (theglobeandmail.com)

silentbrad writes: From the Globe and Mail: "Canada’s largest private radio broadcaster has come out swinging against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s move to start selling advertising on its CBC Radio 2 and Espace Musique stations. Astral Media, which is in the process of being sold to telecom giant BCE Inc., said it will oppose the CBC’s application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to change its licensing conditions to allow the two secondary CBC stations to begin airing commercials. ... 'Astral is fiercely opposed to seeing the public broadcaster start selling advertising,' the company said in an e-mailed statement late Wednesday, hours after CBC president Hubert Lacroix told staff in a memo of the CBC’s proposed move to sell advertising, part of an effort to find $50-million in new revenues to offset the impact of federal budget cuts. ... But industry representatives warned the move could distort Canada’s thriving commercial radio business, which has enjoyed years of steady profitability and is soon to be dominated by three of Canada’s largest telecommunications and cable firms. 'They can’t have it both ways,' said Carmela Laurignano, vice-president of Toronto-based Evanov Communications, which owns 14 radio stations, including Toronto’s Z103.5 FM. 'They’re either a private or a public broadcaster. If they can get advertising revenues and receive taxpayer funds to do their programming, the competitive balance is not the same.'
Canada

Submission + - Canadian Telcos Lobby Against Pick-and-Pay TV (financialpost.com)

silentbrad writes: From the Financial Post: "BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., and Shaw Communications Inc. which together control two-thirds of the $8.3-billion broadcast distribution market, are lobbying against the so-called 'a la carte' model that would allow customers to pick and pay for individual networks, arguing the change would have disastrous consequences for programmers, such as Bell Media and Shaw Media. 'A regulation requiring that all programming services must be made available to consumers on a stand-alone basis would have far-reaching ramifications,' BCE, whose Bell owns 30 specialty networks, said in a submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 'Undoubtedly, a market shake-out, causing many specialty services to exit, would ensue.' The three big players, led by BCE, have told the CRTC they support the status quo of 'tied selling,' or the practice of grouping weaker-performing networks in with a popular channels, versus a new approach to sell channels individually. ... In the race for subscription dollars, rates for TV services across providers have risen sharply over the last decade as the number of specialty channels, each commanding its own fee, has soared. Net costs to subscribers climbed another 2.6% in 2011, while average bills now hover around $60 a month. ... Nonetheless, with the old TV model likely at its peak, analysts are near unanimous that change must be met with innovation. 'We believe those distributors that offer the greatest value and choice will be best positioned to defend their subscribers and [revenue],' Credit Suisse analyst Colin Moore said in a note last month."
Canada

Submission + - Adopt national protection code for consumers, Rogers urges CRTC (theglobeandmail.com) 1

silentbrad writes: Canada’s largest mobile service provider is urging the federal telecom regulator to implement a mandatory national consumer protection code in order to diffuse the threat posed by a growing hotchpotch of provincial regulations for wireless services. Rogers Communications Inc. submitted that proposal to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in an application late Thursday. In doing so, Rogers becomes the second major carrier to ask the CRTC to resume active regulation of the terms and conditions for wireless service contracts, a practice that it largely abandoned during the 1990s. Nonetheless, those regulatory powers, while latent, remain in the Telecommunications Act, meaning the CRTC can still exercise its authority over those matters.
Canada

Submission + - Canada's Internet among best, report says (financialpost.com)

silentbrad writes: Canadians enjoy among the fastest, most widely available and least expensive broadband Internet in the developed world, says a report released Thursday. The report, based on the results of 52 million speed tests of broadband users across the G7 countries and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) membership, was produced by Montreal-based consulting firm Lemay Yates Associates Inc. on behalf of Rogers Communications Inc., the country's largest broadband service provider. It disputes the OECD's own report, published in July, that ranked Canada's high-speed Internet offerings significantly below those of other countries ... The report comes days after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) revealed a sharp jump in the number of complaints it has received regarding Internet traffic-management practices or "throttling" in recent months.
Canada

Submission + - Deaf community lobbies CRTC (thestarphoenix.com) 1

silentbrad writes: A handful of deaf people and supporters gathered in front of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) building in Regina, taking part in one of nine rallies across Canada in support of making video relay services (VRS) available to the whole country ... Bell got permission to do a feasibility study instead of a trial to gather more information on developing a permanent VRS. Its study began early in 2011 and is expected to be completed by February. Telus' trial started in the summer of 2010 and is scheduled to end Sunday, at which point VRS will no longer be available in Canada.
Canada

Submission + - Small ISPs to challenge CRTC ruling (financialpost.com)

silentbrad writes: 'The country's independent Internet providers are challenging a regulatory ruling that allows large network operators such as BCE Inc. to raise rates on smaller providers and their customers. ... A request from the Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc. (CNOC), a trade group representing dozens of smaller ISPs, was filed Wednesday with regulatory authorities asking a Nov. 15 decision allowing higher rates based on "capacity" be revisited, with an aim to lowering fees smaller providers will have to start paying by Feb. 1.' Another article focussing specifically on TekSavvy gives some more details.
Canada

Submission + - Usage-Based Billing in Canada

silentbrad writes: I work at (though not for) a specific Canadian Cable Company and ISP, and have the good fortune of having to use Internet Explorer to visit slashdot six days a week. However, there's a small upside to this: our homepage tries to drive home the awesomeness of the company by providing links to the five most recent (somewhat) reputable articles that mention said company. They also seem to be under the impression that any news is good news, because only one of these five in recent weeks agrees with them about the reasons for UBB. Slashdot has reported on Canada's adoption of usage-based billing before, and now it's starting to get more and more coverage. Two weeks ago, the NDP got upset; now Canadian Business is reporting about the soon to be rising rates, and Netflix is expressing their worries about possible losses and the ridiculous overage fees.
Canada

Submission + - Netflix worried by Canadian Internet download caps (thestar.com)

silentbrad writes: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he’s “definitely worried” that download caps set by Canadian ISPs could be “a significant negative for Netflix.” In a conference call discussing the company’s most recent earnings report, Hastings said he believes many Canadian customers don’t know about the downloading limits on their Internet accounts and some are only figuring it out after getting charged overage fees.
Canada

Submission + - NDP slams CRTC's approval of usage-based billing (straight.com) 1

silentbrad writes: The NDP's digital-issues critic says a decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to allow usage-based billing threatens access to the Internet. According to Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus, usage-based billing is unfair to consumers and could be used by large Internet service providers to limit competition from third-party ISPs and online media sources, such as Netflix.

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