Category Archives: Telecommunications

Over-The-Air TV On The Chopping Block

ohaiotaThe landmark hearings that will determine the future of television in Canada, which I’ve mentioned a couple of times now, are currently in full swing, and it seems that all anyone wants to talk about is the prospect of pick-and-pay. That’s understandable since being able to pick only the stations you want in a cable or satellite package would be highly cathartic to just about anyone. The proposal put forward by the CRTC is actually really great, even revolutionary in a number of ways. There’s one big problem though: a provision that will allow local broadcasters in Canada to shut down their over-the-air transmitters, effectively killing what is supposed to be the fundamental backbone of the entire television industry.

Continue reading

Help Determine the Future of Canadian TV, and I Actually Kind of Mean it This Time!

I am so sick of this logoThe CRTC recently launched a survey about the future of Canadian television (open until March 14), and by golly this one is sure to create a whole new media environment! Real change is going to happen with our national regulator this time, and now is your chance to blah blah blah blah, yeah I know. You’re sick of this, right? These same talking points that you’ve heard from me, and probably others, dozens of times? Far too many times. Don’t get me wrong, the fetishization of bureaucracy and regulation is a proud Canadian tradition, and one that I certainly hope we don’t lose anytime soon, but this stuff wears thin after a while. The new survey does raise some problems and solutions that I’ve been harping on about for a while, which I’m glad to see. What’s going to be more interesting to most of you is that it includes some questionable attempts to gather public support for regulating Netflix. If you still have faith in the system, by all means join me after the jump for some of my thoughts. If not… well, hang in there. I’ll be posting about cartoons again soon, I promise.

Continue reading

Why You Should Care About Digital OTA Television

There is certainly a lot less confusion going around these days over the upcoming transition to digital television on August 31 than there was a few years ago. Unfortunately, a good portion of the public, namely those who have become perfectly content with their expensive cable and satellite packages, seem to be completely unaware of why this is so important. Anyone who thinks that picking up television signals for free with an antenna is a lowly, vestigial practice from the Cold War could certainly learn a lot from the growing number of Canadians embracing it, as well as the countries using it for innovation in mobile phone technology.

Continue reading

Courts Reject Government’s Accomodation For WIND Mobile

Crosspost from OpenMedia.ca:

Federal Court has made uncanny timing with their latest decision relating to the government’s ability to reverse CRTC decisions. The Harper government’s ruling that allowed Globalive to establish WIND Mobile in the Canadian marketplace despite the CRTC’s objection has been struck down on the basis that the government had no justification in overruling the regulator. Given that Industry Minister Tony Clement announced on Wednesday the federal government’s intention to overrule the CRTC’s decision to impose usage-based billing on independent ISPs, concern over this development may be understandable.

Continue reading

Anti-UBB Rally Planned For Toronto This Friday, Parliament Hill Saturday

Word is finally spreading that the usage-based billing being implemented by Canadian internet providers this month is a really, really, really bad thing. In response, a Toronto rally is being organized for Friday 4 February 2011 followed by a Saturday rally outside Parliament Hill to communicate the dissatisfaction of pretty much all Canadian society. (Information is available after the jump for those who don’t use Facebook.) While it is likely to be an impressive demonstration, we must remember that all of this public demand may yield nothing more than a slightly less outrageous, but all-too-similar, compromise.

Continue reading

A Friendly Reminder That Chat-r Is Evil

Speculation has arisen that Public Mobile, the admirable yet sadly ineffectual Canadian mobile phone upstart, may not be far from seeking a partnership or merger in the face of intense treachery from incumbent cell companies. It is now more important than ever to remind cellphone users that the recent Chat-r brand is, in fact, the purest incarnation of evil.

Continue reading

Canada Has World’s Highest Cellphone Bills

Shinji and Rei on cell phonesMobile phone users in Canada can now proudly boast that they pay more per month than any other nation on earth. Surprise. Subscribers who have made the questionable decision of switching to the deceptively convenient “Chat-r” brand should be advised that they are doing more to exacerbate the situation than they are to remedy it.

Continue reading