COVID-19: the Government of Canada Provides Relief to the Broadcasting Sector
The CRTC is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in the public interest. We are dedicated to ensuring that Canadians have access to a world-class communication system that promotes innovation and enriches their lives. CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission/Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des telecommunications canadiennes).
Back in the summer ofthe CRTC decided to get the public's input online as part of its proceeding on the "obligation to serve. I wrote a two-parter at the time about that exercise, entitled "The CRTC needs to connect with Canadians, not consult with them.
In Part two, I focused on what happens when a government agency jumps on the social media bandwagon without commitment, follow-through or expertise. I collected detailed YouTube and other stats that showed the social media add-ons were a failure: little traffic, no SNS dialog, zero viral activity. And social media history is now repeating itself. Today, over two how to open a ford focus without keys later, I'm writing this post in two or maybe three what time was 13 hours ago as a follow up to the posts.
I offer them as a caution about a habit that's getting entrenched at the Commission: treating online consultations as a substitute for both educating Canadian consumers and conducting real research like random-probability surveys on consumer attitudes and behaviours.
These consultations offer a seductive kind of window-dressing, because they make the Commission feel they know what the Canadian public wants, and they make the public feel good about having a forum in which to vent spleen.
Unfortunately, online "surveys" are not only unrepresentative, they can also be highly misleading, especially when the response rate is low. Speaking of response rate, let me jump to information I've pulled from the YouTube version of the video that's running on the consultation page.
As of noon Friday, November 23, the YouTube page indicates there's been a grand total of views. It's now 10 days since the launch of what is the crtc of canada consultation.
Worse still, the total four days ago was -- meaning an increase this week of barely 10 per cent. Of course, thousands of other people might have viewed the video on the CRTC site. Ah, but therein lies the problem: the CRTC ain't telling us. Go to the YouTube page and try clicking on the graph icon to the right of the number of views. Normally, this brings up some very useful stats about how the video has been viewed and by whom, including the rate at which viewing is growing.
Not here. What we get is: "Public statistics have been disabled. To summarize, I see three problems confronting the Commission. First, its use of online consultations is a distraction from evidence-based policymaking. Second, the Commission has failed in its mission to educate Canadians about the digital age. Indeed, it makes claims about the health of our communications industries that are at the least unproven, and at worst, plainly false.
Third, our regulator has jumped on the social media bandwagon without a clue as to how to make it worthwhile: social networking is not a spectator sport. The how to vote absentee in oklahoma online consultation is being conducted under the banner " Help Develop what is the crtc of canada Wireless Code.
This time, at least one thing is different. The appointment of Barbara Motzney as Chief Consumer Officer provides some hope that resources will be found to resolve the problems I discuss here. To say nothing of the fact the consumer-oriented agenda established by Chairman Blais would benefit greatly from a better understanding of how to what is the crtc of canada to the people he wishes to empower.
When it's how to make a rope dog collar using the jargon of the priesthood, the CRTC talks to consumers in an over-simplified and patronizing way. Worse still, it doesn't bother to explain anything outside of its decisions and press releases. And all this trouble is compounded by the appallingly bad architecture of the Commission's website, which inflicts a double-whammy on visitors seeking to understand the issues.
On one hand, its site is chock full of references for which it doesn't provide a pointer. On the other hand, when it does guide you to some kind of answer, the material is incomprehensible to anyone but experts. Here's what I mean In a decision issued earlier what does the golgi body do in a cell month Telecom Decision CRTCthere's a reference to background materials in the public record:.
The page you're taken to makes no reference to CRTC What about the other option: clicking on the file number: C? That takes you to a long page with tabular material that scrolls through dozens of proceedings.
Fine, what is the crtc of canada about Command-F? Aha, there is a cell in this interminable table that seems to be what we want. Its serial number, OTOH, iswhich has nothing to do with the proceeding serial number Except the last nine digits are the same as the file number. Etc, etc. Holy shit, man, would it be too much to ask the staff to provide a lousy permalink to take us directly, in one click, to what we were looking for?
Berners-Lee and Cailliau launched the first hyperlinked public Web page 21 years ago; and permalinks have been in what is the crtc of canada use for over a decade. And while we're at it, how about using canonical URLs, instead of mysterious strings of numbers known only to the staff, so we can see what our destination is going to be from the URL. Now the flip side of the problem: from too little information to way too much. In my post on the online consultation, I wondered aloud whether the Commission thought it was being helpful in its FAQ by directing visitors to two telecom notices as background reading, the better to understand this thing they call the "obligation to serve.
In addition, the Commission will re-examine the appropriateness of the existing forbearance framework for mobile wireless data services. Now that we've flogged that moribund horse into oblivion, let's turn to a related piece of the puzzle - speaking in half-truths.
As the consultation homepage indicates, the Commission has discovered the wonderful world of Web video. Here's a frame grab from the 8-second mark The clip comes at you like an infomercial. Fast cutting and bouncy graphics are backed by a breezy sound track one of my kids, a trained musician, describes it as "funky elevator jazz". The video asks, "Did you know? It's clear from the way this factoid is conveyed that we're meant to share in a sense of excitement, especially since the video continues with the revelation that we send million texts every day!
Wow, that many? Yes, these might be big numbers -- except for life's all-important question: compared to what? Second, "cellphones" covers both feature phones and smartphones. In case you hadn't heard, a mobile broadband tidal wave is roaring towards us, and only broadband-capable phones will be up to coping with it.
According to projections from Cisco's VNI forecast forwired devices accounted for 55 per cent of global IP traffic in ; bythat proportion will plunge to 39 per cent, meaning wireless devices will carry 61 per cent of all traffic. Put another way, mobile IP traffic will grow over the forecast period at a CAGR of 78 per cent, representing an fold increase from to That puts feature phones on the wrong side of the next incarnation of the digital divide.
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Apr 16, · CRTC directive aims to lower Canada’s high cost of wireless data By Terry Haig | [email protected] Posted: Friday, April 16, Last Updated: Saturday, April 17, Mar 31, · The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is an administrative tribunal that operates at arm’s length from the federal government. In , broadcasters are expected to pay licence fees to the facetimepc.co: Canadian Heritage. Jurisdiction over terrestrial broadcasting in Canada is primarily regulated by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Given that many of the details will be sorted out by the CRTC, the specifics will take years to unfold. In the short term, the bill creates considerable marketplace uncertainty that could lead to reduced spending on Canadian film and television production and delayed entry into Canada of new services.
As I wrote over the weekend in a preview of the bill , much of the grounding for this legislation is based on fictions. Those rules create competitive advantages for Canadian broadcasters, but the government nevertheless envisions equal mandated contributions to support Canadian content. The data demonstrates that there has been record setting film and television production in recent years, much of it supported by companies such as Netflix. Further, certified Cancon has also grown in recent years, with the top two three years for certified Cancon television production occurring over the past three years.
In fact, last year was the biggest year for French language Cancon over the past decade. However, they do not include social media services or user generated content, an important rejection of a recommendation from the BTLR expert panel other issues such as digital taxation or link licensing are left to future reforms. These new online undertakings will not be licensed, but they will face regulation from the CRTC. The bill leaves many of the specifics to the regulator, subject to a forthcoming policy direction in which the government plans to direct the Commission to prioritize issues such as support for diversity and inclusion as well as revisit what is considered Canadian content.
All of this places the CRTC in an enormously powerful position. Over the coming years, it will determine how Internet streaming companies must financially contribute in Canada for example, payments into a general fund to support Cancon or a spending percentage of their own revenues and how they must promote Canadian content on their services.
These companies will be required to provide confidential corporate information to the CRTC and will be subject to audit. The CRTC will have new powers to levy fines in case of non-compliance. Instead, they will require judicial review and extensive litigation. In the short term, this bill creates considerable uncertainty that could lead to reduced investment in Canadian film and television production and less consumer choice as potential new streaming entrants avoid the Canadian market until there is greater clarity on the cost of doing business.
Canada is set to become a highly regulated market for Internet streaming services and the uncertainty regarding those costs are sure to have an impact. The regulatory process will take years to unfold with a call for public comment, a lengthy hearing, the initial decision, applications to review and vary the decision, judicial reviews, and potential judicial appeals. If any of the appeals are successful, the CRTC would be required to re-examine its decision and the process starts anew.
This lengthy process could have a major impact on investment decisions. New entrants may also delay entering into the Canadian market given the prospect of significant new spending requirements and regulatory intervention into confidential business information. Canada was once a highly attractive market for new services, but this bill may cause new entrants to rethink their plans.
The increased cost side is obvious: someone is going to pay for fees that are projected to run into hundreds of millions of dollars and the safe bet is that it is going to be Canadian consumers. The resulting service will be a CRTC-approved version of Netflix in which the regulator will require services to promote Canadian content directly to their subscribers. This policy raises net neutrality concerns given that the regulator will intervene in the display of content on Internet services.
That immediately generates a Canadian Movies and TV section that features many shows and movies. For years, the Canadian cultural sector has claimed that Canadians want access to Canadian programming. If true, that provides Internet streaming services with all the incentive they need to ensure that they offer Canadian programming and that it is easy to find.
With no long term commitment and plenty of competition, subscribers will leave if they do not find programming that appeals to them.
If the culture sector is right, their success in Canada is directly linked to offering Canadian programming and ensuring that their subscribers are able to find it. In this scenario, it is not regulation that drives access to Canadian content but rather subscriber demand. Yet this market-based approach — premised on the vision that Canadians can create great content that will be funded, distributed, and available to subscribers who want it — is being replaced by a regulated model in which success depends upon intervention from the government and the CRTC.
That new approach will cause harm in the short term, increase consumer costs in the long term, and leave behind a market that perpetuates unfortunate perceptions of Canadian content as a weaker product reliant on government mandated support. Canadian content is a weaker product reliant on government mandated support and always will be. And that includes the CRTC and its inane ramblings. Open the market, and let the chips fall where they may. Michael Geist has written yet another polemic based on fictitious scenarios and flawed reasoning.
Bill C provides some new powers to the CRTC, but they are subject to oversight by Canadian Heritage in the form of policy directives, among other things. The information from Internet giants operating in Canada to be generated by the new measures, if implemented, will be subject to the same confidentiality requirements as those now in place.
Any new legislation creates uncertainty in the short term as details are sorted out. The Internet based video-on-demand television services, such as Netflix, are completely unregulated and enjoy an enormous competitive advantage over their regulated Canadian equivalents.
It has largely nothing to do with the production of identifiably Canadian programs. The level of English-language Canadian television production is roughly the same as it was in The modest rise in the level of French-language Canadian television production is attributable to greater contributions from public broadcaster licence fees and other public sources of financing. The obligations related to the provision of information to be placed on Internet streaming companies will be no different than those currently in place for regulated Canadian broadcasters and will be subject to the same confidentiality rules with regard to public disclosure.
The new regime proposed by Bill C will not introduce any more uncertainty than would any other government legislation proposing reform in an important sector of economic activity. The multinational giants are accustomed to working in foreign jurisdictions.
B2 If Netflix is already doing all that it says it is doing in Canada, not much adaptation may be necessary. The new approach will have no effect until it is put in place. When this is accomplished, the Canadian broadcasting system will offer more and better viewing choices with ultimate viewing decisions left to Canadian consumers.
Thank you Mr. Mouthpiece for the media conglomerates. Rather than wade through your PR marketing piece, I will be recommending everyone to get a VPN to bypass Canadian internet manipulations. Thank you and have a nice day. Dear Prince Fortinbras, We are all tired of being manipulated by a media oligopoly that is trying to protect a broken business model instead of innovating and competing in the digital age.
Go crawl back under the stone age rock you came from and tell your army to go home. Oh, and next time, do have the decency to sign your real name to your work so we know which company is paying for this 2-bit astro-turfing… you are not Norwegian royalty, and Shakespeare would be rolling in his grave if he read this PR nonsense.
What are these market failures you claim this legislation will address? There has never been as much choice and variety in the marketplace as there is now. Competition has brought better content, highly specialized services aimed at niche markets, more foreign language content, much better access for non-english speakers because of dubbing and sub-titles, and many more ways to view content.
While this innovation has been going on, Canadian media organizations have acted like deer caught in the headlights of an 18 wheeler, hoping to be saved by the government. Geist spreads this nonsense while pocketing a very large cheque each week as a professor at a public university. In addition to monetizing his work in other ways — at the same time as he argues that Canadian creators should not be paid for the use of their work in school and university classrooms: their labour, unlike that of the school janitor, and of Mr Geist and others teaching that work, shoud be free!
I guess there is no obligation that tenured faculty actually tell the truth. If your pet issue is finally fixed, I would love you to go outside and tell all the newly dejected unemployed about it. What a clown. Pingback: Overhauling the Broadcasting Act: be careful what you wish for — brioux. If you really believe that he Canadian broadcast system will offer more and better viewing because of these regulations then you must also believe that the cheque is in the mail.
Regulations cost money and the companies that have to pay the costs will try to recover the costs through some combination of higher fees and cost savings — likely by reducing the size of the catalogue.
That means consumers will pay more and get less. No one is arguing internet exceptionalism. We are arguing that regulations are not needed because there are no technical limits to the number of competitors as there is with TV and that the cultural sovereignty issue is a red-herring.
Quite well put. What it aptly demonstrates is when you have enabled an industry for decades via government protectionism, to the point it will lobby to sabotage practically everyone just to keep that protectionism going.
So, I was in Toronto a while ago and they were filming a scene on Front St. Clearly, Netflix is trying to have Canadian content in their productions. The CRTC is right up there with heritage building preservation groups where they try to save a shell of an old square plain eyesore building that will never be what it once was.
The Canadian Content appears to be doing quite well of late so the CRTC should at least not break was is not broken and hopefully just keep the cancon growth happening without taking away entertainment sources. Pingback: Trudeau government introduces bill to force online media companies to push liberal content — Living in Anglo-America. You are so cool! So nice to discover somebody with some original thoughts on this issue.
This web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with some originality! Delivered by FeedBurner. This web site is licensed under a Creative Commons License, although certain works referenced herein may be separately licensed.
Notwithstanding the weak policy foundation, what is the government proposing? Share this post Tweet. CodexCoder says: November 4, at am. DB says: November 4, at pm. Jason Riddell says: November 5, at pm. Fortinbras says: November 4, at pm. Eric L. Concerned Canadian says: November 7, at am. DB says: November 7, at pm. Jaym says: November 8, at pm. You do know this will means thousands of Canadians will be out of work.
George says: November 10, at am. DB says: November 5, at pm. Scott Johnston says: November 14, at am. Jame says: November 26, at am.
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