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May 28, 2008 Weblog:

CRTC preparing to regulate the internet

They said they wouldn't do it 1999. And they said it again in 2003. But now the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommmunication Commission is getting set to regulate the internet and they want Canadians to help them set the terms for an upcoming hearing into the matter.

The CRTC is Canada’s federal communications regulator. In 1999, they took the position that the internet was mostly alphanumeric text, not technically sophisticated enough to provide audio and visual content easily, and not of sufficient interest to consumers of audio and visual content to warrant regulation. Well, that’s changed, and regulations are coming. In Broadcasting Public Notice 2008-44, the CRTC has announced a major investigation into the feasibility and scope of regulating content on the internet.

But before they rip open the discussion, they want input from Canadians about what questions to ask -- What areas to focus on? What concerns should get priority? For example, should questions about net neutrality be raised?

This is a chance to have legislation put into place that will protect net neutrality.

The Commission wants to know if the upcoming hearing should ask questions like:

Are there practices that effect distribution of and access to Canadian new media broadcasting?

Is the new media broadcasting environment contributing sufficiently to the achievement of the broadcasting policy objectives of the Broadcasting Act?

Who are the relevant stakeholders in the creation and distribution of Canadian programming in the new media environment?

» continue reading "CRTC preparing to regulate the internet"

November 30, 2007 Weblog:

CRTC Awards Compensation to Citizen's Advocacy Group for Cost of Preparing Submission

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The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has won a major victory for Canadians who want a say in telecommunications policy in Canada. In Telecom Costs Order CRTC 2007-14 issued today, the CRTC upheld PIAC's request for compensation for the preparation of a submission to a public hearing on whether or not to eliminate regulatory constraints on telephone companies' basic rates.

The original public hearing (Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-10) was instigated in response to a letter from Bell Canada requesting deregulation of basic phone service fees. PIAC was strongly opposed to such a move, and included with its submission a request under s.44 of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure for compensation for the costs of preparing its submission. Under s.44, the CRTC can award costs against a regulated company to an intervener who represents a class of subscribers with an interest in the outcome, who has participated in a responsible way, and who has contributed to a better understanding of the issues. The CRTC ordered that PIAC be compensated in the amount of $20,182.74.

» continue reading "CRTC Awards Compensation to Citizen's Advocacy Group for Cost of Preparing Submission"

September 24, 2007 Weblog:

CRTC Proposal Threatens Community Television in Canada

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Community access television in Canada is once again at risk of being destroyed as an access medium for the Canadian public. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) wants to remove the community channel from the basic cable package, a move that would, in effect, gut community television as an access medium. Canadians are being urged to write to the CRTC and demand that community television remain in the basic cable package. The deadline for submissions is October 9, 2007.

If you want to respond immediately, here's what to do. Click here, to see the CRTC's call for comments in CRTC 2007-10. Paragraph 73 proposes that community television be removed from the basic cable package. Find paragraph 105 and follow the links to file an electronic response. You can also write your response in a separate file and attach it to your electronic submission.

If you would like to know more about this issue, and where to find supporting documents such as existing regulations for community television and learn about others working on the issue, keep reading...

» continue reading "CRTC Proposal Threatens Community Television in Canada"

July 2, 2007 Weblog:

Media Democracy in Canada

The folks at Democratic Media are asking for help in pushing the CRTC to stop the rollback of media ownership regulations.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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