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Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

The Shaw acquisition of the broadcast division of Canwest has people taking about the convergence of content and connectivity once again. Jim Shaw must be dreaming of the untold riches that this deal will yield, just like what happened with AOL TIme Warner, and Bell Globemedia. Oh. I forgot. AOL Time Warner was a disaster of epic proportions and Bell Globemedia has not lived up to the promise of Jean Monty’s vision. I guess Jim forgot his history, or maybe the world has changed over the course of the past decade?

I would go with door number 2 – the world has changed. Devices have evolved at a rapid clip as have the networks that support them. The application space has been as busy as well – social networking applications (Twitter, Facebook etc…) did not exist, and Youtube was still 5 years away from hitting the planet.

Let’s consider a fairly normal family, with a mind to understanding what they use.

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Amazon Canada

Seems Amazon has been granted the ability to open its own distribution centre in Canada. I wonder if this will have any impact on the service they deliver to Canadian consumers? Amazon Prime anyone?

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Read this. It is good to see that the Canadian federal government seems committed to the cloud. The fact that they seem to have moved beyond strategizing and roadmaps to actual deployment of cloud based services is a good thing, and ought to bode well as they move forward. The government’s existing IT infrastructure would seem to resemble a tangled nightmare and a move to cloud based computing should result in significant cost savings and productivity increases across the board. If they get it right…

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I read with interest an article in the National Post today. The headline reads “Canadians can afford high cable fees: CRTC. Regulator finds Canadians absorb higher cable fees without complaint.” The article goes on to state that the average cable bill has risen by almost 50% since 2002 and that “Such results do no seem to suggest a significant withdrawal of demand for television services when consumers are faced with rate increases.”

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The CRTC announced its long awaited broadcast decision, which gives television networks the right to negotiate carriage fees with cable and satellite companies (the Cable Cos). To date, Canadian stations were carried at no cost to the Cable Cos. This model worked for a long time, with both parties profiting from the arrangement. However, a decrease in advertising revenues has put the pinch on the networks and a change in model was almost inevitable. Neither side was willing budge on the issue – both seemingly content to play to the perceived public sympathies in an effort to build support for stated arguments. So what is likely to happen?

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Canada’s foreign ownership regulations have long been criticized as being too restrictive. The Telecom Act of 1996 makes the case clear:

“For the purposes of subsection (1), a corporation is Canadian-owned and controlled if

(a) not less than eighty per cent of the members of the board of directors of the corporation are individual Canadians;

(b) Canadians beneficially own, directly or indirectly, in the aggregate and otherwise than by way of security only, not less than eighty per cent of the corporation’s voting shares issued and outstanding; and

(c) the corporation is not otherwise controlled by persons that are not Canadians.”

Critics claim that the end result has been a paucity of foreign investment when compared to countries that have liberalized foreign ownership regulations and the knock on effect being less capital investment.

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