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Posts Tagged ‘CRTC’

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.”┬áThe 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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The CRTC has made its recommendations re: traffic shaping and the like. Essentially the big boys get to throttle ‘some types’ of traffic (both retail and wholesale) during peak times, provided they warn consumers 30 days in advance and wholesale customers 60 days in advance of what they are going to do. The CRTC was clear that they want this to be a last resort, with preference being given to economic solutions (i.e. more money equals no throttling?) Apparently Bell Canada already throttles traffic between the hours of 4:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. so I am not sure how this changes things in today’s market. At least the carriers are prevented from revealing any info regarding the type of traffic gleaned from monitoring customer activity, which is a bit of a net neutrality safeguard I suppose.Given the CRTC has opened the door to appeals, I suspect that we have not heard the end of this.

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