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Dead Wild Roses: Say “NO” to ads on CBC Radio

Due to broken promises and subsequent budget cuts, our previous government forced CBC radio to resort to using advertisements to supplement funding. It was outrageous then and it is outrageous now. The CRTC is now inviting the public to express their opinions on the matter and Friends of Canadian Broadcasting has set up a convenient […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Say “NO” to ads on CBC Radio

Mind Bending Politics: Legacy News is Threatened By Lack of Ethics Not Subsidies

This week CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais ripped into journalism industry executives for asking for subsidies all while owning private yachts and helicopters. This statement has come while the CRTC has been holding hearings on the future of local journalism and TV, however spoiled executives are only part of the problem. A lack of enforcement by the CRTC on ethical regulations seems to be the other part of the problem with broadcast journalism. . . . → Read More: Mind Bending Politics: Legacy News is Threatened By Lack of Ethics Not Subsidies

OpenMedia.ca: We’re challenging a crucial CRTC decision on behalf of Canadians

Last night, OpenMedia filed detailed and significant comments in support of a crucial challenge that will determine whether Canadians get access to new, independent wireless providers like Ting. If the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) listens to Canadians, bad parts of a recent ruling will be overturned and a new . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: We’re challenging a crucial CRTC decision on behalf of Canadians

OpenMedia.ca: CBC: DEBATE! Is access to high speed internet a right?

DEBATE! Is the Internet a human right? What do Canadians stand to gain from the CRTC’s basic services hearing? (faster, cheaper Internet, maybe?) Our own Josh Tabish went on CBC’s ‘The 180’ to argue YES! against Roslyn Layton, Ph.D. fellow in Internet economics at the Center for Communication, Media and Information Technologies . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: CBC: DEBATE! Is access to high speed internet a right?

OpenMedia.ca: Our crowdsourced policy became government policy. The CRTC heard your call, Canada.

We Won!

As you may have heard, a major ruling on Thursday from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ensures a significant step forward for Canadians’ ability to access affordable Internet options independent of Canada’s large telecom providers.

In short, the ruling creates fair rules . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: Our crowdsourced policy became government policy. The CRTC heard your call, Canada.

OpenMedia.ca: The fate of affordable access to next-generation Internet will be decided this week.

This week the the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is expected to announce a major decision that will significantly impact whether or not Canadians have access to a variety of affordable Internet services independent of Big Telecom, including next-generation fibre.

read more

. . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: The fate of affordable access to next-generation Internet will be decided this week.

OpenMedia.ca: Globe and Mail: Coalition calls on CRTC to force expansion of broadband access

Article by Christine Dobby for The Globe and Mail 

A coalition of groups representing consumers, seniors and anti-poverty activists is calling on Canada’s telecom regulator to force industry players to expand access to high-speed Internet for low-income households and those living in rural areas.

read more

. . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: Globe and Mail: Coalition calls on CRTC to force expansion of broadband access

OpenMedia.ca: Only 24 hours left to demand faster, cheaper Internet for all Canadians

Only 24 Hours Remain

We have less than 24 hours to tell decision-makers at the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to stop Big Telecom’s plan to keep us locked into some of the slowest, most expensive Internet services in the industrialized world. There’s never been a better time to demand . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: Only 24 hours left to demand faster, cheaper Internet for all Canadians

OpenMedia.ca: Vancouver 24hs: BC groups push CRTC for cheaper Internet

Ensure Canadians get faster, cheaper Interner while there’s still time! Speak out at UnblockCanada.ca

Article by Stefania Seccia for Vancouver 24hs. 

This Tuesday is the deadline to submit initial comments on the fast-approaching hearings for cheaper, faster Internet — and so far 25,000 people have signed a petition and scores of others . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: Vancouver 24hs: BC groups push CRTC for cheaper Internet

OpenMedia.ca: CBC: Canadians urged to talk to government about Internet standards in hearing

 It’s more important than ever that we speak out before their deadline for comments. To get your voice put into the hearing, head over to UnblockCanada.ca and sign on to our open letter calling for world-class Internet services across the country.

Article by Jane Sponagle for CBC

At Iqaluit’s Four Corners intersection downtown, . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: CBC: Canadians urged to talk to government about Internet standards in hearing

OpenMedia.ca: Canada’s historic chance to be the fastest team on the ice

Right now, we face a unique opportunity to kickstart Canada’s Internet, and improve the level of service Canadians can access into the 21st century. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has begun their review of what constitutes basic Internet service in Canada, and their deadline for input is rapidly approaching.

This . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: Canada’s historic chance to be the fastest team on the ice

OpenMedia.ca: Alphabeatic: Canada still leads in high wireless prices

Wireless savings? Not for now. Canadians’ wallets are still hurting. 

Article by Peter Nowak for Alphabeatic

With the CRTC’s decision this week to forego implementing rules that would have allowed small companies to share the networks of bigger players, the regulator and government are both now pinning their hopes for wireless savings on newer competitors . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: Alphabeatic: Canada still leads in high wireless prices

The Canadian Progressive: Bell’s Mobile TV Practice Violates Telecommunications Act: CRTC

In a decision likely to have implications for net neutrality, the CRTC has ruled that Bell and Vidéotron’s mobile TV practices violate the Telecommunications Act.

The post Bell’s Mobile TV Practice Violates Telecommunications Act: CRTC appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Zorg Report: CRTC Amps Up the Volume on Commercials

CRTC Amps Up the Volume on Commercials

(Abstract: so far no-one has come clean on the CRTC’s decision to allow/facilitate cable companies’ jacking up volumes on digital commercial content exponentially beyond any previously recorded levels.)

Remember when we had all those extensive hearings about reducing the volume on TV commercials?  Well, I think there were hearings—I mean, that’s what the CRTC does, right, hold “hearings”?  (Rarely can such a multifariously ironical word have been employed.)

Through lawyers and public salaries, this single issue cost Canadian taxpayers millions—millions just to get the cable oligopoly to turn it down a little (so taxpayers were on the hook, as usual, for obnoxious private sector behaviour from advertisers).

Well, it seems that the volume on TV commercials has gone down to something close to the volume of the TV show you are watching—but of course, as we know (and as I wrote about somewhere elsewhere here glancingly years ago), nobody watches TV on TV anymore.

If you look up CRTC, you hardly need to enter “commercial,” let alone “volume,” before the Google searchbox has had a strong whiff of what you have joined millions of others in doing. The Harper government/CRTC still has its pages out there, touting its remarkable work on bringing down the volume—

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/g3.htm

The page is hilariously self-congratulaTORY and gutless, telling people who’ve still got a problem with volume to a) blame the Americans; b) (snoooooozzzzeeee) ‘contact their service provider’; or c) fill out a ludicrously detailed complaint indicating the exact who/what/where/when/why/how of their particular volume grievance—and the year/month/day/hour/millisecond it occurred (the better, no doubt, to extend the hours of those who might putatively (one cannot speak of “legal” issues) investigate reported concerns.

Anyway, as with most people, I find myself more and more regarding “TV” content online.  Do I prefer it this way?  No, not really, but you have to do something to try to juggle and rein in your cable bills.  And besides, at least initially, advertisers didn’t see enough money in online content, so the ads were fewer and this instantly made online content, through no doing of its own, highly attractive.  But of course online ads are getting more and more numerous, such that one day we might all run back to our TV “sets” seeking relative peace and quiet and a reduction in commercials.  (And this is key: the cable oligopoly does not _want_ you to watch content on TV–imagine having to send out techies for all those cables and so on.  No, it wants to drive you to online sources, and key in its moneymaking pitch to advertisers is to make sure those advertisers know that, when it comes to decibel levels, hey, digital is carte blanche for advertisers.)

As you know, the volume for online commercials is amped up incredibly, usually at 3-5 times the normal volume of whatever you are watching.  Today I was watching a short TV show online and, when the same commercials from 6 minutes before came on, I went to the bathroom.  During the commercials, an ad for a local radio station came on with such a blast that it was easily 10 times the volume of what I had been watching.  If you had a sleeping child, or spouse, or bark-prone dog, those individuals would have fully roused almost no matter where they were.  And if you were actually sitting there when it happened, you would have been jolted off your seat.

So anyway, I’m finally getting to my point: Just what deals did the CRTC and the Harper government cut when we spent all those millions on having TV ad volume turned down?

Now, I’d like to think that the CRTC honestly thought, “hey, we’re doing a good thing here, we’re trying to get obnoxious volume levels reduced.”  Surely people will thank us, and obviously volume on other digital devices will never be an issue.  But no army of lawyers, no matter how many hours and milliseconds they billed, could ever defend that kind of “we were all totally ignorant” plea.  No, a backroom deal involving teams of lawyers, the Harper government, the CRTC, the cable oligopoly, and, presumably, self-interested major advertisers, was, as sure as I’m sitting here typing, almost certainly cut.

Ok, maybe it wasn’t even that backroom.  Maybe there’s someone out there who could just point me to a clause somewhere or a report somewhere that notes that “in tandem with their agreement to reduce volume levels on commercials to a level similar to that of the broadcast content, cable companies and advertisers are explicitly allowed to jack up volume on any other digital emissions to unregulated, even extreme—levels.”  Think of all the 100s (and indeed, overall, 1000s) of people in on the final CRTC crafting (backroom deal ultimately, yes, but to say no-one outside the backroom knew what was going on so that they could act accordingly would be a bit like the PM saying he didn’t know what a dozen people in his own office that he hired did know).

The CRTC decision re: commercial volume levels, which the aforementioned government webpage touts, the while saying that, by the way, if you want it enforced, blame someone else or “you’re on your own,” is a sham, or chimera, regulation.  With so many people not watching TV (and therefore TV commercials) on TV anymore, it’s like passing a law banning dangerous campfires in the desert.  You’d have to hike 100k just to find some kindling.  So, again, you can buy the innocent argument, but then you’d have to believe that government, CRTC, cable oligopoly, and advertising senior operatives had IQ numbers topping out at basic cable channel numbers.

And the recent-ish regulations (which were in effect a quid pro quo between the government and the cable oligopoly), just made things worse—as my earlier anecdote demonstrates, whereas experience taught that there used to be at least some sort of tacit agreement about how much noise the average payer for cable services and taxpayer to the government could hack, now there is none.  And you could totally have your eardrums blown out if you’re distractedly watching something while you’re sitting on the bus (or increasingly, in your car, or your kids are), minding your own business, paying for content, and then having your earbuds blown out, too.

Surely I would love to drop by the mansion of a cable exec someday and play one of his ads outside his bedroom.  Admittedly, in the case of some, they’d maybe be too blacked out even to be roused,

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/jim-shaw-steps-down-after-unprofessional-behaviour/article1319550/

but it would be kind of a fun power trip just to be able to say to the guy: “hey, I don’t make the laws, and there’s no law against it, so go microwave some mac n’ cheese.”

It’s a wonder that we consent to pay for this and elect representatives of private business who haven’t the will of the public in mind.

–zr     

 

 

. . . → Read More: Zorg Report: CRTC Amps Up the Volume on Commercials

OpenMedia.ca: 24 hours left to let decision-makers know where you stand

Time and time again, we’ve seen Canada’s pro-Internet community band together to demand that decision-makers move us toward open and affordable Internet access in Canada – not toward more control for Big Telecom. And today we find ourselves at another crucial juncture in this ongoing fight.

We cannot let the CRTC get . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: 24 hours left to let decision-makers know where you stand

Alberta Diary: PKP to run for PQ: Why PKP, with SNN and CPC PMO spell SOS for Canada, which could be FUBAR

Impressionable English Canadian youngsters tune in to SNN for sinister ideological conditioning by RWN (right-wing nuts) on the staff of the PMO-favoured network. Below: PKP and his now-ex wife (NXW), grabbed from the Internet; SNN broadcaster Ezra Levant.

Oh, H-E-double-hockey-sticks, PKP wants another D-I-V-O-R-C-E!

This time, having just given his common-law wife of . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: PKP to run for PQ: Why PKP, with SNN and CPC PMO spell SOS for Canada, which could be FUBAR

OpenMedia.ca: An Internet User’s Guide to the CRTC’s "Choicebook"

Highlight Image: 

Highlight Link:  https://openmedia.ca/choicebook

OpenMedia.ca: As Big Telecom ramps up lobbying, will government cave?

It looks like Big Three telecom giants are fighting hard to maintain their stranglehold over our wireless market, and over Canadians’ wallets. The Big Three have been on the back foot since pressure from tens of thousands of Canadians won positive new customer protection rules last year, along with a clear government . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: As Big Telecom ramps up lobbying, will government cave?

OpenMedia.ca: National Post: Christine Dobby looks back at Canada’s telecom war of 2013

The National Post’s Christine Dobby looks back at Big Telecom’s efforts last year to limit your telecom choice. We know Big Telecom are gearing up for a huge fight in 2014 as they try to keep your bills sky-high.

Article by Christine Dobby for the National Post

Last summer a simmering dispute . . . → Read More: OpenMedia.ca: National Post: Christine Dobby looks back at Canada’s telecom war of 2013

Valerie Burns: Doldrums

My three faithful readers remind me that I don’t post here often enough for their liking. They are dear to me, and I love them all. Hi guys.

There are a few reasons I don’t post more. SInce I like lists, I’ll make one here to amuse and bemuse:

1. We are winning. . . . → Read More: Valerie Burns: Doldrums

In This Corner: It’s TV’s golden age … except in Canada.

There is no doubt that we are living in a golden age of television. Once looked down upon as a lesser form of entertainment in relation to the lordly world of the ‘cinema’, television has now usurped the movies as the premiere mode of viewing entertainment. I defy anyone to name one movie playing on . . . → Read More: In This Corner: It’s TV’s golden age … except in Canada.

Alberta Diary: CRTC ruling notwithstanding, Sun News and its campaign for subsidies will continue

Sun News Network gets ready to take Phase II of its campaign for subsidies on the road. Actual action plans by the right-wing broadcaster in light of the CRTC’s denial Wednesday of free cash from consumers and a favourable location on the TV tuner may not turn out to be exactly as illustrated. . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: CRTC ruling notwithstanding, Sun News and its campaign for subsidies will continue

Montreal Simon: The Long Slow Death of Fox News North

Uh oh. Somebody call a plumber, or a mortician. It looks as if Sun TV News, also known as Fox News North or Harper TV, won't be able to make us pay to keep it on life support. Sun News Network has been denied a guaranteed spot on basic cable TV packages in a . . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Long Slow Death of Fox News North

The Ranting Canadian: Hooray!  Sun News Network (SNN), aka Scum “News" lost…

Hooray! Sun News Network (SNN), aka Scum “News” lost their hypocritical bid to force all Canadian cable TV viewers to pay for their shitty channel regardless of whether we want to watch it.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) correctly declined to award special treatment to the undeserving TV station . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Hooray!  Sun News Network (SNN), aka Scum “News" lost…

ParliamANT Hill: CRTC denies CanadiAnt News North bid for mandatory spot on cable

Inspired by this headline: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/08/08/pol-crtc-sun-tv-news-ruling.html