Recently the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been “hearing” input on a number of internet issues that impact on our freedom of choice. Part of the discussion centers around whether you should have to continue to pay cable companies for programming in which you have no interest (bundled) or whether you could pay for only the programs you want to watch. There are two audiences for these discussions.
The audiences are reflected in a comment by one young man on an open-line radio program. Essentially what he said was, “This discussion is relevant only to older people (i.e., old geezers like me). Younger people (i.e., anyone under 35) don’t watch television. They get their media through their computers and, in particular, Netflix.” Put another way, the cable companies are losing viewers and their exorbitant profits. So they want the CRTC to protect them from technological change by regulating on-line services. The Conservative government has told them to stay out of the Internet regulation business.
But like all bureaucracies they want to extend their power. In business we call this “scope creep”. What might be the consequence? How about requiring all internet content to be 30% Canadian! How about restricting your access to international marketing because you have to have 30% Canadian content on your website! One could go on.
What should/can you do? Pay attention to this discussion. Let your politicians know that you don’t want the federal government and especially the CTRC messing around with your access to the internet. Speak up. Ask where candidates stand. Vote for those who want to maintain an open network.
Let the government and CTRC know that you want more choices not options created by some bureaucrat in Ottawa.