Why We Need Communications Regulations – Bell VS Fox TV North – Editorial by Jamie Gilcig – May 5, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – One of the scary things about having Mr. Harper finally get his majority is the impacts and precedents I and many others fear it’s going to set.

Before the election UBB was and still is a very large issue.   There was a break, a delay if you will, a proroguing of the decision to allow the big media companies that ability to over charge for bandwidth.    In this case companies like Bell and Shaw can’t at the moment charge as much as $4.00 for a GB of bandwidth that can cost a little as less than one penny to deliver.

Now Sun TV or as it’s been called, Fox News North has been dropped by Bell Satellite services.   Apparently it’s over money, but I have a hunch the picture is a bit larger than that.

In the 50’s the Hollywood studio system was broken up by the US government as they essentially had a monopoly.  The studios made the movies, owned the distributors, AND the big theatre chains.

Block booking was the way things were done and the studios made money on the entire chain of  product.  This system also gave a small group of corporations and businesses virtual control over what the American public went to see in the days prior to the boom in television.

The break up of the old Hollywood system was also connected to the “Red Scare” of the Fifties where Americans were seeing Communists under ever bush and rock and were afraid of too much media control in the hands of too few.

Fast forward to 2011.    Bell owns its internet delivery system, ISP.  It owns CTV, IE a network, which in turn buys and creates programming, and it owns Bell’s Satellite service.   That’s a powerful grouping.   There are other groupings like Shaw and of course smaller players.    It’s not a fair playing table and the influence that ISP’s and companies like Bell and Shaw for example have is clearly evident in the UBB wranglings with the CRTC.


Lavoie said the issue may be taken to the CRTC on the basis of Bell (TSX:BCE) giving itself an unfair advantage, noting the telecom giant already owns three all-news channels — CTV news channel, Business News Network and CP24.

Another example is that I am a Netflix.ca client.  Love the service so far, but my Cogeco internet service is going to get dinged as my bandwidth will be higher.    While I’m contemplating moving over to a service like TeK Savvy if the CRTC allows UBB to go through essentially the big ISP’s will have won the day and really hurt Canadians ability to communicate.  WiFi in schools and hospitals would be prohibitively expensive and even medial service costs would grow as distance treatment by doctors is internet based.

These are issues facing us that need to be resolved.  Countries like Finland pass laws stating that High Speed Internet access is a right while we in Canada are trying new and unique ways to limit access for Canadians?

What do you think Canada?  You can post your comments below.

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  1. We are warned and people voted, we had two parties that promised to offer us to pass laws and Cornwall voted for higher internet.

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