The crux of the problem is that the same companies who control the distribution of television in Canada also create or licence programming, giving them a stranglehold on the medium AND the message. This means they have zero incentive to break up the cable bundle or go beyond the letter of CRTC regulation to actually provide or promote options that fit the lifestyle of today's consumers.
CBC ran a story this weekend about HBO's angry letter blitz, where the network has been sending out copyright notices to Canadians asking them to please stop pirating Game of Thrones. There are plenty of legit ways to get the acclaimed fantasy adventure show, the network says -- except that there aren't.
Depending on who you ask we either live in an age of rampant consumerism or endless choice -- the answer doesn't necessarily lie in the middle but both are true. The Internet has connected us personally, politically, socially and humanity's consumer nature has built a retail channel unlike any other before.
Canadians pay among the highest amount in the world for wireless service. For example, for a basic plan that includes texting, data and talking minutes the average in other industrialized countries is $22 per month; whereas in Canada we pay $37.29 a month. The story is similar for cable and internet. As a consumer you can only be taken advantage of by a corporation for so long -- there comes a point where you can't take it anywhere. We've reached that point.
Mental health needs more than just a day. It's not something that we should think about for a day January and forget for the rest of the year. Bell Let's Talk does an unprecedented job of getting the conversation started, but it's up to all of us to keep it going.
Bell's claim that the minority of Canadian subscribers who access U.S. Netflix through VPNs are "stealing" simply does not withstand legal scrutiny. Those subscribers might be breaching the Netflix terms and conditions, but that is not breaking the law.
Bell announced that it completed its $3.2 billion acquisition of CTV on April 1, 2011. Less than four years later, company executives say that their business is unsustainable and effectively admit that they cannot compete. In most sectors, that would be grounds for unhappy shareholders and corporate change. In the Bell world, it means intense lobbying for radical regulatory reform to raise television fees, block content, violate net neutrality, and fight Netflix.
Bell Let's Talk day is about hope. It gives you a chance to take off your mask and talk about your pain. It allows you to mourn the loss of who you were and to say, "It's okay I'm like this now." It cracks open the darkness for a minute and gives you hope by letting you realize there are people who've made it out to the other side.
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court of Canada's Spencer decision, several leading Canadian ISPs have publicly announced that they have changed their practices on the disclosure of subscriber information to law enforcement. Unlike its competitors, Bell has remained largely silent in recent weeks.
CBC is reeling from a $115 million annual reduction in funding from the federal government. A cable tax seems an easy target for the cable and satellite companies to attack and the media would pile on, since no one likes a new (or old) tax. The cable companies and the media might hate the idea but what do average Canadians think about paying a little bit more for better quality Canadian TV programming?
One of the great ironies in Canadian TV is that a large majority of Canadians think that a high percentage of their monthly cable bill already goes to CBC. In our most recent survey, about 1 in 4 thought that 25 per cent or more went to local stations. In other words, Canadians already think there is a cable tax!
I was now resigned to my fate. We weren't going to save much money and likely would have fewer channels. My instinct was confirmed when I received my first new Bell bill headed with the words: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." But I'm no quitter; I'm sure there's a third way out of this telecom hell.
Canada's wireless market has taken another step backwards. Yesterday, telecom giant Telus announced it has bought out Public Mobile, a small independent carrier with 280,000 customers in Quebec and Ontario. Our wireless market is already highly concentrated, with just three giant conglomerates controlling over 92 per cent of revenues.
Bell has announced they intend to enter the business of monetizing customer information. That might be a perfectly acceptable business opportunity for them but there's one very significant difference. Last time we checked, Bell charges hefty fees for its cellular, Internet and phone services. They are most definitely not free services.
Bell, Rogers, and Telus have been collectively taking out full page advertisements in newspapers all summer long. You may have seen their most recent ...
The Harper government needs to explain to Canadians how it intends to review and address national security concerns related to Verizon Communications' entry into this country's wireless market. Verizon has been deeply involved in the world's biggest ever spying scandal, as revealed by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden.