CRTC

Predictable…

Some of the cable companies have managed to get their way on skinny basic.

Yes, you will be able to get your local channels, the major American networks and the CRTC mandated channels for $25. But depending on your provider you could pay from $4 to $7 for the individual channels you choose extra, causing many to pay as much as they do now by simply choosing five or six extra individual channels.

Some of the providers are also limiting their skinny basic to standard definition, forcing their customer to pay more for the high definition channels. And one has to wonder how much they will charge for the rental of their boxes and extra outlets.

Those getting cable television over the internet don’t fare better either. To watch television they must subscribe to a high speed service and rent or buy modems, which adds to the bottom line. And in the end most will simply be offered an existing package by the customer service representatives, who were asked to downplay skinny basic.

Unfortunately those wishing to cut the cord have also been subjected to off the air signal reductions, requiring outdoor antennas. But I suspect more independent providers will take advantage of these issues and offer cheaper services.

Vmedia is one of the few IPTV providers to offer their services nation wide but Ontario and Quebec are also serviced by Beanfield, Distributel, Vianet Canada, and Zazeen. And many of these providers are expanding.

Apple TV is also an option, as are streaming serves like Netflix, Crave TV and Shomi, although the streaming services are still catching up on content.

I’m personally waiting for the dust to settle and for my contract with my cable company to expire to investigate my options. But i’m leaning towards cutting the cord if the shenanigans continue.

The CRTC Wants Your Comments On Your Internet

Whether you think it’s too slow, spotty or expensive, the CRTC wants know.

Click here to access their questionnaire.

CRTC Denies Bell’s Bid To Purchase Astral

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has denied Bell Canada’s $3.4 billion takeover of media giant Astral.

Bell had planned to acquire them in order to provide content through their networks and internet services. But there was some concern in regards to access to this content by the competition.

Though some believe Bell may shelf their plan to offer a Netflix type service because of this decision, I believe they will eventually offer this service to compete with Shaw Go, a service offered by Shaw Communications.

Bell Canada has stated they will contest the decision by requesting “the federal cabinet to direct the CRTC to actually follow its own in-place policy”. But they have since been advised that the Federal Court of Appeal may be their only legal recourse.

Bell To End Throttling In March

Bell Canada has sent a letter to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission stating they will end their Internet Traffic Management Practices (ITMP) on March 1st, 2012.

In this letter the company claims P2P traffic has been diminishing in comparison to other traffic, some of which was misclassified as P2P traffic according to The Canadian Gamers Organization.

CRTC Rules Against Caps

The CRTC has ruled against the capping of wholesale bandwidth.

Under the CRTC’s new capacity-based approach, large telephone and cable companies will sell wholesale bandwidth to independent ISPs on a monthly basis. Independent ISPs will have to determine in advance the amount they need to serve their retail customers and then manage network capacity until they are able to purchase more. Alternatively, large companies can continue to charge independent ISPs a flat monthly fee for wholesale access, regardless of how much bandwidth their customers use. Both billing options give independent ISPs the ability to design service plans and charge their own customers as they see fit.

The CRTC has decided there should be two wholesale pricing models, neither of which include “provisions that would require independent ISPs to impose bandwidth caps on their retail customers“.

The first is a “Capacity-based model”, would contain a monthly access rate for each of the independent ISP’s retail customers, a monthly capacity charge, offered in increments of 100 megabits per second, and any applicable ancillary charges, such a monthly interface charge and associated service charges.

The second is the existing “Flat-rate model”, would of course contain a monthly access rate for each of the independent ISP’s retail customers, and any applicable ancillary charges, such a monthly interface charge and associated service charges.

CRTC Will Not Regulate Online Film Rentals

The CRTC will not regulate online film rental companies and broadcasters.

These online broadcaster will not be forced to subsidize Canadian TV content, the CRTC having found no evidence that their activities hurt conventional broadcasters.