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What a joke.

You can bet Bell and Rogers have a hand in this...

Our government seems to go out of their way to remove any and all competition to these two companies.
 

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I could see that coming from a mile away. If the oligarchs can't kill the competition with economics they will do it with regulation. Just like Sirius XM was forced to provide 5% Cancon and pay levies to Canadian artists, Netflix and their like will be required to hand over a pound of flesh. I am also waiting for the CRTC to rule that Netflix cannot operate in Canada due to failure to meet Canadian ownership requirements. That's the Canadian way. If you can't join 'em (aka compete on a level playing field), beat 'em to death with a room full of bureaucrats.
 

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If this is true, I'm not surprised by the strategy or the tactic, but I'm surprised by the timing.

The Canadian media industry strategy clearly is to use the regulator to stop Internet-based competition (arguably, even to try to stop time and keep it 2005 forever). The tactic is to position online content sources as 'broadcasters' and hence saddle them with the licensing process (which, by happy coincidence, generates more work for a regulator whose mandate is dissolving to dust under the pressure of technological change) and the associated costs.

What I'm surprised by is such an aggressive CRTC move to accomplish its primary goal - to regulate the Internet and rationalize its continued existence - so soon after the caps fiasco.

I'm also astounded they would pick such a popular target as their first attempt at defining an Internet content source as a 'broadcaster'. Netflix appear to have been well received in Canada and this local content tax will be positioned by most parts of the press as an anti-consumer move.

Two highly visible, clumsy, anti-consumer moves in a row. The industry pressure on the regulator must be severe.

It's 2011. We live in a major industrialized nation. This is embarrassing.
 

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Could be just a rumour. If you find anything official please post it. I have edited the title until we get something substantial.
 

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Just saw this dated Feb 18 2011. Good for Konnie...pushed the hot potato over the politicians. I take back what I said about the regulator in my previous post....ummmm, no I don`t

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/crtc-netflix-is-no-online-101499

Canuck TV watchdog resists calls for Netflix Canada to be brought into its regulatory orbit.
OTTAWA - Canada’s TV watchdog has come out against regulating Netflix as online broadcaster. “It’s not broadcasting, within the Broadcasting Act,” Konrad von Finckenstein, chairman of the CRTC, said ahead of an industry summit Friday to deal with Netflix's Canadian expansion.

Local film and TV execs looking to protect their industry’s chin against the U.S. video streaming giant want the CRTC to deem Netflix Canada an online broadcaster that must support Canadian production. But von Finckenstein pointed to a 2010 Canadian appeals court decision as grounds to conclude Netflix just distributes content online and plays no active role in the content.

That’s a definition that satisfies Netflix, which argues its Canadian streaming video subscription service “is an aggregator and a distributor of content,” streaming films and TV shows over the Internet, according to spokesman Steve Swasey. He adds Netflix Canada already benefits the Canadian industry by providing “an outstanding way for Canadian-produced content to reach a broader audience,” including indie Canadian films.

The CRTC’s von Finckenstein added legislative changes will be required before Netflix or other U.S. digital platforms spilling into the Canadian market could be considered online broadcasters.

The Canadian industry players gathered in Ottawa for an annual gathering of indie producers are hoping to convince the CRTC that, if Netflix isn’t an online broadcaster, it points to a new model for video distribution that needs to be brought into the local regulatory framework.
 

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Seems they are already looking at the next step.

von Finckenstein added legislative changes will be required before Netflix or other U.S. digital platforms spilling into the Canadian market could be considered online broadcasters
This does not sound good.
 

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would that legislation also make Youtube a "broadcaster"? Gotta love the oldies in power trying to figure out this new technology and its impact on our antiquated content laws. :rolleyes:
 

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Have they tried to apply this insane thought process to voip providers? I can't believe the phone companies would have had nothing to say about them.
 

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I don't know about Bell movies package but $40 compare to $8; Is that $32 of "broadcaster fees"?
Why can't Bell be competitive for once and offer is package at $6.99 and to all canadian on the internet plateform? How much does it cost to have a movie on a server and streaming it? Probably not much with Netflix making profits with a $7.99 offer. And SRC/TQc, that are paying the broadcasters fee, can offer the service for free on tou.tv?
I do not use any of Bell services for many years and will never use them again. I fact I am using their phone line (dry loop) via my independant ISP for unlimited plan; yes!. I watch a lot of content from Netflix every month; yes!.
 

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That is not how it works in Canada....In Canada if a competitor shows up with lower prices the incumbents instead of price matching or offering comparative products they would rather get the CRTC to legislate them out of the market. Its called protectionism... protects the big companies pockets while the consumer gets shafted.
 

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Seems they are already looking at the next step.



This does not sound good.
If the Conservatives stay in power I doubt we would see any legislative changes that would let that happen.

I think Konrad was just pointing out what would be required for the CRTC to meddle in it.
 

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Yes my comment was mostly speculation. I think KVF was thinking out loud. But "spilling" has a negative connotation. It is the internet for Pete's sake. Radio waves I can understand. But on the other hand they managed to get US satellite services out of Canada so maybe blanket internet services are next.
 

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The industry's regulatory partner has kicked it over to the politicians. No one in Ottawa aside from the teleco/broadcast lobbyists will want to do anything to Netflix this close to an election after the furor over the caps.
 

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Just to be a devil's advocate (and I am not an employee of a Canadian telcom, just a user), but we have a very large country with a relatively small population. The hardware install and constant upgrades of the last 10 years are not insignificant costs given our density of population. Within large urban centres, we can likely reach efficiencies of scale, but once you get out of population centres, a lot of the infrastructure to user base is relatively inefficient.

As a result of this relationship, we get hosed on bandwidth, data charges on cell plans, roaming charges, etc. I think CRTC got this one right, and a Conservative government is unlikely to bring legislation to make Netflix and it's like more expensive.

What I would like to see are overage charges on bandwidth be limited to much more reasonable numbers. To see several bundred dollars of roaming charges for a week in the US is unconsionable, IMO. Personally, I have never seen a usage volume on my Telus account to date. It may change, but for now, not an issue. When I was running an office with Shaw internet, we had four PC's running ICE exchange for commodity derivatives pricing on a non-business account (we were not aware of the difference at the time). Apparantly our limit was 40GB / month. We were using 150 GB/month of data and had to upgrade to a business plan. We found out when they cut off our service, but they never charged us for overage.

So for now, the overcharges, to me, seem to be a white elephant, but something they can engage at their option.

Personally, if I don't believe the CRTC is going to open up competition and reduce costs, I'll buy the equity in Shaw, Rogers and Telus to participate in the overcharging and resulting profits as an investor. If CRTC and the government throws it open to competition, I sell the stock.
 

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Just to be a devil's advocate (and I am not an employee of a Canadian telcom, just a user), but we have a very large country with a relatively small population. The hardware install and constant upgrades of the last 10 years are not insignificant costs given our density of population. Within large urban centres, we can likely reach efficiencies of scale, but once you get out of population centres, a lot of the infrastructure to user base is relatively inefficient.
Rogers/Bell/Telus has been using this argument for years to justify their high prices for everything. This is not a justified argument nowadays. Anyway, this is way off topic for this thread. Which has nothing to do with UBB and overage charges.

Back on topic, I really hope the government doesn't do anything that will case Netflix having to shut down services or greatly increase subscription rates. IMO, the CRTC would do something to cause Netflix to shut down services, if given the chance. I am sure Robbellus is lobbying the CRTC to shut down Netflix.
 

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My opinion, tell the stations the issue is between them and who they buy their content from. Online TV is the new norm, live with it, make the better of it, or die.
 

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To start to consider streaming services to be broadcasters is opening up a whole can of worms - I don't think it is likely that the CRTC will go there. As has been mentioned above - is Youtube a broadcaster? What about Atom films? What about audio services like Pandora, etc. It could get very messy in a real hurry.


The good thing is that it is going to be very hard for them to totally block US services even if they did regulate/shutdown Canadian services.
 
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