Tag Archives: net neutrality

Dutch Pass Net Neutrality Law. Where’s Ours?

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The Dutch government recently introduced legislation that would ensure Net Neutrality for Dutch users.  Chalk another one up to cool Dutch people :)

So … where’s Canada when it comes to Net Neutrality?  Well, it’s likely this will never materialize in the form of something positive.  In fact, it’s more than likely that we’ll be seeing something more like a push towards tighter regulations, more surveillance (this has already been admitted the Harper regime) and more punishment for those who break the rules.

Anything to suck up to our monopoly media companies!

The only way to avoid this:  we have to put our progressive heads together and figure out how to launch our own network.  Since there’s 60% of us that didn’t vote for Harper (and the media companies that are backing him up), and a good chunk of those people want serious change, that should work out to several million people who could be tapped to fund such a project.

So … how do we get things started?

More Conservative Taxes – Internet Usage Fees

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The Conservatives cut the GST a couple of points and transfer the political cost of implementing the HST to the provinces.

They raise Employment Insurance premiums.

They cancel the benefits of Income Trusts.

They create the largest deficit in Canadian history, generating hundreds of millions in new interest payments.

And, as of last week, Tony Clement and the rest of the crew decided to allow their friends with communications giants Bell and Rogers to hike internet usage fees.

These hikes will drastically increase the cost of communications in Canada and every day use and access to the Internet.  It will stifle innovation, kill businesses that rely on the Internet and put us in the ‘digital dark ages’ for a long time to come.

It’s gone too far.  These ‘backdoor’ tax increases are unacceptable and our opposition leaders must call for an election.

If you’re not sure about what the outcome might be, give Hosni a call.  Oh yeah … he has NO internet.

To take action against metred usage fees for the Internet, consider the following approaches (and be sure to share):

  • www.stopthemeter.ca – signing the petition will now automatically send our Minister of Industry, Tony Clement, the person politically responsible for the CRTC, an email.
  • Join the Facebook campaign http://www.facebook.com/notes/openmediaca/stop-the-meter-on-your-internet-use/455248704798
  • Pull the plug on satellite/cable.  If you’re still a TV viewer, get with it and cut out a major monthly expense.
  • Find a small ISP.  They still have to play by Bell’s rules, but at least you won’t be paying Bell directly.
  • Cancel your newspaper and magazine subscriptions.  Most of Canada’s print media are owned directly or indirectly by cable and satellite companies.  Terminating your subscription will hurt their cash flow, save a few trees and end your exposure to media lies.

CRTC Proves Again That It Is Useless

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Once again, the CRTC has proven that it is a useless organization, stuck in the dark ages.

The CRTC announced today that it will not support Net Neutrality proponents and WILL allow companies like Bell and Rogers to throttle Internet traffic.

This is a dark day for Canada’s future as a leader in the digital space.

More from the CRTC site and an opinion update from Charlie Angus, Canada’s first Parliamentarian that supported Net Neutrality.

As an action item, consider signing up with this cause:  Dissolve The CRTC.

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Canada’s Explosive Media Situation

The Canadian media industry and communications infrastructure is about to explode.

I’m finding it very difficult to defend the CBC in its current state. They’ve spent a lot of money outbidding companies like CTV on shows like Jeopardy, they’ve lost the National Anthem, er Hockey Night in Canada Theme to TSN, and they’ve dropped a raft of successful shows.

For these and other reasons, the CBC is going to run short of funds this year, despite a massive $65 billion deficit perpetrated by the Conservatives.

Of course, that’s just one-one-thousandth of the expected budget shortfall over the next two years, but the Conservatives will do everything they can to generate the most explosive politics from the situation.

They position themselves as great overseers of the market, free trade and other elements of neo-liberal economics and here they are, the greatest socialists on the planet.  Of course, you’d better be wearing caviar tuxedos when you go to the trough with this one.  In other words, people who aren’t friends of Conservatives (FOCers) need not line up.

That means if you’re in public broadcasting, hit the streets.  Chump.

I’ve heard rumours about a number of public programs and how much they cost the Canadian public on an annual basis.  Most of them suggest a figure in the $2-3 billion range. These taxpayer-funded pork-barrel programs for the media industry are positioned as thinly-veiled ‘Can Con’ initiatives.  Two of the more popular programs include the “Canadian TV and Video Tax Credit” and the “Canadian Magazine Fund”.  There are many, many other programs that divert, rechannel, misuse and abuse piles of Canadian cash, but we raraely hear about those programs.

To my knowledge, these programs have yet to come under any kind of intense public scrutiny.

I wonder why?

Is it because, like just a few days ago, when Heritage Minister James Moore announced more than $75 million in funding for Canadian magazines, most of that cash will go to fund major Canadian media players such as Transcontinental, Rogers and Quebecor?

Research:  http://www.cbc.ca/arts/media/story/2009/02/17/magazines-fund.html

Here’s just a sampling of the publications that will be ‘capped’ with a taxpayer subsidy of $1.5 million per year:

  • Canadian Living.
  • Maclean’s.
  • Western Producer.
  • Reader’s Digest.
  • House and Home.
  • Chatelaine.

Do I read this right? We give $1.5 per year to Maclean’s so that they can support people that become subject of Human Rights Tribunals?

Give me a break.

As one of millions of Canadians that want public radio, TV and web (skip the print – too many dead trees), I have to sit idly by while Conservatives load up the coffers for organizations that should go to the stock market for funding?

This is an issue that will get nuclear quickly unless we all work together to figure out a more sustainable way to manage our content, our media and our national identity.  Yes, our national identity.

The current CRTC hearings are focusing on tiny issues that remind me of the ‘pieces of the puzzle’ expression. Net neutrality: piece. Funding for SOCAN artists: piece.  CBC funding: piece . CanCon: piece.

All of these pieces need to be considered as a larger puzzle that we can put together if we want to.

Unfortunately, the current government would sooner light a match to the pile of TNT that sits under all of our media behinds and light it up with great glee.  They would sooner ruin one of the last remaining (and most successful) broadcasters on the planet, but their actions will invite intense scrutiny to the small handful of massive media conglomerates in this country that profit from our subsidies every year.

Other research:

http://www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/cavco/pgm/cipc-cptc/pubs/103-eng.cfm

http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/fcm-cmf/index-eng.cfm

(PS:  If you have other links that describe the details of funding for these and other programs, please let us know.  Either post a link in the comments or email info@exciteddelirium.ca))

Net Neutrality Video – Please Share With Friends

A lot of Canadians are relatively unaware of the issues associated with what’s called ‘Net Neutrality’.  In the last election, the only party that even dared make it a modest political issue was the NDP.  If the Liberals are seeking ways to get Canadians on board with their new leader, this would be a great issue to support.  It’s a seemingly small issue, but it would differentiate themselves from the Conservatives, something they’ll desparately need in the coming months.  Universal support for Net Neutrality would also ensure that we take action against Canada’s largest media companies and their poor Internet management habits.

For those who are unfamiliar with the issue, this video explains a lot of the concerns raised by SaveOurNet.ca :

A neutral Internet acknowledges that the world of media and content creation has changed.  Significantly.

The last decade has seen a shift in the ability to influence the public.  We’ve seen mainstream media lose its grip on control of our ‘mindshare’ as individuals have gladly leveraged the tools at hand to create content and send messages to the public that are inconsistent with those of Bell, Rogers, Videotron and others.

With content creation (and ownership), comes the power to influence the markets through advertising and mass appeal.  Now that companies like Bell and Canwest no longer control the content – either from their own ‘pundits’ or from corporations selling us more ‘stuff’ – they no longer control the message either.  They have lost the ability to ‘massage’ people into following specific agendas and this is the central reason why net neutrality is so important to average Canadians (and people all over the planet, for that matter).

Another important element related to net neutrality is the notion of innovation and ecommerce.  It may sound like a severe statement, but the two will not survive without a neutral net.  Innovation – and a lot of new wealth creation – in the last decade or so has come in the form of new web sites selling unique products and services to Canadians.  Many of these sites and services help Canadians bypass inefficient structures like big box retailers and those that don’t believe in basic principles like fair trade and environmentally friendly product development.  For the same reason, the future of ecommerce in Canada relies on net neutrality.  Forcing Canadians into single channels of consumption (be it for content, products or anything else) is undemocratic to say the least, but more importantly, it strangles the ability of Canadians to launch their own businesses in the online environment.

It’s this latter notion that should inspire ALL Canadian entrpreneurs that rely on the Internet for their web sites, their blogs and their online stores to support a cause like SaveOurNet.ca.  If you profit from the web, please consider giving a small portion of that profit to SaveOurNet.ca (I’m not sure if similar organizations exist in Canada – this is the main one that I’m familiar with).

With so many people balking at the notion of leaving regulation and control to the government – which is at the very least elected by the people of this country – I’m always stunned to see that the alternative is to leave our future in the hands of a select few that only want to shout at us and sell more crap.