CRTC to look into broadcasting and new media

The CRTC just announced that they will be having a public hearing in early 2009 about broadcasting and the new media environment. The CRTC regulates traditional broadcasters. In 1999 the CRTC decided that it would not deal with the internet.

From their press release:

In 1999, the Commission examined new media services that deliver broadcasting content over the Internet and concluded that regulation was not necessary to achieve the objectives of the Broadcasting Act.The Commission issued an Exemption Order for these services, observing that:

there was no discernible impact on conventional radio and television audiences attributed to new media services
market forces were providing for a Canadian presence on the Internet, which was supported by a strong demand for Canadian content, and
there was no evidence that the Internet had impacted the traditional broadcasters’ advertising revenues.
In 2007, the Commission issued a similar Exemption Order for broadcasting services that are received through cellphones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and other mobile devices.

The CRTC has decided it is time to take a closer look.

From their press release:

The Commission has a responsibility to ensure that the broadcasting system is in a position to achieve the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, today as well as in the future, said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. New digital technologies and platforms are creating opportunities for the broadcast of professionally-produced Canadian content that simply didn’t exist a few years ago. Our intention is not to regulate new media, but rather to gain a better understanding of this environment and, if necessary, to propose measures that would support the continued achievement of the Broadcasting Act’s objectives.

Take a look at their press release and a speech from the chair for more details.

A web site has been set up to take public comments until June 15. It already has several comments, most of which are adamant that the CRTC keeps its hands off, or complain about ISP services.

Read the press release

Read the chair’s speech

Look at or make a comment

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