Monday, August 24, 2009

Petition To Abolish CRTC, Just Short Sighted And Wrong

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There is an online petition seeing to abolish the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the government regulatory agency similar to the Federal Communications Commission in the United States. The petitioners claim the because the CRTC has been keeping American specialty and premium channels out of Canada and because the CRTC has found no wrong doing by Bell Canada over Broadband capping and throttling the CRTC has to be done away with.

Without a doubt the CRTC has been heavy handed when it comes to the American channels allowed onto Canadian TV screens and has let cell phone carriers take it to Canadian cellular subscribers with excessive fees. To those behind the petition I ask of you, If we are to abolish the CRTC what do we replace it with? Letting broadcasting and telecommunications go completely unregulated cannot even be an option.

Net Neutrality may be a sort of a threatened species in Canada however without public regulation is would already extinct. There is new cell phone carriers coming to Canada but it was because of the CRTC mandating that a portion of new frequency spectrum that was being opened up be set aside for start-up carriers that these new providers are coming to the market to challenge Rogers, Bell and Telus. Without the CRTC the established cell carriers would have grabbed up all the available spectrum. The switchover to digital over the air television broadcasting proposed for August of 2011 is mandated by the CRTC and right now only the CRTC is holding the Television broadcaster feet to the fire on the issue. Without the regulator TV stations would continue to put out the inferior analog NTSC signals that are heading into television history.

I agree more could be done to loosen the grip the CRTC has on our television screens and can do more protect cellular and wireline telephone subscribers from the excessive fee gouging, but those behind the petition and everybody who has signed on, Canada without the CRTC would be a lot worse. I'll sign a petition to reform the CRTC but I won't sign to call to abolish it.

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