Sunday, February 19, 2006

Broadband redistribution

The CRTC's original power as the sole and privileged distributor of scarce broadcasting licenses technically still exists but increasingly as a ceremonial function — technology and the proliferation of licenses has effectively depleted the power of the function to little more than that of a wavelength traffic cop. But no government bureaucracy or regulatory body will willingly limit itself to a proscribed mandate if the power described by and contained in that mandate becomes obsolete — the acquisition and maintenance of power quickly becomes the private justification of their existence, whatever their public title is.

The CRTC in particular has reinvented itself as an arbiter of morality and a driving force behind social activism in licensed communications from the position of the progressive-left humanism with which it has become infested. And now, according to the Globe & Mail, it has invested itself with the power to expropriate what are effectively taxes for their objectives.

The CRTC said yesterday that Canadian telephone customers have been overbilled to the tune of $652.7-million over the past few years, but the money will not be going back to them.

The federal regulator ruled instead that telecommunications companies such as Bell Canada and Telus Corp. should use most of the money — equivalent to about $50 a customer — to expand offerings in underserved markets, primarily rural and remote communities.

When the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decided in 2002 that it wanted to encourage competition in the local phone services market, rates were set high enough to attract new entrants. In effect, a cushion was built into the rates and the companies were told to put some of the money into so-called deferral accounts.

[…] CRTC chair Charles Dalfen told reporters yesterday that expanding broadband services, also known as high-speed Internet, is an important social and economic goal.
Thanks to Little Tobacco for pointing out this story.

Remember this from the Conservative Party's Policy Briefing Note for Candidates before the 2004 election?
“The Conservative Party supports the restructuring of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, reducing its mandate to registration and/or marketing and bandwidth and to dealing with the international communications negotiations.”
I came across no mention of this in their most recent platform, but now that the Conservatives are in a position as a government to deal with its agencies, I would hope that it is not forgotten. It could not happen too soon.

1 Comment:

Pietr said...

I'm getting broadband, the better to watch video clips with.
Oh, and to download Microsoft Visual Studio.
Free.
And nice and legal,like.