Ice Wireless has 50 days to get its Sugar Mobile customers off the Rogers network. The CRTC has denied an application from the company for relief against Rogers Communications Canada Inc. who complained to the commission that Ice Wireless was violating its service agreement in offering more than periodic roaming. The CRTC ruling concurs, saying Ice Wireless improperly allowed end-users of its mobile virtual network to obtain permanent, rather than incidental, access to Rogers’ cellular network. The commission also released its decision yesterday on the terms and conditions around wholesale mobile wireless roaming service tariffs.
The CRTC is seeking feedback on proposed amendments to the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations and the Television Broadcasting Regulations. The commission says the amendments seek to: provide terrestrial broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs) with greater flexibility in making their contributions to local expression and direct-to-home BDUs with the ability to claim an allowable contribution for locally relevant news programming; provide financial support to over-the-air television stations; reflect policy changes regarding the operation of community channels; streamline logging requirements for over-the-air television stations; eliminate the daily Canadian content requirement for over-the-air television stations; update language and references for consistency; and address anomalies identified through correspondence with the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations. The deadline for comments is April 3. The CRTC has also called for comments on proposed amendments to the standard requirements for on-demand services.
The CRTC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs to fight spam in both countries. The CRTC says the agreement will promote close cooperation in enforcing both countries’ laws on unsolicited commercial electronic messages, with the agencies committing to sharing information and intelligence.
In the lead up to International Women’s Day on March 8, The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s J-Talk No Safe Space: Harassment of Women in Media will explore what can be done about intimidation, threats and abusive comments directed at women’s voices online, on air or in print. Moderated by Piya Chattopadhyay, host of CBC Radio’s Out in the Open, speakers include Manisha Krishnan, senior writer for VICE Canada; Heather Mallick, staff columnist with the Toronto Star; and Janet McFarland, business reporter with The Globe and Mail. The event happens March 7 at the TMX Broadcast Centre in Toronto.
Google has announced it will bring its digital assistant to smartphones running the latest versions of its Android operating system. The Google Assistant was limited to the company’s own products when it was released last fall, but has been expanding to a broader range of devices. The Google Assistant rolled out to English speakers in the U.S. this week with phones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. English speakers in Canada, Australia and the UK are next. Samsung Electronics has also announced plans for an assistant.
The federal government is investing in state-of-the-art weather-prediction information technology and radar modernization. An $83 million contract was signed with Selex ES to buy 20 new radars with the first to be installed this fall and the rest to be replaced over the next seven years. The contract also contains options to install up to 13 additional radars in the Canadian Weather Radar Network by March 2023. Located across Canada, the new tech will increase Environment and Climate Change Canada’s ability to anticipate severe weather. A second contract was awarded this past May to IBM Canada Ltd. to design, build and host a state-of-the-art, high-performance computing (HPC) solution in the Montreal area which will be fully functional by this summer.