CRTC, Telecom & Media News – Northwestel agrees to spend $5 million on network upgrades

The CRTC has announced that Northwestel has agreed to spend $5 million to upgrade its network infrastructure after contravention of the Telecommunications Act. Over a period of seven years, Northwestel failed to obtain the CRTC’s approval for rates it charged for nine of its services and brought the non-compliance to the commission’s attention. Commission staff and Northwestel reached a settlement that directs investment to benefit the northern communities Northwestel serves. Specifically, $3 million to bring fibre to First Nation offices, schools, health centres and government offices in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and northern BC, and $2 million to expand cellphone service along highways and major roads in Yukon, the NWT and Nunavut. Northwestel has committed to finishing construction of the projects within three years.

Rogers is introducing unlimited data plans, starting June 13, with no overage charges. Later this summer, Rogers will also launch new device financing options giving customers the ability to buy any smartphone with $0 down. Rogers Infinite plans feature unlimited wireless data starting at $75 for 10GB of high speed data. Beyond that, customers can use unlimited data at reduced speeds. More high speed data can be purchased as a Speed Pass for $15 for 3GB. Customers can also pool their data with family and friends, eliminating the need to monitor data use.

Top Risks in Telecommunications 2019 Canada, a report from EY, looks at how the Canadian telecom sector is managing risk amidst the cost pressures of new customer demands and digital tools. The report highlights the top risks for Canadian operators topped by connectivity commoditization due to ineffective growth and diversification strategy, and eroding organizational trust from underestimating privacy and security changes. EY says research shows that while 51% of operators believe that the lack of digital skills is a top transformation barrier, only 3% see growing and retaining talent as a top strategic priority — highlighting the need to focus on internal workforce issues. On the capex front, the rollout of 5G is expected to see capital intensity increase to 21% by 2023 globally – just one of the factors impacting infrastructure ROI.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) says it accepts the calls to justice for media as issued in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls (MMIWG), in addition to the term genocide. The CAJ says Canadian journalism has a legacy of perpetuating racist stereotypes, using insensitive language and overlooking patterns. “Journalism is not a reconciliation free zone; we need to thoughtfully move forward and do better,” reads a statement issued by the association. The CAJ is supporting the inquiry’s call to increase the number of Indigenous people in broadcasting, television, and radio, and in journalist, reporter, producer, and executive positions in the entertainment industry, including providing educational, scholarship and training opportunities aimed at Indigenous inclusion in media, film, and music industry-related fields.

John Ruskin aka Nardwuar the Human Serviette

Nardwuar (aka John Ruskin) was one of 13 inductees into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame last weekend and one of eight to receive a star on the Walk of Fame on Vancouver’s Granville Street. Nardwuar’s foray into broadcasting started at University of British Columbia campus radio station CiTR 101.9 FM. His show has been running every Friday afternoon since Oct. 1987. His interviews eventually made their way to MuchMusic with the “Human Serviette’s” quirky antics leading to interviews with celebrities ranging from Drake to Henry Rollins and Seth Rogen. Among those also receiving stars on the StarWalk this year are actress Karin Konoval (The Good Doctor, The X-Files, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and three-time Emmy Award winner Moira Walley-Beckett – creator of TV series Anne and Flesh and Bone, who has also worked as a producer and writer on Breaking Bad.

Ryan Snoddon

Loyalist College’s highest academic honour was conferred upon CBC Nova Scotia and New Brunswick meteorologist Ryan Snoddon during the college’s 52nd Annual Convocation Ceremony. Snoddon, who graduated from Loyalist’s Broadcast Journalism program in 2004, addressed the School of Applied Sciences, Skills & Technology and the School of Media, Business & Access.  Snoddon was presented with the Hugh P. O’Neil Outstanding Alumni Award for exceptional contributions to his profession and community.

Michael Colborne and Lena Macdonald

The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma has awarded its annual Forum Freelance Fund (FFF) bursaries to three Canadian freelancers working in dangerous places around the world. The 2019 winners, chosen by an independent international jury, are: Michael Colborne, a freelance reporter/photographer from Sherwood Park, AB, reporting on connections between far right groups in Ukraine and Croatia, involving illegal activities. He has already been assaulted physically in the course of that continuing work; Lena Macdonald, an independent Toronto-based filmmaker and journalist, currently producing a feature-length documentary investigating the international justice apparatus, and how it harms or helps post-conflict nations on the African continent; and Anna Bianca Roach, a Canadian freelance journalist with a focus on the intersection of gender, labour, and migration. Roach has reported from Armenia on the 2018 Velvet Revolution and its aftermath. She is now reporting on labour rights under populist governments. Each FFF bursary is worth $2,500 CAD. The bursary is sponsored by CBC News and supported by Radio-Canada and individual donors.

The Jack Webster Awards entry deadline is approaching July 7. Online, print, radio and television journalists in British Columbia are invited to enter. Check out the 13 categories you can submit your work in.



Not A Subscriber? – Subscribe Now – Free!

Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 25 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.

The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Let’s get started right now.

Broadcast Dialogue
Broadcast Dialogue
Broadcast Dialogue is Canada’s broadcast industry publication of record. The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is distributed by controlled circulation every Thursday. Broadcast Dialogue content may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent of the publisher. To report a typo or error please email -

The Weekly Briefing - Subscribe Now – Free!

It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Events / Conferences