CRTC & Telecom News – CRTC launches review of mobile wireless market

Navdeep Bains

The CRTC is launching a review of the mobile wireless market to determine whether further action is required to improve choice and affordability for Canadians. As part of that review, the commission issued a call for comments Thursday afternoon on its “preliminary view” that mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) should have mandated access to the networks of the national wireless providers (Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus) until they are able to establish themselves in the market. That stand is a departure from the CRTC’s long held position that MVNOs shouldn’t have mandated access, and comes just days after Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Min. Navdeep Bains proposed a change of course for the commission putting Canadian consumers and competition first. The review will also look ahead to the future of mobile wireless services in Canada and, in particular, at whether regulatory measures are needed to facilitate the deployment of 5G network infrastructure. Read more here.

SaskTel is expanding its maxTV Stream to 19 more communities including Alsask, Annaheim, Beauval, Cole Bay, Dorintosh, Eatonia, Flaxcombe, Humboldt, Ituna, Kelliher, Kindersley, Lake Lenore, Lestock, Loon Lake, Marengo, Meadow Lake, Middle Lake, Muenster, and Unity. The next-gen platform, which combines the best of traditional television with the latest over-the-top (OTT) content from Netflix and YouTube, has been rolled out to nearly 120 communities over the last six months. The company’s goal is to be in more than 350 communities by 2020.

CommTech East Awards nominations are open. The second annual event recognizes outstanding businesses, organizations, individuals and volunteers, within the Canadian ICT Industry. Nominees must be a Canadian citizen, resident, business or organization. Nominations are due by Mar. 21, with the awards gala taking place at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Apr. 15. Find more info here.

CBC has released financial results for the third quarter ended Dec. 31. Revenue in the quarter declined 1.9 per cent to 137.261M, compared to 139.852M year-over-year. Ad sales on ICI Radio-Canada television remaining strong, in addition to higher rental revenue from third parties. That was offset by lower CBC ad revenue and the continued drop in subscribers on specialty television across the business. Expenses decreased by 0.8 per cent this quarter to $454.7M, compared to $458.2M for the period the year previous. The savings was mostly driven by lower TV programming costs due to airing less original content in the Fall schedule, partly offset by continued investment in digital content and initiatives.

Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa, executive editor, CEO and co-founder of Philippine news site Rappler.com and an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, will receive the Canadian Journalism Foundation’s Tribute honour, which recognizes a journalist who has made an impact on the international stage. Ressa will receive the honour at the CJF Awards on June 13 at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Ressa, a former CNN bureau chief in Manila and Jakarta, has been targeted, jailed and then released on bail, following coverage and criticism of the Philippine government and attempts to silence the free press. She was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, among four other persecuted journalists.

The European Union Delegation to Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) have opened applications for the 2019 edition of the European Union-Canada Young Journalist Fellowship. Since 2001, the fellowship has been recognizing young, Canadian journalistic talent by awarding an all-expenses paid, week-long study tour to three students or young reporters. The experience includes visiting EU institutions, the Canadian Mission to the EU, and media outlets in Brussels. Winners also attend the daily European Commission press briefing. In order to be eligible, participants must be actively enrolled in a Canadian university/post-secondary institution or active in the field of journalism, be between ages 18-30, and be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The deadline for applications is May 6. Find more info here.


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