CRTC launches review of device financing plans – CRTC, Telecom & Journalism News

The Hurt Locker

 

 

The CRTC has launched a review of device financing plans to consider whether plans with terms longer than 24 months are compliant with the Wireless Code. The review follows a move by Bell Canada, Iristel, Rogers, and Telus to offer such plans. In particular, in cases where the device financing plan term is longer than the wireless service plan term, the commission is concerned with customers having to pay the remaining balance of their device financing plan immediately if they wish to change to a different service plan or service provider. The CRTC is seeking comments by Oct. 15.

The CRTC has ordered Bell not to suspend its roaming agreement with Videotron until the commission has reached a final decision on the issue. Bell Mobility maintains that too many Videtron customers are permanently roaming on its network and threatened to cut Videotron off if the situation wasn’t remedied within 30 days. The commission has concluded that “Considering that the Commission will make a definitive ruling on the service, the Commission is of the view that in the interim, consumer interests must prevail over Bell’s desire to implement its tariff as quickly as possible.”

CBC has released Q1 financial highlights for the quarter ended June 30. The public broadcaster reported revenue increases of 0.6% for the quarter, as subscription revenue growth on its digital platforms exceeded subscriber revenue declines on conventional discretionary channels. TV advertising revenue was slightly lower in the quarter. Ongoing expenses decreased by 0.6% this quarter, primarily due to changes in programming content and scheduling. Government funding for the quarter decreased by 2.6%, consistent with anticipated operating needs.

Carolyn Dunn

The News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC) has expressed concern over a recent incident where CBC reporter Carolyn Dunn was initially denied entry into the U.S. to cover a colleague’s vacation leave in Washington, D.C. Dunn tweeted on Aug. 25 that she’d been refused entry based on Sections 212 (a) (7) (A) (i) (I) and advised by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that she would require a non-immigrant visa. In a release, NPAC vice-president Ryan McLeod called the incident “a disturbing trend.” “The members of the Canadian press have always had a mostly cordial relationship across borders. It doesn’t matter if it’s television/print/web, freelance or staff; citizens of Canada should not and do not require visas to enter the United States. While Ms. Carolyn Dunn was eventually allowed to board a flight into the United States, it speaks volumes about the current climate,” said McLeod.

Connect to Innovate funding of $889,523 has been announced to bring new or improved high-speed internet access to the New Brunswick communities of Rollingdam, Bonny River, Jemseg, McDonald Corner, Upper Hainesville and Davidson Lake. Of the $889,523 investment, $664,893 will come from the Connect to Innovate program; $67,300 from the Government of New Brunswick; and $157,330 from Bell Canada.

The Jack Webster Foundation has added scholarships for Indigenous journalism students, presented by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF), to its Student Journalism Awards program. $2,000 will be paid towards tuition, with up to two scholarships to be awarded this fall. Applications are now being accepted until Sept. 29. The new scholarship program joins the foundation’s existing awards which are open to all B.C. students enrolled in their final year of a journalism program. One $2,000 award is available to a worthy recipient from each of the following journalism programs in British Columbia: the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Langara College, Thompson Rivers University, and the University of British Columbia (UBC). Find more info here.

The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group (JPBG) has opened its 2019 Prairie Equity Scholarship competition aimed at broadcast students in the prairie provinces from underrepresented groups. The Equity Scholarship was instituted in 2009 to address the shortage of broadcasters from four groups; Aboriginal Peoples, Persons with Disabilities, Members of Visible Minorities, and Women. JPBG believes that by supporting the career development of these groups, the industry will access an untapped pool of potentially talented employees, encourage diverse viewpoints and backgrounds, enhance relationships with local communities, and broaden the advertiser and audience base. This year, two $2,000 awards will be made to residents of Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba who, in 2019, are attending or planning to attend a recognized Broadcast program at a post-secondary institution in one of those provinces. The deadline for applications is Oct. 4th with the award to be announced in November.


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