General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsCRTC lays out priorities for next two fiscal years

CRTC lays out priorities for next two fiscal years

The CRTC has laid out its priorities for the next two fiscal years in its CRTC Forecast 2019-20. Under the purview of Broadcasting, the commission says it intends to consider applications for a new multi-ethnic TV channel; launch a review of the Indigenous broadcasting policy framework; consider renewal of broadcast licences for CBC/Radio-Canada; in addition to several initiatives under the commission’s May 2018 report Harnessing Change: The Future of Programming Distribution in Canada. The CRTC says it may consider re-examining the regulatory approach to radio – including common ownership policy, Canadian content levels, French vocal music requirements, Canadian content development and group-based approaches; examine ways to support television news production through increased access to subscription revenues; re-examine the role and effectiveness of the existing regulatory approach to broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDU); implement new tracking tech to improve data analytics and remove the need for traditional logs and monitoring requirements for TV and radio; and update its definition of “Canadian programming expenditures” in the context of the digital environment.

Bell, Rogers, and Telus have come back to the CRTC with new low-cost wireless data plan proposals. The large telcos were responding to a July request from the commission to provide cheaper plans than were originally pitched to the regulator. Each are offering plans through their flanker brands that in some cases are half what was originally proposed at $15/month. Telus is proposing two new monthly low-cost, data-only plans at $30 a month for 1 GB of data at LTE speeds, available through Koodo, with another prepaid plan through Public Mobile. Bell proposed three new plans: two from Virgin Mobile that would both run $28/month for 1 GB at LTE speeds, and another prepaid $15 plan through Lucky Mobile for 500 MB at 3G speeds. Rogers is proposing three new lower-cost, data-only plans through Fido, and two through Chatr. The Chatr proposals would run $15 for 250 MB and include 100 outgoing Canada-wide voice calling minutes, and unlimited Canada-wide texting and incoming calls, with a second option of $25 a month for 1 GB, based on an automatic payment plan. Both are offered on a 3G network. The Fido plans include one at $15 for 250 MB, another at $25 a month for 500 MB, and another option offering 1 GB for $30, all on LTE speeds.

Carleton University is now accepting applications for the R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship for a project to be completed in 2019. The application deadline is Oct. 22 at noon ET. The fund provides an annual award of $25,000 to cover travel, reporting and research expenses and a stipend for a journalist. The fellowship commemorates the career and ideals of Jim Travers – reporter, foreign correspondent, general manager for Southam News, editor of The Ottawa Citizen, executive managing editor of the Toronto Star and national columnist at the time of his death in 2011. Last year’s recipients, Canadian Press reporting team Aleksandra Sagan and Laura Kane, used the fellowship to travel to India and South Africa to examine antimicrobial resistance and innovative approaches to combat an impending global crisis. Read the resulting stories here.

The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group has announced its 2018 Prairie Equity Scholarship competition aimed at broadcast students in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, who are part of under-represented groups. The Equity Scholarship was instituted in 2009 to address the shortage of broadcasters from four groups; Aboriginal Peoples, Persons with Disabilities, Visible Minorities, and Women. This year, two $2,000 awards will be made to students attending or planning to attend a recognized broadcast program at a post-secondary institution in one of those provinces. Applicants can access scholarship information through the websites of the Prairie stations of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, or through their post-secondary institution. Deadline for applications is Oct. 5 with the award to be announced in November.

CCBE 2018 takes place Sept. 27-30 in King City, ON with Friday’s keynote address to be delivered by Ross Davies, general manager, Member Engagement for Numeris. Find registration information here.

Valerie Geller, president of Geller Media International Broadcast Consultants, will be the keynote speaker at the Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) Conference – Connection/18. Geller has worked with broadcasters at more than 500 stations in 35 countries including CBC, Rogers, Corus, ABC, CBS, NPR, PBS, NBC, iHeart, Cumulus, the BBC in the UK, ABC in Australia and more. Find the full Nov. 8 conference agenda here

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