The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Seven years ago, the Canadian Cable Television Association pitched the CRTC on an idea that was too tempting to turn down. Allow us to keep a planned rollback in basic cable rates to finance our migration to digital, and we will contribute a portion of our revenues to a Canadian TV production fund. Today, that same association is now asking the commission to allow its members to divert a portion of that five per cent "contribution" to equity investments in new media companies. It's an idea that won?t go unnoticed by senior CRTC staff. Of all the recommendations tabled with the CRTC during its new media hearing last year, it was the cry for more public funding of digital content development and research and development that was met with the weakest response. The CRTC's May 1999 report found there was no need to impose rules that support the development, production, promotion and distribution of Canadian new media content and services. It concluded there was no convincing evidence "to suggest that visibility of Canadian content on the Internet is a problem." Some will argue that there is also no shortage of Canadian content on television these days, but that hasn't stopped the flow of public and private funds to the Canadian Television Fund. It's time the CRTC recognized that its mandate to promote Canadian content applies to all broadcast distribution windows, including the Internet. Last year's decision by the commission to exempt new media and the Internet from regulation still concluded that a significant amount of new media content constitutes broadcasting under federal legislation. As such, the CRTC has both the mandate and the power to ensure new media projects receive their fair share of the $50+ million collected each year in the name of Canadian content from cable TV, satellite TV and wireless cable operators. The dividends from that reallocation will come in the form of a stronger domestic industry for new media production, and faster consumer acceptance of interactive digital services.