Canadian Heritage minister Sheila Copps pledged support to private broadcasters on a number of fronts on October 28 during an appearance at the 75th annual convention of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) in Ottawa. She said she would write the Treasury Board to try to get CRTC licence fees paid by broadcasters and broadcast distributors reduced, and would push Finance minister Paul Martin to include money for the Canadian Television Fund in the next budget. Copps also pledged to have changes that would explicitly exclude Internet retransmission of broadcasters’ signals from Section 31 of the Copyright Act introduced by Christmas (see CCR Special Update, Oct. 29/01).
The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.
Unique Broadband Systems Inc., Concord ON, has announced that Rowland Fleming has agreed to stand for election to the company’s board of directors. Fleming has a wealth of international experience spanning more than 35 years in the financial services sector. He has previously served as president and CEO of the Toronto Stock Exchange. He has also held several senior level positions in the banking industry including deputy chair, president and CEO of the National Trust Co., president and CEO of the Dominion of Canada General Insurance Co., and executive VP at the Bank of Nova Scotia. The election of the company’s board will take place at its next annual general meeting on Nov. 27.
The country’s four national wireless service providers have made a healthy turnaround in third-quarter subscriber additions, making considerable gains compared to Q2 figures. The following table illustrates the primary figures for measuring the health of the wireless industry.
Improving employee efficiency and addressing a growing number of remote workers are the two primary reasons a vast majority of American companies are choosing to implement wireless components to corporate networks, according to a new study by International Data Corp. (IDC). The study indicates that large companies are the most likely to have mobile solutions, while small- and medium-sized firms lag behind slightly.
The wireless cable industry is running out of spectrum to accommodate high-speed Internet services, and wants preferred access to bandwidth at 2300 MHz to rectify the shortage. Craig Wireless Systems Inc. and Image Wireless Communications Inc. are urging Industry Canada to give them special treatment in any auction for WCS frequencies.
Eligibility appears to be a key sticking point as parties to the next spectrum auction debate access to high-speed fixed wireless bandwidth. A large contingent of smaller companies is advocating a set-aside of bandwidth versus the open auction supported by the larger players, and non-incumbents point to a perceived failure of previous auctions to create new competition. Both groups are seeking access to spectrum in the 2300 MHz and 3400-3700 MHz frequency ranges, which Industry Canada is proposing to auction (RoW, Aug. 21/01).
Toronto-based 724 Solutions Inc. is touting the benefits of transactional-based revenue over traditional per-minute sources as it introduces a new line of products aimed at wireless service providers. Company executives are arguing that, unlike the traditional model of charging for minutes used or per kilobit of data downloaded, a new transaction-based revenue model will allow carriers to charge for such things as alert notification and m-commerce applications.
Early adopters have already begun purchasing wireless Internet services in numbers that bode well for the industry, according to a soon-to-be published report. The Decima Publishing Inc. report indicates relatively high levels of interest by Canadians in purchasing a wireless device and then subscribing to wireless data services over the next 12 months. According to the figures, 18 per cent will purchase a wireless device in the next year and 16 per cent are ready to sign on to the wireless Internet in the next 12 months.