The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. The move to refer Internet retransmission to the CRTC for consultation will be greeted with relief by some people and trepidation by others. The end-run around the federal government’s promise to have regulations on the table to define Bill C-48 before it passes gives the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) a full year to change the minds of officials bent on permitting Internet retransmission (see story in this issue). By moving the issue to the CRTC forum, however, both the CAB and Internet players will be exposed to even greater uncertainty. If the commission begins to look at retransmission, surely it will be tempted to re-examine the whole of the new media exemption order? If the commission decides, for example, to create a new class of Internet retransmission broadcast distribution undertaking, it would likely saddle those groups with many of the same obligations placed on existing licensed BDUs. They could be required to carry a certain number of Canadian channels, distribute specific channels including Canadian and U.S. network signals, and fund Canadian content. But, in the interest of a fair marketplace, the commission will be forced to consider how it treats anyone broadcasting on the Internet. Should a WorkdayTV.com be allowed to compete directly against JumpTV without being encumbered by rules mandating a certain level of Canadian content? Should CTV Newsnet be allowed to stream its signal online and compete directly against iCraveTV.biz without the requirement to pay into CanCon funds? The CRTC probably doesn’t want to deal with the issue – for obvious reasons. Opening the new media exemption order is premature until the harm or benefit – any impact at all – can be determined with some certainty. Commissioners must have been watching the growing consensus around Bill C-48 regulations with glee. Unfortunately, appearances were deceptive, and draft guidelines produced to date are meaningless in the face of entrenched interests. Now, the entire industry must gird for a battle on the exemption front – again – without any guarantees the discussions can remain focused.