|The House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology won’t meet the February 2003 deadline for reviewing foreign investment limits in telecommunications service providers imposed by Industry minister Allan Rock. The chair of the Parliamentary committee promises to take a thorough and methodical look at all of the complex issues surrounding changes to foreign ownership rules, which requires that the process take longer than previously anticipated. |
ISP “inaction” to blame for lack of third-party Internet access
The following is a letter to the editor from the Canadian Cable Television Association (CCTA) responding to the editorial that appeared in the November 22, 2002 issue of Canadian Communications Reports. The issue of why third-party Internet service providers aren’t accessing cable lines was also brought up recently at Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage hearings last month.
Claudette Jaiko has been appointed as producer of The National Film Board’s (NFB) Studio Ontario et Ouest. She starts in the new position on December 9 at the NFB’s Toronto offices. She has been working in French and English radio, film and television production for 25 years.
CCR Short Takes
No date set for launch of new diginets, says MacMillan
CAB wants to simplify radio tariff process; Internet retransmission issue resurfacing
The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) hopes to change the way radio tariffs are set in an attempt to reduce the process’ transactional costs, according to president and CEO Glenn O’Farrell. The broadcast lobby group, which represents radio, conventional and specialty television broadcasters, plans to hold a meeting of all music stakeholders to discuss how the process can be simplified. The format of the roundtable is still being discussed, but the CAB expects discussions to get underway in early 2003.
ComboBox put on hold as executives re-think BCE’s convergence strategy
The much-publicized Bell ExpressVu ComboBox has been quietly put on hold for the foreseeable future putting the long-term plans of a key BCE Inc. convergence initiative in limbo. BCE officials won’t comment in detail to inquires from Canadian Communications Reports, but the move to delay the introduction of the ComboBox into the Canadian marketplace is in line with other recent cost-cutting moves by the telecom giant under new president and CEO Michael Sabia. Keith Kocho, president of multimedia firm Extend Media – which had been tapped to deliver new applications for the convergence box – confirms, however, that a Canadian launch has been delayed for at least several quarters.
Adding up the bill for the broadcasting review
The cost of the broadcast study currently underway by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage could top $1.4 million, according to a tallying of approved expenses. The broadcast review, which officially began on Nov. 8, 2001, is now into its second year (see story in this issue) and many industry observers wonder whether any meaningful reform will result from the long – and costly – process (CCR, Jan. 31/02, Nov. 22/01, Nov. 9/01).
Lincoln calls separate foreign ownership study by Industry committee “unfortunate”
The chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage says it’s "unfortunate" that Industry Canada has decided to move ahead with a separate review of foreign ownership restrictions in the telecommunications industry. Clifford Lincoln, whose committee’s study of the Canadian broadcasting system is currently in the midst of hearings on media consolidation and foreign ownership (see story in this issue), worries that public confusion might result if the separate reviews result in conflicting recommendations.