Briefs


CRTC wants input on new preview policy
With the ever-increasing pace of third-language specialty services being licensed for distribution in Canada as well as the mounting importance of digital programming, the CRTC is revisiting its restrictions on previewing pay and specialty channels. In Public Notice 2006-136, the commission notes that existing policy forbids the airing of previews during national ratings periods, so as to not unduly influence viewership of certain shows. In addition, there are restrictions on the length and nature of previews that can be shown on a BDU’s promotional or "barker" channel. The CRTC is soliciting input on the matter and wants submissions by November 20.
"In the commission’s view, there are sound arguments in favour of authorizing BDUs to present previews of such services, whether those services are authorized for analog and digital distribution, or for digital distribution only, and whether or not the preview is presented on an analog or digital channel," the call for comments reads. "The commission notes that such previews of non-Canadian, non-US digital services, especially when distributed on analog channels, could assist in the roll-out of digital technology and services, which is a longstanding commission objective."

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NL People

Nick Curry, CIO at MTS Allstream Inc., has been named this year’s top CIO by Canadian Business magazine. As CIO, he is responsible for all aspects of the company’s internal IT service operations, system applications and business process transformation functions. Curry has more than 25 years IT experience, and prior to joining MTS Allstream in 2001, he was CIO at the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba and Great-West Life – Canada Division.

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NL Short Takes

SMBs know the value of ICT, but won’t invest
A new study, Does ICT Matter to SMBs in Canada?, conducted by IDC Canada on behalf of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) found that while small and medium-sized business owners believe that investment in information and communications technology (ICT) will improve operational efficiency, they plan to make business investments elsewhere. "We set out to attempt to better understand why Canadian SMB owners are under-investing in ICT," said Doug Cooper, ITAC chair and country manager of Intel Canada, in a news release. "In particular, we wanted to understand what was displacing ICT as an investment strategy. It’s clear from the study that for many small and medium businesses, a key challenge is finding and retaining staff…Respondents also placed a stronger emphasis on non-ICT expenses and investments than they did on ICT.

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Another FTTH strategy: let customers own the last mile

Some telcos have already started to undertake the costly endeavour of extending fibre optic cable into customers’ homes (FTTH) to catch up, bandwidth-wise, with the cablecos. But for the carriers who haven’t begun the rollout yet, Canarie Inc., an Ottawa-based Internet development organization, offers an alternative to years of subscription fees as a way of recouping the cost: have the consumers lay the fibre themselves.

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MPs successful in stalling coming-into-force of proposed policy direction

Opposition members of Parliament on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology have succeeded in delaying the implementation of the proposed policy direction to the CRTC. At a meeting on October 26, committee members voted seven to four to adopt a motion that would see the committee further study the directive and report back to the House no later than March 1, 2007.

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