OpenMedia.ca Calls Shaw Out On Attempt To Sic The Government On Its Competition
December 6, 2010 – OpenMedia.ca, Canada’s Internet defender, is voicing dissent concerning Shaw Communications’ request that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) directly regulate Internet content. OpenMedia.ca believes policies surrounding online communication must ensure Canadian Internet users have open access to the applications and content of their choice.
The CRTC has also stated that it has no intention of regulating the Internet.
Shaw, which operates as a cable carrier, broadcaster, and Internet Service Provider (ISP), came before the Heritage Committee on Thursday to argue that online movie providers such as Netflix, which are a major source of competition for their television services, ought to be regulated as if they were broadcasters. Executives at Shaw cited the lack of online Canadian content rules as the source of their concern.
“This is a classic case of telecom companies discriminating against the open Internet in favour of their own digital TV services,” said Steve Anderson, National Coordinator of OpenMedia.ca. “Media conglomerates like Shaw, who both create and distribute content, are trying to control the communications market by pushing people to watch television while attempting to smother online successes like Netflix.”
Anderson continued: “Though we believe in promoting Canadian content, it is clear that regulating certain parts of the Internet is a slippery slope – if we go down this road it will become increasingly difficult for citizens to create and distribute content freely. Saving Shaw's TV subscriber base is not a valid reason to limit online choice.”
And whoever heard of a corporation asking for more government control? Shaw clearly sees trouble ahead, and is trying to sic the government on the competition.
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca