It strkes me that one of the issues that has received very little coverage in the discussion about internet connectivity in Canada and the CRTC decision to force all ISP's to limit download plans is the whole issue around who controls access to electronic video distribution.
If you have a cable or a satellite connection to your TV in Canada one of the key features is the ability to use a pay for view system to obtain videos to watch at home. This is a source of a large variable revenue stream for the cable and satellite companies, who also just happen to be the large national ISP's who have pushed the CRTC to look at user volume based internet billing. It seems to me that this is not a coincidence at the time that services like Netflix are offering low cost monthly plans for video downloads.
Could it be that the big national firms are more concerned about losing their lock in control of the electronic video market and potentially specialized sports packages than they are about the impact of unlimited downloading on their internet infrastructure? Since I have not seen the submissions to the CRTC which supported their request for limits I cannot say this is the case for certain, but I think it can be seen to be a real factor in the process.
Does the CRTC see this as one and the same issue? I would suggest they should at least be considering it. Let's face it, the relatively small number of cable and satellite companies in Canada have meant a significantly higher cost for service in Canada than in many other places around the world. The fact that the same companies also control the bulk of the national internet bandwidth leads to similar issues. The CRTC is supposed to protect the interests of the Canadian public in controlling access to telecommunications. Perhaps they need to take a much broader look at this issue as part of their current review.
Am I being paranoid? Is there a bigger story here than has been told to date? What is your take on the video market and the impact of internet downloading?
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Photo Credit: By César Ballesteros Domínguez [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons