Choice in media and telecommunications: It's something Canadians want and need for a healthy and open digital future, but are severely lacking. And when it comes to that, this week I have bad news and good news.
Let's start with the bad. Canada's biggest telecom/media/communications conglomerate Bell is once again trying to acquire key media assets through Astral Media, and in so doing get even bigger.
In the fall, thanks to the pressure from Canadians that this community has built up for a long time, the CRTC rejected the deal, saying that this much media concentration is simply not in the public interest. But now Bell is back with a watered-down version of their deal that they think is more likely to get approval.
The CRTC, which I should mention is Canada's broadcast and telecom authority, still has to give a green light to Bell's takeover in order for it to go through, so citizens will get a chance to raise some ruckus once again, and remind the CRTC that we want diversity and choice in our communications system. The public hearing on this is scheduled for May.
Okay we got through that, now it's time for the good news:
We at OpenMedia.ca love to use your input to craft a *positive vision* for our digital future. That's exactly what we got to do: we read your comments from the CellPhoneHorrorStory.ca campaign, analyzed them, and used them to create a study of citizens' lived realities in the cell phone market, complete with recommendations for the CRTC and Industry Canada.
Super exciting, right?! Your stories informed this study, and with your help, we can use it to get policymakers to take the steps needed to fix our broken cell phone market. Canada, it's time for an upgrade!
Please please please check out the report at OpenMedia.ca/UpgradeCanada, share it around, and take the action there to demand choice in our cell phone market.
It's our digital future.