Recently, the Globe and Mail published an article titled “The CRTC needs to start thinking outside the idiot box.” It’s written so well that we feel the need to highlight a few choice portions with you.
The article was spurred by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) finishing their series of hearings, called “Let’s Talk TV.” The majority of the hearings were about whether or not Canadians should have the option to “pick-and-pay” with their cable providers. The idea is that consumers should only have to pay for the channels they actually want to watch instead of paying for an entire bundle of hundreds to thousands of channels that they don’t care about. Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper weighed in while the hearings were going on, saying that he supported pick-and-pay.
What the Globe and Mail so eloquently explained is that none of this actually matters: “There are significant advances coming down the pipe that are going to get here faster than the end of your next two-year cable contract. This is where the CRTC should be focusing its energies. The future is not ‘pick-and-pay’; the future is fibre-optic Internet in every home that is magnitudes faster than the current co-axial standard, and which will become the backbone of the digital economy as it develops exciting new online technologies – in-home medical monitoring, remote education, glitch-free telecommuting, high-definition video-sharing and more.”
With YouTube and Netflix around, consumers have access to more than enough content, and nearly every major news station offers video recaps and live streaming on their websites. Even television networks like HBO, Space, and The Comedy Network allow viewers to watch aired shows online. The age of the Internet is making basic cable television unnecessary, but it generates too much revenue for cable companies to move on and evolve with technology.
The Globe and Mail suggests that the hearings and debates over pick-and-pay options are simply a distraction to give cable companies time to figure out their next move. The Globe has a few recommendations: “The future is asking the question, Do we need a national television broadcaster, or would we be better off subsidizing a national content producer that sells its programming to the highest bidder? Or produces it with a taxpayer subsidy – and then instead of broadcasting via a traditional TV channel, simply posts it online for anyone to watch on Youtube and other sites?”
With more and more people abandoning cable television for Netflix and other online services, it is obvious that fibre-optic connectivity is the future. Southwestern Ontario needs to catch up so that it isn’t left behind when the world finds itself in the Internet of Everything, and the only way to catch up is to install a fibre-optic network throughout the counties.
To learn more about the SWIFT project, click here.