Canada’s regulator gets one right

by Mathew on April 13, 2006

Call it an occupational hazard: being a regulator, the CRTC (the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission”) tends to like to… well, regulate things. Satellite TV and satellite radio are good examples. Why do you have to buy a Canadian XM satellite radio box when the U.S. one receives all the U.S. and Canadian channels? Because of the CRTC. As the office in charge of making sure you listen to enough Bryan Adams and watch enough episodes of Corner Gas, that’s kind of its job.

With that in mind, it was refreshing to see the CRTC deciding not to regulate something, particularly something TV related like television on cellphones. Charles Dalfen, the chairman of the broadcast regulator, said in an interview that “It’s too early stage to want to clamp a regulatory regime on it.” He went on to suggest that since much of the content that Telus, Rogers and Bell Mobility are streaming to their phones is short clips, “At this stage, it’s not even clear what a mobile program is.”

Has someone been sneaking in to the CRTC offices and giving them reality lessons? First they decided not to try and regulate the Internet (another smart move) and now we can all watch clips of Paris Hilton’s new video or whatever on our phones, safe in the knowledge that we won’t have to watch a certain number of Avril Lavigne video clips at some point to compensate. Life is good.

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