Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Bell rails at CRTC decision

Posted: September 6, 2010 in CRTC, Movies, Television

Bell Canada is opposing a regulatory decision this week to allow smaller Internet providers more room on its network, but not because of the immediate competitive threat they pose. Instead, Bell is probably more concerned about the online-TV giants standing behind them.

Forced by regulators on Monday to provide matching download speeds to firms like TekSavvy Solutions Inc., which provides unlimited downloading, Bell risks losing out on coveted TV customers to such Internet content-streaming behemoths as Netflix Inc., which is bringing services to Canada this fall.

Unlike Bell and other incumbents, there are no download caps at wholesale resellers like TekSavvy or Primus. Combined with Monday’s decision from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ordering Bell, Telus Corp. and other major providers to give TekSavvy customers speeds equal to their own, it means smaller Internet service providers can stream high-quality video in huge volumes, creating an attractive alternative to TV products from Bell, Telus and even Rogers Communications Inc.

The incumbents are concerned, said Brahm Eiley, principal at Toronto-based Convergence Consulting Ltd.

“Netflix, Apple, even Microsoft with the Xbox -anybody with a content platform can benefit from unlimited data usage,” Eiley said.

So-called “data hogs,” or users that account for the vast majority of online downloading, have migrated to TekSavvy and the like. But until this week’s decision, they have had to live with sluggish speeds, confining activity mostly to peer-to-peer file trading. The CRTC, in its impulse to spur competitive pressure, changed that.

“Now they impose speed-matching,” said Mirko Bibic, chief of regulatory affairs at Bell, a subsidiary of BCE Inc. “A wholesale competitor

comes in here, gets access to our network without putting any risk capital in the ground, and can take away our Internet service from that home.”

More than that, though, the current framework threatens to undermine Bell’s -and Telus’s -strategic push to win greater share among television subscribers.

With a viable alternative entering the market in Netflix (and probably others), the high-speed, unlimited model wholesalers can provide is an uncomfortable scenario for incumbents.

All the incumbents have imposed usage-based billing for Internet on their own customers to help manage network strain.

Rogers lowered its download caps this summer -doing so the same day Netflix announced it was headed to Canada -perhaps to send a message that online streaming won’t be tolerated as an alternative source of TV content.

So far, incumbents are prohibited from imposing usage-based billing on wholesalers, a related issue on which regulators must make a separate ruling this fall.

But to head off the current threat, Bell wants the federal cabinet to overrule the speed-matching decision once and for all, and has threatened to scale back investment in next-generation technology if that doesn’t happen.

“We will be making our views known to Industry Canada and (Industry) Minister (Tony) Clement that this is the wrong decision for broadband deployment in Canada,” Bibic said.

The cabinet has 90 days to make a final determination on Monday’s decision by the CRTC.

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© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

Does that mean Netflix gets neutered before it even crosses the border? Wonderful.



The first write up on the new AppleTV that actually makes sense.  It just happened to be a comment on Engadget by@David Corsi

“[The new Apple TV *isn’t* the black box pictured here, but your new iPhone 4, iPod Touch or iPad is.

This box will be the headless accessory to future handheld iOS devices which will stream video to your TV. AirPlay is coming in iOS 4.2 to allow your music, photos, and video on your handheld to travel to your TV. Is it far fetched to believe iOS 5.0 AirPlay will allow 3rd party developers access to the same option? Imagine the Hulu Plus app on your phone, or Twit video on your iPad, or anything else allowed to send its stream from your iPad etc. straight to your TV? Take it a step further in a few years with iOS 6.0 and faster handhelds and now you not only stream video but at the same time retain the interface on your device, ie. MLB baseball video on your TV with the stats in your hand selecting multiple camera angles, or a video game image on the TV while you maintain use of your iPhone as the gyro-based control.

The best part is the upgrades are in your hand, not the box attached to your TV, so Apple gets to sell more iPhones etc. ($$$$) while the same old $99 device your bought in ’10 needs no upgrades as it just does what it has always done, stream video. Heck Apple has announced that 3rd party speakers will come AirPlay compatible, wanna bet AirPlay functionality will appear in TV’s soon?

Apple TV is here, but it isn’t that black box.”

Of course here in Canada the box costs $119.  Also we don’t get TV shows (yet) or Netflix (yet).  So…we wait

DT ~