One of the few tangible outputs of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), after a three-year discussion (2002 to 2005), was the creation of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) under the auspices of the UN. For many observers and participants at the WSIS this new self-determining, multi-stakeholder entity was considered a first phase in the establishment of a new model not only for Internet governance but also for global governance itself.
CRTC Hearings Wrap Up in Ottawa
by Greg Taylor
CRTC Public Hearings, Dec. 6, 2006
The final day of the CRTC public hearings was a collection of mixed messages and messengers. The primary focus of these hearings was allegedly the future of over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting in the face of declining profitability and viewership; however, Wednesday Dec. 6 was filled with issues as diverse as pleas for funding for regional development, museum foundations, and research institutions, along with a command performance from an unexpected source and, during one presentation, a noticeably fawning panel of commissioners.
By Evan Light
The World Association of Community Broadcasters (AMARC) held its 9th conference and general meeting in Amman, Jordan from 11-17 November. Founded in Montréal in 1983, AMARC is the world body of community radio stations and affiliated groups and counts a membership of over 3500 associates from all six habitable continents. Every four years, its general assembly and world conference are held in a region of the world in which media freedom is on the cusp of becoming a reality. In this case, the government of Jordan recently loosened their restrictions on the freedom of expression and are one of few countries in the Middle East to allow for licensed community broadcasting. AmmanNet, the local host of the conference, received their FM license in July 2005 after four years of Internet broadcasting. Currently, there are three community stations in the country operating alongside five commercial and five State radios.
Review of Over-the-Air (OTA) TV Policy
By Greg Taylor, 27 November 28, 2006
These public hearings which commenced Monday morning in Gatineau (Hull) immediately across the river from Parliament Hill are the most significant broadcasting meetings convened by the regulator since 1999. The room was overflowing as the CBC group led by President Robert Rabinovich stepped up to deliver the first submission of seven days of hearings before the commission. The public broadcaster presented a rare united front with the private networks in requesting a fee for carriage from cable and satellite companies who have always had access to the signal of conventional networks free of charge. One of the cable representatives beside me laughed as the CBC crew told the commission they thought this change could occur without substantial change to cable bills or a drop in subscription rates. Many of the other major broadcasters were well aware they do not receive an overwhelming tide of public sympathy. As Eric Reguly noted in Wednesday’s Globe and Mail: “Canadian broadcasters have the sweetest deal around. They get special treatment through monopoly licences that cost them nothing up front and are renewed without competitive bidding.”
On Monday November 27th , the CRTC began hearings on certain aspects of over-the-air television broadcasting. Greg Taylor attended the first hearing and informs us from Ottawa and Marc Raboy speaks on the issues beyond the hearings.
Read Greg's article here
You can also listen to the hearings