CRTC Pressured to Regulate Netflix
A group of Canadian companies have come together to ask the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to initiate public consultations on the internet-based service industry. This includes providers such as Netflix Canada.
According to the Canadian Press, the 40-member group consists of companies from the telecommunications, broadcasting, cable and satellite industries. Well known companies such as Corus Entertainment, Rogers Communications, Astral Media and others are backing the initiative.
Specifically, the companies have joined forces to encourage the CRTC to extend its assessment of the Canadian online industry to include foreign providers.
Currently these companies fund the production of Canadian content and programming, an initiative regulated by the CRTC. Companies like Netflix are exempt from such rules, which may lead to less funding for Canadian content as customers switch to more accessible Internet services.
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This move is not about preventing services and competition within Canada. "It's about finding a way to make sure that we find a balance that allows the Canadian system to continue to operate successfully,” said Norm Bolen, CEO of the Canadian Movie Production Association.
Astral Media stated that it joined the effort on Thursday to maintain a “level playing field” in the Canadian system.
Netflix believes it should continue to be exempt from Canadian program funding because of its role as a distributor and the fact that it does not produce content.
Netflix started operations in Canada last fall and have recently announced a lower quality service option for customers dealing with data caps set by Canadian telecommunications and broadcasting companies.