CRTC screws Canadians. It’s normally Bell Canada that’s screwing us.

by Jeff Wiener on October 14, 2009

Picture 21This email just landed in my inbox. It’s an appeal to speak up about new cable fees being proposed by the CRTC – ironically, this came from Bell Canada. Of course you see the irony in this email – it’s like the “Pot calling the kettle black” isn’t it ? Bell Canada asking us to speak up about new fees.

My question to Bell – how about all of those hidden fees, charges, surcharges, excuses, and years of bad service. Wait, you’re still screwing us – hidden charges, mistakes on bills, and this whole Net Neutrality thing has really got me frustrated.

Either way, it sure looks like another tax.

Dear Customer,

Help stop your TV fees from increasing. CTV, Global and the CBC have recently asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to significantly increase TV taxes.

The CRTC has been asked to do this by having Bell and the other operators pay more, which would result in higher fees for you.

We don’t think that’s right, you shouldn’t either. So please speak and have your say.

This is what’s happening.

The CRTC has told satellite and cable companies to hand over $100 million a year as of September 1, 2009. These fees are being passed on to you.

This money is passing through something called the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF) ˆ straight to media giants like CTVglobemedia and Canwest Global, straight to the CBC.

No new local programming, no improvement to anything other than the bottom line of broadcasters.

You are now likely paying for this on your TV bill.

You should also know that hot on the heels of that campaign, CTV, Global and the CBC are now lobbying for even more.

Each year, satellite and cable companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars to broadcasters. We contribute to the CRTC’s operating budget. Although to date these fees have not been broken out on monthly bills, you need to know they exist ˆ especially because the TV networks still want more.

If the CRTC gives in to the broadcasters’ latest demand and lets local TV stations charge for their currently free over-the-air local signals, it would more than double the portion of your Bell TV bill going to government fees ˆ and into the bank accounts of the broadcasters, like CTV, Global and the CBC.

In fact, if the CRTC lets broadcasters have their way, then government-imposed fees will be just shy of one billion dollars.

It’s time to say enough. Help make it stop. Let the CRTC know what you think about new TV taxes — have your say.

Written by: Jeff Wiener. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Identi.ca, or Friendfeed

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin October 14, 2009 at 8:31 am

You should read the actual CRTC release on the matter; then wonder why Rogers and Bell who enjoy an actual monopoly in their respective areas are against a 1% tax increase to supply local TV (like the now neutered CityTV or A Channel network)

Rogers who owns a number of local TV stations

Joel October 14, 2009 at 10:50 pm

The OTA’s got themselves into this mess to begin with. Now Bell and Rogers are trying to be the “good guys.” But they are just as guilty. Jeff has it right with Bell and their hidden fees and their nickle and diming. Rogers does the exact same thing, and they do reap the profits like crazy, and can afford to pay the OTA’s if they had to. At the end of the day, it’s the consumers who loose.

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