SCAN_logoTight.jpeg BLOGARHYTHMS>>> Storm clouds ahead for wireless

Geist-48X68.jpgPosted by Michael Geist

Public frustration over the state of the Canadian wireless industry has generally focused on consumer-oriented concerns including pricey data plans, misleading system access fees, and text message charge policies. Given the consumer focus, the effect on Canadian business is rarely discussed. My weekly technology law column argues that that is set to change as one of Canada’s leading media companies has stepped forward with explosive allegations about how the wireless industry is engaged in practices that stifle innovation by privileging access or controlling content on their networks.

The claims can be found in a recent submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission by Pelmorex Media, the owner of the Weather Network in Canada. While Pelmorex is not a household name, the Weather Network's websites rank at the top of Canadian media websites for online visitors.

Pelmorex wrote to the CRTC as part of the Commission's ongoing network management proceeding and was one of the few to focus on the management of wireless networks. Although the submission does not name names, it claims that Canadian wireless carriers routinely impose restrictions on the ability of content providers to deliver advertising as well as restrict or charge more if a customer accesses that advertising. These restrictions undermine the profitability of mobile websites. Moreover, Canadian carriers have established "walled gardens" that feature preferred content. When consumers seek access to alternative content, they typically face higher charges. Click here to read more of Michael's post.

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