Sunday, January 26, 2014

@OpenMedia_ca #ConnectedCanada - Toronto (East) An Internet Town Hall #ConnectCanada Connected Canada - Toronto (East) -

Discussion Notes

host: Michael Holloway
minutes: Tina
photography/video: none

Discussion Topic Guide:

I. Affordability
II. Choice
III. Access

CRTC has been pretty good at trying to pass laws that are fair in regards to fair costs when it comes to internet, tv and cellphone prices and other associated costs.

3.I. Affordability (3)

How much do you pay for digital services for you and your family?

Internet, TV & Cellphone:

- the tremedous shift to wireless internet connection
- $30/mth (downloading)
- unable to connect for 3 weeks; endless calls (why no connectivity)
- online payments
- some connections too slow, some to fast
- couldn't keep up with flood of data (faster connections)
- Rogers giving away new package 10$/mth for internet (strictly St. James town - unheard of)
- student imput - paying to much money for services that are not required (laptop, cellphone - data and other expenseses)
- so expensive before (2000), ridiculous costs
- forced to do capping
- overall total of approx. $30/mth (speed: cheapest-5.6 MB/sec entry...level 12 yrs later... now- 7 or 8 MB)
- fundamental problem: big 3 own the backbone, CRTC broke up bell they knew what was going to happen; Rogers invited in as well as telus
- whenever a competetor wants to get in, they have to buy the services from the big 3
- no real regulation on 'freedom of access', cannot get access
- other companies cannot get access to the backbone; throttled their competition

..other devices?
- wind: dont do a lot of traveling, their packages (specials), accomodate customers in ways that are more beneficial to them
- wind: $39/mnth unlimited data (GTA), fairly decent coverage
- wind: not a fan of big three - Rogers, Bell and Telus (dominate market too much); large enough to exist on its own (are they going to remain independent)
- vote for unlimited packages
- consider demographics i.e. blockbuster

Do you consider this amount to be affordable?
- no complaints (Rogers), 40 GB basic package (never come close to using all of it), never any real problem
- wind: about a month, no problems
- small incremental creep-ups
- low key companies = better prices but not great service or phone software
- most expensive with rogers - ipad, phone, internet (affordable to them); complaint is with democracy (because of high prices we have de-democratized everything. If there was a sensible way for people to access all services fairly)
- certain voices are heard more than others due to afforadability - affordability schemes)
- Big three: geared to marketing, but its the little stuff that causes a disturbance...$300 bill with sympatico, rogers put a filter on the package because certain services were not required)
- do certain things because they believe they can get away with it
- on the verge of a 'monopoly governement'


Would you consider it easy - or hard - for you to find digital service offered at a rate that works for you?
- very difficult
- forced package deals
- paying more money now than originally
- as the market expands, you'd think prices would come down, and have more choice

Why or why not?


In general, when it comes to finding more affordable options for TV, Internet and cell phone services - what solutions can you think of?
- why are we not highering in our own countries
- a big fan of earlier internet - city council set up a network of wi-fi
- went to city hall meeting - 1940's law still, nothing better to test safety of devices
- proliferation of towers
- safety and health issues not addressed
- why isn't there a non-profit that runs the backbone; anyone can get access to the internet
- if it wasn't based on number of customers
- internet doesn't have an imput
- don't use their services!!! shop around!!
- auto-pay issue: not everyone has a credit card
- bad credit issues: accessibility to minimal services due to bad credit
- we are not training our young people anymore, expecting our young people to train themselves and make their own way

For example -

more small Independent ISP's
- no credit checks
- afforable to a bigger variety of people

Community based public wi-fi?
- free wi-fi in numerous locations
- connect to their router
- do not want the CRTC regulating them
- get back to community effort - internet divides everyone

Should there be more or less rules limiting big telecom?


3.II. Choice (4)
- hardware issues

What type of services do you subscribe to?

cable TV - only a few years the channels have minimilized as everything switches to satellite
- no more movie channel
- acanac

Netflix - takes up to much bandwidth

satellite TV -

the iTunes Store

- constant downloads, youtube, watching stuff that is copywrited

- companies provide certain movie backages
Do you intend to stay with your TYPE of television subscription service?
- currently plans are acceptable

What would make you stay?
- do not watch a lot of network tv, is it going to be worth the money?
- concerned about CRT. wait to see what they are going to do.

What would make you switch?
- might switch over to the Canadian version of Netflix
- unacceptable choices
- copyright issues - wasn't violating copyright laws
- companies allowed to copyright but consumers and customers cannot? but can watch copywrited material off i.e. google?

If you prefer to stream and view content online or mobile, have you encountered any problems with accessing content?
- no big downloaders
- copywrite issues
- spying

Rate too slow?
Have to watch low qulity?
Stops and starts?
Stream just stops?

Are there certain services that are blocked?

Are certain shows you can’t watch because you are not subscribed to a specific TV bundle or similar service?
- we should be able to choose which movies or shows we would like to watch instead of having to buy a movie or tv package that include shows that we don't want (because the company doesn't want those all together in one package)

Most Canadian television comes from Canada’s big telecommunications companies - Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Quebecor - the main exceptions are public media outlets like the CBC and the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network.

Should telecom companies be able to restrict these public media outlets (through Trottling? Or Pricing)?
- Bigger issue 'bit-torn' [editor - 'bit-coin']
- All about making money now instead of accomodating the masses
- maybe pricing during a certain peak period
- they should get fairly compensated for what they've invested
- corporations know NO boundaries
- do you know whats good or whats bit-torn? how do you decide

Other competing services?

Why or why not?


In general, do you believe Internet and cell phone providers that also own content services should be able to make it more expensive to access competing content services?

Example: Bell is charging Bell Internet subscribers up to 8 times more $ to watch competing mobile services such as Netflix and YouTube ... in order to encourage Canadians to use Bell's own mobile TV app.

Should this be allowed?

- Absolutely not!!!!!

- Leaving no room for choice!


Is having public media and cultural programming readily available important to you?
- ya, if you don't your watching stuff that may not be relevant to you
- how do you define public media or cultural programming
- I would rather hear what is going on in my own community (firstly)
- bloggers
- revolution in education with new generation

Why or why not?

If it is, what can be done to ensure that public media and cultural programming is available to all Canadians as we transition to digital services?

- what should be accessible certain generations of people

Should publicly funded media like the CBC remain part of basic TV packages?
- morf it in to a private corporation
- going after unions - wants to get of iit
- Yes that CBC should remain as an essential service
- personal opinion
- subjective topics reported
- freelance journalism is the most risky type of journalism - people do not want to put their lives on the line


3.III. Access (5)

How does having Internet access impact your daily life, and overall well-being?
- being able to connect to various wi-fis provided by other companies helps with affordability

(personal examples)
- children's access: good points
- children very well versed through the internet (knowledge)
- most learning done now comes from the internet rather than books


Much of Canada’s media content, notably live sports, is controlled by the big telecommunications companies.

Should this content be made available at cost to all TV and online service providers and their customers?
- porn accessibility - too accessibility to certain sites
- parents need to monitor their childrens' internet access
- parents are capable of controlling what their children access on the internet


Rural communities in Canada pay up to 3 to 5 times more than urban communities for high-speed Internet, particularly in areas where there is only one Internet service provider.

In many areas, this service provider has been financed by the government to build the network.

Do you think that government investments should bring every Canadian - no matter where they currently reside - access to high-speed affordable Internet services?

Why or why not?

- shaw and bell $70/mth (just for internet connection)
- the government is paying to put in fibre and then giving it to corporations to sell it
- volunteer organization owning backbone organizations - a better idea
- the governemnt is never very efficient with doing something
- 50 committees before any discussion happens
- more non-profit organizations
- put communication back in the power of people - if we all need to get off the internet, fine
- enough data - you can share with other people
- you could turn ur data into a server (mesh net - too hooked into UN nonsense)


- a lot of people are unaware that passwords may be on their way out
- biometric discussions
- wide open internet is better

It is estimated that in the next year the government will accumulate more than a billion dollars by leasing public digital infrastructure known as spectrum (or bandwith) to cell phone network providors.

Should this money be invested in better access to Internet services for Canadians?

Why or why not?

In regards to access for children:
- only allow children to certain sites
- decent sites
- problem arises when children have access to wireless

- using the library system is a great option.
- kindle and amazon free books (catch - you cant distribute)


91% of households earning more than $95,000 connect to the Internet.

47% of households earning less than $24,000 not connected to the Internet.

Canadians have fallen back in internet connectivity approx. 80% , 20% not connected

How would you like to see low-income Canadians get better access to the Internet?

- certain people cannot afford internet - low income families
- refurbished computers
- wind up laptops for children in Africa (worked on peer-to-peer server); shut down by the big guys and undercut it
- everytime something good comes up, the big companies scoop it up

- software search geared to geographical locations

- Training, training, training
- starts with local people getting together and talking about it
- bring it to the human level

[Template is an edited version of the OpenMedia guild-line agenda questions offered in the OpenMeidia 'Host Kit' - Section 3. items I,II,II: Meeting notes were written live. Subjects covered were noted in the appropriate spaces when possible on the fly by the minutes recorder. One edit was made for clarity (noted in line).]


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