Regulating new (mobile) media in Canada?
What: CRTC Public Hearing
When: Monday 17 September 2007 at 9 am
Where: Conference Centre, Phase IV, 140 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau, Québec
As the Americans make their move on net neutrality, in just over a week the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will begin the public hearing to review its "approach to ownership consolidation and other issues related to the diversity of voices in Canada".
While I find many of the related issues interesting and important, I'll be there because the CRTC "has never [before] assessed whether policies need to be in place with respect to the ownership of new media undertakings in order to ensure an appropriate diversity of voices on these important new platforms." In other words, this will be the first time that the government looks specifically at regulating new media and I want to be there.
I definitely care how the CRTC tackles the matters of net neutrality, cultural plurality, public broadcasting and how technology policy is always already cultural policy, but my current research means I'll also be paying close attention to all things mobile. Major funders for new mobile media research and development in Canada include Canadian Heritage's Canadian Culture Online programme, the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund and smaller programmes like the NFB's mobiDOCS initiative, so I expect they'll have reps there. I also hope to see some of the folks from OCAD's Mobile Experience Lab and the various Mobile Digital Commons Network projects too. But mostly, I'm curious to see if there are any private citizen concerns.
And since I've recently been writing about the differences between mobile media and wireless technologies (like the new smart meter just installed in our house), I'm also interested in seeing how these concerns play out in relation to the Broadcasting Act's mandate that the Canadian broadcasting system "should be regulated and supervised in a flexible manner that is readily adaptable to scientific and technological change [and] does not inhibit the development of information technologies and their application or the delivery of resultant services to Canadians."
Stay tuned for more after the 17th!