Stock picture provided by Tek Savvy
Stock picture provided by Tek Savvy

Media Beat: December 07, 2020

Hogs at the table: Why it’s so hard to grow an ISP in Canada

Imagine, for a second, someone making fun of you for being too skinny. Then they take all your food away.

Got that image in your mind? Okay, good. You’ve just pictured what trying to grow a telecom business in Canada is like.

For years, that’s essentially what big companies such as Bell, Rogers and Shaw and their armies of lawyers, lobbyists and hangers-on have been doing to TekSavvy and other independent service providers.

They’ve argued that the only good telecom company in Canada is one that builds its own networks head-to-toe, from the poles that hold the wires in the sky to the holes in the ground that connect the fibre. It’s an ideology known as “facilities-based competition,” and it has historically been backed by the CRTC and the federal government.

Meanwhile, wholesale-based internet providers – which pay the big companies to use portions of their networks to deliver competitive service offerings – are treated like the ugly stepchildren of the industry. The big companies hate them, of course. Policy makers seemingly support them, but you can’t help but get the feeling that they would rather not have to.

The problem with this facilities-based ideology has always centred on how to fund it. The fact is that building telecom networks, whether wireless or fibre internet, is expensive.

The supposed point of the wholesale system is to provide consumers with more choice in service providers while also allowing companies such as TekSavvy to build up their businesses so that they too can invest more in their own facilities. Big network owners also get a fair rate of return on their investments.

The system obviously isn’t working too well for those first two goals, thanks to the big companies routinely deploying every dirty trick they can think of to hobble, slow and frustrate indie ISPs. They mess with them so that they can’t provide competitive and affordable wholesale services and they doubly mess with them so that they can’t grow to the point where they can build full networks of their own. – Excerpted from a Tek Savvy memo to subscribers, penned by Peter Nowak

CBC issues new guidelines on criticized branded content category

The pubcaster has issued a statement on Tandem with new guidelines about branded content, noting "advertising content on its digital platforms must be clearly identified so that it cannot be confused with journalistic content."

The new guidelines come "after a thorough review of branded content directives at CBC and Radio-Canada by senior news, sales and programming leaders, and an in-depth discussion at the board of directors’ meeting of November 26, 2020," CBC president and CEO Catherine Tait said in Thursday's statement. – Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Massive online ad fraud detailed

A report issued by cybersecurity firm CHEQ estimates that ad fraud will create direct worldwide marketing losses of US$35 billion in 2020. This is about a 50% increase over their estimate of $23B in direct losses in 2019.

Highlights from the analysis include:

– Online ad fraud has overtaken credit card fraud despite the fact that the credit card business is ten times the size of online advertising.

– Between 10% and 30% of the $1.3 billion digital ad spending in the U.S. Presidential election was lost to ad fraud.

Leave a comment