Canadian Tech Roundup – Episode 10 – Rogers, Rogers and more

[podcast]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/480185/podcasts/CTREP10.mp3[/podcast]

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Canadian Tech Roundup – Episode 9 – Netflix, CRTC, Shaw

[podcast]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/480185/podcasts/CTR9.mp3[/podcast]

Canadian Tech News, September 16th – Spark, Copyright, RIM, Boxee, Bell’s IPTV

Spark is Back
CBC’s brilliant technology radio show (available in podcast form) is back for another season of Nora Young‘s soothing voice and intelligent commentary on tech issues.

Official Opposition Opposes Copyright Bill
Digital Copyright Canada posted an email they received from the Office of the Official Opposition. TLDR

…we believe that Canadian consumers who have legitimately purchased a CD or a DVD or other product should also have the ability to transfer their purchase onto their iPod or make a personal backup copy on their computer, so long as they are not doing so for the purposes of sale or transfer to others.

RIM Acquires Documents To Go
Earlier last week RIM confirmed rumours of their acquisition of the makers of popular mobile app Documents To Go – a smartphone app that allows native editing of doc,ppt,xls and pdf. I guess RIM was feeling left out without their own documents offering.

Boxee Box out November 21st
OMGNOTTHATBOXXY! In Canadian product release date news: the long awaited D-Link Boxee Box – set-top media extender, online tv streamer of your nerdy dreams – is going to be available on the same date for the same price as the US. November 21st, for $199. It’s unclear whether this price is an introductory pre-order price or the final retail price. Hopefully Netflix Canada will have launched by then…

Bell Launching Internet-Based TV
I’m pleased to see that all the big telecom players are slowly coming on board with IPTV offerings. This move from Bell Canada mirrors service we’ve seen out west from the likes of MTS and Telus for a few years now. Once all cable TV providers offer phone service and all traditional phone providers offer TV, maybe we’ll start seeing some real country-wide competition.

Canadian Tech News, September 1st – CRTC, Telco Refunds, WiFi is Bad, Google Games

This week – in a bid to stay relevant to consumers – CRTC made a couple of good decisions; the cell phone industry still sucks; wifi wackos and Google acquisitions.

Canada avoids broadband duopolies, keeps line-sharing alive
In a decision that’s most relevant to Eastern Canadians – where telecom competitions actually exists – the CRTC ruled in favour of the little guy. After 4 years of flip-flopping the CRTC ruled that large cable and DSL ISPs such as Bell and Rogers must share their lines with smaller competitors at the same bandwidth speeds offered to their own customers. Unfortunately the ruling isn’t 100% good, the CRTC said it’s still ok to filter traffic and throttle things like p2p. (CBC coverage)

MTS, Bell, Telus forced to rebate customers and service rural communities
Get a load of this convoluted government logic:

In 2002, the CRTC allowed phone companies to charge above their normally regulated price caps so that new competitors entering the market for home phones — primarily cable companies such as Rogers and Vidéotron — could undercut them.

The extra charges went into deferral accounts, which over the years amounted to $1.6 billion. Phone companies were allowed to draw on these accounts to lower the wholesale rates they charged competitors…

The rest of it was supposed to be spent on rural broadband. Turns out, 8 years later the telco’s haven’t spent a whole lot of that money “the total remaining amount has risen to $770 million…” Yesterday the CRTC ruled that $421 million of the cache has to be spent expanding rural service, $310 million goes back to urban customers in the form of $25 – $90 rebates. Don’t ask about the other $39million, they’re probably sending it on internet filters or something.

The WiFi Debate is not over
So a drama professor named Fancy and a Cold War era microwave expert named Tower walk into a bar…
The head of the drama department at Brock University “…took the unusual step of issuing a news release to warn staff about Wi-Fi dangers.” I guess he’s trying to upstage Health Canada. I really don’t know what else to say about this ridiculous FUD.

Canadians still paying the highest cell phone bills in the world
Long story short: cellcos take in the highest average revenue per user at $55; we have the 5th lowest mobile penetration at around 75%; not only is mobile service expensive, it’s not affordable when compared against GDP per capita. Take a look at the wirelessnorth.ca post for all the fancy graphs and real analysis.

Google buys Toronto-based  game developer
In “me too” news, Google Canada has acquired a Toronto-based cross platform game developer SocialDeck.