Most people don’t speak kindly of telecoms and few people are more angry than Canadians. Our telecom oligopoly has created few options and left our wallets lighter for the privilege. Unlike years past, however, Canadians now have a place for their collective outcry.
The internet is the primary game changer — simultaneously offering additional media avenues while allowing Canadians to come together to voice their concerns with an industry that has been broken for far too long. OpenMedia.ca, an organization that leverages the internet and social media to rally Canadians, is a key component in the new movement against unfairness in the Canadian communications market.
OpenMedia “operates as a network of organizations and people who have come together to advance fundamental democratic principles that we feel should guide media, telecommunications, and cultural policy-making in Canada”. OpenMedia has successfully brought Canadians together across the country to fight for our rights and together we are winning.
As a consumer of a wide variety of content (magazines, blogs, streamed content, traditional TV) I have long been displeased with the lack of adaptation and competitiveness of traditional TV services. My story goes likes this:
My apartment recently went under construction for a balcony upgrade. As a result, I was forced to cancel my satellite service or pay for something I could not use (all dishes had to be removed off the balconies). At first I went through a bit of TV withdrawal but adjusted surprisingly quickly. I went without satellite for nearly 6 months and found myself getting by just fine with online services like Netflix and online streams.
There was one thing that I did not have easy access to: high-quality live sporting events. So I said to myself: “okay, I’ll get satellite again so I can watch my sports” (thinking it is that simple is such a cute thought in hindsight). The technician came by to set up my service and I soon found myself flipping through channels happily like I had almost half a year prior. However, I quickly realized/remembered something that will very well be a deal-breaker for me: you can’t watch some of the most important sports games unless you pay for the most expensive package as well as specialty offerings.
So here I am shelling out almost $70 a month for something that I have been able to do without for the last 6 months and I am not even getting the sole piece of value that I still exists with TV. Despite paying for a mid-tier package that comes with a variety of sports channels, many local games such as Leaf’s and Senator’s games are blacked out. The situation is laughable because TV is already largely replaceable so you would think they would make their one key offering more accessible to avoid an outflux of subscribers. Not so.
This is of course just one of many issues with TV as it is today but is enough of a reason to force me to abandon satellite once again.
It will only be a matter of time before the industry is shaken up enough to force serious changes to their model and I am hoping each of you can work with me to support OpenMedia.ca to help expedite these changes (along with the MANY other changes desperately needed in the telecom space).
Needless to say, I will be cancelling my service.
Update: there are solutions to getting NHL and MLB without cable.