OTTAWA, April 27, 2015 – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today refiled an application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) asking that the regulator stop the “shomi” over the top TV service from being offered only to Rogers or Shaw internet customers.
“Shomi cannot tie internet access to Shaw or Rogers without hurting other internet providers and their customers,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and Counsel to PIAC. “We have called on the CRTC to stop this unduly preferential offering.”
The CRTC’s latest Let’s Talk TV decision initiated an inquiry into a potential regulatory fix for “hybrid video on demand” (HVOD) services that tie “over-the-top” (OTT) delivered programming to conventional broadcasting subscriptions.  While PIAC is commenting on that process to deal with potential preferences in the broadcasting distribution field it had to address lingering problems with the shomi service that likely would not be addressed in the CRTC’s HVOD hearing.
“Canadian consumers watch more and more over-the-top programming,” said Geoff White, Legal Counsel to PIAC. “We want the rules to be clear so that all internet users can benefit equally from new offerings in this market.”
PIAC had previously filed two complaints, against shomi and Bell-led OTT service CraveTV – which the CRTC had returned – with an invitation to refile in the event that the proposals made by the CRTC were not adequate to address any perceived problems of undue preference.
For more information please contact:
John Lawford
Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002 ×25
Mobile: (613) 447-8125
Geoff White
Counsel to PIAC
(613) 562-4002 ×24
Mobile: (613) 612-1190