|Posted by Chris on June 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM|
Canadians who believe in public media should shape its future. You’ve taken huge strides towards that end by standing against severe cuts to the CBC. But while we continue to work to reimagine and rejuvenate the CBC, another threat to Canada’s connectivity looms: many communities may be about to have their digital lifeline severed.
Government funding cuts are forcing CBC/Radio-Canada to shut off, sell, or scrap more than 600 transmission sites currently used to give rural Canadians free access to the CBC. These sites were paid for with your taxpayer dollars, to ensure that all Canadians would be linked by the national broadcaster, regardless of their ability to pay.
Let’s call on the CBC and the CRTC to give communities access to this lifeline to the digital future of Canadian culture.
Giving local communities access to these transmission sites is a key opportunity to empower them to prioritize fair access to public media and the open Internet—two lifelines to national culture in a digital age.
Without use of CBC’s transmission sites, Canadians will need to pay Big Telecom conglomerates in order to access the CBC and the Internet, leaving them at the mercy of outrageous price-gouging.
OpenMedia.ca—one of the groups behind ReimagineCBC.ca—has been fighting for years to ensure all Canadians have access to the open Internet and diverse media. We’ve taken on Big Telecom for you, and we’ve won.
Communities who are dissatisfied with Big Telecom’s price-gouging and poor service have increasingly taken it upon themselves to build their own solutions, with the support of local governments.4,5 But if we don’t send this message to decision makers in time, our rural communities will lack crucial access to sites already paid for by taxpayers. They will lose free access to the CBC, and be forced to rebuild digital connectivity from scratch.