Gasoline expense triggers boosts

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsHis overhead includes gasoline for his truck and for lawn mowers, edgers, blowers and rototillers; fertilizer; tools and tool sharpening; liability insurance; wages for his helpers – and his own salary and profits. A painting contractor who never gave a thought to performing an on-site estimate now thinks twice. His industry has been hit hard in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when the price of raw materials increased. “We would give a lot of free estimates for repeat customers, but people who are calling who we haven’t worked for before – for a relatively small job, we would have to think about that,” said Maria Trafecanty, who works at Joseph Anthony Painting. The rate for the second caller likely would be quoted over the phone. Trafecanty said higher gas prices must be factored into materials costs. Filling up the truck costs $60 to $100, and since the hurricane paint manufacturers have raised prices 10 percent, and the cost of some materials such as plastic dropcloths has tripled. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Santa Clarita has risen from $2.89 a month ago to $3.34 today, according to a monthly price survey conducted by the Automobile Club of Southern California. SANTA CLARITA – As gasoline prices continue their climb, people who provide everyday services are raising prices to stay afloat. Some have already tacked on the additional charge, others will soon. “I may have to raise (my prices) $5 to $10 a month a home,” said Raul Garibay, a gardener and landscaper who charges $80 a month and up, but plans to raise the price in a week or so. “Gas is way too high.” Garibay routinely visits 19 to 26 houses a day, starting at 7 a.m. and ending around 5 p.m. Across the state, the average price in May was $3.38, up from $2.86 in April. Nationally, the average price is $2.94. While people can choose to cut their own lawns or paint their own homes, some older folks are unable to hop in the car to run errands or drive to the doctor. Like a taxi driver, caregiver Phyllis Miller, 68, has been forced to tack on fees for gas based on the distance covered. Most of her clients are elderly people who are disabled and get by on fixed incomes. She has begun charging an extra $5 for outings of a mile or two, $7.50 for distances of 5 to 10 miles and $10 for more than 10 miles. The end may not be in sight. “I have tried not to increase my hourly wage, but if gas prices get worse I will have to do that,” she said. “I’m on a fixed income too.” On Monday, Miller chauffeured an 82-year-old Newhall woman to a doctor in Valencia, and later, to a drugstore in Canyon Country. The woman paid $12.50 for service that months ago would have been complimentary. Seniors are not the only ones stymied by the high cost of visiting the doctor. More patients have been riding the bus to reach the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center in Val Verde, which provides services on a sliding scale. The center’s patients hail from Newhall, Canyon Country and Val Verde. Patients travel from the San Fernando Valley and Glendale to reach the center’s Canyon Country facility, and some have been rationing the privilege. “We have a lot of patients not showing because of the economy, because they don’t have a way to get here,” said Silvia Sanchez, the clinic’s supervisor. “Either they pay the doctor or they pay gas. They say, `We’re waiting for another two weeks to go.”‘ Sanchez said this scenario has been common recently, and some patients who must return to discuss lab results postpone the appointment. The pattern has been repeated among some clients of the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry, who are eligible to pick up food twice a month, but who only visit once a month because they cannot afford to make the trip, said Belinda Crawford, the pantry’s executive director. judy.orourke@dailynews.com (661) 257-5255160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Continue Reading →

How High Royalty Fees Affect Independent Internet Radio Stations

first_imgfruzsina eordogh 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#business#music#web Since Pandora threw its support behind the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA), and urged its listeners to do the same, the Internet radio streaming giant has dominated media coverage of the impending Congressional legislation. As the largest Internet radio player, Pandora has the most to lose, but how does IRFA affect all the small independent Internet radio stations?Shawn Campbell, the founder and general manager of Chicago’s community Internet radio station CHIRP, calls the proposed legislation “a positive thing.” The current high royalty rates “are definitely an issue” says Ms. Campbell, adding  “it’s our second biggest expense every month besides rent.”And those royalty fees are a doozy.Internet radio stations currently dish out 55% of their total revenue as royalty fees, more than triple the percentage that satellite radio pays (8%). The Internet Radio Fairness Act aims to lower the royalty fees Internet radio stations pay to reflect other radio distribution methods. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who introduced the bill to the Senate, called the 55% royalty fee “discriminatory.”  Campbell agrees.Different Rates For Different Kinds Of Radio“Webcasters are definitely treated differently,” says Campbell, who has been in broadcast radio for some 18 years. Before founding CHIRP, Campbell was the program director at 88.7 WLUW while it was partnered with WBEZ.  “When Internet radio launched a decade ago, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) were able to make a really convincing point that radio on the net will never have the impact broadcast radio had, of breaking an artist” given the scope of Internet radio at the time explains Campbell.“But Internet radio has grown by leaps and bounds and to make that argument that Web radio isn’t as important as broadcast radio doesn’t make sense to me.”The RIAA’s proposed legislation, which runs counter to the IRFA, seeks to increase royalty fee amounts to those paid by Internet radio, but this also doesn’t make sense to Campbell. “What the RIAA is arguing now – paying those higher rates –  could effectively put some players out of business,” she says.Terrestrial radio pays the lowest fees, and Campbell has been trying to get a broadcast frequency for CHIRP for two years now. Growth Is An IssueCHIRP is a non-profit community radio station operating on the grace of its many volunteers. So far, its high yearly royalty payout hasn’t been too detrimental to the station. “But if we continue to grow,” Campbell warns, “it is something that will definitely affect us down the road.”And the station is growing, consistently at about 8% since the station’s inception in 2010.  “We’ve been really happy with our growth,” says Campbell, who estimates roughly 1,200 people tune in a day. But “we don’t want exponential growth because of the high fees. It would put us out of business.”  Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Apple To Investors: OK, OK, We’ll Show You The Money

first_imgIf you listen to a rising chorus of Apple investors, it seems increasingly clear that Cupertino will soon dance a Wall Street jig and offer either a share-buyback plan or a higher dividend. Either of which would help support the share price, even if neither move seems likely to restore much of the 40% haircut the stock has taken since September.Yesterday, Bloomberg quoted fund managers at Gamco and Capital Advisors, both of which own Apple shares, saying they expect the company to announce new plans for deploying more of its $137 billion cash hoard in support of investors. Today, Quartz reported that Apple might buy back stock, hike the regular dividend or issue a special dividend as early as this spring, and has retained Goldman Sachs to review its options.The loudest such investor in recent months, of course, has been David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital. In February, Einhorn proposed that Apple begin issuing what he called “iPrefs” — preferred shares that would pay a guaranteed dividend of 4%. Earlier that month, Einhorn had filed suit against Apple to block a proxy measure that would have complicated the issuance of preferred stock — an apparent slap at his plan.Einhorn’s lawsuit got people a bit riled up, leading Apple CEO Tim Cook to call it “a waste of money for all involved” and “a silly sideshow” — which slapped the word “silly” all over Einhorn’s advocacy plan for news cycles to come. Quartz’s unnamed sources, however, claim Apple actually found the idea “interesting,” and Einhorn apparently got what he wanted when Apple dropped its proxy measure on the order of a federal judge. In turn, Einhorn dropped his lawsuit against Apple shortly thereafter.Any formal announcement on cash-to-investors front could come in tandem with a product announcement, though it’s unclear whether a spring announcement might involve an iPhone 5S, an iPad mini revamp, or both.Hedge fund drama aside, Apple has been increasingly public about its plans to spread its mounting wealth, including an initiative to return $45 billion to shareholders over three years. “As of next week we will have executed $10 billion of that plan,” the company announced last month. Einhorn’s suit didn’t plant this seed, but it certainly seems to have accelerated its growth.Lead image courtesy of user 1000 Words at Shutterstock Tags:#Apple#Finance What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img nick statt Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Continue Reading →

OK, Apple Didn’t Ban A Comic. But It Created The Climate For Censorship

first_imgRelated Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Tags:#Apple#comics#iOS 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… brian proffittcenter_img 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Reports yesterday that Apple had inserted itself into the world of publishing censorship have turned out to be completely inaccurate. Apple didn’t ban the sale of a comic; the comic’s distributor app did — though apparently only to pre-empt the Apple ban it anticipated.The kerfuffle centered on the banning of the sale of issue 12 of Image Comic’s Saga comic series within the iOS version of ComiXology’s app.On Tuesday, the creator of the series, Brian K. Vaughan, released a statement indicating that Apple would be banning sales of Saga #12 in the popular ComiXology app and any other third-party comic app due to depicted sexual scenes.“Unfortunately, because of two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex, Apple is banning tomorrow’s SAGA #12 from being sold through any iOS apps,” Vaughan said in a statement posted at Image.News of this move stirred a lot of observers on the Internet, including me, to lambast Apple for blocking the sale of third-party material when Apple offers the exact same comic directly within its own iBook app. This would have been the first time Apple curated independent media sold through an app, even though, according to the App Store Review Guidelines, independent books and music are not supposed to be curated:We view Apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate. If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song, or create a medical App. It can get complicated, but we have decided to not allow certain kinds of content in the App Store.The whole thing seemed odd when I first posted about it yesterday, but the whole thing was completely wrong, and my story incorrect: it turns out Apple had absolutely nothing to do with blocking Saga #12… it was all on ComiXology.“As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today,” ComiXology CEO David Steinberger blogged yesterday afternoon.“Given this, it should be clear that Apple did not reject Saga #12,” he emphasized.The comic, which anyone could still purchase on ComiXology’s web site and then sync to an iOS device, was restored to the in-app catalog yesterday.ComiXology’s move to preemptively block the sale was their way of anticipating a decision from Apple that would have done the same thing later. But Apple, ComiXology learned, had no intention of censoring the comic issue.Because the Saga series is intended for mature readers and has depicted graphic scenes of violence and sex before, many speculated that ComiXology (and before, inaccurately, Apple) has an issue with the portrayal of same-sex activities in two panels of Saga #12. This is a charge Steinberger denies.“We did not interpret the content in question as involving any particular sexual orientation, and frankly that would have been a completely irrelevant consideration under any circumstance,” Steinberger wrote.It is still not entirely clear what it was about Saga #12 that made it stand out as a potential problem, but one thing is clear: content distributors like ComiXology and Apple definitely need to get their acts together.ComiXology can be accused of having an overabundance of caution, but there was something in the Apple policies that faked them out. Perhaps Apple, which has not publicly commented on this matter, could come out with clearer policies on content, if that is indeed the problem.Hopefully, the policy will continue to be what it seems: that for all of the app content that Apple does curate, they have to date not curated content that’s independent of apps.This can be confusing, because it means that publishers like Playboy will have to keep the naughty stuff to itself within its own Newsstand app, but third-party movies, books and music with explicit material can still be sold through apps, including Apple’s.For this particular incident, Apple is off the hook. But somewhere there was a miscommunication, which needs to be fixed.Image courtesy of Shutterstock 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe Applast_img read more

Continue Reading →

Sikh policeman saves Muslim youth from mob in Uttarakhand

first_imgA video purportedly showing a Sikh policeman saving a Muslim youth from a mob after the latter was allegedly found in a compromising position with a Hindu girl at a temple near Ramnagar in Nainital district had gone viral. ADG (law and order) Ashok Kumar said the incident occurred on Tuesday when a Muslim youth went to meet his girlfriend, a Hindu, at Garjia Devi temple about 15 km from Ramnagar. Locals came to know about it and reached the temple to catch them, “, he said. On being informed about a trouble in the area, Sub-Inspector Gagandeep Singh rushed to the spot where he found a mob preparing to attack the couple alleging that they had been found in a compromising position. He immediately rushed to their rescue drawing the Muslim youth close to him to act as a shield to him, and in the process taking several blows from the mob on himself, the ADG said, adding the mob was dispersed and the couple was taken to a police station from where they were sent back to their families. Five people whose faces are visible in the clip have been booked and a search is on to nab them. A reward of Rs 2,500 has been announced for Gagandeep Singh for his act of bravery, he said.last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Opp to bring privilege motion against Irani in Parliament

first_imgNew Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) Escalating the battle in Parliament, major opposition parties today said they will bring privilege motion against HRD Minister Smriti Irani over her remarks in Parliament on the suicide of dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderbad central university.Congress along with CPI(M) and JD(U) accused Irani of “willfully misleading” Parliament, hitting back at the minister who had targeted Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and the Left during a debate on JNU and Hyderabad University controversies.”The HRD Minister has not only been economical with truth but has also willfully misled Parliament on the unfortunate suicide of a young Dalit student, Rohith Vemula”, Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik and senior spokesperson Selja alleged.Wasnik told reporters that the Congress planned to bring privilege motion in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha soon, while CPI(M) leader Mohd Saleem said he would be doing so on Monday.”I will be giving a notice for breach of privilege against Irani to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for misleading the House on Rohith Vemula issue,” Saleem said.JD(U) leader and Rajya Sabha MP K C Tyagi said that he and nominated member KTS Tulsi will give privilege notice against Irani to Chairman Hamid Ansari on Monday.”There are contradictions in many statements of Irani regarding Rohith Vemula case. This is a fit case of breach of privilege,” Tyagi said.They cited the outburst of Radhika, Rohiths mother, against the HRD Minister and accused the BJP of being anti-dalit.advertisementRadhika had attacked the HRD Minister questioning as to on what basis did she declare Rohith to be anti-national? “Your Ministry had written that my Rohith and other Dalit students were anti-national extremists. You said that he is not a Dalit. You accused him of getting a false certificate.”They alleged that these strong words from a mother “who has lost her son to BJP and in particular the HRD Ministers campus politics is a stamp of how recklessly and ruthlessly their party is hell bent on clamping down the voices of dissent.”The HRD Minister had also insinuated that Rohith is “not a Dalit”, they said adding that this claim has also been rubbished by Radhika.Wasnik said that it was believed that the HRD Minister would try to “heal” Rohiths family but instead Irani has rubbed salt on their wounds.Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said Irani was “too clever by half and then you get caught in your own web and thats exactly what has happened to the HRD Minister”.”She has been extremely creative and economical with truth and that is why she will face a privilege motion,” he said. PTI SPG AMR RTlast_img read more

Continue Reading →

a month agoNapoli goalscorer Llorente: I really wanted to face Liverpool

first_imgNapoli goalscorer Llorente: I really wanted to face Liverpoolby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli striker Fernando Llorente was delighted to score in victory over Champions League opponents Liverpool.Llorente was part of the Tottenham team beaten by the Reds in last season’s final.The veteran said: “I wanted to play against the Reds, I’m happy because we showed we could live with the big names. These three points are very important, but it’s just the first game: we still need a lot. “We have to think about game after game, it will be hard. “Scoring at the San Paolo is something incredible, I didn’t imagine starting this adventure like this.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Continue Reading →

Photo/Videos: Struggling Oklahoma State Blows Out No. 3 Kansas, Fans Rush Court

first_imgOklahoma State fans rush the court after win.Twitter/@ESPNCBBAt this point, it feels like we have a huge upset and a court rush every night in college basketball. No. 3 Kansas was the victim tonight, falling to an Oklahoma State team that was just 9-8, and 1-4 in the Big 12 in Stillwater, 86-67. After the game, fans of the Pokes rushed the court in a big way.Down goes Kansas! What a week. pic.twitter.com/46vr4hqHo0— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) January 20, 2016They stormed the court anyway. Regardless, great win for the Pokes. They came to play. 86-67 victory. #OkState pic.twitter.com/KIyNCQsuK8— Sam Gannon (@SamGannon87) January 20, 2016Storm that court, Pokes! #okstate pic.twitter.com/hFFVoutUEc— Jessica Morrey (@JessicaMorrey) January 20, 2016Last night, Iowa State fans stormed the floor. Tonight, it was Oklahoma State. On the road in the Big 12, nobody’s safe.last_img read more

Continue Reading →

TEST OF NERVES

first_imgFor a long time now, Test cricket has been limited to sparse bilateral series. It has turned boring, without context or purpose, and has been constantly criticised for its dragged five-day format. Questions were raised on why one should wait for five long days when other formats like Twenty-20 throw up results for fans in just three hours. The traditional form of cricket, which is far more involved, rests on unfolding drama and uncertainty – yet, it is unable to pull crowds. Test cricket is all about changing tactics that test the skill-set of a player. Only old fans of cricket can cherish the satisfaction that a player derives in the constant battle between ball and bat, only found in Tests. Yet, the charm among fans is dissipating as most stadiums go empty for even the most testing games. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhICC World Test Championship Like world cups in other formats, ICC has introduced the World Test Championship (WTC) to revitalise the popularity of Test cricket. ICC hopes that WTC will push teams to play for something beyond a series result – even the dead rubber matches will gain relevance now. Recently, in an interview, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli rightly said, “We are awaiting the ICC World Test Championship with great enthusiasm as it adds context to the longest format of the game. Test cricket is very challenging and coming out on top in the traditional form is always highly satisfying.” Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterICC first came up with the idea in 2009 and the championship was approved in 2010, with plans of hosting the first edition in 2013. But it was postponed to 2017 and later stood cancelled. Finally, the Ashes Series, which started on August 1 between Test cricket’s oldest rivals Australia and England, marked the beginning of WTC. ICC has made some changes in the format to make Tests exciting with this world championship running across two years. The loopy format The top nine teams of ICC Test ranking are participating in WTC. During the two years, a total of 27 series will be organised, where 71 matches will be played. Each team will play in six series of which three will be organised on foreign soil while three will be at home. The top-two teams will play the final at the Mecca of Cricket, Lords cricket ground, in June 2021. However, when we look at the WTC format, it raises some questions. Unlike the recently-concluded ICC ODI World Cup which was played on the round-robin format allowing every team to play equal matches, the number of matches for each team in the Test Championship is different. For example, England will play 22 matches while Pakistan and Sri Lanka will play only 13 matches each. This creates a huge difference while playing to secure a place in the final. Moreover, every team in the championship will bilaterally decide its opponents – indicating a sharp lack of uniformity. India has four of six series against England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. India’s away series is against Australia and New Zealand, which will not be easy. On the other hand, New Zealand will not have to play teams like England and South Africa, which is a benefit for them. There are many aspects of the World Test Championship, from matches to home-away series and more, that lack uniformity. Though a total of 120 points are up for grabs for each series, match points will differ with the number of Tests being played under one whole series. A series consisting five matches will have 24 points for the winner of each match, whereas a two-match series will have 60 points for the winner. Similarly, points will be evenly distributed in four- and three-match series. Additionally, according to the information given by ICC, both teams will get half the points in case of a tie and on a draw, one-third of the points will be awarded. The maximum number of matches in a series will be five while two will be the least. Moreover, ICC has put the away and home series in the same bracket. Winning a series on foreign soil is considered a mark of quality cricket but in the WTC format, the away victories will be at par with those at home. Suppose Australia beat England 5–0 at their home in the Ashes they will be awarded 120 points. But in the home series to be held next year, Australia may clean sweep Pakistan 2-0, and will still have to be content with 120 points. It means, the team playing more home matches will have the upper-hand. All these issues raise the question of whether Test cricket will be able to really produce an undisputed champion as in the ODI and T20. ICC General Manager Geoff Allardyce, while talking about point sharing, argues, “The general rule of any competition is that every team has to compete for the same number of points. Each team has to play three series at home and three on overseas grounds and we have decided to give equal points for each series.” He also stated that ICC had given another option to participating countries, under which, only the first two matches of any series should be considered a part of WTC and 120 points should be given for these two matches only. But, all countries rejected the second option. New Rules ICC is doing many new things in this World Test Championship to popularise the longest format of cricket. For one, it has made a change in players’ jerseys. According to ICC, now in Test cricket too, numbers along with the players’ names will be written on jerseys. ICC has also made some changes regarding the slow over-rate in games. Until now, there was a rule to cut the captain’s match fees or to prevent him from playing a few matches as a penalty for slow over-rates in a test match. But now, by the new rule, a match fee deduction will apply to all team members. Moreover, two points will be deducted from the team responsible for slow over-rate in matches of WTC. In case the WTC final ends in a draw or tie, both teams will be declared joint winners. However, ICC has also given the option of Reserve Day which will happen only if there is some loss in the total playing time of five days. The total time set for a Test match is 30 hours (six hours daily) in five days. According to ICC, if there has been less than 30 hours of play then that time can be compensated on the sixth day. This rule has been introduced to prevent a repeat of its ODI mistake. If a team cannot play the final simply because its over-rate was slow, then it would be somewhat unfair. That is exactly what happened with New Zealand in the final of the ODI World Cup, when the Kiwis lost simply because they hit fewer fours than England. ICC has also made major amendments in the rule related to a substitute player. According to the new rule, if a player is injured, then another player can be included – who can bowl, bat and keep wickets. Such players will be called ‘Concussion Substitutes’. The decision on substitutes will be made by the medical representative of the team, with the match referee taking the final call. Additionally, the rule says that a new player must be deemed a “like for like” replacement by match officials. For example, if a batsman is injured then only a batsman can replace him and not a bowler. India’s chances India is the leading contender to emerge as the first WTC champion as it is set to launch its bid for the inaugural WTC on August 22 against West Indies in Antigua. India are the number one Test team at the moment. They won their maiden Test series 2-1 Down Under, last December-January, and have been invincible on home turf, not having lost a series since England beat them 2-1 in 2012. But India will have to face a litmus test when they fly to Australia and New Zealand for a four- and two-match series respectively. Turfs Down Under have always posed a challenge for the Indian cricket team. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav have though lent strength to the Indian pace attack. These will prove to be valuable on the hard and bouncy pitches of Australia and New Zealand. However, India needs to desperately work on its middle-order whose lack of depth has been exposed repeatedly. Other than Virat Kohli, Cheteswar Pujara and Rohit Sharma, no other batsman has yet gained trust. If India aspires to become the first champion, it needs to find a quick and reliable solution to its middle-order jigsaw.last_img read more

Continue Reading →

CRTC establishes fund to attain new highspeed Internet targets

first_imgBell Canada, Bell Mobility, Cogeco, Eastlink, MTS, Rogers Communications, SaskTel, Shaw, Telus and Videotron must each submit a detailed report, no later than six months for the date of the decision, concerning their respective plans to invest in the ongoing accessibility of telecommunications services. Fixed broadband Internet access service, as set out in the decision, should be available in 90% of Canadian homes and businesses by the end of 2021 and in the remaining 10% within 10-15 years. New funding mechanism Guiding principlesThe new funding mechanism will focus on underserved areas in Canada.1The CRTC will attempt to align this new funding mechanism with the broader ecosystem of current and future funding and investment.To the greatest extent possible, the funding mechanism will be managed at arm’s length from the CRTC, based on objective criteria, and administered in a manner that is transparent, fair and efficient.Fund designGeneralA competitive process will be used to distribute funds to successful applicants under the new funding mechanism.Applicants will be able to submit funding proposals to build or upgrade access and transport infrastructure for fixed and mobile wireless broadband Internet access serviceGovernment funding and private sector investmentApplicants requesting funding will be required to secure a minimum level of financial support from a government entity.2Applicants will be required to provide a minimum amount of investment for their project.The amount of funding from public and private sources cannot be nominal and must be commensurate with the nature of the project.In the assessment stage, more weight will be given to applications with higher amounts of government funding and private investment in their projects.Amount of fundingThe current local voice subsidy will now be transitioned to the new funding mechanism.The first five years of funding (amounts will be reviewed after three years) will be no more than the following:Year 1: $100 millionYear 2: $125 millionYear 3: $150 millionYear 4: $175 millionYear 5: $200 million Canadians should have access to the latest generally deployed mobile wireless technology (currently LTE). This technology should be available in Canada not only in homes and businesses, but on major transportation roads. Measurement of success Data allowance Universal service objective Backgrounders Summary of key decision points A follow-up proceeding will be initiated in early 2017 to examine these preliminary views as well as other matters related to the new funding mechanism._________________________1 An underserved area is defined as an area that does not meet the criteria used to measure achievement of the Commission’s new universal service objective.2 “Government entity” includes federal, provincial, regional and municipal entities, Aboriginal governments, community entities, and non-profit organizations. Criteria for the universal service objective New funding for broadband projectsThe CRTC is establishing a fund to support projects in areas that do not meet these targets. Applicants will be able to submit funding proposals in order to build or upgrade infrastructure for fixed and mobile broadband Internet access services. The fund will:make available up to $750 million over the first five years;be complementary to existing and future private investment and public funding;focus on underserved areas; andbe managed at arm’s length by a third party.Accessibility and tools for consumersThe CRTC wants Canadians to have access to the tools and services they need to empower themselves regarding fixed Internet access services. No later than six months from today, service providers should ensure that contracts are written in clear and plain language, and should make available online tools so consumers can easily manage their data usage.Also, all wireless service providers will have to offer and publicize, no later than six months from today, mobile service packages that meet the needs of Canadians with disabilities.The path forward for Canada’s digital economyDuring its consultations with Canadians, the CRTC also identified further gaps regarding the adoption of broadband Internet services in Canada that are outside its core mandate. Today, the CRTC is submitting a report to the Innovation Agenda, as encouraged by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, on the availability and adoption of broadband Internet services in Canada. This report includes information on access gaps resulting from infrastructure, affordability and digital literacy issues, as well as barriers to connectivity in Indigenous communities.The decision issued today complements the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda. Looking ahead, the CRTC will contribute in ways appropriate to its mandate. However, all stakeholders have a role to play to ensure that broadband Internet service is universally available and barriers to adoption are removed.Quick FactsBroadband Internet access services are necessary to the quality of life for Canadians and empowers them as citizens, creators and consumers.While most are well-served, many Canadians, particularly those in rural and remote communities, do not have access to broadband Internet access services that are comparable to those offered to the vast majority of Canadians in terms of speed, capacity, quality and price.Broadband Internet services would allow more Canadian entrepreneurs to easily access crucial information relating to international markets and create more business opportunities across Canada.In 2015, 82% of Canadians had access to speeds of 50 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband services.The CRTC is shifting its regulatory focus from wireline voice to broadband services.Currently there is a subsidy for residential local voice services in rural and remote areas that amounted to approximately $100 million in 2016.The current local voice subsidy will now be transitioned to the new funding mechanism announced today (for projects that meet the new targets).Further to a broad consultation, more than 50,000 Canadians provided their views on the telecommunications services they need to participate in the digital economy.Quote“Access to broadband Internet service is vital and a basic telecommunication service all Canadians are entitled to receive. Canadians who participated during our process told us that no matter where they live or work in our vast country—whether in a small town in northern Yukon, a rural area of eastern Quebec or in downtown Calgary—everyone needs access to high-quality fixed Internet and mobile services. We are doing our part to bring broadband services to rural and remote communities.The availability of broadband Internet, however, is an issue that can’t be solved by the CRTC alone. All players in the Canadian communications landscape will need to do their part to ensure Canadians have access to the services they need to participate in the digital economy.All levels of government must address gaps in digital literacy. Affordability concerns are best addressed by the emergence of a dynamic market place where service providers compete on price for telecommunication services, in conjunction with social responsibility programs of telecommunications carriers and different levels of government.High quality and reliable digital connectivity is essential for the quality of life of Canadians and Canada’s economic prosperity.”– Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC The new funding mechanism will involve two main functions: project management and accounting.Third-party administrator(s) will carry out these functions.A fairness monitor will be appointed to observe the competitive process.An audit committee will be established to verify the accounting function.CRTC will retain oversight and will approve the projects to be funded. Advertisement Consumer empowerment regarding broadband Internet access services Login/Register With: Canadian home and business subscribers of fixed broadband Internet access services can access speeds of at least 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload. These speeds are to be the actual speeds delivered, not merely those advertised. All providers of retail fixed broadband Internet access services must notify residential and small business customers who have incurred overage charges of where they can find information about:(i) the account management tools offered,(ii) the data usage associated with common online activities, and(iii) alternative plans that may better suit the customer’s needs. Customers should be able to opt out of these notifications at any time. Such notifications must be provided each month in which a customer incurs data overage charges, unless the customer opts out of receiving such notifications. Canadians, in urban areas as well as in rural and remote areas, have access to voice and broadband Internet access services, on both fixed and mobile wireless networks. Follow-up proceedingThe CRTC has set out preliminary views on the following aspects of the new funding mechanism: Speeds Levels for latency, jitter, and packet loss will be established to assess high quality for fixed broadband Internet access service. The CRTC wants Canadians to have access to an unlimited data plan option and speeds of at least 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today declared that broadband access Internet service is now considered a basic telecommunications service for all Canadians. The CRTC is also setting ambitious new speed targets and creating a new fund that will invest up to $750 million over and above existing government programs.Broadband and mobile servicesFurther to its legislative mandate, the CRTC has set the following targets for the basic telecommunications services that Canadians need to participate in the digital economy:speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download/10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband Internet access services.an unlimited data option for fixed broadband access services.the latest mobile wireless technology available not only in homes and businesses, but also along major Canadian roads. Fixed broadband service Within six months of the date of this decision, all Internet service providers that provide retail fixed broadband Internet access service are expected:(i) to ensure that contracts and related documents clearly explain, to all customers;the services included in the contract, any limits on the use of those services that could trigger overage charges, the minimum monthly charge for services included in the contract, information on where customers can find information on rates for overage charges, and whether or not there is a maximum data overage charge that might be incurred in a monthly billing cycle, and if so, the amount of that maximum charge. (ii) to provide account management tools that enable customers to monitor their data usage; and(iii) to provide plain-language information on the data usage associated with common online activities. The above-noted information and tools should also be accessible to customers with disabilities. Policy regarding modern telecommunications services for Canada’s digital economy Advertisement Mobile wireless broadband service Availability and awareness Modifications to current regulatory measures for local voice services All wireless service providers must offer and publicize, no later than six months from the date of this decision, mobile service packages that meet the needs of Canadians with disabilities who tend to rely more on data services than voice services. These packages must ensure access to 9-1-1 service, and be based on consultations with Canadians with disabilities. Current and future initiatives Quality of service Advertisement Eligibility and assessment criteria.Responsibilities of the CRTC and the third-party administrator(s) for the project-management and accounting functions. Fixed broadband Internet service criteria Facebook Accessibility Mobile wireless and fixed broadband Internet access services are key components of this new objective. In addition, Canadians living in rural and remote areas should have a level of broadband Internet access services similar to those available in urban areas. Canadians should have access to fixed broadband Internet access service offerings that meet certain levels of speed, data allowance and quality of service. Specific values and parameters for these characteristics are discussed below. Local service subsidy Awareness and notification Canadian home and business customers can subscribe to fixed broadband Internet access services that include the option to have an unlimited data allowance. The local service subsidy will be phased out. A follow-up proceeding will be launched in early 2017 to examine how it should be phased out. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment For the first five years, up to 10% of annual funding will be allocated to satellite-dependent communities to cover operational costs and certain related capital costs.Governance and accountability All wireless service providers’ websites are expected to meet the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines by June 1, 2017. Twitterlast_img read more

Continue Reading →