Media Beat: March 29, 2019

Cyber criminals ratted out

Media Beat: March 29, 2019

By David Farrell

Cyber criminals ratted out

The CRTC and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) National Division each have executed a warrant at a residence located in the Greater Toronto Area. The operation is part of a coordinated international effort with the RCMP, the FBI, and the Australian Federal Police.

The warrants were obtained as part of ongoing parallel investigations into Remote Access Trojan (RAT) technology. This type of malicious software (malware) enables remote access to Canadian computers, without their users’ consent and can lead to the subsequent installation of other malware and theft of personal information.

Tips from international private cyber security firms triggered the investigation.


Canada’s wireless sector by the numbers

Canada's wireless telecommunications sector continues to generate significant and increasing economic benefits to the Canadian economy in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and employment according to a new report commissioned by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and executed by Nordicity.

Key Findings:

  • In 2017, Canada's wireless industry contributed $27.5 billion to the Canadian GDP, an increase of 9.1% from $25.21 billion in 2016.
  • The major contributor to this overall GDP increase was the $1.22 billion increase in the contribution of wireless network operators to the GDP.
  • The wireless sector generated 151,550 full-time equivalents (FTE) jobs in 2017, including direct, indirect and induced effects – an increase of 13,500 FTEs or 9.8% from 2016.
  • Canadian facilities-based network operators made capital investments in Canada's wireless infrastructure totaling $2.92 billion in 2017 – an increase of $0.34 billion or 13.2% from 2016.
  • Canada's facilities-based wireless carriers have invested approximately $48 billion in wireless infrastructure between the years of 1987 and 2017. (Historical data from Nordicity, CRTC, CWTA, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch).
  • Facilities-based wireless carriers in Canada generate the most capital expenditure per subscriber among the G7 and Australia. (Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Global Wireless Matrix, December 2018).
  • Facilities-based wireless service providers have paid to the Canadian government over $14.1 billion in spectrum auction revenues between the years 1987-2016. (Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), Government of Canada)
  • It is estimated that, between 2020 and 2026, $26 billion in capital investment will be required for the initial roll-out of 5G infrastructure in Canada, with most of such investment being made by Canada's facilities-based wireless operators. (Accenture, Fuel for Innovation, 2018).
  • Canada's wireless networks are #2 in the world in terms of download speeds; 158% faster than the global average and 95% faster than the U.S. (Ookla, Speedtest Global Index, February 2019).
  • Long term evolution (LTE) networks, which deliver higher speeds than previous generation networks, are available to 99% of Canadians. LTE-advanced (LTE-A) networks, offering even higher speeds than LTE, are now available to 92% of Canadians, a 9% increase over the previous year. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2018).

For a copy of the report or more information, see

CRTC sets May deadline for new digital media survey

The regulator has made a call for comments on a new, annual digital media survey that is to be administered to all currently licensed Canadian broadcasting undertakings as part of the Commission’s fall 2019 Annual Broadcasting Survey.

The purpose of the survey is to gather financial information on the sector’s broadcasting activities “to gain a better understanding of those activities and of how they are changing in an increasingly digital environment.”

The deadline for the receipt of interventions is May 14. Only parties that file interventions may file a reply to matters raised during the intervention phase. The deadline to submit responses is May 29.

Japanese broadcasters want to ditch AM band

Japanese commercial broadcasters on Wednesday proposed a revision to the broadcast law that would allow them to ditch AM radio broadcasting due to issues over cost amid a decline in listenership.

The Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association asked the communications ministry to implement a system revision by 2028 to allow radio broadcasters to focus on FM broadcasting. Under the law, broadcasters are obliged to broadcast on both AM and FM. – the japan times


Google now transcribing podcasts to improve search results

Transcription using AI can allow for timestamps and indexing, with creators no longer having to manually add chapters or being able to jump to an exact section from a search result. Using Text-to-Speech, the Android app is already working on the ability to let users read a podcast as they listen, which is useful in noisy environments. – 9 to 5 Google

Teens teaching parents to stream and that should make radio nervous

Radio-averse teens aren’t content to just let their parents fiddle with pre-sets in the mini-van. Instead, teenagers appear to be slyly subverting their elders, convincing them to try new tech and stream music.

That’s the upshot of a recent presentation at the Country Radio Seminar, an annual event that brings together the best and brightest from country radio for discussions on trends in the format. Edison Research found that parents with teens are about 20 percent more likely to indicate that they streamed something in the last 24 hours relative to parents without teens. – Rolling Stone

Vanessa Heins


Music News

Alexisonfire Are Releasing a Live Album from Their Hometown Born & Raised Festival

The St. Catharines, Ontario band are bringing the festival back this summer, and they'll release LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON just in time for fans to hear it first.

After a two year hiatus, Alexisonfire are resurrecting their hometown festival Born & Raised on July 5 and 6 at Montebello Park in St. Catharines, Ontario. Just in time, they're releasing a live album from the last time they held the festival, in 2022.

The album, LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON, captures their career-spanning set from the inaugural edition of the festival. In front of their hometown fans, they played songs from throughout their more-than-two-decades long career.

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