While the American Government is currently embroiled in a hostage situation, it’s nice to see that our neighbors to the north still have government that kinda works. According to Reuters, Canadian Industry Minister James Moore says that the country’s cable and satellite television providers will soon be forced to offer à la carte television service. In other words, consumers who wish to subscribe to AMC and AMC alone won’t also have to pay for IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv, and IFC Films as part of a forced bundle just to get their Walking Dead fix.
Of course, there are politicians in the US who have pushed for similar à la carte legislation, including Democratic Representative Anna Eshoo and Republican Senator John McCain, but even if our government does become semi-functional again in the near future, I wouldn’t expect this to actually go anywhere in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, even if it passes the Senate. For one thing, lobbyist money goes a lot further here in the US than it does in Canada, and the anti-choice crowd is simply better funded. For another thing, this would be pretty sensible legislation, and the House seems entirely incapable of doing anything that makes sense at the moment. Combine that with the fact that un-bundled cable is typical stuck with a fruity French name like “à la carte,” and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Ted Cruz argued that maintaining the status quo is actually a matter of national security.
Back in the Great White North, though, some cable and satellite providers have already starting offering à la carte service, without being forced to do so. And consumer-friendly cable subscriptions aren’t the only thing that the Canadian government is working on:
Moore said Canada’s Conservative government is looking at other consumer-friendly moves when the next parliamentary session resumes such as preventing airline overbooking and curbing wireless roaming rates charged by telecom companies.
“We also think that roaming fees are too high in this country. We know that there’s going to be a new regime put in place in the first week of December to cap international roaming fees, but we also want to move on domestic roaming fees as well,” he said.