Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to ask the commissioner about the upcoming study entitled Perspectives on Canadian Broadcasting in New Media. I have a few questions, but not specifically about what's in the report. I want to make some comments and then seek his views on my comments.
I think in some ways the train has left the station concerning new media, and we're beyond the point where studies and actions that may flow from those studies are going to make any difference. The technologies exist today, are in use today in Canada allowing people to completely bypass—legally bypass—CRTC rules with respect to Canadian content, with respect to the regulation of Canadian radio stations and the like.
For example, I have friends who have gone out and bought Internet radio devices. They just plug them into the wall and they get automatically on their receiver thousands and thousands of stations that aren't Canadian, that aren't Canadian-regulated, that aren't CRTC-regulated. There are products such as Philips Streamium, or there's a product by a company called Roku. You can go into any Future Shop and buy these products. You simply plug them into the wall, plug them into an Ethernet connection, and boom, you have 2,000 stations for free.
It's just like a radio: you have a remote control; you can surf through about a thousand stations, pick any station you want, and play it on your system. That's coming to television. It's coming to a whole range of devices that, if not there already, are coming onto the market in the next couple of years.
I know that, for example, when you buy a Denon or Yamaha receiver now, you actually can buy this Internet-streaming radio built into the product. If you go to a high-end shop in Ottawa to purchase a Denon receiver, you have the option of buying a Denon product that, in addition to being a receiver and receiving conventional FM and AM signals, actually will receive Internet radio too. You just plug in the Ethernet connection and suddenly you have a whole third spectrum of a couple of thousand Internet radio stations that fall outside the purview of the CRTC.
I think it's only a matter of a couple of years before you're going to see that shift to Internet TV and IPTV. In some ways, I think we're entering a new era here, in which it's going to be almost a moot point to discuss whether or in what context new media fits into the old construct, before the age of the Internet.
I put this on the table because I think it's coming fast and furious, and I already see out there right now that people are using this stuff.