This month I looked at my latest cable/internet bill and was surprised by a nice increase in the amount owing. At first I thought I’d been late on my last payment. Nope, that wasn’t it so what could it be? I did some investigation and found Shaw has passed along a tax imposed by the CRTC as part of the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF). What’s interesting is that the CRTC said the following regarding the tax:
In Public Notice 2008-100 (paragraph 357), the CRTC indicated that it saw no reason why the cost should be borne by cable and satellite subscribers. The CRTC considers that these companies can absorb a contribution of this size, given their strong financial performance.
Consumers must contact their service suppliers, since this increase is not required or regulated by CRTC. The CRTC considers that these companies can absorb a contribution to the LPIF of this size and does not see a reason why these supplemental costs should be transferred to their subscribers.
Shaw, on the other hand, has slammed the CRTC on this Draconian move:
The CRTC has betrayed Canadians’ trust with the announcement of two new taxes on consumers. Beginning September 1, 2009, the CRTC will require cable and satellite companies to contribute an extra 1.5% of their gross broadcast revenues to a new Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF). In addition, the CRTC has reintroduced the idea of having a fee-for-carriage: a payment to broadcasters that could ultimately end up costing consumers up to $6 more per month.
You can put a STOP to these fees. Send your comments to the CRTC!
Both of these new taxes will result in significant new costs for cable and satellite customers. Shaw will continue to aggressively fight these new regulatory fees, but your voice counts and still needs to be heard.
So I’ve lodged a request with Shaw to explain why, in spite of financial statements that indicate healthy profits, they decided to pass this tax onto their subscribers who, incidentally, keep Shaw in business. I’ve also asked Shaw to explain why they’re distorting the facts surrounding the LPIF and how the program was meant to be shouldered by consumers.