Defending Radio Canada International - Canada's Voice to the World
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Cuts despite no apparent funding crisis

Dear Minister Copps,

As a long time short wave listener in the U.S, I could always count on RCI for interesting and informational English language broadcasts. RCI is particularly enjoyable on the weekends when I have more time to listen.

Now I am disappointed to learn that drastic cuts are being made to RCI broadcasts despite no apparent funding crisis. Further, my weekend listening will be severely impacted.

The Internet certainly poses an interesting alternative to short wave, however, the technology is not able to replace it. Access to the Internet is limited in most parts of the world and not as prevalent in the U.S. and other first world countries as some suggest. For the most part, the Internet requires computing devices for access.

These devices are extremely energy wasteful for audio listening. Internet connectivity is virtually exclusively done through cabling making access far less portable than radio. Often broad band access required for streaming media. This is unavailable to many homes and businesses block these services with firewalls. Unlike text transmission (http and HTML), no open standards currently exist for streaming media on the Internet. Sites deliver streaming media using proprietary systems whose client access software limited to those platforms the vendor chooses to support.

Short wave remains a viable, efficient long range radio service. It is unparalleled in its communication of global culture and news events. Emerging digital modulation technology will improve reception considerably.

I believe that governments needs to reassess the usage of short wave in this era of globalization. Decreasing or eliminating short wave broadcasts is not the right direction. Careful thought and long term planning can make these services self sustaining and complement other technologies such as the Internet.

David Forrai, Beavercreek, Ohio, USA