Presenting the 10 most-read posts of 2016

It’s almost all telecom this year, with Google delivering readers desperate to save money.

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Most-Read Posts 2016:

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Another year has passed us by, and what a year 2016 was. From Brexit to Donald Trump’s election in the United States, the world definitely turned – and, as liberals and globalization supporters fear, not for the better.

We also lost perhaps an unprecedented number of iconic artists and performers, from David Bowie and Prince to Lemmy, Leonard Cohen and George Michael. Some of us also lost good friends and mentors.

We should all hope that 2016 was an aberration and that things can only get better in 2017. Fingers crossed.

It was an eventful year in these parts too, where Canadian telecommunications and technology news ruled the day. While I tend to post about all sorts of technological topics, both local and international, readers invariably come for the lowdown on what’s happening here in Canada.

In that vein, here are my 10 most-read posts of the year, as per Google Analytics.

10. Trump hires Bell, Telus consultant for telecom advice.

In October, news broke that Trump had hired Jeffrey Eisenach, an economist with the American Enterprise Institute, for his telecom transition team in the event that he won the election (which he of course did). Eisenach has frequently worked as a hired gun for Bell and Telus in various CRTC consultations and will now likely be instrumental in ending net neutrality in the United States.

9. Wireless propaganda and the lame denials it inspires.

This February post corrected wrong interpretations by wireless industry lobbyists and supporters of a pricing study done by World Bank economist Tariq Khokar. I contacted Khokar and he confirmed that his numbers didn’t in fact show Canada in a positive light.

8. Happy Canada Day wireless rate hikes!

Is there anything more Canadian than cellphone price increases? Carriers thought not, which is why they all raised rates mid-summer. The irony is they blamed the languishing Canadian dollar for it.

7. High prices are sparking a wireless black market in Canada.

Our first entry on this list from a previous year, this post from July 2015 maintained popularity as cellphone users across the land sought out information on how to get cheaper Manitoba- and Saskatchewan-based plans. It’s still happening.

6. Why Shomi failed and why CraveTV is next.

The biggest local tech story of the year was the closing of streaming service Shomi and thereby the continuation of the narrative that Canadian telecom companies – in this case Rogers and Shaw – can’t compete against American rivals (i.e. Netflix). The inevitable shutdown of Bell’s CraveTV isn’t so much a question of if, but when.

5. Bell can now offer HBO Now in Canada, but will it?

Another post from 2015, this one followed Bell’s full acquisition of HBO content rights. In it, I asked whether Bell was likely to finally stream popular shows such as Game of Thrones to non-cable subscribers. Many Canadians were clearly wondering the same, but a year later the answer is still obviously no.

4. Review: Sika fence post foam a big labour saver.

I have to admit – I love seeing this post in my year-end most-read stats. Not only is it the sole post that has nothing to do with telecom, it’s also from way back in 2014. It’s proof that there’s value in writing about something that nobody else has covered.

3. Review: CraveTV lags rivals but it’s still a good deal.

Another review, this one of the previously mentioned CraveTV. There was considerable interest in the service in January, which is when Bell opened it up to non-cable subscribers. In a nutshell – the content is decent but the experience is bare bones. Nothing has changed since the beginning of the year.

2. Why I switched away from Wind Mobile.

Yet another post from 2015 and the veritable twin of the number one most-read item below, many people sought this one out while contemplating a switch to Wind – now known as Freedom Mobile. The short version: I used Wind for three months before frustration sent me crawling back to the Big Three carriers.

1. I switched my wireless service to Wind Mobile. Here’s why.

The fact that this post, from April 2015, continues to resonate online is strong proof that many Canadians are desperately seeking cheaper alternatives to the Big Three. My initial optimism in this post eventually soured and I’m relieved that its counterpoint in the number two spot continues to be almost as popular.

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