Top 10 posts of 2014: telecom and a pinch of Rob Ford

High prices, slow speeds and a mayor famous for drunken stupors was the name of the game.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, top 10 posts

Top 10 posts:

It was an exciting year-just-past in these here parts, with Alphabeatic officially launching back in May.

As the next evolution from my old blog at WordsByNowak – which is now devoted to my book efforts, please check it out – this new site was an opportunity to present my work in a visually appealing way, with lots more of it easily accessible.

I’m still in experimentation mode and trying to figure out what you, the readers, are looking for, which makes this top-10 list a worthwhile exercise (at least for me, so please humour me).

Judging by the traffic to these posts, it looks like there were two major, fairly related themes that stood out last year: telecommunications and Netflix. And strangely, a post on now-former Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

With no further ado, here’s the year that was on Alphabeatic:

10. Why aren’t Canada’s wireless carriers offering rollover data? (Sept. 15)

After getting back from a vacation in the U.S., I found myself with some leftover wireless data for the month and wondered why no carriers were offering month-to-month rollovers like they used to do with voice minutes.

9. Don’t believe the hype: Rob Ford won’t get re-elected. (Sept. 2)

The one non-telecom post to make the top 10, I wrote this one in response to a poll by Forum Research that found crack-smoking Toronto mayor Rob Ford only a few points from first place. Of course, I was technically right about him not winning, since he ended up dropping out of the race because of a tumour.

8. Review: Netflix rival Shomi off to a good start. (Nov. 14)

A lot of people have written off Shomi, the joint streaming venture from Rogers and Shaw, because it’s only available to the two companies’ TV or internet subscribers. While the service has a ways to go to equal Netflix, it has started off nicely and shows promise.

7. CRTC internet access hearings: the key points. (Nov. 24)

Wholesale internet access isn’t exactly the sexiest topic, but it’s a really important one, which is perhaps why this post did well. Much of the bigger media avoided the CRTC’s review of the situation like the plague.

6. Rogers gets nailed on roaming, but with no consequences. (Aug. 5)

The CRTC found Rogers guilty of overcharging smaller wireless carriers such as Wind and Mobilicity for roaming on its network in Canada, but the regulator effectively did nothing about it. Ironically, Apple was found guilty of colluding with publishers to raise e-book prices around the same time, and it ended up paying out nearly half a billion dollars in penalties.

5. Bell’s Crave TV has nothing to do with love. (Dec. 8)

In launching his company’s own streaming service Crave TV, Bell Media president Kevin Crull remarked that people who don’t subscribe to a television service aren’t really TV lovers. In this post, I summed up why many people would disagree.

4. Banning wireless paper bill fees? Price hikes sure to follow. (Aug. 12)

The CRTC also tackled the issue of telecom companies charging fees for customers receiving paper bills. In this post, I suggested that banning the fees would simply result in hikes elsewhere.

3. Abolish the CRTC? No: the regulator has never been needed more. (Sept. 29)

The CRTC’s prolific dust-up with Netflix during its television hearings provoked a new wave of people calling for the regulator to be abolished. I argued that while its importance in broadcast was waning, the CRTC is more important than ever for telecom issues.

2. Netflix ISP rankings: streaming woes in North America. (Nov. 11)

Every month, Netflix releases speed rankings of the internet providers in each country that it services. In this post, I did a comparison of the top speeds in those 26 countries and found that Canada and the United States rank in the bottom half.

1. Netflix ISP speed rankings find Telus to be the new goat. (Sept. 12)

Alphabeatic readers are evidently very interested in what Netflix thinks of Canada, with this post – which found Telus to be the slowest major ISP in the country – far and away the most-read of the year.

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