I got news of something the other day that needs to be spread far and wide. I don’t think too many people know about it. Here’s what it says.
Today, while listening to the presentation from Rogers to the CRTC, I heard something that I think will interest many of you.
For more than three months now, Rogers has had a policy whereby they will provide a free set top box to any blind customer who requests it. This would allow you to access the digital cable signal offered by Rogers. Of course, you will still have to pay the monthly subscription fee, but the set top box is free. My understanding is that in an agreement with the CRTC, Rogers decided to stop passing through descriptive video on its analogue signal, in exchange for which, the digital set top boxes become complementary for blind customers.
Today, when Rogers was asked how many customers had received the free box over the last few months, the Rogers representative sheepishly answered, one. So clearly not enough advertising has been done on this issue. The people who would take advantage of this offer simply don’t know about it.
Now for the really exciting part. The representative also said that sometime in the first quarter of 2009, Rogers would be offering, free of charge along with the set top box, a large button remote control, and one button on that remote would be programmed to turn on and off the descriptive
> video service. Yes, that’s right, just a single button to turn it on and off, no more having to go through four to six steps using inaccessible menus.
Right now this offer is only available to Rogers customers, or rather it will be available in 2009, but we will definitely be pushing to have other companies like Shaw, Telus, and Bell be required to offer a similar one button solution to access to descriptive video.
In the next little while, I will try to provide a transcript of the Rogers presentation, so you can read it for yourself, but for now, I would ask you to share this information with anyone who you think would be interested.
I would assume you would only get a free box if you were just converting over now, but one never knows. I went and found this press release which confirms the whole free boxes to blind folks thing, so I have no reason to think the other half isn’t going to happen. so there it is, for anyone who’s interested. I figure I’ve raged enough about Rogers, I should say something nice for a change.