I’m sorry to say this, because I know there are a lot of smart and decent people who work at Citywest. They are our friends and our neighbours.
But this is another decision that shows that Citywest is acting like a corporation that has forgotten that its purpose is to provide a communications infrastructure for the people of Prince Rupert – its owners.
It’s clear that across Canada, everyone is against this practice. So much so that you have all political parties agreeing that it is a bad idea. Yet Citywest isn’t even going to reconsider?
I think that sandimas was right when he wrote that Citywest is fundamentally flawed. It is not politically accountable – its board isn’t elected, and those who do have some executive power over the corporation likely have no idea about technology matters. Certainly not enough to question what is presented to them.
But unlike most corporations, Citywest isn’t really accountable to the free market, is it? It is essentially a monopoly, so it doesn’t matter if it provides bad service or makes strategic errors. For example, who has lost their job over the decisions made with respect to their mobile phone division? If it were a real corporation, you’d bet there would be a heck of a lot of “feedback” (read: people being fired) over the running of the mobile phone division in the last few years.
So now it’s the internet division’s turn to operate with zero accountability and feedback. Who is going to tell Citywest that this is a bad move? The board? No, they likely don’t even know how to use the internet, let alone download a season pass from iTunes or watch a movie on Netflix. The Mayor?
Well, that’s ok, the market will decide, right? If Citywest loses customers over this, then they will fire whoever thought it was a good idea and move on, right? No, because, remember, Citywest really doesn’t have to be accountable to the market either – it is essentially a monopoly.
So I’m sure Citywest is convinced this is the absolute right thing to do. Why? Because neither political nor market feedback really has any influence on this city-owned corporation.
Thanks for making this point, sandimas, I can’t remember where you said it, but it is the best description of the problem with Citywest that I have read. They make what we consider to be bad decisions, because there is no feedback mechanism (market or political) to tell them when they’ve messed up.
The only feedback they really hear is quite literally “We asked around, and nobody seemed to want it.” Or whatever that famous quote was.
Oh well. Here’s hoping they appoint some savvy people to the board, or we get a city council that can at least apply some political feedback to OUR corporation.