Canada announces Framework for 'Over-The-Air Digital Television Services'
Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - June 13, 2002
Canada's independent public Radio-television Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) has announced its regulatory framework for the transition to digital
over-the-air television and has asked for public feedback on proposed
policies to govern how digital broadcast services should be distributed by
cable, satellite and wireless undertakings.
DTV will eventually replace the current analog over-the-air broadcasting
system, says the CRTC, going on that its policy framework will guide
broadcasters, distributors and producers through the transition to digital
with the aim of ensuring that:
* Canadians will benefit from these technological advances to the fullest
* The Canadian broadcasting industry will be encouraged to grow and
* The transition will not be slowed by unnecessary regulation.
* The Broadcasting Act's cultural objectives will be maintained.
"This framework will allow broadcasters to make the transition to digital
voluntarily, without imposed deadlines," it states. "Viewers will continue
to have access to all of their over-the-air analog services throughout the
transition period. Consumers will be able to upgrade their equipment at
their own pace and convenience."
It lists framework highlights as:
The transition will be market-driven. The CRTC will not impose deadlines for
the transition. Instead, broadcaster investment and consumer demand will
dictate the rate at which the upgrade to digital broadcasting will occur.
Broadcasters will be encouraged to construct new digital transmitters that
will provide full off-air coverage to match their existing analog coverage.
Broadcasters will also be expected to maintain their existing analog
coverage in full throughout the transition period. Canadians will continue
to have free universal access to over-the-air television during the
Existing broadcasters protected
Existing broadcasters will be given the first opportunity to apply for
licences to broadcast digitally, but if they fail to do so in a reasonable
amount of time, the CRTC will consider other applicants for the relevant
Transitional digital licences will authorize broadcasters to offer a certain
amount of programming not offered on their analog transmitters – up to 14
hours per week - on their digital transmitters, provided that it is high
definition and that at least half of it is Canadian.
The CRTC is confident that requiring all of the separate programming to be
in high definition will help create consumer demand for the new digital
services. And stipulating that at least half of it must be Canadian will
assist the country's production industry during the transition to digital.
The CRTC adds, "As further encouragement, all Canadian digital programs
aired by licensees between 6 p.m. and 12 p.m. will have to be
high-definition where such a version exists. Broadcasters should also ensure
that, by the end of December 2007, two thirds of their schedules are
available in the high definition format."
Related News from Mi2N:
» CRTC Announces Its Regulatory Framework For The Transition To Over-The-Air Digital Television Services