ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1985-86

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 2 May 1985
Public Notice CRTC 1985-86
Review of CBC Long Range Radio Plan
For related documents: see Public Notices CRTC 1983-22 and 1984-132 dated 7 February 1983 and 31 May 1984, respectively.
The public hearing on the CBC Long Range Radio Plan was held on 28 April 1982. The Commission's conclusions on the CBC plan were announced in Public Notice CRTC 1983-22 dated 7 February 1983.
In this notice the Commission indicated that a study would be conducted jointly with the Department of Communications (DOC) to explore further the feasibility of achieving the coverage objectives of the national broadcasting service with fewer channels than initially proposed by the CBC. The Commission stated that the results of the study would be discussed with the Corporation and it called for a revised CBC Long Range Radio Plan to be developed in accordance with the guidelines set out in Public Notice CRTC 1983-22 and the results of the feasibility study. This revised plan would be reviewed and updated every five years.
Following receipt of the feasibility study report, the CBC proposed a number of amendments to its Long Range Radio Plan. These amendments have met many of the Commission's concerns. Subsequently, in Public Notice CRTC 1984-132, the Commission announced that further consultation with the Corporation and the DOC would take place with a view to resolving the remaining items. Moreover, the Commission removed the restrictions on FM applications still in effect at that time in the areas of Vancouver/Victoria, Montreal and surrounding area and Southern Ontario.
The consultations took place within the framework of a Tripartite Committee consisting of representatives from CBC, CRTC and DOC. The Tripartite Committee submitted its report and the following sections provide a brief discussion and the Commission's conclusions on the major recommendations therein.
Review of the FM Channel Items
The Tripartite Committee discussed 70 CBC proposals to use FM channels and made recommendations regarding 43 of them as follows: that FM channels be used in 21 locations, that improvements to the related AM stations be considered in 9 locations and that field tests be conducted by DOC to ascertain the quality of reception of the CBC AM stations in 13 additional locations.
The Commission decided to accept the recommendations regarding these 43 items and expects them to be reflected in the revised CBC long range radio plan. When the field tests are completed, the Commission is prepared to reconvene the Tripartite Committee to review their results and make final recommendations regarding these 13 locations.
The Tripartite Committee was unable to make recommendations regarding the remaining 27 items which did not conform to the general criteria and guidelines in Public Notice CRTC 1983-22. The CBC was not able to convince the CRTC and DOC representatives on the Tripartite Committee that exceptions to the guidelines were warranted in these cases. On the other hand, the CBC representatives did not agree to reduce its requirements in accordance with CRTC/DOC feasibility study recommendations. The Commission is encouraged, however, by the Corporation's expressed willingness to consider again the CRTC/DOC feasibility study results for these locations and also to pursue other alternatives with a view to reducing its requirements for scarce broadcasting frequencies. Should the Corporation wish to pursue any radio applications predicated on the use of FM channels in these locations prior to completion of these tests and studies and while their disposition remains unresolved, the Commission will deal with them on a case-by-case basis.
The Commission will publish an updated version of the CRTC document entitled "Tables showing the CBC's Long Range Radio Plan and its relationship to DOC's FM Allotment Plan for channels 201-300" initially issued in October 1980 and revised on 10 February 1982 and in July 1984. This document will reflect the Tripartite Committee recommendations and will include the CRTC/DOC feasibility study results regarding those items which still remain unresolved. This document will be available shortly to the public on request.
Prospective applicants for FM stations are encouraged to consult this document when preparing their applications. Any applicant who wishes to use a channel which the CBC has identified for potential future use should be prepared to demonstrate to the Commission why its proposal should take precedence over the CBC.
CBC Applications Not in Accordance with the Long Range Radio Plan
The CBC has submitted a number of FM applications predicated on the use of technical parameters different from those indicated in the proposed long range radio plan. Generally, these proposals were for different channels and often for channels of a higher class than provided for in the CBC plan.
The Tripartite Committee considered this matter and agreed that the Corporation should make every effort to minimize the number of applications not in accordance with the long range radio plan and that all such applications:
will contain a statement including the parameters of the station proposed in the Plan, a fully-documented explanation and reasons for the variance from the Plan, and an assessment of the impact on the required parameters of surrounding CBC transmitters proposed in the Plan for the same network (overlaps, additional channels, etc.). Particular attention will be paid to any case where a higher class of channel is requested. It is understood that the impact on other channels in the Canadian FM Allotment Plan will also be examined.
The Commission expects the Corporation to adhere to this agreement and will deal with such applications on their merits, on a case-by-case basis.
Phasing-Out of those AM Stations Which Were Replaced with FM Facilities and Vacating their Frequencies
In Public Notice CRTC 1983-22 the Commission stated that when any CBC AM station is replaced with an FM station, "extended periods of simulcasting should not be required and the AM frequencies should be released for other potential users at an early date."
The locations reviewed by the Tripartite Committee, where the basic AM service is being duplicated on AM and FM stations are:
Location/Endroit Duplicated Service Since/ Service dédoublé depuis
Halifax, Nova Scotia/Nouvelle-Écosse June 1978/juin 1978 (English/anglais) Marystown, Newfoundland/Terre-Neuve August 1978/août 1978 (English/anglais) Moncton, New Brunswick/Nouveau-Brunswick March 1981/mars 1981 (French/français) Saint John, New Brunswick/Nouveau-BrunswickMay 1981/mai 1981 (English/anglais) Goose Bay, Newfoundland/Terre-Neuve March 1983/mars 1983 (English/anglais)
The Tripartite Committee supports the Corporation's proposed schedule to phase out these stations and vacate their frequencies in two stages, namely Goose Bay, Marystown, and Moncton on or before 1 November 1985 and Halifax and Saint John on or before 1 November 1986.
The Commission accepts the proposed schedule for Goose Bay, Marystown and Moncton; it notes, however, that the proposed schedule for Halifax and Saint John would result in the service being simulcast in these locations on the AM and FM bands for periods of eight and five years respectively. In the Commission's opinion, these periods would be far too long for the purpose for which simulcasting in these locations was intended, namely for the smooth transition of the radio service from the AM to the FM band, particularly since the Commission had approved this transition because of the reported deficiencies in the AM stations' coverage.
Consequently, the Commission expects the Corporation to phase out its AM stations in Halifax and Saint John by 1 November 1985. This date would still permit adequate notice to the affected public.
In keeping with established procedure, when these stations are phased out, the Corporation will be expected to surrender the licences for these stations.
Guidelines for the Use of FM Channels for the Extension of the CBC's Basic Services Even When Suitable AM Frequencies are Available
In Public Notice CRTC 1983-22 the Commission stated the following:
After considering all the factors involved, the Commission has determined that the CBC basic service should remain essentially an AM service and be provided on the AM band wherever possible.
The Corporation should also use as many AM channels as are now available or will become available in the future, for the extension of its basic network services. The use of FM channels for the basic service should only be considered in those areas where no suitable AM channels are available.
The Corporation has submitted a number of applications to use FM channels for the extension of its basic services. It indicated that in some instances suitable AM frequencies were available, but that due to the higher costs of establishing AM facilities, it preferred to use FM instead.
It has become apparent that a rigid application of this policy would not only increase significantly the costs of extending the CBC basic services but might even delay their extension to underserved communities. Therefore, the Commission requested the Tripartite Committee to recommend guidelines, which would assist the Commission in determining whether, and under what circumstances, an exception to this policy is warranted.
The Commission accepts the Tripartite Committee recommendation that exceptions to the policy of using AM frequencies for the extension of the basic services be considered only outside the areas of Vancouver/Victoria, Montréal and surrounding area, Southern Ontario and outside major urban centres, and not in areas where FM channels are in short supply.
If the Corporation accepts this recommendation, and with a view to reducing extension of service costs, the Commission would be prepared to consider favourably the use of FM channels for the extension of basic services in all areas other than those noted above.
Change of Channels of Operating CBC FM Stations Required as a Result of the FM Allotment Plan Revisions and those Included in the Long Range Radio Plan
In Public Notice CRTC 1983-22 the Commission announced that the CBC will be changing the channels of some of its FM stations. The Corporation has undertaken to apply for all of the channel changes listed below over the two fiscal years 1985/86 and 1986/87, subject to the availability of funds.
List 1
Change of frequencies required due to revisions to the FM Allotment Plan.
From/De To/A
British Columbia/Colombie Britannique
Bonnington Falls 222A 208A Crawford Bay 259A 210A Kelowna 239C, 256B 205C, 213B Penticton 227B 229B Trail 294C 235C Vernon 288A 293A Woss Camp 225B 224B
Nova Scotia/Nouvelle-Écosse
Margaree 270A 222A Sydney 290C 286C
From/De To/A
Penetanguishene 298B (1)
Chicoutimi  265C 265B(change of class only/changement de classe seulement) La Malbaie 225A 257A Lac Mégantic 229B 217A Mont Laurier 242B 220B Saint-Fabien de Panet 243A 229A
Prince Edward Island/Ile-du-Prince-Édouard
Charlottetown 245C 241C
The Commission is pleased to note that the Corporation has recently submitted a number of applications to change channels of its FM stations in accordance with List 1. The stations in this list operate on channels which are no longer protected; they pose obvious problems and must be dealt with expeditiously.
List 2
Change of channels due to lifting of the FM freeze.
From/De To/A
Ontario Belleville 238C1, 232B 204B,
212B Brockville 262C1 201B
Chatham 236B 201A
Orillia 290B 218A (1)
Sarnia 292B 212A
(1)The Tripartite Committee was not able to make a final recommendation on this station.
The stations in List 2 are of particular interest to the Commission. They are all located in Southern Ontario where FM channels are in short supply and the Commission has received a number of inquiries as to when these channels will become available. Some applications for FM stations in these locations have been received and the Commission is most anxious to make available to the public as soon as possible those channels which the Corporation is to vacate.
List 3
Changes for which regulatory approval has already been given.
From/De To/A
Trois-Rivières  2  61C1 201B, also tied to it is 282C1 (from 282B Drummondville)/201B, voir aussi 282C1 (de 282B, Drummondville)
List 3 includes the Drummondville and Trois-Rivières, Quebec changes which were approved in CRTC Decision 84-917 dated 24 October 1984 and the Corporation is expected to fulfill its commitment to implement these changes within twelve to fourteen months of that decision. Channel 261C1 in Trois-Rivières will then become available to the public.
The Tripartite Committee recommended that the CBC's proposed schedule for the implementation of the change of channels of these FM stations be accepted.
The Commission accepts this recommendation and it expects the Corporation to give high priority to this matter, so that all the necessary changes are implemented in accordance with the schedule proposed by the Corporation.
Fernand Bélisle Secretary General

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