ARCHIVED -  Public Notice CRTC 1993-137

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Public Notice

Ottawa, 7 October 1993
Public Notice CRTC 1993-137
Proposed Amendments to the Cable Television Regulations, 1986 and to the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987
In Public Notice CRTC 1993-74 dated 3 June 1993, the Commission published its assessment of the changes that may occur within the communications environment in the coming years, and of their likely impact on the existing and future structure of the Canadian broadcasting system.
In that notice, and in others issued on the same date, the Commission announced a number of policy changes intended to anticipate and respond to the challenges of this changing environment. These changes include, among other things, the creation of a new funding mechanism for Canadian television programming, and measures to maximize the access that Canadians have to this and other programming on cable through the introduction of digital video compression (DVC) technology and universal addressability throughout the cable industry. Other areas of policy change include: revisions to the requirements governing distribution and linkage of cable services; access of programming services to cable distribution; changes pertaining to the carriage of distant Canadian broadcast signals; adjustments to the carriage requirements for small cable systems; establishment of a mechanism for the mediation and resolution of disputes between licensees of program undertakings and of distribution undertakings; and small system fee deregulation. Attached is the proposed text of the amendments to the Cable Television Regulations, 1986 that will be necessary to implement the various policy changes referred to above.
The Commission draws particular attention to the proposed new definition of the term "capital expenditure"; under this definition, certain DVC and addressability-related expenditures by cable licensees would become eligible for the purposes of subsection 18(6) fee increase applications. As indicated in Public Notice CRTC 1993-74, the Commission has not yet determined whether applicability of this mechanism should be conditional on the cable industry adopting a common DVC standard, and invites public comment on this matter.
The changes announced in Public Notice CRTC 1993-74 included certain revisions to the Commission's policies governing the distribution of U.S. border television stations. The Commission wishes to clarify that, contrary to the indication given in that notice, these changes will not require any regulatory amendment. The proposed amendments to the Cable Television Regulations, 1986 attached to the present notice do, however, include three other changes. These stem from the Commission's decision earlier this year to exempt from licensing requirements persons operating certain classes of broadcasting undertakings (see Public Notice CRTC 1993-43 dated 30 April 1993). The amendments would change the definitions of "alphanumeric services", "A.M. station" and "F.M. station", and prohibit the distribution of the audio programming of a carrier current undertaking.
Also attached for public comment is a proposed amendment to the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, the effect of which would be to permit a licensee, pursuant to a condition of licence, to broadcast in excess of 12 minutes of advertising material during each clock hour in a broadcast day. The Commission considers that this amendment would provide licensees an additional measure of flexibility to operate successfully in the evolving communications environment, and would be fully consistent with the Commission's objectives, outlined in Public Notice CRTC 1993-74, regarding the regulatory framework for the Canadian broadcasting system.
Parties wishing to comment on any of the proposed amendments must send their submissions to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, by Monday, 8 November 1993.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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