ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-52

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CRTC 96-52

Ottawa, 20 February 1996
Fundy Cable Ltd./Ltée
Clair and St-François; Lac Baker; Caron Brook, New Brunswick - 950199000 - 950200600 - 950201400
Deletion of local head end at Lac Baker and interconnections to the Edmundston undertaking; licence amendments
Following Public Notice CRTC 1995-148 dated 29 August 1995, the Commission approves the applications by Fundy Cable Ltd./Ltée (Fundy) for authority to delete the local head end at Lac Baker, to add a distant head end at Edmundston for each of the above undertakings and to interconnect these undertakings, by optical fibre, with the undertaking serving Edmundston.
The Commission notes that the Edmundston undertaking is a Class 1 undertaking (6,000 or more subscribers) and that the undertakings serving the above-noted localities are regulated pursuant to Parts I, III and IV of the Cable Television Regulations, 1986 (the regulations). The proposed change will increase the number of programming services provided as part of the basic service in these smaller cable systems from 18 to 24 channels.
The Commission also approves the licensee's request with respect to section 23 of the regulations. Accordingly, it is a condition of each licence that the licensee be relieved of the requirement to distribute at least four television programming services as provided for in section 23 of the regulations, so long as it distributes only those U.S. television services listed in the current applications or as may be authorized by the Commission.
In the context of the authority granted above, the Commission notes that the licensee will cease distribution of CHCH-TV Hamilton and CITV-TV Edmonton, as well as WXYZ-TV (ABC) and WDIV (NBC), Detroit, Michigan and WTOL-TV (CBS) Toledo, Ohio, received via satellite from CANCOM.
The licensee is authorized to distribute, at its option, WLBZ-TV (NBC) and WVII-TV (ABC) Bangor, Maine, received via microwave, as part of the basic service of each undertaking.
In assessing these applications, the Commission has taken into consideration the fact that subscribers of the Part III systems will receive, at no additional cost, the same programming services as do subscribers of the Edmundston Class 1 system. The Commission notes, however, that the programming service of The Sports Network (TSN) which was available to subscribers as part of the basic service of these undertakings will now be available on a discretionary basis.
According to the information provided by Fundy, the cost of the signals currently delivered via CANCOM as part of the rate regulated basic service, plus the cost of the TSN signal, which will be moved from basic service to a discretionary tier, ($3.01 + $1.50 = $4.51), less the cost of new services provided to the subscribers as part of the basic service of each undertaking ($4.49), would result in net savings equivalent to $0.02 per subscriber. The licensee proposes to decrease the monthly basic subscriber rate for each undertaking by $0.02.
The Commission notes, however, that the licensee has included, in its costs for existing and proposed service packages, an amount of $0.10 for the Program Guide. The Commission reminds the licensee that Program Guide costs are not eligible costs for the purpose of basic service rate calculations for fee regulated cable distribution undertakings and, therefore, the Commission expects the licensee to further reduce the basic monthly rate by that amount.
Consequently, the Commission strongly expects Fundy to reduce the current basic monthly subscriber rate for subscribers of the three small undertakings in question by $0.12.
The Commission requests that the licensee submit, within sixty days following completion of the interconnection project, a report outlining how it has met the Commission's expectation.
In addition, the Commission points out that any costs relating to the interconnections approved herein should not be components of an application by the licensee for a fee increase under subsections 18(6) and 18(8) of the regulations with respect to its Edmundston undertaking.
This decision is to be appended to each licence.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
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