ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-631

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Ottawa, 11 September 1996
Decision CRTC 96-631
Viking Cable T.V. Limited
Yarmouth and surrounding area, Nova Scotia - 199605771
Change to licensed service area
Following Public Notice CRTC 1996-81 dated 12 June 1996, the Commission approves the application to change the licensed area for the cable distribution undertaking serving Yarmouth and surrounding area, by including Beaver River, Springdale, Lake Doucette, Salmon River, Cape St. Marys, Mavillette and St-Alphonse, representing a total of 557 additional households.
This approval is subject to the requirement that construction in the extended area be completed and the extended system be in operation within twelve months of the date of this decision or, where the licensee applies to the Commission within this period, and satisfies the Commission that it cannot complete the construction and commence operations throughout the extended system before the expiry of this period and that an extension of time is in the public interest, within such further periods of time as are approved in writing by the Commission.
Should construction not be completed within the twelve-month period stipulated in this decision or, should the Commission refuse to approve an extension of time requested by the licensee, the authority granted shall lapse and become null and void upon expiry of the period of time granted herein or upon the termination of the last approved extension period.
The Commission notes that the subscribers in the extended area will be offered the same programming services and will be charged fees identical to those in the current licensed service area.
In Decision CRTC 96-630 published today, the Commission has approved an application by C.K.O. Cablevision Limited (C.K.O.), licensee of the radiocommunication distribution undertaking (RDU) serving Mavillette, for a licence to carry on a cable distribution undertaking to serve some of the same communities as are being approved for Viking Cable TV Limited (Viking), specifically: St-Alphonse, Mavillette, Salmon River, Beaver River and Lake Doucette. The Commission notes that C.K.O. will also retain its licence to carry on an RDU to serve residents located outside the area to be served by its new cable distribution undertaking.
In an intervention opposing Viking's application, C.K.O. indicated that, prior to submitting its application for a cable distribution undertaking, it had offered to sell its undertaking to Viking, and submitted that it would not be economically feasible for two cable companies to service the same area.
In its reply to this intervention, Viking indicated that its only interest was to extend its existing cable distribution undertaking to serve the area presently served by C.K.O, not to acquire the assets of the RDU owned by C.K.O., and that the previous licensing regime precluded it from applying to serve an already licensed area.
In its 19 May 1995 report entitled "Competition and Culture on Canada's Information Highway" (Convergence Report), the Commission expressed the view that consumers should have increased choice among distributors of broadcasting and other services.
Subsequently, consistent with the principle of competition endorsed in its Convergence Report, the Commission announced, in Public Notice CRTC 1995-183 dated 26 October 1995, that it would no longer routinely impose conditions of licence restricting licensees of radiocommunication distribution undertakings from soliciting or accepting subscriptions within the authorized service areas of other subscription-based distribution undertakings unless a compelling case was made through the intervention process that the absence of such a condition would have an undue negative impact on the provision of service to the public.
After reviewing the particulars of both applications, including a comparison of the proposed services to be provided to the public by both licensees as well as the intervener's arguments, the Commission is unable to conclude that approval of the two applications would have an undue negative impact on the provision of service to the public. The Commission is, therefore, satisfied that approval is in the public interest.
The Commission acknowledges the numerous interventions in support of this application.
This decision is to be appended to the licence.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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