ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 96-677

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Ottawa, 10 October 1996
Decision CRTC 96-677
Ausable Cablecom Inc.
Ailsa Craig, Arkona, Forest, Ilderton, Parkhill, Thedford/Port Franks and Watford, Ontario - 199606605 - 199606612 - 199606620 - 199606638 - 199606646 - 199606654 - 199606662
Acquisition of assets
Following a Public Hearing in Calgary beginning on 15 July 1996, the Commission approves the applications for authority to acquire the assets of the cable distribution undertakings serving the above-noted communities from Regional Cable TV (Central) Inc., and for broadcasting licences to continue the operation of these undertakings.
The Commission will issue licences to Ausable Cablecom Inc., expiring on the current expiry dates of 31 August 1998 for the undertaking serving Arkona, and 31 August 2002 for the rest of the above-noted communities, upon surrender of the current licences. The operation of these undertakings will be regulated pursuant to Parts I, III and IV of the Cable Television Regulations, 1986. The authority granted herein is subject to the same conditions as those in effect under the current licences, as well as to any other conditions specified in the licences to be issued.
The value of the transaction is approximately $2,323,000. Based on the evidence filed with the application, the Commission has no concerns with respect to either the availability or the adequacy of the required financing. The Commission is of the view that approval of these applications is in the public interest.
The Commission notes that Ausable Cablecom Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hurontario Telecommunications Inc., a holding company that also owns two small telephone companies (Hurontario Telephone Limited and Norwich Telephones Ltd.). While the Commission indicated in a public announcement entitled "Licensing Policy in Relation to Common Carriers" dated 3 December 1969 that "it would not be in the public interest to encourage common carriers to hold licences for CATV (cable) systems", it also recognized that under certain circumstances smaller common carrier companies may be the only entities capable of providing CATV (cable) service as operators in certain of Canada's smaller population centres.
The Commission is satisfied that the responses received from Ausable Cablecom Inc. in this respect are sufficient to warrant the granting of an exception to the Commission's general policy.
In Public Notice CRTC 1992-59, the Commission announced implementation of its employment equity policy. It advised licensees that, at the time of licence renewal or upon considering applications for authority to transfer ownership or control, it would review with applicants their practices and plans to ensure equitable employment. In keeping with the Commission's policy, it encourages the licensee to consider employment equity issues in its hiring practices and in all other aspects of its management of human resources.
The Commission acknowledges the intervention submitted by the CBC requesting that the applicant consider distribution of the "Réseau de l'information" (RDI). In its reply, the applicant indicated that it will survey consumers in order to determine their cable service needs and as a result, should consumers indicate that they want this service, the applicant would distribute it. In this regard, the Commission is satisfied with the applicant's reply and notes that these Part III and Class 2 undertakings with fewer than 2,000 subscribers are not required to distribute RDI.
This decision is to be appended to each licence.
 Allan J. Darling
 Secretary General

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