ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 99-469

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Decision CRTC 99-469

Ottawa, 18 October 1999

Rogers Broadcasting Limited
199811089 – 199811097

Shaw Radio Limited
199811352 – 199811360

WIC Radio Ltd.
199808466 – 199808474

16 August 1999 Public Hearing
National Capital Region

Applications for licences to carry on transitional digital radio undertakings at Vancouver

1. The Commission approves the applications by the parties named above for broadcasting licences to carry on transitional digital radio undertakings (DRUs) to serve Vancouver.

2. Each of the applicants is the licensee of one AM and one FM radio undertaking in Vancouver. The transitional DRUs proposed by the applicants will operate in association with existing radio undertakings; each DRU will simulcast the programming of its associated AM or FM station, together with no more than 14 hours per week of other, non-simulcast programming. The technical parameters of the proposed transitional DRUs and the existing AM or FM station with which they will be associated are identified in the appendix to this decision.

3. The transmitters of the new undertakings will be installed at two sites, one on Mount Seymour and the other at Burnaby (Metrotown – Cantel Building) and will employ the EUREKA-147 digital audio broadcasting system. This technology was first developed in Europe and has been confirmed by the Department of Industry as the standard for digital broadcasting in Canada. It is widely anticipated that digital broadcasting will, with time, replace the existing technologies of AM and FM analog transmission.

4. The Commission is satisfied that the applications, as filed, conform fully to the requirements set out in Public Notice CRTC 1995-184 entitled A Policy to Govern the Introduction of Digital Radio. Accordingly, and subject to the requirements of this decision, the Commission will issue licences expiring 31 August 2002.

5. The licence term granted should allow the Commission sufficient time to establish and implement a long-term policy and licensing regime for digital radio undertakings following completion of an appropriate public process.

6. The Commission emphasizes that, once its long-term policy is in place, the replacement of any short-term licences with full-term digital radio licences should generally involve a simple, streamlined process. In the meantime, the proposed transitional DRUs will serve to introduce the public to this new technology. By refining various technical, marketing and other issues associated with the introduction of digital radio broadcasting, these undertakings will also provide the broadcasting industry with valuable operational experience, and will assist the Commission in developing an effective and comprehensive regulatory policy.

7. As outlined in Public Notice CRTC 1995-184, the Commission expects broadcasters to ensure that the main programming signal of a digital radio undertaking not be noticeably degraded by the shifting of capacity from it to ancillary services.

Conditions of licence

8. The licence of each transitional DRU will be subject to the conditions in effect under the current licence of its associated AM or FM station. The Commission recognizes that in some cases these conditions may restrict the ability of transitional DRUs to experiment with new and innovative forms of programming that make use of the unique features of digital radio technology. The Commission’s policy on the introduction of digital radio is to encourage the maximum amount of experimentation during periods of separate programming. Licensees who consider that additional flexibility is required in order to make full use of the periods of separate programming for this purpose should file applications to amend their licences. Such applications will be processed expeditiously.

9. Further to being subject to the conditions in effect under the current licence of its associated station, as well as to the terms and conditions set out in the licence to be issued, each licence is subject to the following conditions:

  • that the licensee adhere to Parts 1 and 1.1 of the Radio Regulations, 1986 (the regulations), as indicated in Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 1998-5 dated 7 August 1998;
  • that the DRU be relieved of the requirement set out in section 10.1 of the regulations to own and operate its transmitter. In Public Notice CRTC 1995-184, the Commission indicated that during the transitional period, digital radio licensees would not be required to own and operate their own transmitters;
  • that the undertaking not use the ancillary capacity of the digital radio signal to provide services that constitute programming under the Broadcasting Act, unless otherwise authorized by the Commission;
  • that the undertaking use no more than 20% of the digital capacity of the 1.5 MHz channel specified for use by the geographic grouping of broadcasters to which the undertaking belongs;
  • that each digital radio signal broadcast by a transitional DRU associated with an existing AM or FM undertaking be broadcast from a single primary digital radio transmitter that is located so as to ensure that the resulting digital radio coverage area does not exceed the lesser of (a) the licensee’s corresponding FM or daytime AM coverage areas (that is, the 0.5 millivolt per metre coverage area for both AM and FM stations), or (b) the digital coverage area allotted to the licensee under the Department of Industry’s spectrum allocation plan, unless otherwise authorized by the Commission;
  • that the licensee have full control over the transmission of its programming, regardless of the ownership of the transmission facilities that it uses.

10. These conditions reflect, for the most part, the specific terms and conditions set out for transitional DRUs in Public Notice CRTC 1995-184.

11. The Commission notes that these licensees are subject to the Employment Equity Act that came into effect on 24 October 1996 (1996 EEA), and therefore file reports concerning employment equity with Human Resources Development Canada. As a result of a consequential amendment to the Broadcasting Act, the Commission no longer has the authority to apply its employment equity policy to any undertaking that is subject to the 1996 EEA.

12. The authorities granted herein will only be effective and the licences will only be issued when the transmitting facilities are constructed and ready to begin operation. In each case, when the applicant has completed construction and is prepared to commence operation, it must advise the Commission in writing. If the transmitting facilities are not constructed and ready to operate within 12 months of today’s date, extensions to this time frame may be granted provided that the applicant applies in writing to the Commission before the 12-month period or any extension of that period expires.

13. In the case of each applicant and in accordance with section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will only issue the licence and grant the authority to operate when it receives notification from the Department of Industry that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.

Secretary General

This decision is to be appended to each licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be viewed at the following Internet site:

Appendix to Decision CRTC 99-469 

Licensee Associated AM or FM Station Proposed DRU   Frequency Channel Effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP)/
Mt. Seymour Burnaby
Rogers Broadcasting Limited CKWX 1465.024 MHz 8 3,381 2,774
CKKS-FM 1465.024 MHz 8 3,381 2,774
Shaw Radio Limited CKLG 1461.536 MHz 6 3,381 2,774
CFOX-FM 1461.536 MHz 6 3,381 2,774
WIC Radio Ltd. CKNW 1461.536 MHz 6 3,381   2,774
CFMI-FM 1461.536 MHz 6 3,381 2,774
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