ARCHIVED - Public Notice CRTC 2000-163

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Public Notice CRTC 2000-163


See also: 2000-163-1

Ottawa, 7 December 2000


Licensing cable undertakings - a regional approach


The Commission calls for comments on issues related to the implementation of a regional approach for licensing cable systems. Currently, individual cable licences are issued for particular territories. Thus an individual operator may hold several different licences even if its systems are adjacent to each other and, in some cases, technically interconnected. Under a regional licensing approach, the Commission would issue a single licence that might cover a number of territories or serving areas. Such an approach could reduce the administrative burden both on cable licensees and the Commission.


Information about how to submit a comment is set out at the end of the notice.


This notice is one of three that the Commission is issuing today relating to its regulation of cable distribution undertakings. The other two notices deal with the Commission's approach to small cable systems. In Public Notice CRTC 2000-164 Review of certain aspects of the regulation of cable undertakings, the Commission calls for comments on its regime for licensing and regulating cable systems. In Public Notice CRTC 2000-162 Proposed exemption order for small cable systems, the Commission invites comments on a proposal that would exempt from licensing requirements any person who provides cable service to fewer than 2,000 subscribers and serves communities with populations of less than 10,000.


The current licensing system for cable distribution undertakings is based on issuing individual licences for a particular territory, regardless of whether or not the same licensee operates systems serving adjoining areas. The recent trend toward ownership consolidation and regionalization of operations has created an environment where many cable licensees own more than one licensed system, and often own several separately licensed systems that serve contiguous (adjacent) areas. These systems may be interconnected, have only one head end, and fulfil identical requirements with respect to the local and regional stations that they distribute.


Regional licensing proposal


The Commission sets out the following proposal for licensing cable systems on a regional basis.

  • Canada would be divided into five regions for the purpose of regional licensing. Region 1 would include British Columbia, Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories. Region 2 would include Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Region 3 would cover Ontario. Region 4 would cover Quebec. Region 5 would include New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
  • The Commission would issue a maximum of three cable licences for each licensee operating in the region. One licence would cover all of its Class 1 systems, the second licence would cover all of its Class 2 systems, and the third would cover all of its Class 3 systems in that region.
  • Each licence would cover a number of territories or serving areas, and the portion of the system covering each terrritory could be subject to separate requirements with respect to matters such as the local and regional stations that must be carried. Rates for each territory could differ, with the rates charged under the current system serving as a base.

Questions for consideration


The Commission seeks comments on the regional licensing proposal set out above. While not wishing to limit comments, it poses the following questions for interested parties to use as a guide in developing their comments.

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal for regional licensing set out in this notice? Please suggest any specific ways in which it might be improved.
  • What changes to the Broadcast Distribution Regulations, and other regulations administered by the Commission would have to be made in order to implement a regional licensing proposal?
  • How would obligations related to signal carriage and simultaneous substitution be established?
  • What would be the impact of a regional licensing approach on the licence fees that cable undertakings pay to the Commission?

Call for comments


The Commission invites comments that address the issues and questions set out in this notice. The Commission will accept comments that it receives on or before 16 January 2001.


The Commission will not formally acknowledge comments. It will, however, fully consider all comments and they will form part of the public record of the proceeding, provided that the procedures for filing set out below have been followed.


Procedures for filing comments


Interested parties can file their comments on paper or electronically. Submissions longer than five pages should include a summary.


Parties wishing to file their comments on paper should send them to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, K1A 0N2.


Parties wishing to file electronic versions of their comments can do so by email or on diskette. The Commission email address is 


Electronic submissions should be in the HTML format. As an alternative, those making submissions may use "Microsoft Word" for text and "Microsoft Excel" for spreadsheets.


Please number each paragraph of your submission. In addition, please enter the line ***End of document*** following the last paragraph. This will help the Commission verify that the document has not been damaged during transmission.


The Commission will make comments filed in electronic form available on its web site at in the official language and format in which they are submitted. This will make it easier for members of the public to consult the documents.


The Commission also encourages interested parties to monitor the public examination file (and/or the Commission's web site) for additional information that they may find useful when preparing their comments.


Examination of public comments and related documents at the following Commission offices during normal business hours


Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage, Room G-5
Hull, Quebec K1A 0N2
Tel: (819) 997-2429 - TDD: 994-0423
Fax: (819) 994-0218


Bank of Commerce Building
1809 Barrington Street
Suite 1007
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3K8
Tel: (902) 426-7997 - TDD: 426-6997
Fax: (902) 426-2721


405 de Maisonneuve Blvd. East
2nd Floor, Suite B2300
Montréal, Quebec H2L 4J5
Tel: (514) 283-6607 - TDD: 283-8316
Fax: (514) 283-3689


55 St. Clair Avenue East
Suite 624
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M2
Tel: (416) 952-9096
Fax: (416) 954-6343


Kensington Building
275 Portage Avenue
Suite 1810
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2B3
Tel: (204) 983-6306 - TDD: 983-8274
Fax: (204) 983-6317


Cornwall Professional Building
2125 - 11th Avenue
Room 103
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3X3
Tel: (306) 780-3422
Fax: (306) 780-3319


10405 Jasper Avenue
Suite 520
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3N4
Tel: (780) 495-3224
Fax: (780) 495-3214


530-580 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3B6
Tel: (604) 666-2111 - TDD: 666-0778
Fax: (604) 666-8322


Related CRTC documents

  • Public Notice 2000-164 - Review of certain aspects of the regulation of cable undertakings
  • Public Notice 2000-162  - Proposed exemption order for small cable systems

Secretary General


This document is available in alternate format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:


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