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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 89-557

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Decision

Ottawa, 10 August 1989
Decision CRTC 89-557
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Victoria and Metchosin/Sooke, British Columbia - 883017600 - 883016800
At the 7 March 1988 Public Hearing in Victoria, the Commission considered an application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for a licence to carry on an English-language FM radio broadcasting transmitting undertaking at Victoria, with a transmitter site on Saltspring Island, operating on the frequency of 92.1 MHz, channel 221C, with an effective radiated power of 72,000 watts, to rebroadcast the programs of CBU-FM Vancouver, British Columbia.
In Decision CRTC 88-484 dated 22 August 1988, the Commission approved the application by the CBC for a licence to carry on an English-language FM radio broadcasting transmitting undertaking at Victoria to rebroadcast the programs of CBU-FM Vancouver, but not the proposed technical parameters.
The Commission requested the CBC to consult with Department of Communications (DOC) and Commission staff and then apply "for approval of revised technical parameters that would more adequately address the problem of signal overlap with CBU-FM Vancouver, and result in the provision of a better quality signal throughout the Greater Victoria area, the elimination of the shadowing problem in the Metchosin area and the extension of the service to include Sooke".
In response, the CBC submitted an application to retain the same technical parameters as those it had previously proposed (as set out in Decision CRTC 88-484) and for a licence to carry on an English-language FM radio broadcasting transmitting undertaking at Metchosin/Sooke, with the transmitter site on Mount Helmcken, operating on the 105.1 MHz frequency, channel 286A, with an effective radiated power of 38 watts, to rebroadcast the programs of CBU-FM Vancouver. Both applications were considered by the Commission following a Public Hearing in Vancouver on 20 February 1989.
With respect to the CBC's proposed technical parameters for the two transmitters, the Commission notes that extensive tests conducted by the Corporation indicated that the use of channel 221C on Saltspring Island would provide satisfactory service to all parts of the city of Victoria, as well as to Esquimalt, Oak Bay, and the entire Saanich Peninsula. In addition, the CBC indicated that the proposed rebroadcaster at Mount Helmcken would ensure service to the area west of Victoria and to the communities of Sooke and Metchosin.
The CBC acknowledged that, as an alternative, a single transmitter located at either Mount Work or Triangular Hill would provide satisfactory coverage in Victoria as well as in the Metchosin area. However, either of these locations would result in diminished coverage further northwest of Victoria and, in the case of Triangular Hill, would result in reduced coverage in parts of the Saanich Peninsula, a large and rapidly growing residential area within the primary market of Greater Victoria.
In addition, with regard to Sooke, the CBC stated that it has been unable to identify a viable means of providing adequate coverage to both Greater Victoria and Sooke with a single transmitter and that its tests have indicated that neither of the existing transmitting facilities on Mount Work or Triangular Hill provide acceptable coverage in the Sooke area. Thus, the CBC has determined that Sooke should be served by a separate installation as set out in its application.
In addressing the problem of signal overlap, the CBC argued that the terrain, which is comprised of a combination of mountains and sea, prevents the Corporation from serving the proposed coverage area without some overlap between its Vancouver and Victoria operations. It noted, for example, that even the existing transmitter on Mount Work delivers a useful signal in Vancouver.
In conclusion, the Commission considers that the present proposal for two transmitters, one on Saltspring Island and one on Mount Helmcken addresses the Commission's concern with respect to adequate coverage in the Greater Victoria area including Metchosin and Sooke. On the other hand, the resulting coverage overlap with CBU-FM Vancouver would be the same as previously proposed. However, the CBC presented statistical and cost/benefit analyses which, in the Commission's opinion, demonstrate that the use of channel 221C on Saltspring Island and channel 286A on Mount Helmcken would extend the CBC stereo service to the largest number of people at the least cost.
Accordingly, the Commission approves the CBC's applications to operate the Victoria undertaking authorized in Decision CRTC 88-484, on the 92.1 MHz frequency, channel 221C, with an effective radiated power of 72,000 watts and for a licence to carry on an English-language FM radio broadcasting transmitting undertaking at Metchosin/Sooke, operating on the 105.1 MHz frequency, channel 286A, with an effective radiated power of 38 watts, to rebroadcast the programs of CBU-FM Vancouver.
The Commission will issue licences expiring 31 August 1992, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licences to be issued.
It is a condition of licence that construction of both the Victoria and Metchosin/Sooke undertakings be completed and that they be in operation within twelve months of the date of this decision or, where the CBC applies to the Commission within this twelve-month period and satisfies the Commission that it cannot complete the construction and begin the operation of the undertakings before the expiry of this period and that an extension is in the public interest, within such further period of time as is approved in writing by the Commission.
The Commission acknowledges the eight interventions received in support of the CBC's applications to establish rebroadcasters of CBU-FM in Victoria and the Metchosin/Sooke area from a number of elected officials, community organizations and from P.G. Halling of Victoria.
An additional concern by residents of Vancouver Island expressed at the 20 February 1989 public hearing in Vancouver related to the provisionof the CBC's AM network programming, including the establishment of additional facilities to originate programming in Victoria. The Commission intends to address this concern in the context of its consideration of the renewal of the licence for CBU Vancouver.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General