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ARCHIVED -  Decision CRTC 90-1042

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Decision

Ottawa, 2 October 1990
Decision CRTC 90-1042
A1 Cablesystems Inc.
Valemount, British Columbia- 893172700Valemount Entertainment SocietyValemount, British Columbia- 900090200North East Cable T.V. Ltd.Valemount, British Columbia- 893687400
Following a Public Hearing commencing 15 May 1990 in Edmonton, the Commission approves the application by A1 Cablesystems Inc. (A1) for a licence to carry on a broadcasting receiving undertaking to serve Valemount.
The Commission also approves the application by the Valemount Entertainment Society (VES) for a licence to carry on a broadcasting undertaking at Valemount to rebroadcast, in unscrambled form, programs of the television and radio stations listed elsewhere in this decision.
The application by North East Cable T.V. Ltd. (North East) for authority to carry on a cable television undertaking at Valemount, which was competing with the proposals by A1 and VES, is denied. A1 is the licensee of more than 50 cable television undertakings in British Columbia and Alberta. It is also the sole owner of licensee companies operating a further 12 systems in those provinces. A1 has enjoyed success in applying the "regional approach" to the construction and operation of its cable systems. According to A1:
 The key element of the rationale underlying the regional approach is the creation of an infrastructure that is sufficiently sturdy to support the extension of service to communities which, on their own, could not support cable television.
The Commission also considered applications by A1 to provide cable television service to an additional 15 small Alberta communities during a second public hearing commencing in Edmonton on 15 May 1990, before a separate panel of Commissioners. These applications are approved in Decision CRTC 90-1041 of today's date. A further application by A1, one proposing the provision of cable television service to the community of McBride to the north of Valemount, was considered concurrently with the Valemount proposal, but is denied in Decision CRTC 90-1043 of today's date. Instead, the Commission has licensed John Lloyd Wheeler, a local businessman, to provide cable service to McBride.
Although scheduled as part of separate hearings, A1 noted that its 15 Alberta applications were closely linked with its McBride and Valemount proposals. Together, the 17 applications form the major portion of A1's plans for a second phase of cable service extension in this part of western Canada, following the Commission's approval of most elements of a larger, first phase in Decision CRTC 88-231.
In reaching its decision with respect to the competing cable applications for licences to serve Valemount, the Commission has taken into account a number of factors including the past performance of the applicants, their proposed rates and their community programming plans.
The Commission has also noted A1's statement that its plans to extend service to certain of the 15 Alberta communities were contingent upon approval of its applications to serve Valemount and McBride, these two communities in British Columbia ranking first and third, respectively, on the applicant's list of positive contributors. Specifically, A1 stated that denial of the Valemount and McBride applications would render it uneconomical to extend service to five of the 15 Alberta communities, all negative contributors, while denial of the McBride proposal alone would jeopardize its ability to implement service at only one such Alberta location.
Overall, the Commission's objective has been to choose the licensing approach that will best ensure the establishment of viable operations offering an attractive package of broadcasting services to the greatest number of communities at an affordable price and at the earliest possible date. The Commission is satisfied that its approval of A1's Valemount application, together with its approval of that company's Alberta applications, is fully consistent with this policy objective.
In deciding also to approve the application by VES to provide unscrambled over-the-air services in the Valemount area, the Commission has considered the number of area residents who will not have access to cable, but will benefit from the services so provided by the society. The Commission has also considered the intervention by the Corporation of the Village of Valemount expressing support for the continuing operations of the society. The Commission notes in this regard that VES has been distributing over-the-air broadcasting services in the area for some years, but without CRTC authorization. Most particularly, the Commission has taken into account A1's statement at the hearing, not only that it can successfully co-exist with the society, but that it would actively co-operate with VES:
 ...to improve perhaps the quality of transmitter systems that they currently have, to operate a community channel together, and perhaps even get it to a point of not only the community channel being on cable, but also being transmitted in the clear (unscrambled) in the area...
Accordingly, with respect to A1, the Commission will issue a licence expiring 31 August 1994, subject to the conditions specified in this decision and in the licence to be issued. This term will enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence at the same time as that of other cable systems in the area. The operation of this undertaking will be regulated pursuant to Parts I and III of the Cable Television Regulations, 1986 (the regulations).
It is a condition of licence that construction of the new cable television undertaking be completed and that it be in operation within twelve months of the date of this decision or, where A1 applies to the Commission within this period and satisfies the Commission that it cannot complete implementation before the expiry of this period and that an extension is in the public interest, within such period of time as is approved in writing by the Commission.
The Commission reminds A1 that it is required to submit, both to the CRTC and to the Department of Communications (DOC), its proposed head end co-ordinates for the undertaking for the purpose of technical certification. No licence will be issued in respect of the undertaking until such technical certification is issued by the DOC.
With respect to VES, the Commission authorizes the applicant to rebroadcast, in unscrambled form, using one low-power VHF television channel and 3 low-power FM radio channels, the programs of the following television and radio stations received via satellite from the CANCOM network and from other sources:
SOURCE CHANNEL OR FREQUENCY/ POWER/PUISSANCE
CANAL OU FREQUENCE (WATTS)
CITV-TV (IND) Edmonton 9 10
CFMI-FM New Westminster 91.1 MHz .5
CBC English-language radio service/ .5
Service radiophonique de langue
anglaise de la Société Radio-Canada 95.5 MHz
CKRW Whitehorse 104.1 MHz .5
The Commission will issue a licence to VES, expiring 31 August 1994, subject to the conditions specified in the licence to be issued. This term will enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence at the same time as that of other similar undertakings operating in the area.
In accordance with paragraph 13 (1)(b) of the Broadcasting Act, the Commission will issue a licence to VES if it is in receipt of written notification from the DOC within six months of the date of this decision that it will issue a Broadcasting Certificate. No licence will be issued if the Commission does not receive this notification within said period or, where the applicant applies to the Commission and satisfies the Commission that it is unable to obtain said notification before the expiry of this six-month period and that an extension is in the public interest, within such further period of time as is approved in writing by the Commission.
VES also proposed the unscrambled distribution of the signal of WXYZ-TV Detroit, received via satellite from CANCOM. Such carriage would be contrary to the Commission's policy enunciated in Public Notice CRTC 1987-254 which requires applicants proposing the distribution of non-Canadian services in the non-scrambled mode to demonstrate that it is not economically feasible to service the area by means of either cable television or an STV system. In the Commission's view, the applicant failed to demonstrate that an exception to this policy is warranted in this case, and the proposed unscrambled distribution of the WXYZ-TV signal is denied accordingly. At the same time, the Commission notes that this denial will leave VES with at least two unused television transmitters in its possession. The Commission wishes to advise VES that it would be prepared to deal expeditiously with any application that might be submitted for authority to rebroadcast one or more additional Canadian services. In any event, the Commission requires VES to file a report within 30 days of the date of this decision advising of its intentions with respect to the unauthorized transmitters.
Alain-F. Desfossés
Secretary General