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ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-123

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Route reference: 2010-683

Ottawa, 23 February 2011

Rogers Broadcasting Limited
Victoria and Saltspring Island, British Columbia

Application 2010-1184-0, received 26 July 2010

CIOC-FM Victoria – New transmitter on Saltspring Island

The Commission approves an application to amend the broadcasting licence for CIOC-FM Victoria in order for the licensee to operate an FM transmitter on Saltspring Island to rebroadcast the programming of CIOC-FM.

Introduction

1.      The Commission received an application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited (Rogers) to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CIOC-FM Victoria in order to add an FM transmitter on Saltspring Island, British Columbia to rebroadcast the programming of CIOC-FM.

2.      The new transmitter would be a synchronous repeater[1] and would therefore operate at 98.5 MHz (channel 253A) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 15 watts (maximum ERP of 45 watts with an effective height of antenna above terrain of 662 metres).

3.      Rogers stated that the addition of a transmitter on Saltspring Island would be the optimal solution for correcting the reception deficiencies of CIOC-FM in the northern part of its coverage area, which is not currently served because of the mountainous terrain surrounding Victoria.

4.      The Commission received numerous interventions in support of the application, interventions offering general comments as well as interventions opposing the application. Rogers replied collectively to the interventions. The public record for this proceeding is available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca under “Public Proceedings.”

Commission’s analysis and determinations

5.      After examining the application in light of applicable regulations and policies and taking into account the interventions received and the applicant’s reply to the interventions, the Commission considers that the issues to be addressed are the following:

  • Would the proposed transmitter correct technical deficiencies in the originating station within its authorized service area?

  • Would the proposed transmitter cause interference with adjacent radio stations?

Would the proposed transmitter correct technical deficiencies in the originating station within its authorized service area?

6.      The Commission generally authorizes the addition of a transmitter to broadcast the programming of an originating station in order to correct clearly demonstrated technical deficiencies in the originating station within its authorized service area, or to address a demonstrated economic need. The Commission recognizes the authorized service area of an FM station based on the approved 3 mV/m and 0.5 mV/m contours, which define its primary and secondary markets, respectively.

7.      In CIOC-FM Victoria – New transmitter at Saltspring Island, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-180, 25 March 2010 (Broadcasting Decision 2010-180), the Commission denied an application by Rogers for an FM transmitter on Saltspring Island on the grounds that the requested power increase would extend CIOC-FM’s signal beyond the station’s primary and secondary markets, and would preclude the entry of additional radio stations in adjacent markets. However, in recognizing the technical need to improve signal reception, the Commission suggested that Rogers find another technical solution that would better address coverage deficiencies within CIOC-FM’s authorized contours without greatly extending them.

8.      In regard to the current application, the Commission notes that the proposed transmitter would cover a limited area that is contained entirely within the 0.5 mV/m contour of CIOC-FM. The proposed ERP of 15 watts is significantly lower than the 635 watts denied in Broadcasting Decision 2010-180 and represents a negligible increase of 0.8% to the population in the 3 mV/m contour. The population within the 0.5 mV/m contour would remain unchanged.

9.      Rogers stated that it has examined other technical solutions to remedy the problem of poor reception in its authorized coverage area, including the relocation of its transmitter to another transmission site. It noted, however, that these measures represented additional technical and financial investments. The Commission is satisfied that Rogers’ current proposal sets out a reasonable measure to correct deficiencies in the reception of CIOC-FM’s signal.

10.  The Commission notes that Rogers did not cite economic need as a factor in support of its application. It did indicate, however, that improving CIOC-FM’s signal quality would correct a competitive disadvantage resulting from the absence of the station’s signal in the areas within its authorized contours that are not currently served. This would allow CIOC-FM to compete for advertising with other local and out-of-market stations. The Commission is of the view that the increase in advertising revenue for CIOC-FM resulting from the increased service area would be minimal and that the proposed transmitter would therefore have a minimal financial impact on the stations currently operating in the Victoria radio market.

Would the proposed transmitter cause interference with adjacent radio stations?

11.  In their interventions, the Gabriola Radio Society (GRS) and the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA) expressed concern that the use of the frequency 98.5 MHz by Rogers could cause interference to a community FM radio station on Gabriola Island for which the GRS has submitted an application to the Commission and which, if approved, would operate at 98.7 MHz.

12.  In its reply, Rogers stated that its own use of frequency 98.5 MHz does not preclude the use of frequency 98.7 MHz, and argued that it has demonstrated a technical need for a rebroadcasting transmitter to improve signal quality within its existing coverage area.

13.  The Commission notes that the new transmitter would use the same frequency as the originating transmitter, which would not necessarily prevent the operation of other stations in adjacent markets. As for the question of potential interference, the Commission considers that the GRS has not provided sufficient evidence to support its claim that Rogers’ use of the frequency 98.5 MHz would interfere with the GRS’s proposed community station.

Conclusion

14.  In light of the above, the Commission approves the application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language commercial radio programming undertaking CIOC-FM Victoria in order to add an FM transmitter on Saltspring Island, British Columbia to rebroadcast the programming of CIOC-FM.

15.  The Commission reminds the licensee that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department of Industry (the Department) notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued. Therefore, in the absence of the notification by the Department, the applicant will not be able to implement the new transmitter approved in this decision.

16.  The transmitter must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 23 February 2013. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted in writing at least 60 days before that date.

Secretary General

*This decision is to be appended to the licence.

Footnote

[1] A synchronous repeater is a transmitter that operates at the same frequency as the station's main transmitter.