With Canada’s switch from analogue to digital over-the-air television just over a year away, CBC/Radio-Canada today released the details of its plan for the transition to the Canadian public.
The transition to digital television is an industry wide issue requiring a concerted effort by all players – broadcasters, the CRTC, and government – to ensure that Canadians are properly informed of the changes coming and how to deal with them.
For its part, CBC/Radio-Canada will be installing digital transmitters in all of the markets in which it produces original television programming, for a total of 27 transmitters. Fifteen of the 27 transmitters will be operational by August 2011, with the remaining twelve to be operational by or before August 2012. The locations of these transmitters are now available here.
The Corporation will continue to offer analogue service beyond the August 31, 2011 shut-off date established by government in all markets not identified by the CRTC as mandatory for digital transmission. It has also filed a request to the CRTC to allow a temporary extension of analogue service in those markets not slated for transition until after the August 2011 deadline under the Corporation’s plan.
“We believe that our plan is appropriate given our financial challenges, given our mandate, and given industry trends,” said Steven Guiton, Vice President and Chief Regulatory Officer. “When all is said and done, our estimate is that less than 1 per cent of Canadians will need to turn to a cable or satellite provider in order to continue receiving our signal.”
The Broadcasting Act mandates that CBC/Radio-Canada’s services “be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means, as resources become available for the purpose.” Today, Canadians receive CBC/Radio-Canada's television services through a variety of platforms including over-the-air, cable, satellite and the Internet. The plan to transition to over-the-air digital television in key markets will support the modernization of CBC/Radio-Canada's multi-platform delivery system and enable the Corporation to continue providing Canadians with high-quality content through the most appropriate and efficient means available.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, plus seven languages for international audiences.