CBC Television has applied to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for permission to replace its existing analog transmitter on Mount Champlain, north of Saint John, as well as a relay transmitter near Moncton, with a new digital transmitter which will serve only the Fredericton area starting in September.
The CRTC developed a comprehensive digital transition policy in which they designated 28 markets across the country including Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton where it was mandatory for all broadcasters serving those markets to establish digital over-the-air transmitters.
CBC's application does not conform to the CRTC's digital transition policy and will cut off a majority of New Brunswick residents from access to over-the-air television. In the lower Saint John River valley, alone this will reduce the potential over-the-air audience from 303,465 people to just 113,930 – a 63% reduction.
You can see the scope of the service reduction on this map – the dotted lines indicate the reach of the current Mount Champlain transmitter and the solid lines show the reach of the proposed digital transmitter.
If you use cable or satellite to receive your television signals, this service reduction will not affect you directly. But if you receive your TV signals with a roof-top antenna or bunny ears, you will no longer be able to watch CBC Television without subscribing to expensive cable or satellite distribution.
Even if this does not affect you directly, you probably know people whose CBC Television access will be cut off come September.
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting
P.S. If you would like to read the CBC's application, please visit the CRTC's website.
Please note: Submissions to the CRTC on this issue closed on Feb 17th, 2011.
Jan 24, 2011 — Saint John Radio: CBC TV digital transition in New Brunswick
In a radio interview, FRIENDS spokesperson Ian Morrison discusses the
impending shut down of over-the-air TV signals scheduled for Aug 31,
2011, and it's potential impact on New Brunswickers.
Jan 20, 2011 — Saint John Telegraph Journal: TV rabbit ears set to go way of the dodo by Greg Weston
FRIENDS says about three million people, often elderly and low-income, still depend on over-the-air service.