This action centre was developed by the Canadian Association of Community Television User Groups and Stations (CACTUS)
On July 31st, the CBC and Radio-Canada plan to switch off their free over-the-air TV service everywhere in Canada except the following 27 urban centres:
|St. Johns, NL||Halifax||Charlottetown||Fredericton|
If you watch the CBC or Radio-Canada using a cable or satellite service, you are not affected.
If you watch with 'bunny ears' or a rooftop antenna and you live outside these 27 urban centres, you will have two options if you want to continue to watch the CBC or Radio-Canada:
- Subscribe to a cable or satellite service.
- Your community can ask the CBC/Radio-Canada for the analog transmitter it is currently using in your community, in order to keep distributing the CBC/Radio-Canada free to air. If communities do not request these transmitters, the CBC/Radio-Canada will "decommission" them (likely throw them out).
In some cases, the CBC/Radio-Canada is not only decommissioning the analog transmitter, but may also dispose of the tower on which it is mounted. These towers are valuable, and can be used not just to keep offering the CBC/Radio-Canada for free, but also to add a local community television or radio service, free wireless Internet, cellular service, and other communications services that may not be available in rural areas.
You have paid for these towers and transmitters with your tax dollars, and we believe communities should be given the opportunity to maintain and repurpose them. The CBC and Radio-Canada are taking these actions in response to federal budget cuts, but we don’t think that rural Canadians should bear the brunt of these costs while Canadians living in urban centres continue to enjoy free CBC service.
The CRTC is holding a public consultation until June 18th on what should happen to the CBC transmitters and towers:
- If you do not live in one of the 27 urban centres listed above and would like the CBC to consult directly with your community before shutting down equipment, click here.
- If you live in one of the 27 urban centres listed above and will not be directly affected by the July 31st shut-off date, but you would nonetheless like to write to the CRTC and the CBC in support of rural communities who want to maintain CBC equipment, click here.
The Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) has prepared a detailed information pamphlet about how communities can use the CBC’s and Radio-Canada’s existing infrastructure to rebroadcast free over-the-air TV, as well as to add free wireless Internet, cellular service, or community TV and radio. To read their pamphlet, click here.