CRTC extends exemption for new media and calls for a national digital strategy

    OTTAWA et GATINEAU, June 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that, after a careful
examination and a full process, it will maintain its approach for broadcasting
content distributed over the Internet and through mobile devices. The
Commission will continue to exempt new media broadcasting services from its
regulation and monitor trends as they evolve.
    "While broadcasting in new media is growing in importance, we do not
believe that regulatory intervention is necessary at this time," said Konrad
von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. "We found that the Internet and
mobile services are acting in a complementary fashion to the traditional
broadcasting system. Any intervention on our part would only get in the way of
    Secondly, the Commission was not presented with convincing evidence that
would suggest additional support, as proposed, was needed for the creation and
presentation of Canadian broadcasting content in new media.
    Thirdly, given the dynamic nature of the new media environment, the
Commission expects to review its approach within the next five years. In the
meantime, the Commission will introduce a reporting requirement for new media
broadcasting services to ensure that it has the best information available for
future reviews.
    Fourthly, the Commission will initiate a reference to the Federal Court
of Appeal to clarify the status of Internet service providers (ISPs). The
Court will be asked to determine whether the Broadcasting Act should apply to
ISPs when they provide access to broadcasting content.
    Finally, the scope of the Commission's examination of the new media
phenomenon was limited given its mandate under the Broadcasting Act. The
digital era presents many opportunities and challenges, which can only be
addressed through a holistic approach. Many countries have already developed
their own plans to respond to this environment. The Commission therefore fully
endorses the National Film Board's call for a national digital strategy.
    "Canada needs a comprehensive national strategy to secure its digital
future," said Mr. von Finckenstein. "Such a strategy is essential if we want
to maintain a competitive advantage in this global environment."
    As the National Film Board stated, the digital era will have enormous
consequences for Canada's political, social, economic and cultural future. The
Commission believes that a focused and concerted approach is warranted, and
stands ready to make its contribution to the development of a national digital

    Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-329

    Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-330

    The CRTC

    The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

    Reference documents:

    Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2008-11
    News release, "CRTC to examine broadcasting in the new media
    environment," October 15, 2008
    News release, "CRTC launches consultation on broadcasting in new media
    for future hearing,"
    May 15, 2008
    Report on the Future Environment Facing the Canadian Broadcasting System
    Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-13
    Public Notice CRTC 1999-197

For further information:

For further information: Media Relations:
.aspx?lang=e), (819) 997-9403, Fax: (819) 997-4245; General Inquiries: (819)
997-0313, TDD: (819) 994-0423, Fax: (819) 994-0218; Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC
(2782); TDD - Toll-free # 1-877-909-CRTC (2782); Ask a question or make a
complaint (; These documents
are available in alternative format upon request.

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