Last update: 27.09.2014 - older versions

DAB services were on air in Canada’s major cities - Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ontario and Ottawa for around 10 years with coverage reaching about 35% of the population. While the most of the world has uses DAB or DAB+ using Band III, Canada’s digital output was restricted to L-Band. This has resulted in a lack of receivers in the market, high prices and slow consumer uptake. Combined with the fact that the US, has opted for a different system of broadcast, this has led to a complete re-think by the regulator, CRTC, and broadcasters on the future direction of digital broadcasting in Canada. The situation is complicated by the need for spectrum, currently occupied by dormant DAB transmitters, for new digital TV and broadband roll out.

The CRTC has discarded its 1996 plan for DAB replacement of all AM and FM radio. Instead it proposes keeping these stations on analogue and using L-Band for new digital multi-media services. However, stakeholders are considering how L-Band is used in other countries before deciding how to reallocate the spectrum. As a result, while existing DAB multiplexes are slowly being dismantled, there is no firm plan for replacing them and delivering digital radio services to Canada’s population of 32 million potential listeners. Canada’s broadcasters are expected to lobby for a portion of the L-Band spectrum to be retained for broadcasting services.

Last update: 27.09.2014 - older versions

Radio-Canada (CBC) and Communications Research Centre Canada carried out demonstrations of DMB in Montreal, Toronto and in Ottawa to raise the awareness of these DAB-based technologies among broadcasters, regulators and Telecom (Mobile) industry. There were also seven DAB stations (four commercial and three public) field-testing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A service was also on-air in Windsor in 2000 however this has now ceased.

Last update: 27.09.2014 - older versions

In its 1995 transitional policy, the CRTC allowed a maximum of five programmes per multiplex, which prevented
broadcasters from offering an attractive choice of programmes on DAB. In 2006 in response to requests from broadcasters, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) agreed to change Canada’s 1995 transitional policy to allow more freedom to provide DAB only programmes to attract more consumer interest (i.e. more services per multiplex, use of L-Band, multimedia, subscription). There is no news on the future of regulation in this market.




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Status: interested in the past