On June 12, 2014, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released its decision to deny a request by Bell Aliant Regional Communications to allocate part of its local expression contributions for community television to its Internet portal. At the time, television service providers were only permitted to direct funding to their traditional community TV channels and video-on-demand (VOD) channels, not to their online community TV platforms.
Bell Aliant had indicated that it planned to phase out its traditional “Community One” community channel and provide programming solely through its VOD and Internet platforms.
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, National Pensioners Federation, and Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of British Columbia filed an intervention opposing Bell Aliant’s application. They expressed concern about the termination of community channels and its impact on communities, arguing that the principles in the Broadcasting Act talked about extending broadcasting services so that they were accessible to all Canadians, not reducing or taking away.
They also discussed specific challenges related to accessing community programming (especially the broadcast of live community events online only) on the Internet, including needing a home Internet subscription, and being restricted by low Internet speeds and monthly caps on the amount of data Home Internet packages allowed customers to download.
In its decision, the CRTC did not require Bell Aliant to continue offering its traditional community TV channel. However, it denied Bell Aliant’s request, stating that Bell Aliant did not show why it would require additional funding for its Internet portal only. The CRTC found, for instance, that much of the content Bell Aliant said it would offer online was already available on its Internet platform.
You may find the CRTC’s decision here: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2014/2014-320.htm
and PIAC/NPF/COSCO’s intervention here: https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/ListeInterventionList/Documents.aspx?ID=212219&Lang=e