CCSA Calls on CRTC to Hold Rogers to Task
Needs CRTC to enforce recent Rogers-Shaw decision to protect Rural Canadians from loss of TV service
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
QUISPAMSIS (NB), April 12, 2022 - The Canadian Communication Systems Alliance (CCSA) has called on the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to prevent Rogers Communications from shutting down the satellite delivery of television signals to thousands of Canadians living in rural communities and the Far North.
On March 24, 2022, the CRTC approved Rogers’ purchase of Shaw Communications, including Shaw Broadcast Service (SBS) which delivers TV signals via satellite to cable television companies that, because of their rural or Northern location, cannot access those signals any other way. The CRTC’s approval was subject to a number of conditions, including that Rogers would continue to honour all existing contracts related to SBS for the full term of each such agreement. Just prior to the CRTC’s decision, however, Shaw announced that a critical component of the SBS service, known as HITS-QT Plus, would be shut down by year end.
“At the Rogers-Shaw hearing last fall, Rogers responded to our concerns about the future of the important HITS-QT Plus service under its ownership by committing to maintain the service, and in turn the CRTC said it would hold Rogers to honouring that commitment,” said Jay Thomson, CCSA CEO. “Now, faced with the announcement that the HITS-QT service will not be maintained but will be dropped in less than a year, we call on the CRTC to honour its commitment to keep Rogers from allowing that to happen. Otherwise, thousands of rural and Northern Canadians could be deprived of television service in a matter of months.”
HITS-QT is a hardware/software system which is critical to the provision of TV services by cable TV operators who rely on satellite signal delivery. They use the system to program the set top boxes (STBs) in their customers’ homes to authenticate signal reception and for billing.
According to CCSA’s information, the announced forthcoming HITS-QT Plus shutdown threatens the on-going delivery of TV services to almost 10,000 Canadians living in over 30 rural communities across the country and in the North.
ABOUT THE CCSA
The Canadian Communication Systems Alliance (CCSA) represents more than 100 Independent companies providing bundled internet, TV & telephone services to hundreds of thousands of Canadians in communities generally outside urban markets, from coast to coast to coast. CCSA Members include community cooperatives, family businesses, municipalities and companies owned by Indigenous Peoples. For more information, visit http://ccsaonline.ca.
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CONTACTCheryl MangussoManager, Communications CCSA (506) 849-1334 ext. 217