Implementing Digital Television Broadcasting (DTV) Within the DTV Transition Allotment Plan

July 10, 2002

Ms. Andrée Wylie
Vice-Chairperson, Broadcasting
Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N2

Dear Ms. Wylie:

Subject: Implementing Digital Television Broadcasting (DTV) within the DTV Transition Allotment Plan

I would like to commend the Commission for establishing a licensing policy framework that will guide the transition of over-the-airtelevision to the new digital era. The Department is committed to support the DTV licensing process in its activities in considering engineering briefs and broadcasting certification.

Permit me to clarify for the Commission and broadcasting applicants, Industry Canada's approach to implementing the DTV Transition Allotment Plan during digital conversion and our planning activities to accommodate, in the longer term, other services in television channels 60-69.

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-82 has brought to our attention the continued interest by broadcasters to seek certification for new analogue television stations in channels 60-69. In order for the Department to accommodate the needs of DTV broadcasters and the technical studies for future plans for this spectrum, it is important that it not be further encumbered with additional new analogue assignments. It is for this reason that the DTV transition plan did not include any analogue and spare DTV allotments above channel 59.Consequently, the Department wishes to inform the Commission that it will not issue broadcast certificates for new analogue broadcasting facilities above channel 59. This is compatible with the objectives of the DTV Transition Allotment Plan and a reasonable way of moving forward.

The Department has completed the first phase of public consultation on the proposed co-allocation of the broadcasting and mobile radio services in frequency band 746–806 MHz. An important aspect of this public consultation is the identification of some spectrum, within channels 60-69, for public safety services. To this end, studies are currently concentrating on spectrum in channels 63 and 64, paired with channels 68 and 69. Accordingly, the Department wishes to inform the Commission that it will not issue broadcasting certificates for these 4 channels, pending the conclusion of these studies. I will communicate to you our decision on this matter this fall.
I trust that this information will further clarify the situation as we proceed toward the next stage of planning and public consultation on spectrum resources.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Binder
Assistant Deputy Minister
Spectrum, Information Technologies
and Telecommunications

c.c. Jean-Pierre Blais, Executive Director, Broadcasting, CRTC
Michael Wernick, Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Canadian Heritage
Glenn O'Farrell, President and & CEO, Canadian Association of Broadcasters
David Farnes, President, Radio Advisory Board of Canada