Monday, April 17, 2006

Canada exempts MobileTV from Broadcast Controls

Canada's broadcast watchdog authority, the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) handed down an interesting decision on April 12 that puts mobile TV services which offer television programming accessible through a wireless handset, such as a cellphone, to be exempt from regulation.

The Commission determined that the services provided by Bell Mobility Inc., Rogers Wireless Inc. and TELUS Mobility, in conjunction with MobiTV Inc., fall within the Commission's New Media Exemption Order, which applies to services that are delivered and accessed over the Internet.

Further, the Commission also determined that mobile TV services, whether or not they are delivered and accessed over the Internet, should also be exempt from regulation, and issued a public notice asking for the input of Canadians on a proposed exemption order to that effect.

Importantly, "The Commission considers that exempting mobile TV services promotes innovation in delivering television to Canadians," said CRTC chairman, Charles Dalfen, "without adversely impacting the ability of licensed broadcasters to fulfill their obligations under the Broadcasting Act."

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