Cheaper Cable Coming for Canadians
Canadians will see a decrease in cable and satellite bills starting in August 2014 after the Canadian Radio-Television and Communications Commission (CRTC) decided on Wednesday to phase out a controversial fee.
Called the Local Programming Improvement Fund, the fee was created to fund local broadcasting needs in all provinces. It also helped smaller television stations weather the recession at a time when many were making the upgrade to digital, reports The Province.
Since the economy has moved into the recovery stage and the digital transition is complete, the fee is not necessary.
“The fund was created to ensure television stations had the resources to meet Canadians’ needs for local programming,” Leonard Katz, the CRTC’s vice-chairman of telecommunications, said in a statement.
“We are satisfied with the support it has provided during a difficult economic period.”
The LPIF created controversy because the cost incurred by satellite and cable companies was passed directly on to customers, many of whom complained. The providers have until mid-September to devise a plan for stopping the fee and informing their customers about the situation.
The CRTC stated it has confidence that the smaller provincial markets can maintain quality local programming without the fee being in place.