Canada Rules to Allow HD Radio

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Ottawa - Dec 15, 2006 - The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the independent, public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada, has revised its policy for digital radio broadcasting to consider the HD Radio in-band on-channel (IBOC) system. In its Public Notice CRTC 2006-160, the Commission commented that it would be prepared to authorize services using IBOC technology for the AM or FM bands if the Canadian Department of Industry authorizes services using the technology under the Radiocommunication Act. The commission added that "an expedited process would be adopted for stations that propose to transmit a digital simulcast of their analog service."

Robert Struble, president and CEO of Ibiquity Digital said, "The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) began HD Radio testing in September 2006, focusing on transmissions from Toronto and Peterborough, Ontario. Full results have not yet been published by the CBC, but early feedback has been very positive. There are plans to begin testing on MW-AM operations in early 2007."

The ruling also considers other forms of digital radio, including DRM, DMB and DVB-H. The decision to consider HD Radio specifically was based on the advanced stage of the HD Radio rollout compared to other technologies in the United States. Canada has authorized Eureka-147 as a digital radio standard, but the rollout of that technology has not progressed very rapidly and is not seeing wide acceptance.

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