Mobile television exempt from federal regulation in Canada

May 2006

Telecommunications, television, internet

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced that mobile television broadcasting services operated by Bell Mobility Inc, TELUS Mobility and Rogers Wireless Inc, in conjunction with MobiTV Inc (MobiTV), fall within the Exemption Order for New Media Broadcasting Undertakings (New Media Exemption Order) and are exempt from federal regulation, including content and Canadian ownership rules. All three wireless carriers provide subscribing customers with real-time access to audio-visual content on wireless handsets. The US-based service MobiTV converts video content to a format compatible with mobile browsers and handsets and provides the servers and connections to allow video streams to travel via the Internet. The CRTC found that MobiTV sends the television signals by the Internet to the Internet gateway of the mobile carrier, and they are then routed to an appropriate tower and transmitted wirelessly for the last mile to the user’s handset, where the user connects to the Internet with a web browser to access the television signals. Thus, because they were both “delivered and accessed over the Internet”, the CRTC concluded that the services fell within the New Media Exemption Order

From a summary by Nick Wong in E-Tips Volume 4 No 21, a publication of Deeth Williams Wall LLC Edited by Richard Potter QC. The E-Tips archive can be found at

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