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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the past month or so I went back and forth with broadcast engineers in Toronto and eventually came to the conclusion that no one (including the CRTC) had any interest in protecting OTA signals originating in Canada, intended for the Canadian market.

Recapping my experience:

When we first switched to digital OTA in 2015 there were no obvious signs of interference for signals broadcast from Toronto, and virtually none for signals broadcast from Buffalo. Life was good.

Sometime in 2016 however, independent of all the 'well, they moved this and that crowd' here on the forum, certain signals originally received 5x5 from Toronto began distorting, dropping out and basically becoming unreadable to our externally mounted antenna.

After much digging and experimenting I discovered that many of the OTA broadcast frequencies were saturated with LTE interference (from the proliferation of 4G and 5G cell towers built after 2016). In addition, certain FM frequencies were creating additional interference where none had previously been discovered 6 or 7 years earlier.

I found that installing FM and LTE filters back to back on the line in from the antenna cleaned the signals up dramatically and made certain channels that could not be read successfully, solid broadcast frequencies. We even picked up four US fringe channels that the antenna could not read previously.

On the surface everyone would probably say, "Good job, well done, - you did it!"

The point of this post is completely opposite to that success in correcting something gone terribly wrong.

It seems to me that the CRTC (and probably the FCC) is talking out of both sides of its proverbial mouth, paying respect and homage to the necessity for OTA as they have. At the same time the CRTC and FCC appear to have no metrics to determine if the quest for the 'holy grail' 5G carrier growth was having any impact on OTA .

Clearly, there is a balance between cellular expansion and interference with other technologies that no one seems to be following, except of course the airline industry that had balked until recently.

Otherwise, if this impact was being tracked and measured (with corrective action or remedies published as guidelines), would I need to experiment and do something to correct what I call 'motion confused with direction' or better yet labeled as stupidity?
 

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It's good that the issues were resolved but that has always the responsibility of the consumer. Unless the interference is being caused by defective or illegal broadcasting equipment, nothing has ever been done by regulating authorities and probably never will be. Industry Canada regulates radio frequencies in Canada and would investigate RF interference if it was caused by out of band or illegal transmissions. The CRTC just regulates broadcaster operations, not their transmitters.

The assumption with consumer radio services, such as radio and TV, is that interference may occur and the consumer equipment must accept it and the consumer must deal with it themselves. That has always been the case and probably always will be. Interference from two way radio has been an issue for decades and it has become worse as wireless cellular services have proliferated. The other factor is that interference perceived as being caused by a third party is often due to poor quality or poorly installed consumer equipment. Things like poor reception due to signal overload or poor signal rejection have been an issue since radio and TV were invented. There is a lot more RF interference now but equipment has improved significantly.
 

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Isn't there supposed to be co-ordination between CAN and USA to prevent such interference?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies, as always.

When I approached the CRTC it was clear that this so called regulator was nothing more than a rubber stamp to approve the rights and privileges that broadcasters now enjoy because they followed a whimp-assed regulation to provide OTA (deemed to be an essential broadcast component according to CRTC lip service).

What burns my butt is that we have lame commissions like this one put in place to do what exactly? Not what you would expect. When the CRTC asked the broadcaster to explain the changes in signal distortion in their directive, they then tried to take a quick exit and backtrack, recommending that I contact ISED (CRTC falls under the Minister of ISED) because they felt my inquiry fell under re-pack of frequency bands. This was nonsense. I explained that I still wanted CRTC and the broadcaster to act responsibly and answer the CRTC's own question. Hoisted on their own petard I think!
 

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Thanks for the replies, as always.

When I approached the CRTC it was clear that this so called regulator was nothing more than a rubber stamp to approve the rights and privileges that broadcasters now enjoy because they followed a whimp-assed regulation to provide OTA (deemed to be an essential broadcast component according to CRTC lip service).

What burns my butt is that we have lame commissions like this one put in place to do what exactly? Not what you would expect. When the CRTC asked the broadcaster to explain the changes in signal distortion in their directive, they then tried to take a quick exit and backtrack, recommending that I contact ISED (CRTC falls under the Minister of ISED) because they felt my inquiry fell under re-pack of frequency bands. This was nonsense. I explained that I still wanted CRTC and the broadcaster to act responsibly and answer the CRTC's own question. Hoisted on their own petard I think!
CRTC has nothing to do with spectrum management. You really need to engage ISED directly. Not sure whether you would fall under the Toronto office or the southwestern Ontario office.
From: RIC-66 — Addresses and Telephone Numbers of District Offices - Spectrum management and telecommunications
Southwestern Ontario District Office4475 North Service Road, Suite 100
Burlington, ON L7L 4X7
Telephone: 1-855-465-6307
Fax: 905-639-6551
Email: [email protected]
(By appointment only)
Toronto District Office151 Yonge Street, 4th floor
Toronto ON M5C 2W7
Telephone: 1-855-465-6307
Fax: 416-954-3553
Email: [email protected]
(By appointment only)

Also, CRTC does NOT report to the Industry Minister. The CRTC comes under the Ministry of Heritage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
CRTC has nothing to do with spectrum management. You really need to engage ISED directly. Not sure whether you would fall under the Toronto office or the southwestern Ontario office.
From: RIC-66 — Addresses and Telephone Numbers of District Offices - Spectrum management and telecommunications
Southwestern Ontario District Office4475 North Service Road, Suite 100
Burlington, ON L7L 4X7
Telephone: 1-855-465-6307
Fax: 905-639-6551
Email: [email protected]
(By appointment only)
Toronto District Office151 Yonge Street, 4th floor
Toronto ON M5C 2W7
Telephone: 1-855-465-6307
Fax: 416-954-3553
Email: [email protected]
(By appointment only)

Also, CRTC does NOT report to the Industry Minister. The CRTC comes under the Ministry of Heritage.
Interesting point, and helpful perhaps ... used to be that virtually everything fell under Transport Canada, including HAM and CB radio transmissions, remember them? I have a Midland 23 channel, an SK-40 antenna and an SWR meter here somewhere, LOL.

Overall somewhat helpful, but not at the heart of my comments, so let's stop there, OK?

I'm not trying to fix anything technical (I've already done that, haven't I?), but examine documents and articles that CRTC uses to regulate Broadcasters, and then 'rewards' them for following these 'regulations'.

My point is, why do we as a government 'reward' broadcasters for dumbly following these regulations to the worst of their ability? Clearly it really doesn't matter to the CRTC or the broadcasters?

I have a separate inquiry into ISED that is also NOT specific to spectrum ... but a general request for information so that I can better understand the BS we have structured in this country. I don't give a crap about re-packs, Sim-Subs or any of that BS either.

I live in a border town so I can tune in to the real deal at any time anyway.

Now, I'm off my soap box, have great day everyone.
 

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The CRTC started out as a censorship board under the disguise of protecting Canadian culture. It's a gentle, Canadian form of censorship but it's still censorship. In its early days, the main thrust was to stop US influences on Canadian radio, TV and cable systems. The CRTC took on the role of telling Canadian broadcasters what they were and were not allowed to broadcast. Music forms such as alternative rock, rap and hip hop are among the music forms banned on Canadian radio. Certain types of TV programming was also banned across most of Canada. (Some types of content were allowed in big cities such as Toronto but not elsewhere.) As Canadian broadcasters and artists realized that they could influence the CRTC to promote and protect their own interests, it morphed into a body that required things like simsubs, cancon and new taxes that directly financed broadcasters and artists. Large organizations like telecoms, TV networks and ACTRA reaped the most benefit as they were in a position to exert the most influence.

IC Canada got into the act in the 1990s as they licensed TV repeaters for network stations and new radio stations on co-channels in areas where popular US stations were received by residents and cable companies. With the switch to ATSC, that was expanded to require US signals to be directed away from Canada. Again, preference was given to the GTA as US signals there were not affected as much as in other areas. Many stations along the south shore of Lake Erie have become almost impossible to receive in Southwestern Ontario and have been dropped from cable systems.
 

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What is this thread about? The TV spectrum shrunk to 2-36 and sold off to Cell companies who have truckloads of money (same as in USA/Canada in which we use the same spectrum)... with several frequency repacks without telling anyone. Nobody in power cares about OTA, the onus is on you to get the LTE filters and find a way to get the signals if you choose to watch it. The spectrum isn't coming back.

It's the public's fault for wanting Smartphones with always faster downloads and uploads... very few in Canada use OTA TV. Ask your 14 year old daughter if she wants faster cellphone Data or instead, more channels on Free OTA TV... which she probably never heard of before. If you say "OTA", she'll probably think it's another Korean Boy Band.
 
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