Over 800 People Appeal To CRTC To Save Bush Radio

Friday, December 02, 2005 at 14:23



An official with the CRTC says, due to the feedback it has received on the northern two-way radio issue, it will be February before a ruling is made.


Scott Hutton says the federal regulator has received feedback from 22 customers and a number of petitions totalling 800 names calling for the bush radio service in northern Saskatchewan to remain as is.


SaskTel has applied to the CRTC to have the service discontinued by February.


SaskTel officials say the system could collapse at any time, and there would be no way to repair it because there’s no longer a supplier for replacement parts.


Hutton says the key issue in this case will be whether it can be demonstrated there is a “reasonable substitute” for the bush radio service.


SaskTel feels satellite phones are that alternative — advocates for two-way radio users say sat phones are too expensive.


Hutton notes the CRTC has dealt with issues like this across the country for the last 15 years because of changes in technology.


He says based on similar cases they’ve already dealt with, the decision can go either way.


Hutton also says the CRTC takes these matters quite seriously, and will be considering the views of all affected parties.