Canadian Regulators Cap Basic Cable Fees

The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) enacted new regulations that would cap basic cable rates to $25 CDN (About $20 USD). It also set regulations to end the practice of selling large bundles of unwanted channels to consumers. Instead, customers can pick and choose which channels they want to add or purchase smaller, themed bundles instead.

CrunchBase suggests that the basic cable packages will be required to carry local programming and some may carry U.S. channels in border areas where they are normally received. Cable companies in Canada will have to make changes to their offerings by the end of the year. Existing customers who are satisfied with their current packages will not have to switch.

This move was in response to concerns about the rising cost of cable as well as a change in how people are consuming media. Many people are paying for bundles that contain a large number of less popular channels that they don’t want. Others have changed their television viewing to online channels and portals.

CRTC chairman, Jean-Pierre Blais, says that this change may affect some jobs as the less popular channels may go off the air due to financial in-feasibility. However, he says that the change is good for consumer freedom.