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Deregulation of basic cable could lead to ‘big basic’ packages, Cardozo warns

News | 10/11/2001 4:00 am EDT

Is Canada heading towards a cable model of "big basic" channel packages? CRTC commissioner Andrew Cardozo apparently thinks so after the CRTC approved, by majority vote, applications by Rogers Cable and Regional Cablesystems to deregulate their basic cable offerings. Cardozo, who dissented from the decision, essentially agreed with comments submitted by Vision TV that deregulation of the basic service could lead to a proliferation of large basic cable packages. Cardozo believes the CRTC should only deregulate basic cable when it’s satisfied that cable companies would not move to "big basic" packages. The precedent-setting decision is expected to lead to a flood of applications from other cable operators seeking relief from the regulation of basic cable, including rates. Cardozo’s full dissenting opinion, published with Decision CRTC 2001-630, appears below.

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